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Using Coupons

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Lawn Wizard, Nov 28, 2001.

  1. Lawn Wizard

    Lawn Wizard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    So for next year I want to get all my new customers on a similar plan. Flat Billing over 10 months for cutting, spring/fall cleanup, fertilizer, aeration, etc.

    Any extra work would be added on at the end of each month.

    In my area the average lawn (just cutting and spring/fall cleanup about 2500 sq. ft.) goes for roughly $1200 for the season.

    Now what I want to do is offer a coupon possibly $100 off the season w/ seasonal contract. About 8% off.

    On one hand I think this is a pretty decent idea, but on the other hand would probably just attract the price shoppers.

    Just wanted to get everyones input to maybe fine tune this idea.
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    My experience with coupons hasn't been very good. Especially if I was trying something long term like a 10 month contract. I used it for other services like aerating and seeding with very little luck from them. The people in your area my be more receptive to them. You will never know until you try.

    I saw some gift certificates at Office Depot. Thought I might try those to existing customers that would give them something toward aerating next year.

    Secret to business is there is no secret. You learn from trial and error. Keep us posted on what you find.
  3. strickdad

    strickdad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    we, like most have a hard time getting people (residential) on a year round contract. we have tried the coupon thing , and it didnt work for us.. not to say it wont work for you though.. if i were you i would still try it. it could work for you...
  4. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    In the spring, when I am bidding new lawns, I was going to offer a FREE winterizer application for all new customers. This is something you can do right after you last mow. Doesn't take much time or money (15K lawn=$10).
  5. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Why discount the package when you can get full price in pieces???
  6. Lawn Wizard

    Lawn Wizard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    well really the only reason I was going to offer a discount is that I would like to add about 30 customers next year so I thought the discount would grab their eye. Also I think since the residentials are so hard to get onto the seasonal contract that this might make it a bit easier for them to accept.
  7. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Could you add the accounts more easily if the only saw the per service prices as comapred to monthly or annual amount?

    I conducted my maintenance under seasonal contract for years. Gradually I found that people would balk at the big nut so I started doing a few jobs billing per service with no major hassle. The competition and old habits appear to make this a hard thing to change.

    Not only did I get 8-10 monthly payments, I got a down payment too.

    Do you think you can sell some extra services under a bundled contract that they might not buy if you had to call them or wait for them to call you?

    Other option is to sell a per service "contract" with a list of items to be done and there prices per each and bill as they are done. Then you could have a pre determined work load and full price.

    Or you could discount some optional services on this pay as you go thing for signing up in advance.
  8. Lawn Wizard

    Lawn Wizard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    Hey thanks for all the replies everyone.

    HBFOXJr good questions lol. Lemme give u my whole train of thought on this. (Im trying to work with ya :) )

    Right now all of my customers are billed at the end of each month for the services performed that month. This way works ok but not how I would like it too. Some months are real good some less good. So I guess overall Im trying to bring a bit more stability to my billing so I can plan and forcast with a bit more accuracy.

    To bring this stability I want all my customers to be on a standard billing schedule for the work that we know we will do over the season. Any unforseen work will be billed at the end of the month.

    Now as far as the coupon for $100 off or whatever. My thinking is that first when they see $100 off on my adverts its really gonna get any potential customers attention, second it prescreens potential customers as they will know it is $100 off a seasonal contract.

    I might scrap this idea all together but its been in my head for a while and wanted to bounce it off u guys so thanks for the input

    Ah well they see the monthly price right now as I bill them monthly. Im selling this flat rate to them as a convenience to them :)

    This might be the way for me to go.
  9. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Doesn't the monthly price vary according to what ws performed in that month?

    Do I understand from some other posts at other times that some guys are "charging by the cut" but including stuff like fert, shrub trimming, clean ups etc in the cut price. And then they bill or want to bill 10 or 12 months of the year just like they cut it every week because they came out and did something no matter how large or small a task each week or 2?
  10. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Maybe not a coupon but a 5% discount for going to this system........

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