plan A or plan B??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by wrestlingcoach, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. wrestlingcoach

    wrestlingcoach LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    Which way to set up year round contracts?

    Plan A
    Assuming once a week during the growing season, the early and late months every other week
    28 mowing per year
    Anything else they want (like hedges trimmed 3 times a year)
    Total price divide by 12 = monthly price

    Simple Example house
    28 times $40 = 1120 /12 = $93.33 per month

    Plan B
    Here’s what a LCO does in my home town:
    He goes to the lawn 50 times during the year. 2 weeks off for christmas
    50 (mowings and pick up sticks and mulches leaves in the fall )
    Anything else they want (like hedges trimmed 3 times a year)
    Total price divide by 12 = monthly price

    He charges less for the $40 house, he only charges $35 and he mulches leaves and picks up trash and sticks in the off months he said a lot of times nothing in the winter months.
    But he shows up every week no matter what, to give the appearance

    50 times $35= $1750 / 12 = $145.83 per month

    which one???
  2. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    the one that will work better for you
  3. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    Both.Give your customers options.
  4. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,218

    Plan A for the typical homeowner. Most want the grass cut and leaves done. I do a 30 cut for grass and 6 services for leaves for a total of 36 services at all the same price. I only do this on leaves if you sign a contract otherwise leaves will cost you more.

    50 trips to a property in a year would get old...especially if you were just going through the motions. Would cost you more in expenses. I would say keep the fall/spring season open for increased income like clean ups.

    I do leaf contracts as well. (none mow customers) I price the total job, get 1/2 pay after 1 service complete. Do a total of 4 services and get remaining balance upon completion of final service. This is a big hit with the customers. This Idea came from...yep..."bobbyg"
  5. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    Here is what I do:
    Plan A That covers mowing, weeds, ornamental trimmings
    Plan C separate trips for high dollar extras and fertilization.

    Why would you want to work harder for less money per trip with way more trips. The idea is to work smarter not harder.

    Sample property here in low price hell of florida

    $210 monthly 42 cuts per season or $60 per cut on a 1/4 acre.

    now for that $210 I cut edge, line trim and blow +/- 42 times per year
    We also visit 4 extra times (now subcontracted) for fert
    We trim all ornamentals and hedges, done on as needed basis while we are there cutting the grass
    We spray round up as needed also while we are there cutting grass
    irrigation Maintenance is once a quarter (in season while we are there 1 minute per zone) (off season one day for everyone in an off week)

    So in 44 visits, I have done all basic and upsell items. More money for me and less driving and wasted effort. We aren't selling visits, we are selling well kept lawns and convienence.

    If I charged per cut or even monthly for lawn work only and had to upsell the other things all the time, I would get way less. This way it is all budgeted in and I can do it when I am already there. Adding 12 extra visits is just crazy in my opinion. that is just trying to justify your price. Let your quality speak for itself.

    If my hair cut looks better with a 5 minute barber than a 30 minute one, do I pay the $5 barber less? No, I might pay him more because I am less inconvienced and he has more skill. Same thing with our business.
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    you like that idea, don't you? it's a good program
  7. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    O-so-n-so,you mean those bermuda lawns I'm cutting in the dead of winter(52 week service) I'm losing money on at $55 per week (lowest) times 52 weeks per year?:D
  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I think I'll start running my mowing contracts 52 weeks / year too.

    Don't those jets they use to blow off NASCAR tracks, would they be any good melting off all the snow so I can mow?? :D
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I'm certainly no fan of running the routes, wasting time, money, wear and tear, just so I can get out and freeze my balls off so I give the impression I am tryiing to lead my customers to believe I'm earning my keep.

    The best way to sell yourself is "From target date to target date, I will manage and take care of this exclusive itemized list of tasks. I will do all these items when and how they need doing. This way, all you have to concern yourself with is writing a check each month to insure all these items are managed properly."

    They write the checks, you manage the grounds... simple effective business relationship.... no micro-management involved or needed. So long as you deliver on your end of the bargain, they rarely even have to think about lawn care... and that's what you want.
  10. tfilbert

    tfilbert LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    The yearly contract is very popular lately and the 12 months level billing seems to appeal to a certain group of customers. When I can figure out exactly which group this applies to I will be a lot happier. At present I try to offer what the customer wants and provide targeted service based on that. It's a pain but I try to provide 3 seperate plans for each estimate: 1=full service
    2=target what they ask for plus something extra (selling up if you will)
    3=exactly what they ask for with nothing extra. As stated here often communication is the key in providing good customer service. If you are mowing, blowing and going they need to know exactly what that means. If you are trimming and edging they need to know what is covered. Keeping weeds out of sidewalk cracks and driveways must be covered in advance and you must figure in the price or it can burn you. Explain that extras actually cost extra and will be billed. "yup, we take care of that" is dumb if you haven't priced it into the estimate. Know your costs and bid accordingly. I try to add weed control along fence lines, drives, walks on residential (small) by adding $5.00 per week and it seems to pay off but back to the point: Communicate what you will and will not do for the price and only then will customer satisfaction goal be attained on each and every job. PUT IT IN WRITING folks.

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