Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum

» Welcome to the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum
GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum

GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum (http://www.gopherforum.com/forum-index.php)
-   Starting a lawn care business. (http://www.gopherforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=32)
-   -   A few thoughts on contracts. (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=6589)

StartALawnCareBusiness 02-24-2008 12:53 AM

There has been quite a bit of discussion here lately on the subject of lawn care contracts. *Since it is the time of year for contracts and getting new customers, I want to take a few minutes to share my thoughts on this subject. *

My writings ARE NOT legal advice by any means. *They are just my opinion based on being associated with the lawn care industry since 1992.


Definition of a contract: *

In my college business law classes, I was taught a contract is composed of three criteria: *
1) Offer *2) *Acceptance *3) *Consideration. *Consideration comes from the fact that the offer and the acceptance are reasonable in the eyes of the law.


When you say *"Mrs. Jones, I will do your lawn for $35." *That is an offer.
When she says "Yes, I will pay you $35 to mow my lawn." *That is an acceptance.

The above discourse, at the moment of acceptance (given reasonable consideration), forms a verbal contract.

Need for a written contract:

The detail of a contract depends on the level of protection you want to be afforded by that contract. *

Do you really need a 12 page legal document drawn up by a legal team just to do a $35 lawn? *
Probably not.

Do you need an extensive written contract detailing all duties and eventualities for a 3 year, $500,000 right-of-way mowing contract? *
Probably so.


It has been my personal experience that if you are doing a $35/week residential yard it is not necessary to have a written contract. *

Why might you NOT need a written contract?

1) Customer relationship. *Lawn care is a relationship business. *People want to do business with people they trust. *I have found the vast majority of lawn care customers are honest and willing to have a good relationship without need of a written contract.

2) Lack of significant damages. *If you have a contract with a $35/week customer and that customer decides to breach his end of the deal, how much are you really damaged? *If you pursue this customer you will waste hours and days of time trying to collect $35/week instead of simply finding a different $35/week customer who willingly pays you for your work.


Why might you NEED a written contract?

1) *If you will be damaged significantly due to breach of contract. *

Example A: if a customer calls you in November for leaf cleanup and promises to hire you next summer to cut the grass. *You are doing one of the more difficult jobs of lawn care (leaf cleanup) with the expectation that income will be produced throughout the following year. *If you are not hired to cut the grass next season, you might be unreasonably damaged by loss of income.

Example B: *if you are hired to mow a very large area of property for which you need to purchase additional equipment, hire additional employees, and/or set aside other customers in order to do this work. *If any of these (or other conditions) apply and the new customer breaches his end of the bargain, you might be damaged from the loss of income.


2) *To protect the customer against higher costs.

Example A: *If a lawn care operator provides full service lawn care including end-of-season fertilizing, aerating, and overseeding, the LCO needs to order supplies based on expected demand. *If he has 20 customers each needing 80 lb. of 10-10-10 fertilizer, he can bulk order to reduce costs. *Let's say it is November and the LCO only has enough fertilizer to service those 20 customers. *If a 21st customer steps in and want a fertilizer job, the LCO will have to charge much more for the one-time service. *However, if the customer had signed a contract for 1 year's worth of total lawn care beginning the previous April, he could have received a greatly reduced price on the fertilizer job.

Example B: *If a customer wants his grass cut "no less than every two weeks and/or when the grass reaches 5 inches in height." *In this example, the customer wants to know an upper limit to his payout. *If it is a dry summer, the LCO might only have to mow every 14 days. *However, if it is a wet summer the grass might need to be cut more often than 1 time per week. * The customer is protected agains an unusually rapid growing season while the LCO hopes it doesn't rain at all.


These are just a few opinions off the top of my head. *


Let me hear your thoughts:

Keith

Steve 02-24-2008 02:45 PM

Keith,

Very interesting points! Do you think we have seen a trend more and more for small start up lawn care business owners to want to use contracts where they are not needed?

Do you think these businesses should focus less on contracts and more on building relationships with their customers?

Is the usage contracts more and more lately a symptom of worsening customer and service provider interaction?


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:10 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
fliers
joshp
08-19-2016 03:23 PM
Today 12:42 AM
by SC93
9 534
My Invention
biglee
01-11-2015 06:51 PM
Yesterday 11:36 AM
by joshp
17 2,839
fert/lawn programs
joshp
Yesterday 10:43 AM
Yesterday 10:43 AM
by joshp
0 107
Landscaper taking on odd...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
08-07-2016 06:57 PM
Yesterday 10:31 AM
by joshp
7 722
Review of our lawn care...
Lawnline
07-12-2016 06:40 PM
08-27-2016 10:51 AM
by Steve
7 1,829
Start My Own Business?
mowandblow1980
01-12-2016 07:43 PM
08-25-2016 12:55 PM
by Steve
19 2,165
Looking for new host
Just for Cuts
11-26-2015 06:58 AM
08-24-2016 09:05 PM
by Stephen Alberts
10 1,924
Facebook advertising
Just for Cuts
12-13-2015 07:49 AM
08-24-2016 08:59 PM
by Stephen Alberts
14 13,113
Breaking into commercial...
SGL1
08-19-2016 07:02 AM
08-24-2016 10:12 AM
by mowandblow1980
7 522
Snow Plow
acrajchel
08-17-2016 10:21 AM
08-22-2016 11:21 AM
by Steve
5 495
Quarter Acre Woodland...
ew411
08-16-2016 06:50 AM
08-18-2016 12:25 PM
by Steve
4 478
Bidding Bushhogging
acrajchel
08-15-2016 11:52 AM
08-17-2016 05:32 PM
by acrajchel
4 475
Hello From the Florida...
KevinShuman
08-15-2016 08:57 PM
08-16-2016 01:52 PM
by SC93
2 468
I'm making stupid money...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
08-07-2016 07:07 PM
08-16-2016 12:42 AM
by SC93
5 767
A quick Intro
BLE
08-14-2016 05:17 PM
08-15-2016 10:54 AM
by acrajchel
2 465
New Customer - Gettting...
acrajchel
08-05-2016 05:00 PM
08-15-2016 10:52 AM
by acrajchel
4 734
helping out a friend set...
Doug D
08-13-2016 11:33 AM
08-15-2016 09:45 AM
by Steve
1 475
Small bed job
Bradcook21
08-09-2016 09:52 PM
08-10-2016 03:51 PM
by Steve
1 593
Hello from NoVa
jtwlawn
08-03-2016 11:20 AM
08-09-2016 10:45 AM
by jtwlawn
4 730
How much to charge for...
jymie
03-31-2013 05:59 PM
08-08-2016 04:33 PM
by Steve
27 6,663
Needing a website built
burtle
06-17-2015 09:02 AM
08-07-2016 10:21 AM
by Just for Cuts
18 19,834
New Site Hows it look
Infinitelawn
03-16-2015 10:32 AM
08-07-2016 08:37 AM
by Lawnline
8 11,300
Hey guys! Greetings from...
thegardener
08-05-2016 05:45 AM
08-05-2016 03:26 PM
by Steve
1 639
First Time Bidding-Need...
capitallawncrew
08-01-2016 08:30 AM
08-03-2016 09:52 AM
by Steve
3 697
Show us your stripes
Just for Cuts
05-21-2015 03:07 PM
08-01-2016 08:28 PM
by ExclusiveLawns
7 3,803
String trim BEFORE mow...
Mr. Mow
04-12-2015 08:13 AM
07-31-2016 10:36 AM
by joshp
13 5,951
Read more about these lawn care business marketing categories.
General Business:
GopherHaul, Podcast
How to Estimate - Services To Offer:
Aeration, Apartment / Condo, bed edging, Color Change Plantings, Dethatching, Edging, Fall Leaf Cleanups, Foreclosed Homes, Gutter Cleaning, Hardscaping, Hedge Trimming, Home Safety Inspection, Irrigation, Landscape Project, Lawn Mower Repair, Mowing, Mulch Jobs, Outdoor decoration, Parking Lot Cleanups, Pet Waste Removal, Pressure Washing, Property Management, Snow plowing, Stump Grinding, Tree Removal
How to Estimate Jobs:
Lawn Care Business:
Barter, Bikini Lawn Care, Business Failure, Business loan, Business Plan, Debt, Debt Collection, Estimate or Proposal Form, Franchise, Fuel surcharge, How to sell, Insurance, Job Tracking, Lawn Care Contract, Lawn Care Customer Survey, Lawn Care Uniform, Lawn Care Videos, Operational Costs, Overhead Costs, Prepay, Pricing, Start up, Tiger Time Lawn Care,
Lawn Care Business Books:
Lawn Care Customers:
Buying customers, Commercial Customers, Customer Retention, How to get, Residential Customers
Lawn Care Employees:
1 Man Lawn Crew, Bonus Pay, training, Your First Employee
lawn care equipment:
bed edger, Lawn Care Truck, Leaf Sweeper, Mower, New Arrival, Trailer, UltraVac
Lawn Care Marketing:
Billboard, Brochure, Business Card, Community Projects To Promote Your Business, Coupons, Cross Promotion / Synergy, Direct Mail, Door hanger, door to door, Free Giveaway Contest, Free Lawn Care Flyer Template, Gift or Discount Cards, home show, Internet, Lawn Care Business Sales Letter, Lawn Care Logo, Lawn Care Marketing, Lawn Care Truck & Trailer Signs, Lawn Care Website, Lawn Signs, Magazine Ad, Magnets, Mailing list, Marketing on Craigslist.com, Newspaper Ads, Parade, Postcards, publicity stunt, Referrals, Review My Lawn Care Marketing Material, t-shirt, Welcoming Kit, Word Of Mouth
Seasonal Promotion Ideas:
4th of July, Armed Forces Day, Christmas, Election Day, Fall, Halloween, Memorial Day, Spring, Summer, Valentine's Day, Veteran's Day, Winter:
Software:
Estimation Software, Landscaper Software, Landscaping Business Software, Landscaping Estimate Software, Landscaping Software, Lawn Care Business Software, Lawn Care Estimating Software, Lawn Care Software, Mowing Software
Uncategorized:
Video:
Website:
Search Engine Optimization
» Lawn Care Business Discussion Categories
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:10 PM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:10 PM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy