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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

Contract OR No Contract ??


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:21 PM
gomarshall12 gomarshall12 is offline
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Default Contract OR No Contract ??

Simple question ... CONTRACT or NO CONTRACT?

I want to see everyone's opinion, and WHY? for BOTH Residential AND Commercial contract OR no contract use.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:53 AM
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I do not use contracts for ( Res. ) Work . I do use contracts for ( Commerical ) Work.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:21 AM
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Many residential customers don't like signing contracts, Up until last season I never pushed the issue but I had two customers that I could not collect $$ from because I had no signed agreement in place which prevented me from going after my money....

This season I will have all signed agreements in place, it's just good business

I find it easier to sell if you have an out for the customer, I include a just cause section which allows the customer to terminate the agreement with a written notice and a fee.....
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:03 AM
jsslawncare jsslawncare is offline
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I don't have contract's for anyone.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:56 AM
gomarshall12 gomarshall12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougcaskey View Post
Many residential customers don't like signing contracts, Up until last season I never pushed the issue but I had two customers that I could not collect $$ from because I had no signed agreement in place which prevented me from going after my money....

This season I will have all signed agreements in place, it's just good business

I find it easier to sell if you have an out for the customer, I include a just cause section which allows the customer to terminate the agreement with a written notice and a fee.....
I could certainly see the benefit of having one. I feel it will be a harder sell, but that is something to save your butt in the end if it comes down to it.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:12 AM
Cashin H&P Cashin H&P is offline
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I have contrats for all maintance accounts worth over $200 a month, so all lawns that are $50 + per cut. I do this because I feel that is the amount of money that is worth going to court for if the custome doesnt pay. I agree with having a way for the customer to break the contract, you need to cover your ***.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:55 PM
bblawn08 bblawn08 is offline
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Default contracts for all

we have contracts with everyone we do buissness with, we used to not have res. contracts but then some people wouldnt finish paying at the end of the year, so now we do contracts for everything we do some still dont like it but once we explain why we have to they dont seem to mind signing it.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:10 PM
LawnBoy0311 LawnBoy0311 is offline
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I don't use contracts. It's been a good selling point for me. The customers don't feel like they are stuck with me and it gives the the choice to go if they want. But I don't advertise "No Contracts", nor bring it up in conversation. If they ask I tell the there isn't one. It puts them at ease with me and makes them more comfortable. I haven't had any big problems with non payers...I have a nice letter I send to them and they usually pay. This year everything is prepay so I won't have to chase money. I'm taking the Cheese approach on things.

I see both sides to the story though. If it's a big job like some of the guys were saying, a contract would be a good thing.

Maybe one day I'll look into doing them, but if it works for me now, theres no point to change it.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:50 PM
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i use contracts for everyone and everything and i think it is foolish to not use them.
the problem is there is confusion as to what the contract means.

my contracts are a clear outline of what will be done and for how much and the customer is signing it agreeing for the said proposal and is promising to pay for what is done.

there is no commitment and if someone wants to opt out they are free to do so and just pay what you owe and we will be on our way with no hard feelings.

some companies use contracts as a means to rope people in.

most commercial insurance carriers want to see a valid contract in the even of a claim and contracts are one way of them preventing insurance fraud.

it is also a very important tool in collecting your money if legal channels need to be explored.
i have in 23 years only had one person that i had to go to court with and it was because of that contract as well as my other means of record keeping that pretty much made it a clear home run shot for me in the court room and proved the dude was just trying to get something for nothing.

unfortunately in this day and age you can not go by the gentleman's agreement anymore.

it is also how you present it.
i go there with my quote sheet and fill it all out and give them a detailed estimate and tear off two of the three copies and hand it to them and tell them that if they want to move forward just sign the authorization to do the work and return 1 copy and we will schedule the job.

most of the time they sign it right there and then and others may have to wait for their hubby to look it over and then they send it.

the word contract never gets uttered out of my mouth, it is a authorization to proceed with the work.
it is required by my insurance carrier.

even if it is a lawn contract where you will be there for 8 months or so the contract just outlays the schedule, duration and cost of the work and the billing terms and if someone wants to bail in june they are free to do so, it's their choice.
i have heard of guys that use automatic renewal contracts that include penalties for early termination and those are the contracts that give them a bad name.

all you need to do is have the pen and paper version of the gentleman's handshake agreement for your typical everyday job and for commercial you always got to have it in writing and you need to be a lot more detailed.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpld View Post
i use contracts for everyone and everything and i think it is foolish to not use them.
the problem is there is confusion as to what the contract means.

my contracts are a clear outline of what will be done and for how much and the customer is signing it agreeing for the said proposal and is promising to pay for what is done.

there is no commitment and if someone wants to opt out they are free to do so and just pay what you owe and we will be on our way with no hard feelings.

some companies use contracts as a means to rope people in.

most commercial insurance carriers want to see a valid contract in the even of a claim and contracts are one way of them preventing insurance fraud.

it is also a very important tool in collecting your money if legal channels need to be explored.
i have in 23 years only had one person that i had to go to court with and it was because of that contract as well as my other means of record keeping that pretty much made it a clear home run shot for me in the court room and proved the dude was just trying to get something for nothing.

unfortunately in this day and age you can not go by the gentleman's agreement anymore.

it is also how you present it.
i go there with my quote sheet and fill it all out and give them a detailed estimate and tear off two of the three copies and hand it to them and tell them that if they want to move forward just sign the authorization to do the work and return 1 copy and we will schedule the job.

most of the time they sign it right there and then and others may have to wait for their hubby to look it over and then they send it.

the word contract never gets uttered out of my mouth, it is a authorization to proceed with the work.
it is required by my insurance carrier.

even if it is a lawn contract where you will be there for 8 months or so the contract just outlays the schedule, duration and cost of the work and the billing terms and if someone wants to bail in june they are free to do so, it's their choice.
i have heard of guys that use automatic renewal contracts that include penalties for early termination and those are the contracts that give them a bad name.

all you need to do is have the pen and paper version of the gentleman's handshake agreement for your typical everyday job and for commercial you always got to have it in writing and you need to be a lot more detailed.
Thank you! That was very helpful
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