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Pricing monthly

I have always been under the impression when quoting for an ongoing maintenance job I work out a price based on 12 equal monthly payments a year. A resident of a small estate has told me they pay their gardeners fluctuating amounts through the year.

This has made me think perhaps either my customer thinks I'm over charging during the winter months or I myself ( if I lose a contract just before the end of the season ) am being taken advantage of during high season as I have done the bulk of the annual hours.

How do others work this out?

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  • PRO

    It's new to me. I suppose it would work, as long as they are fair and have a list of jobs you are expected to charge out.   But...Surely it makes a lot more sense to spread it to 12 equal payments. I normally quote a price and the jobs that it includes, that way if there are any extras they can be negotiated on top. Just my opinion mind.

    • PRO

      I like to be paid for what I’ve done within a month of doing it! I’m not a bank if they want a loan go they should go to one! Plus I like to do as little as possible in winter  So no 12 month contracts for me.

      if people don’t like it then go elsewhere.

      i know it works for others though!

  • unless you have a watertight contract you can loose out and if its domestic the person could die or move then you will loose out again 

    the mony is better in your bank earning intrest (thats a joke) than in thers there is a lot of differant things that can happen where you loose out

  • You're not being paid for the work done as such, yoiu're being paid independantly of the actual work copleted, so if the agreement ends before the winter, for example, you invoice the outstanding amount. If you start work in autumn you're financially ahead most of the itme. 

    The other way to do it is monthly instalments paid in advance, so make sure there's a payment on 1st March if you are starting a new contract in March. 

    There should be no problems with working in this manner. 

  • PRO

    I agree with Dan. I've never had any issues with equal monthly payments. In fact, I'm normally in pocket with it as I get to move stuff to the quieter winter months when it suits me. I would say the method suggested by Alan could work but would involve invoicing different amounts each month, i prefer the 12 equal payments.

  • PRO

    Example ( not a very good one) I think I have a payment plan ( equal monthly payments) for my dog’s vaccinations etc. Which includes one check up a year and a few other bits and pieces. If I go over my allocated payment plan within the year and cancel the contract, they then bill me for the extra I’ve used. That’s makes sense? And that’s what your saying Dan?

  • We work out the cost of a year's garden maintenance, including pruning, annual planting, lawn treatments, jet washing(if required) etc.  The customer then recieves an annual cost, which they pay in 12 equal monthly payments. Nice and simple, very few complaints and on the 1st April, I know what that year's turnover will be +/- 10%ish. 

    Have confidence Alan, if you are good, why would the customer cancel at the end of a season just to save a few quid?  Good gardeners are like gold dust!!


    • PRO

      I know my yearly turnover in the same range as you without 12 monthly equal payment contracts.

      i think the key is to work in the way that suits you as a business! If that’s yearlong contracts fine if it’s hourly that’s fine too. Bottom line is what’s important not how you receive it!

  • PRO

    The overiding issue for any business is positive cash flow and how best to achieve it;  without it, one is a dead duck whether small or large business.

  • For a one person business, cash flow isn't such an issue as you won't have big wage bills to require steady income for. The biggest advantage of contract style payments is reduced admin time.

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