Prepaying for the lawn season!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by BDP, Mar 17, 2001.

  1. BDP

    BDP LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    We have offered to our customers prepaying for the entire lawn season and we knock off one mowing for an incentive. We weren't sure if anyone would go for it, but to our amazement we have generated alot of interest in prepaying.

    However, they are asking if they should pay for just mowing and not the rest of services (fert., mulching and cleanups or any planting) they can be billed separate. I am not sure about this, any advice?

    also we counted the weeks (from start date to finish date of mowing) which we calculated to be about 27 mowings. One of the customers asked us what happens if it rains for a week and you skip a week of mowing? Any advice on this question? We are new to this prepaying, but have heard quite a few landscapers do it and its a nice idea to have the $$$ in the bank.
  2. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 870

    We total it all and deduct 5%.

    We have a set number of mowings per year. We don't charge extra if turf grows fast and don't give discounts if turf grows slow.
  3. capital

    capital LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    We offer prepays/discounts for fertilizer only. On the mowing side we don't offer discounts based on you never know how many mows you can get in a season. Having said that we do offer monthly payment plans on a fixed rate for the season, and some people like that and don't complain when the mowing slows down. Those accounts are nice in that we bill on the 25th for the next month and they have to pay by the 10th. Fit the plan to fit your budget and needs.
  4. diginahole

    diginahole LawnSite Member
    Messages: 249

    Not being in the mowing buisness, I just can't understand not being able to know how many times you are going to mow in a season. If the grass isn,t growing, I'd take the blades off and just go out and make noise. The way I handle discounts is to add them to every quote before it gets to the customer. In this industry everybody want's to believe the can get something for nothing. We go to every client with this in mind and are able to give them the illusion of a SPECIAL discount and don't mind when we have to give this up. When you know what you need on a job make sure you get it or don't take the job. It is the same thing as car dealers do when they give you low finance rate or cash back, it's built into the price and they pretend to give you something special when they know they can sell it to you for that in the first place.
  5. tpirobert

    tpirobert LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    I have customers pre-pay for 10 mowings only and give 11th mowing free. Any other services are billed with normal monthly billing. I have them pre-pay by mid Feb. This helps out with Spring start-up costs and most customers can afford.
  6. John from OH

    John from OH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    We offer prepays based on a 28 cut season, 7% discount, payable by April first. This is our 3rd year offing prepay and have about 20% of our mowing gross prepaid. We offer no discounts for missed mowings and no extra charge for additional mowings. Over a 3 year period, we have stayed right on our 28 cut average. We do, however, mow fertilized lawns twice per week in spring, and every 10-14 days during mid summer. We have found that we can mow a lawn twice per week in spring in less time than we can deal with the extra clippings from once per week service. This also allows us to mow in the rain in spring without a clumping problem. To make a profit in the mowing business, its not how many times per year you cut the grass, its the total time per year spent mowing. We set up a spreadsheet for each account, showing the yearly budgeted hours, average hours per visit this year, budgeted hours by week of service, and actual hours to date. Our crew leaders then have the information to adjust mowing frequency late in the year to make sure we stay within budget.
  7. BDP

    BDP LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Wow, sounds like you got it down to a science - good for you!!

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