Need Feedback on ideas

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HighGrass, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    After some small issues this year, I am already drafting a letter for next years business. This letter would go out in March for end of April mowing (Season begins )

    Here are some ideas:

    1- Let them know that I would be mowing either the day before or the first chance I get after it rains This could include Saturday or Sunday and possibly after sundown.

    2- They will be billed on the first of each month (and a note that they would please pay within 10 calander days finance charge of 10% late charge over 20 days)

    3- I will cut at a specific heigth on every seven days. Every ten days the price will be $XX.XX (Which will be more than if it was every 7)

    4- Tell them which day of the week and they are schedulled for and what date I intend to start. (I also would like to put a note in here about anything on the, laundry, balls chew dung. Please pick it up.)

    5-Fuel Surcharge?

  2. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    I forgot...

    6- A referral system that allows them to earn free mowing at the end of the season with each referral.
  3. CoachLinz

    CoachLinz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 126

    About #3 - don't even mention cutting every 10 days. Just tell them you cut every 7 days (w/ leeway for weather, etc).

    I cut part-time and my customers know I'll be there on either Thursday or Friday normally. They also know I might come on Wednesday or Saturday if weather interferes or I just need to change the schedule for some reason.
  4. BCSteel

    BCSteel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    I think that #1 and #4 go hand in hand together. And as Coachlinz said, dont even mention the ten days part, they are a hassle to work around.

    I would mention the fuel surcharge only if you intend to up their prices over this year. This way they will know what the increase is for and it will go over smoother than if you simply raise the price and dont say why.

    The referal system is a good idea but dont give away too much work for free otherwise it will defeat the purpose of getting the new work.

    Overall, I think that a letter at the begining of each year is a good idea just to let the people know what is going on and to let them know that you are actually thinking about them. I send out a cover letter with all my contracts explaining what the increases in prices are for and explaining any changes over last years work. It is appreciated because it shows that you care about not only the work that is being done, but also about the people who live there too.

    So to sum it up, yes, I think that your letter is a good idea.
  5. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,700

    HighGrass wrote:

    2- a note that they would please pay within 10 calander days finance charge of 10% late charge over 20 days)

    I would check the legality of this before you even attempt to collect such a large amount. A lot of states have a limit that you are allowed to collect as a late fee and it is usually around 1.5% per month. This would also require signed contracts that spell out the exact terms and conditions surrounding the late fee. You only have to get them to sign the contract once. Just stipulate that the terms and conditions can be changed at anytime by you with a written notification to the customer and that they may opt out without penalty within one month of your change in the terms and conditions.
  6. cincymower

    cincymower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Good ideas. I always give customers a mow day, and ask them to not irrigate that morning or the night before. Also to contact their fert company and ask them not to service on that day. I don't think they do that, but it makes me feel better when I pull up and see a fert. flag in the yard.

    I liked an idea from the other day (bobbyg's?) that if the yard is changed, ie new landscape beds or whatever, price is subject to review. I've had two customers seed fairly large parts of their backyards this year that were just dirt last year, and it's taking me longer in both cases.

    Also I'm going to put in something next year to the effect that I can't mow under overgrown branches, either keep them trimmed or I'll do it and bill them a modest amount for it.
  7. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    Thanks for the heads up on the finance charge and feedback on everything else. If someone has a template letter and wants to post it here, go for it. I'm sure we could all benifit from a little cross sharing.
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    RM is exactly right...1.5% per month or 18% per annum. And the ONLY way you can collect on this is with a signed contract stating this (terms and conditions) as Richard mentioned as well...
  9. Action Lawn

    Action Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I think the finance charge laws changed last year. Check with your local Gov. Because We Charge 2% after 30days, plus a $25 flat late fee. I think a year ago the credit industry was changed, & as long as they sign the contract with the Truth in Lending Statement attached, you can charge any reasonable fee.

    As far as #2, we charge $x amount for 7days, & $x times 15% for 14days. But we do not offer 14day acvcounts until the end of june.
    Don't worry about a fuel surcharge, just raise your price about 3-5% a year to cover inflation and added/new expenses.

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