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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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  #11  
Old 02-06-2013, 12:38 AM
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turfmaster turfmaster is offline
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Contracts for commercial and contracts for residential only if they request it.
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  #12  
Old 02-07-2013, 10:59 PM
Norcal Norcal is offline
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Originally Posted by LawnBoy0311 View Post
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.
I agree with the contract thing we don't use them we have a service agreement and we prefer year round service and if you start a month you finish it. If there is a problem with the service tell me and I will step my game up if you still dont like my best tell me to kick rocks and i will be done at the end of the month. based on this I still have the first 25 to 30 account I singed 4 years ago and still getting new account based on this method hope I still have them 10 years from now and the new account to come up to 77 now and not looking back I love game. Nothing like writing your own ticket.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:42 AM
LawnBoy0311 LawnBoy0311 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norcal View Post
I agree with the contract thing we don't use them we have a service agreement and we prefer year round service and if you start a month you finish it. If there is a problem with the service tell me and I will step my game up if you still dont like my best tell me to kick rocks and i will be done at the end of the month. based on this I still have the first 25 to 30 account I singed 4 years ago and still getting new account based on this method hope I still have them 10 years from now and the new account to come up to 77 now and not looking back I love game. Nothing like writing your own ticket.
I can't agree more. I think it gives an edge over your competition. Or it may attract the wrong type of customer....who knows. I did a quote yesterday for a lady, she said she wanted to sign up and asked for the contract. When I explained I don't do them, she laughed and said my services get better and better. I explained to her that if she isn't happy, let me know and I'll fix it. If I can't fix it, kick me to the curb and we'll both more on. It makes them feel at ease, and a good selling point is "I have to earn your business each month by not having a contract". I do, however, send out new customer letters explaining in detail the job to be performed and payment.

I think for commercial accounts its just plain stupid not to have a contract. I worked for a fairly large family owned company before, and it was a HUGE PITA trying to collect from other companies. Not to mention, those contracts were what kept them in business. A good one has to be in place with every detail written out.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnBoy0311 View Post
I can't agree more. I think it gives an edge over your competition. Or it may attract the wrong type of customer....who knows. I did a quote yesterday for a lady, she said she wanted to sign up and asked for the contract. When I explained I don't do them, she laughed and said my services get better and better. I explained to her that if she isn't happy, let me know and I'll fix it. If I can't fix it, kick me to the curb and we'll both more on. It makes them feel at ease, and a good selling point is "I have to earn your business each month by not having a contract". I do, however, send out new customer letters explaining in detail the job to be performed and payment.

I think for commercial accounts its just plain stupid not to have a contract. I worked for a fairly large family owned company before, and it was a HUGE PITA trying to collect from other companies. Not to mention, those contracts were what kept them in business. A good one has to be in place with every detail written out.


i am confused as to why you think a customer can not do all of the above with a contract?

a contract and a service agreement are the same thing essentially for this business and a contract is not only good for you it is good for the customer too.
it protects them from a guy saying he will cut their lawn for 30 bucks a week and decides after he realizes he priced it too low from raising it to $40.00.

all it is doing is outlining what you will be doing and what you will be charging for it and when it will be done and for them by signing it is saying i authorize you to do the work as described above and i will make payments according to the terms of the agreement.

if it is a maintenance contract mine clearly state that if at any time a customer is not satisfied with my services and i have failed to remedy the issue they can at any time cancel my services and will only be responsible to pay for services up to the point of cancellation.

in 23 years i have never not gotten a job because i gave them a proposal in writing and required a authorization signature.
maybe the area's we live in are that different but in my region you can not do a estimate or get a job without someone asking you to put it in writing.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:21 AM
LawnBoy0311 LawnBoy0311 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpld View Post
i am confused as to why you think a customer can not do all of the above with a contract?

a contract and a service agreement are the same thing essentially for this business and a contract is not only good for you it is good for the customer too.
it protects them from a guy saying he will cut their lawn for 30 bucks a week and decides after he realizes he priced it too low from raising it to $40.00.

all it is doing is outlining what you will be doing and what you will be charging for it and when it will be done and for them by signing it is saying i authorize you to do the work as described above and i will make payments according to the terms of the agreement.

if it is a maintenance contract mine clearly state that if at any time a customer is not satisfied with my services and i have failed to remedy the issue they can at any time cancel my services and will only be responsible to pay for services up to the point of cancellation.

in 23 years i have never not gotten a job because i gave them a proposal in writing and required a authorization signature.
maybe the area's we live in are that different but in my region you can not do a estimate or get a job without someone asking you to put it in writing.
I think thats it right there. Don't get me wrong, I have everything backed up. For example, I won't start a job until an email confirmation is sent. This way it's all documented. Hacking into an email and reading emails is the same crime as opening a mailbox and reading letters.

I don't know how much this has to do with it, but part of promoting my company is saying I'm a USMC veteran. With all government work around here, and many military bases, a lot of people relate to me and I relate to them. I got a new customer yesterday, she works for the government. She asked about my service, I briefly told her about it, and we shook hands and went from there. This area also has A LOT of guys doing anything and everything to make a quick buck. Many are unreliable and do terrible work. Showing up on time for appointments goes a long way with a lot of people I sign up. You'd be amazed at how many customers say "Wow, I can't believe your on time", or "Thanks for even showing up!"
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