Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cgaengineer, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    I am having a bit of trouble trying to think of how to write this so people are not confused, here goes...Please go easy on me.

    When estimating would you quote a price per week, average 4 weeks in month, or a flat monthly price.

    If weekly would you consider that there is 4.3 weeks in a month and factor that in to come up with your estimate?

    If you have customer sign a yearly contract would you adjust the monthly rate to a lower per month price since during the non growing times you would actually be on the lawn less time. I understand that during non growing growing season there is still work to do, but can you honestly justify charging the same monthly rate for picking up sticks, trash and blowing leaves?

    We will use $50 as example for last question.

    $50 per week/cut based on 32 cuts per year = $1600, or $133 per month for 12 months. I only see one problem doing it this way and that is if they decide to cancel or defer services during the winter months. I suppose you could have a contract written that would take care of this, but people will still wiggle out of paying. Now throw in 4.3 weeks per month and your monthly rate goes to $215 or $2580 per year total.
  2. jhsmith4

    jhsmith4 LawnSite Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 110

    This year we are offering 26, 39, and 52 week service visits only. Last year was a scheduling nightmare b/c we catered to our customers budgeting needs. So for our promotion advertising, when they sign our annual service agreement, we will give them 1 month free ( off-season month only). Its working! We wanted to increase our customer base to 50 highend properties b/c/we're p/t. Looking to go full time. I signed 2 last week for 280 and 350 a month year round. 6 est to do today. When I est the job I increase the mowing price aleast $5 to $7 to help make-up the difference of the offer. I will also make the difference up on upsales. These maintence agreements are for mowing services, shrub maint only, everything else is an upsale. If they sign great, if not thats great too! Not taking any one time deals unless they are willing to Pay well!!!
  3. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,020

    Flat monthly price. That is how we work if you go by the week, when summer comes you will get some saying do it every other week, since they are in by the month they don’t bring it up. We do that for nine months, than we go into the snow removal business with the same customers different rates.:waving:
  4. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,464

    this is why you have contracts.
  5. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    We offer 38, 42 and 52 week contracts. Most all are 42, with the exception of some retail centers we have. Keep in mind that I do "Full service" work, so I have things to do during the winter, even though I am only there every other week. We also build into our contract a percentage chart that protects us from someone cancelling right after we mulch or have a high cost of materials month. There is different percentages for each month, with heavier percentages during the front of the contract and during those months when we incur costs (mulching, annuals, etc.)

    If you are only providing a "mowing" service, then you need to figure how many cuts you are going to provide, 28, 32, 36, etc. That is what you multiply your $50 by and then divide by 12 for a monthly billing amount. If that is all you are offering. Just offer a 8-9 month contract... say March or April thru Nov. This would allow you to get more per month, but nothing for the off season.
  6. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Thanks for the useful information TScapes. You have a great idea with the 8-9 month contract.

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