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I would like to see an answer for this as I do not usually ask for deposit and even refuse deposits until work has even begun so long as the project total is under $10K and even then TN state law only allows you to ask for 30% deposit here. Though I am uncertain as to if you can legally ask for a deposit if you're not bonded. I do not ask for deposits as I feel it builds trust as well as allows me to bid more projects to those that are fearful scam artist.
Im going to start asking for them in certain situations.
I did a clean up for $275, the guy paid. Said he wanted me to come back every two weeks for maintenance to prep house for sale. I came once as he was moving. I mowed, pruned, and laid some 3/4 rock in walkway. Two weeks later no payment!
I just did a huge commercial property. I was a little late and when I asked about a contract, the response was start working. I finished the job was told to invoice corporate and they would cut me a check and bring a contract when I came to pick up. Ten days passed no check!
Now I have a house thats rented and the owner lives out of state. The owner wanted a late spring clean up. I asked for a deposit and she kicked and screamed. I told her sorry I cant do it then.
Im already out over $400 in labor and material for the last two jobs that didnt pay.
If they cant trust us with half up front. How can we trust them with a full payment later?
should i take a deposit? i have had two clean ups cancel on me and put a big dent in my schedule
If you can get it? Why not. Do it, and good for you.
However, the thing is many may not do this because the market allows for other options. So if you make a deposit a requirement on a cleanup and a competitor doesn't, you may lose the job.
Because this can be a problem, I think many newer lawn care business owners push through this phase of their business and then later tend to offer cleanups to their annual customers instead of as one time jobs to new unknown customers. They do this because they know they have a working relationship with them and they know they will get paid.
This kind of reminds me of a discussion we have had in the past on if people should be charged for estimates. Sure it's a great idea if you can get them to do it but it would be very difficult to institute this policy when competitors don't charge.
Does this help? Keep me posted on what you decide to go with.
well i would ask for a deposit and i Do if a new client wants me to start a project i tell them straight forward, while i am doing the estimate, that i will require the contract to be signed and at the same time a deposit of at least 30% most of the time they give me half upfront and half at the end. I don't risk it, when they ask me why i need the deposit i tell them its for materials and payment to the people working for me during the week or days they will be working. I've encounter a few people who question me and ask for references and i am glad to give them all the references i can and afterward they are glad we worked for them haha.
guys protect yourself and dont let them take u... we are hard working people and we deserve what we worked for...