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Starting Landscaping Company, Accepting payment?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by MrBrownThumb, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. jgrs7

    jgrs7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    Yea I bill each month but I'm saying are u getting paid year round the same amount of money? Like our big commercial contracts say we get 2,000 a month we get that 12 months a year. In the summer we cut every 10 days and the winter every 15 days as needed so heck we may only cut once a month when its dormant but we still get paid the 2,000. Is that how yall are doing the residential?
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  2. grandview (2006)

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

    All us Yankees only cut a few months ,then it turns into snowplow season.2 different types of billing here!
  3. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,763

  4. GrassIsGreenerLawnCare

    GrassIsGreenerLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 636

    We set up our annual contracts with a 30 day notice of termination for either party. Meaning, I can drop the customer with notice, or they can drop me. The one thing you need to add into the contract is a thing saying that they must pay for any work/materials that were done and not fully paid for. Such as Mulch/etc.
    Say they drop you after 3 months, and you put down 20 yards of mulch for them......you need to make sure you get paid. Thankfully we havent dealt with this.
    You are correct about some people not wanting to sign a contract. We only have about 80% on contract so far, and the others said they would rather not sign it, and feel comfortable with the way things have gone for the past couple years without any contract.
  5. GrassIsGreenerLawnCare

    GrassIsGreenerLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 636

    yes, pretty much. but.....we also make the monthly price appropriate. We tried to adjust the price accordingly, knowing that during the dry spells/etc we wont be cutting every week. Also, alot of our customers have there mulch, aeration, and fertilizing factored into the monthly payments too.
    But like I said, this is our first year of doing this....and we like it so far.
  6. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    I use quickbooks, I do monthly billing batching peicemeal as well as flat rate work. I do have one client that pays quarterly up front.

    Yes, I track and pay sales tax as a well as SUTA / FUTA and FICA.

    Sales tax can be a real bear as it varies by city but Quickbooks actually does this very well. I paid pretty big bucks paying a quckbooks advisor and account folks for many years before I got comfortable doing it.

    If you want to run a business then treat it like a business.

    You need to focus on these things early. Think of your structure too. Partnerships have good and bad to them. Everyone needs to know the impacts this will have and how you will get out of it. Trust me, at some point in time you will need to get out of it.

    Same for a corporation.

    I got relatively lucky but still made mistakes and spent a great deal of money, time and energy back tracking to correct mistakes on accounting, partnership and taxes.

    While you may just want to dive in, do so but take some time to get legit and understand the business side. You will be doing yourself and your competitors a favor. Your customers will notice too. Not all of them focus just on price.
  7. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Exactly. I will spell out the level of service. If materials are used then I will say something like early termination without cause then I can do billing based on actual work. It is not a contract in a strict sense. Commerical clients attach your proposal to their contract. Holding a homeowner's feet to the fire is more effort than it is worth.

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