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Prices (per mow vs. monthly)

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by GTLLC, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. GTLLC

    GTLLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I've read a few posts where people charge a flat monthly rate; of course they collect even if there is severe drought and no mowing is required.

    This doesn’t seem fare for the customer; is this a better way to bill our customers than per mowing session – and why/why not?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. WJW Lawn

    WJW Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,330

    I believe the idea is...that no matter what...the LCO will be on the customers property doing SOMETHING each week. If there is a drought...maybe the mulch beds need to be weeded.. Or the hedges trimmed... Or whatever needs to be done until mowing can resume. Im sure not everyone functions that way, but the guys I know...do.
  3. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    I charge a weekly rate during the green season (March through October). In the Spring when I am double cutting & blowing like crazy I don't charge more, but instead balance it out over the season. Now for the new customers, I guess I make some money, but it all evens out over the years.

    Every week I show up to maintain the lawn. It may be a full scale cut, trim, & blow or it might just be a little trimming around obstacles or a few weeds that may have popped up here and there.
  4. GTLLC

    GTLLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Great point; so I assume the "something" activity is outlined in your bid and that it is an expectation during non-mowing weeks, but not expected when you are mwoing?

    Nice of you to offer that service; taking care of customers that way!!
  5. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 993

    For myself, I don't find something to do when my monthly customers grass doesn't need mowing. I figure my monthlys based on cut price x cuts per year plus additional services. I basically price at the max number of cuts I'll make. And yes, with less rain I pocket more money.
  6. Grass Kickin

    Grass Kickin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    Fool, that is the way to do it. I'd rather charge per month than per cut. Monthly accounts pay you all year. With all of the low balling I've seen, it is difficult to really get what you want for per cut jobs. I'm not waiting around for someone to call me bi weekly or once a month to cut. I've seen people around here mow n going for 15 to 17 per cut. I have no idea how they get by especially now that it has rained a little. 4 days of rain last week tookm me all week to make up due to rapid growth. I have a couple of big accounts in Williston/Morriston....acreage
  7. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 943

    What I do is add up the number of visit that I have in my program which will be 44 next year, multiply by what would be the per visit price and then divide by 10 months which is my cutting season. Therefore, Months like Aug, that have five weeks wouldn't have me cheating myself by charging Monthly. Either way it goes, they will end up paying the same for general maintenance
  8. ke5hbd

    ke5hbd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 97

    I charge a monthly rate for two apartment complexes and even if they don't need mowing there is always trash to be picked up and the drives and side walks to be blown off.

    The owner likes a clean place so that what the contract states as Once a week lawn service even if there s no grass to mow,clean property of trash and blow drive and side walks.

    Works for me because its a twelve month contract.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Well it's not really about being fair to the customer. Each mowing customer takes up a spot on your schedule...at some point you are full to capacity. All is good then suddenly it gets dry and 50% of your lawns don't need mowing for weeks on end...so you lay your helper off, the one you trained so nicely, then a month later it rains for 3 days and everything is green and growing but you can't find another helper :cry: That's one example anyway of the risks of charging per cut.

    Most customers just expect us to drive over every week, burning gas and labor, and NOT cut the lawn if it's too dry. Really to do that you need to be compensated for the time and gas.

    Really the idea, like someone else mentioned, is that it balances out the heavy growth and the no-growth times...overall it will even out for both parties. I do want my customers to feel they are getting a good value out of it, but I'm not concerned with 'being fair' each and every week. It'll even itself out over time.
  10. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    exactly. How is this not fair, the customer is happy, were happy, and who cares anyway. I know Im not in business to be fair.

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