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Charging over 12 months rather than per visit

Has anyone else tried this ? I've only asked 6 clients so far but all but one have moved over. One of them I charge £15 per cut and cut 23 time a year, £345 a year, divided by 12 = £28.75 but she's rounded it up to £30. Seems like a good way to save time as well, I prefer the money transfered as I never have to waste time talking to clients either. The big plus is over the winter my wage will stay steady. 

Only time will tell on how this works though.

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  • Yes, I do this for around 40 customers. Come January you just send one email for the year. It should be very simple and low admin in theory.

    Any price rises I declare in January. My customers appreciate not having to log on to digital banking every 2 weeks, they don't need to know when I arrive or leave, just make sure any side gates are unlocked. 

    • Excellent, glad to know it's working for others. I'll ask more if they want to as well. Thanks for the reply

  • PRO

    This is exactly what Im doing. Im only new to the business this year. Was thinking about how to do this and the 12 month option seems the best. I do lawn mowing and lawn care and hedges too. I will lump the price together as a total and divide by 12 and the customer pays by standing order. this is for full season customers. First payment 1st March. If the customer only books me in August then the first payment is 1st Sept and they get 6 months payments. Everything renews in March. Like you say this keeps the price a little more manageble for the customer, keeps you with a steady winter income and should make renewals of contracts much easire too. Everybody so far has been more than happy with the method and have all paid on time. I have still had a couple of low cost custmers who have paid in full at the beginning. I dont like that as much because it gets spent straight away too!

     

  • PRO Supplier

    We have been doing for years, most customers happy to accept it although prefer to pay by the month for the number of cuts completed.  The 12 monthly option provides income across the year which is welcomed and certainly helps with financial planning.  It also helps tie in customers as there is never a break in invoicing so they always are reminded you are there even during the dormant/quieter months as so less likely to look to a competitor etc.

  • It's how we have run our Garden Maintenance business for many years.  There are many benefits which I can list another day, but one big benefit for us is that at the start of each financial year I know within 5% what my minimum turnover will be.

  • Personally this is a system I really don’t like. Unfortunately I have one contract which works this way with a local Council, which is their way of working so I have to put up with it if I want the work.

     The mowing ends in late October or mid-November at the latest. But I have to wait until the following April to get paid in full. At the end of the season, when mowing finishes, they have paid nearly £5k but still owe me over £3000. I am then slowly paid this over the next five months, until I am finally paid in full in April, by which time I am well into mowing again. I have to pay for fuel, oils, repairs and my ‘strimmer man’ so I am somewhat short changed for two thirds of the year.

    It is far better to get paid for what we do, when we do it, at the time. It’s a system that is very clear and it’s easy to understand what is actually being charged/paid for. It’s much clearer to invoice for work actually done. The client knows exactly what they are getting for their money.

    I know the Council won’t renege on the deal, but what about businesses and domestic customers? There was a thread started by someone on here who had this system in place with a large client and they ‘sacked’ him during winter owing him a lot of money still to be paid for all the summer work. He didn’t do any work for them in winter but split all the mowing season work price over 12 equal monthly payments. They just walked away.

    • I wouldn't recommend April-April for this system though. Jan-Dec works well for me. I know this contract you're talking about is fixed and you don't have a say in the months paid, but offering it to domestic clients I'd suggest Jan-Dec

  • i am with vic on this you could end up missing out on 4 or 5 months payments any thing can happen even with commercial cilents

    i had one domestic cilent move to the other end of the country witout telling me then rang me just before the start of the cutting season to apologize, but she did not owe me any mony 

  • PRO

    I started it this year for grass cutting. From now on all new clients will be on this via go cardless. I run it from feb - dec (11 months), though any adhoc work like hedge cutting is invoiced for on the day.  It's great how muchmore  free time it gives me

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