Your commercial accounts???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Husky, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. Husky

    Husky LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    I maintain several of these now, but am mainly residential. I am however looking to really get into the smaller commercial full service accounts.. So i have some questions

    When you guys bid these places and someone wants full services,,,meaning mowing for the year,,fert..weed control in beds,,mulching,,and any hedging that might need to be done for the year... How do you guys go about bidding these large maintenance fees?

    I mean,,i would be worried about adding all this total up,,and then breaking it into 8 month seasonal contract paid in equal increments,,cause if they cancel right after like a large mulch install,,then you are out the money for themulch install cause they only got billed for hte maintenace fee?? i dont know,,ill clarify if need be..

    Do you just bid by adding all these services up and dividing by 8 months plans or 12 month payment plans??

    How do the BIG pros do it,,???
  2. Husky

    Husky LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    I ask this stuff cause I always see tru green trimming the bushes at some of the larger commercial properties and am wondering how they bid the properties,,did they say,,ok fert,mowing and weed control in beds is a monthly equal payment thing,but mulch and these hedges we are trimming are going to be bid as individual things,,due on top of the maintenance fee.. you see my delimma?

    Just curious,,I want to be as professional as possible...
  3. Turf Dancer

    Turf Dancer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    I figure it all out individually and then add all costs up for the total for the year and divide by 12 and add 5% just to cover any errors I might have made example of one of my small commercials

    32 weeks mowing at $25 each = $800
    (mow, trim and blow)

    Fertilize and weed control for year=$150

    clean up leaves that blow in in fall = $80

    Total = $1030 add 5% roughly = $1080 divide by 12 =$90 a month on 12 months.

    This is an easy one because it is a small area and it takes 20 minutes a week average.

    Sign the contract and if you do your homework they can't break the contract unless they prove you breached the contract. I give all of my customers the right to break the contract but they have to buy their way out by paying %50 of the remaining money due on the remainder of the contract. Example I have one that is $525 a month on 12 months. They have some guy who says he will do it for $320 a month on 24 mo if they sign this month, They are trying to get corporate to go for the contract buy out because they think he will do the same job for $205 a month less over a 24 month contract = $4920 in savings. But it will cost them $1050 to get rid of me ! I really hope they go for it. I could use the $1050 towards my new trailer.

    Whatever you do get it in writing and watch your wording !
  4. HydroBC

    HydroBC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Great Post Husky-
    Ive been hesitant to get too deep into commercials because of the risk of losing my ass!
    You break it down nicely turfdancer thank you.
    How do you find out which commercial contracts are actually up for bid?

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    First off why did they break contract? If we do something wrong than we should lose but if we are doing right I don't think We should have this problem.
    All full service is year contract. A lot of the high cost stuff comes at the end of the year- areation-fall clean up -reseed- so if they do break off early I believe we are covered.
  6. cntryboymc

    cntryboymc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 193

    great info turf dancer!how do you approach theses businesses?
  7. Mudmower

    Mudmower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    Try this guys - Before I bid my first commercial, I tried to think of every possible scenerio (impossible). I now list, in detail, what will and will not be done, just as turfdancer wrote. I include it as a page of the contract. Use wording that leave little room for interpretation ie I do not haul off furniture, lumber, tires, concrete, or any large debris piles dumped by others. If the above does not cover what you see dumped in your area, include more. Also list that you will remove these things at an additional cost. Now, if it is a really sweet contract (great money) you could include the above service. Each customer is differant in what they PERCIEVE as a good deal.

    Great idea on the buy out TD, I now have a new line to include in next years contract.

  8. Husky

    Husky LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    Yes, good answeres and other questions on this thread..

    WEll good,,thats probably the way I"m going to go about it. I was just curious weither it was a good idea...My commercials obviously want a large sum of mulch in the early spring. I Guess Ishouldn't worry about them cancelling, cause I'm sure this problem would be far and in between...

    It just always bothers me to do a good amount of work and soend money and then have someone cancel on me..

    See, now the question,,its sosunds ok for us to do it to commercial like that,,they are usually good payers.. but what about residential???

    Can you run the residentials like tthat also? THey want fert mowing and say mulch in early sring,,u iknow what,,on second thought,,no,,i don't want to put it out there like that,,i have remulch jobs that are in excess of 1000$,,,so if someone drops a bomb on me,,id be screwed...I will bill monthly equal price for the year for mowing fert and weeds,,and then i will bill lump sum for hte other services...
  9. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    If you're having people cancel on you and you aren't being paid for services rendered to that point, somethings wrong in your head. Regardless of what the monthly payment is, at the time of a contract being canceled, a review of what was actually performed, and what was actually paid, needs to be gone through and a final bill sent with a breakdown for them to see, and then pay the balance if one is due. It's really that simple. Our residential and commercial contracts are extremely close in format. I don't care who work was done for, if there's a balance, they're paying. We had one customer that was a mutual agreement cancellation this season ( what a bitc*) and she was sent a final bill with the dates of the services performed, their associated charges, and then the check numbers and dates of what she paid. There was about $200 she owed us and she paid it and we had her sign a cancellation letter stating everything was paid and all work was completed as per charges, end of story.
  10. Husky

    Husky LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    Oh no Randy,,yea Your right on with that, your post brings out the simple truth...

    I have had 1 cancel in 2 years,,which I think is Awesome..

    I was concerned about doing a mulch job and sticking it in with the mowing monthly equal payment thing for an eight month period over the season,,cause we put up money and work on the property,,and then slowly over the next eight months we get it back,,I don't know if I want to do mulch like that,,or do that as a per job thing...

    I guess what I want to do is do residential like the commercial should be.

    "excuse me mr. customer,,what services will you need?

    fert.mowing aerating overseeding,,oh,,ok,,that will be 213.47 per month for eight months,,mowing weekly,fert as applies through season aeration and seeding at the end,,that works GREAT..

    THen I have to decide when they ask for mulch in the spring,,do I include that in the monthly,,or make it a solo price? and is that the same way a commercial is done,,mine are per shot now,,,scares me when a drought comes?

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