Q. for those who use contracts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by RB, Feb 18, 2002.

  1. RB

    RB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    I'm going to use contracts this year and I have a couple of qestions for those who have been using contracts in the past -- What does your invoices say if you just do lawn maintenance (mowing, edging, and trimming/pruning)? Do they say Monthly Installment, or Installment for the Month of (month), or do you itemize each service for the month then include the monthly price?

    I'm leaning toward saying "Installment for the Month of (month)". I would like to use that because I want to avoid customer adding up every service and doing their own calculations throughout the year. Then when it's time to renew the contract they will say "well you only mowed 23 times last year, why are you charging for 26?" Most of my $ will be from mowing and I used 26 as the number of mowings in a 32 week season. If weather is similar as last year I could probably get away with 23 or 24 mowings. I will be there weekly regardless and at the very least blow and maybe weed a little and edge, but I don't want customers doing their own math.

    What has been your experiences with this situation?

    Also, does anyone give their customer a complete "history" of their account at the end of each season?

  2. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    My invoice states "Monthly Maintenance - FEB" or for whatever month it's for, with the amount.
    Any charges for "extra" work is broken down by date, time, etc. under that.
  3. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,051

    I usually send'em at the end of the month and put

    Lawn maintenance Service Payment 1 out of 10
    Lawn maintenance Service Payment 2 out of 10

    and so on...
  4. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    I have a question on these lines.

    On my contracts I put the season as april 1st to october 31st. This would be 31 weeks or cuts. The customer cals and asked me what am I going to do about the fact that they do not water lawn, sumer gets hot and dry, and in september they aerate and seed lawn, so cuttings would be skipped. she asked am I going to give a credit for the mowings not done at the end of the season or what am I going to do, because there is no way that I will be able to get 31 cuts in the months stated.. This is the first year I am doing contracts and I am a little confused, I didn`t expect anything like this. What would you do in this situation.
  5. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    Premo, I'm far from an expert, but from what I've seen in other posts over the last year, most guys will still make the stop each week. And if they can't mow 'cause it's too dry, they will pull weeds in beds, or edge and blow. Maybe touch up some hedges, etc.
    Ron touched on this in his post.
  6. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,051

    I don't really know abut your area but down here grass grows a lot couple of months and then gets dry too, all those months I have to double cut and sometimes even bag it, tha's one of the reason I went with contracts only.

    My customer like the way I mow (zero clippings laying around)
    so even if I skip it couple of times they know I'll make it up in the fast growing months.
  7. jjfehr

    jjfehr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    explain that this method of billing doesn't really reflect the # of cuts but rather, what it will take to keep their lawn in tip-top shape throughout the mowing season. (I'm not talking fert) example If it's spring, you will prob. edge with a trimmer. When in the slower growing season when you don't cut every week, you can run your stick and re-define those edges. I hope this makes sense, I read it and it does to me, but I don't know if it will to anyone else. I'm to tired to change what I wrote already.
  8. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    Ask them if you have to double mow in the spring or mow more often due to rapid spring growth are they willing to pay extra? The above post explains it good, I charge per month, not absolutly based on the number of mowings per month. If I mow alot in April due to rapid growth, no extra charge, if I mow less in July, the bill stays the same. They are paying for your services each month, not for each lawn mowing. If you ran a business that stopped when people didn't water not sure how good that would be for your bottom line.
  9. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

  10. smithf36

    smithf36 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 61

    In the spring you have to plan on being able to mow some of those lawns every 4 days or so. Or if the grass doesn't grow that much, you can mow it twice on the same visit, or bag to reduce clippings. I try not to take on a complete 5-6 days of mowings/week. I like to stick with 4 solid days and if you have problems, it grows a lot, or it thunderstorms, you have one day to make it up before the weekend. If that doesn't work for some reason or another, we mow on Saturdays.


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