Residential Charge. Monthly or weekly Cutting charge

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bugguy8, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. bugguy8

    bugguy8 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    Is it better to charge per cut or on a Monthly Basis?

    If you charge per month then the winter Months (in Florida) would be charged the same as a summer month.

    I understand that a customers service day may be mon/tues/wednes/Etc... and their may be 5 mon/tues/wednes/etc... in a month. Which happens a few times a year.

    SO it seems a monthly charge would be better. Or show them a yearly charge with a break down for monthly....???????

    How do you explain to a customer that you will be mowing only twice a month in the winter but are still charging the same monthly rate?

  2. hughmcjr

    hughmcjr LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 183

    Tell the customer in the contract the cost is fixed and based on the whole year, but billed on a monthly basis. Tell them there is no extra charge in the busier months and no less charge in the slower months and you are averaging the cost out over the year. And you are right charging on a weekly or as needed basis ONLY benefits the customer who will want you only when they want you to come and only when they want to pay, unless you can charge enough to make up for it per visit. Put the control and operation of the business in your hands, not in theirs.
  3. heather lawn sp

    heather lawn sp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    remember to add that if they cancel during the season they will be charged for all goods and services used so far that season. That way if they come up with a lame excuse and cancel to get out of paying the premium price of the winter service you can nick them for all of the work done so far that season That way instead of blowing your profit margin in the winter months when they cancel you can collect it all before winter season.
  4. birdman0494

    birdman0494 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    Those are some very wise words but they are difficult to act them out with difficuly customers or cheapskates
  5. birdman0494

    birdman0494 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    Im a little confused so how would you be able to charge them for summer work if you chrage on a monthly basis? or do you mean annualy ?
  6. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,286

    I agree with the above, good advice. Monthly billing does give you more control, which you want. Per cut (billed at the end of the month) billing is ok too, but customers weird whims can come into play (aka you show up to mow, the customer says "Not Today!")

    Best thing to do ultimately is to get a good core set of customers that lets YOU manage making their lawns look good. In other words, you show up as needed to get the work done, on your schedule. You really should never see these customers at their home when you mow their lawn - except the occasional 'Hi'. They trust you to do your work, thats what you want. The customers you DON'T want are the ones that walk out to give you instructions when you arrive EVERY time, call you frequently, or start setting up their own cutting schedule for you (like you don't know what you are doing???). Weed these out over time, or charge them a fair bit more for their hassling you.
  7. bugguy8

    bugguy8 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    I like the sound of the monthly charge instead of a per visit. I dont want a customer to dictate when to mow his/her lawn because they are paying per visit.

    Thanks for the Info... Anyone else want to add any thoughts into the mix, I would appreciate it....
  8. heather lawn sp

    heather lawn sp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    You would have to keep track of the time and material each visit. Keep a running track of the 'costs'. If they cancel, add up all the time and material that season, subtract the monthly payments that have been made and submit a bill for the remainder. We use it up here for people that want a landscaper for the spring, when all the work is, but cancel the contract and hire a neighbourhood kid for twice a month in July and August after the property has been all set up in the spring
  9. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    Around here in the winter people will pay for a seasonal snow plowing contract no question ,but try and bill lawn cutting and you go hungry . I charge per cut ,but bill monthly. All cutting is at my discretion
  10. heather lawn sp

    heather lawn sp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    You're right

    But remember snow isn't a regular weekly thing, and has to get done. 'leave the lawn another week' isn't unsafe, like snow would be. The commercial accounts will jump at a monthly payment plan but the resi's like to get what they pay for and pay for what they get. Resi's do seem to be shy of season long commitments

    Resi's make up less thast 5% of our revenue so we don't tend to push the monthly equalized payment system too hard with them

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