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Totally Green
08-05-2008, 02:53 PM
I live in the South so snow removal is not an option for off-season work. I need some service ideas which will help me get some annual contracts. We can clean gutters, remove leaves, etc., but we're looking for more so customers feel like their getting a deal.

Landscape Warriors
08-05-2008, 04:29 PM
how do i sell a annual contract??

Totally Green
08-05-2008, 04:57 PM
I guess that's my question. I think I would be close if I could offer my client a basic service which includes lawn maintenance and storm cleanup in the spring and summer and leaf removal, gutter cleaning and storm cleanup in the fall. Winter is tricky. We don't have snow, but we do occasionally have ice and wind damage. An additional incentive is that you could offer lower, fixed monthly payments. I'm just not sure that would be enough to convince them. People around here are hesitant to sign contracts.

quickcleanlawn
08-05-2008, 06:44 PM
This may not be helpful, but in the winter I try to market handyman work interior painting, small repairs and floor maintenance ( buffing and stripping)
winter time isn't long here but it sure gets rough that time of year, especially with the hollidays.

Totally Green
08-05-2008, 07:40 PM
Thanks Blaine. I know what you mean. I'm outside of Shreveport. I wish I could do the interior work but I cringe when I think of painting, plumbing or flooring. By the way, how are things going down there? An electrician friend is working down there and says a lot of it is still a mess.

quickcleanlawn
08-05-2008, 09:07 PM
It is a mess, did you hear about the oil spill, or the levees still leaking?
Idono... sometimes Iwish I could just leave here And start up somewere else.
I'll leave it at that before it turns to a rant.

Steve
08-05-2008, 10:04 PM
An additional incentive is that you could offer lower, fixed monthly payments.

I think you hit on a good incentive. You can sell them on budget pricing. Where they pay each month all year long with an automatic renew at the end of each year and it ends up being the same in total as the way they paid before but it's cheaper monthly because they pay all 12 months.

Also, have you considered selling them on a prepay for the entire year on a contract. Maybe give them 5 or 10% off if they pay in advance.

Could you also offer seasonal outdoor holiday decoration displays?

Landscape Warriors
08-06-2008, 07:54 AM
Is there a good contract out there that doesn’t sound so bad like 125 cancelation fee I thought I seen one on here before but I looked at all the contracts on the website and couldn’t find anything I liked I guess I could try one but I would hate to lose a sale over a contract.

I have some painting lined up for the winter and plan on bringing in a lot for gutters this year but I am still just part time and cant decide on how to go full time.

Totally Green
08-06-2008, 08:24 AM
We hear a little about the problems in N.O. up here, but not much. Hey, if you want to move North, I may be looking for a partner next season. LOL

I hadn't thought about the pay-in-advance option. It's something to think about. I'm not sure about the decorations. I havn't done any yet so I'm not real sure of the overhead and time involved. I'll put that on my list of possibilities for next year.

I've attached a General Service Agreement we use (Word format). It's not really a contract, but it may have some info you can tweak.

LAWN CARE CONTRACT SAMPLE

Steve
08-06-2008, 01:03 PM
Gary,

What type of effect have you had with your customers when you present them with that agreement? Have they been receptive to it? Or did they seem turned off because a contract was being used?

And thank you for sharing what you use with us.

Totally Green
08-06-2008, 01:32 PM
I really can't say. We just drew it up. I've always gone with verbal agreements, but I may be burned by one customer. Since there's nothing in writing on our agreement, I may loose the money on this one. I hope my customers are not turned off by it. I'm open to any advise or comments on its content.

Totally Green
08-06-2008, 01:45 PM
Hey Steve. After thinking about what you said, I wonder if I wouldn't be better off omiting the late fee/check fee info from this agreement. Once I get the job and they sign, then maybe I should include the bad stuff with the first invoice. What's your opinion?

Steve
08-06-2008, 02:45 PM
Well can you tell me what the benefit of that would be?

Totally Green
08-06-2008, 02:55 PM
Maybe none. I'm just not sure if the letter has a negative tone.

Steve
08-06-2008, 03:16 PM
Well, my thought at least is this. You really should lay out the terms of interest and late payments in the contract and not after because then the customer is not agreeing to it.

I think ideally you want to lay it out all up front with the customer. Have the both of you agree to it and then move forwards. This should help minimize any future potential conflict.

Any thoughts on this?

Totally Green
08-06-2008, 03:29 PM
I think you're right. That was my original thought. I'll be using the agreement soon and I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks

Steve
08-06-2008, 04:02 PM
Keep us posted! :)

Landscape Warriors
08-06-2008, 08:02 PM
Gary i have downloaded it and love it it lays out everything you need with out sounding bad. But if i do a year round agreement i guess i will have to have the fee or eles come october they ditch me your agreement says they can with out any notice. But thank you for all you help.

Totally Green
08-06-2008, 08:52 PM
That's true. I didn't do this as a contract. It's just an written agreement saying what is expected of both parties while we are doing business. And since they will sign the document, I'll have some legal ground to stand on in case of non-payment. I'm working on another contract for the annual agreement.

Landscape Warriors
08-07-2008, 08:03 AM
yeah I am dealing with a non payment as we speak and have nothing to show for it. They needed me to keep up with the house since they were moving out of town I got the first payment but now I cant get them by phone or email so from now on on those situation I will have a your agreement and prior payment.

Totally Green
08-07-2008, 08:18 AM
I just purchased some software that I'm hoping will help. It's called Bill-Collector-In-A-Box. It allows you to report non-payee's to the credit bureau, sends letters, etc. Not sure how well it will work, but for 50 bucks it's worth a try. You can get it at Office Depot.

quickcleanlawn
08-08-2008, 08:56 PM
heres the link to there website :http://www.billcollectorinabox.com/