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 > Just starting your lawn care or landscaping business? > Starting a lawn care business.

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.

to sign or not to sign a contract that is the question


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.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 01-09-2010, 09:57 AM
z50kidd z50kidd is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 7
Rep Power: 5
z50kidd is on a distinguished road
Default to sign or not to sign a contract that is the question

On this business I am starting,I bought this mans equipment,and he said the customers were thrown in at no charge.But no guarantee on customer base.All his customers (residential) were by hand shake,no contracts signed.He has been in business for 4 years.He is leaving the business due to health reasons.I stand to inherit 40 customers from his original base of 50.Some of the ones I won't get were his family members,church members and one is moving (renter) military.I am torn on this,because a contract would be nice for year round.As it is right now,he only cuts his customers once a month in dec,jan,feb.But he told me ,alot of his customers did not like contracts.
__________________
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
Thomas Jefferson
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 01-09-2010, 11:47 AM
cklandscapingorlando cklandscapingorlando is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 198
Rep Power: 7
cklandscapingorlando is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
I dont do contracts for resi. It's a waste of paper. Your invoice every month is gonna do the same as that contract in court. What you need is a non compete from the guy your buying from. If the deal is free work and your only paying for equipment, then why do you care? Count your blessings if their really free I would say
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-09-2010, 12:57 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,603
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

How did he help you and the customers with the transition? Did he take you to each client and give you a chance to meet with them?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-25-2010, 12:41 AM
C&R_Lawn_Care C&R_Lawn_Care is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 5
Rep Power: 5
C&R_Lawn_Care is on a distinguished road
Default

i agree with ckland

resi customers do not really like contracts just becuase .... If you lose one there is 1000 more wanting there lawn cut

but when you get into commerical work where is not as many so make a contract and do your best/





Quote:
Originally Posted by cklandscapingorlando View Post
I dont do contracts for resi. It's a waste of paper. Your invoice every month is gonna do the same as that contract in court. What you need is a non compete from the guy your buying from. If the deal is free work and your only paying for equipment, then why do you care? Count your blessings if their really free I would say
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-25-2010, 10:41 AM
psparaco psparaco is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Rosedale, Maryland
Age: 37
Posts: 199
Rep Power: 6
psparaco is on a distinguished road
Default

I always do contracts with residential, unless its towards the end of the season like end of August. Here is the reaon why. My contract is outlined as follows: their name billing address and actual address of property to be serviced. A number to contact them at, and some general terms. Terms such as what their service is limited to, a line stating the yard should be free of obstructions such as toys, lawn furniture, trash prior to our visit. Also all pets must be secured as to pose no threat to my personnel. A line stating if they need to postpone a scheduled service, they must notify us within 48 hours so as not to pay a fee of $20 fee for us wasting our time to come out when service wasnt wanted at that time. any of all services listed can be terminated at any time by either party for any reason and all monies owed shall be owed at time of termination. Payment for one time services is due upon completion of service. checks returned for insufficient funds would incur a $50 service fee and may interupt reoccuring services. I think you need to have a contract on top of an invoice. if you don't they may try to take advantage of you and pay you when they feel like it. try to get additional services for free and more or less take advantage of you. If anyone would like a copy of my general service aggreement (GSA), let me know and i will post it on here. I took several GSA samples on here and made my own from pieces of each. I have also tweaked it over the past few weeks to add in the fact i am implementing monthly prepayments and only accept weekly payments on a case by case basis.

Last edited by psparaco; 01-25-2010 at 10:56 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-25-2010, 06:34 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,603
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
If anyone would like a copy of my general service aggreement (GSA), let me know and i will post it on here. I took several GSA samples on here and made my own from pieces of each. I have also tweaked it over the past few weeks to add in the fact i am implementing monthly prepayments and only accept weekly payments on a case by case basis.
I'd love to see it here, thanks!

Can you tell us a little why you use it? Do you feel there have been issues you have dealt with in the past that lead you to the point of using a contract?

Do you feel they are there to help protect you from getting burned by the customer? Or what is your view?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-25-2010, 11:33 PM
psparaco psparaco is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Rosedale, Maryland
Age: 37
Posts: 199
Rep Power: 6
psparaco is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I'd love to see it here, thanks!

Can you tell us a little why you use it? Do you feel there have been issues you have dealt with in the past that lead you to the point of using a contract?

Do you feel they are there to help protect you from getting burned by the customer? Or what is your view?
ok attached is my General Service Agreement contract for your review. I value everyone's input to improve.

I added in the monthly pre-billing due to several extremely late payments last year. I don't want to deal with that headache no more. You want to pay weekly. there is a fee. as you will see in my contract. I feel this contract binds me to them over some kid in the neighborhood going door to door for on the fly mowing and doing a crappy job. I had this happen as well last year. I had a contract with one client. they hired for the day some kid to do their yard for half the price. no trimming, no cleanup. grass everywhere. I called them on the day i was scheduled to service their property. they told me they had it done but it needed to be cleaned up. When i asked why and they told me. i told them the contract you signed was terminated when you hired someone else to mow your lawn. Maybe I was wrong, but they agreed i would service their property. No one else. I felt it was a conflict of interest and got out of the contract. I also had passed out additional flyers in another neighborhood. one woman hired me after the fact that she hired someone else on a verbal agreement only. no written contract. so when i showed up to mow, he showed up 30 min later and was pissed. we exchanged words and i simply said. i have a written contract with Mrs...... Did she sign one with your company. He said no, just a verbal agreement and left. so she hired me for a cheaper rate and it was documented. If she wanted to hired someone else , she would need to call me to terminate the contract first before going with another company. It worked out. he never trimmed every time. didnt cleanup completely. his men were drinking on the job so she says. She told me she didnt even know i was there half the time and by the time she noticed i was there, i was done and collecting my payment.

Well bed time. let me know what yall think of my contract and if i need to reword any part. or add or delete anything.

thanks in advance for your reviews.
Attached Files
File Type: doc GENERAL SERVICE AGREEMENT-posted.doc (36.5 KB, 27 views)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-26-2010, 12:10 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,603
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

There is a lot of great stuff in there.

First off, I was wondering, how to you start your new customers when it comes to billing?

I am guessing you meet up with them, walk their property, figure out how much to charge and then present them with the contract. Once they sign it, do they hand you a check for the first month's mowing in advance? Or how does that work?

What kind of response have you gotten for charging in advance?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-26-2010, 06:38 AM
cklandscapingorlando cklandscapingorlando is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 198
Rep Power: 7
cklandscapingorlando is on a distinguished road
Default

We'll see if it loads. If so this is our standard contract. You need more specific in terms of what your doing
Attached Files
File Type: docx CK Landscaping Proposal for boston lobster.docx (60.1 KB, 19 views)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-26-2010, 08:44 AM
psparaco psparaco is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Rosedale, Maryland
Age: 37
Posts: 199
Rep Power: 6
psparaco is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
There is a lot of great stuff in there.

First off, I was wondering, how to you start your new customers when it comes to billing?

I am guessing you meet up with them, walk their property, figure out how much to charge and then present them with the contract. Once they sign it, do they hand you a check for the first month's mowing in advance? Or how does that work?

What kind of response have you gotten for charging in advance?
the process for me usually goes as follows: I put a flyer out, they call me to inquirer. If they ask for an estimate. I schedule a time when we are both available or go out right after they call. I come out to walk the property. Discuss any thing else they may need, answer any questions. Note any obstructions which will be required to be cleaned up or moved prior to my arrival. If all goes well which is normally does. sit down with them and go over the contract. It takes roughly 5-10 min for them to read it over and give me any questions. I don't allow them to sign a single line until they fully unsterstand it.

I havent done the charging in advance yet. This is a new bill method i am enforcing. Last year i did property inspections on sundays. Called them up to confirm they wanted it done which was a hassle. Alot chose to wait to the last minute to have it done. This year i plan to have certain days pre scheduled for each property. either it gets cut or it don't. If they dont want it cut. its their responsibility to call me as stated in my contract. I plan to follow the contract to a T. I also dealt with people paying me 2 weeks pasts the time the money was due. I gave everyone 5 days to pay for their service and a handful had issues with that. I dropped a few clients cause of that. If you have to pay your mortgage/rent, any utility or cable bill a certain time of the month. then they need to pay me the same way. Its all about budgeting.

I plan to purchase the gohpher software. I love it just dont have the money for it yet. print out an invoice with 4 dated services for the upcomiing month. and hand deliver or mail to them the invoice. and either they cut me a check then or call me to arrange a time to meet up prior to the first mowing to pay me. It looks good on paper. I hope it turns out good when it all goes down. I'll let everyone know what happens when the time comes.

time to get the little one to school. Be back shortly.

Paul
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lawn Sign Steve Lawn Care Marketing & Post your marketing material for review! 5 08-22-2007 08:24 PM
sign myrlin General Talk 5 07-18-2007 05:35 PM
funny sign AMW Graphics Truck & Trailer Sign Design, silk screened apparel & uniform discussion 1 02-23-2007 08:16 PM
Vinyl sign Xray General Business Discussions 21 02-03-2004 11:49 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
leaf removal
Double J LLC
10-03-2014 05:24 PM
Today 01:08 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
25 2,503
Hello from Kentucky
TRV
09-30-2014 06:42 PM
Yesterday 07:45 PM
by TRV
8 1,333
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 10:12 AM
Yesterday 07:00 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
176 14,136
Hi from IL
steveinil
Yesterday 02:07 PM
Yesterday 02:07 PM
by steveinil
0 29
WNY saying Hi.
Sargewesser
Yesterday 07:27 AM
Yesterday 07:27 AM
by Sargewesser
0 33
Group Buying Software as...
ferona
Yesterday 06:49 AM
Yesterday 06:49 AM
by ferona
0 36
How to: Use Thumbtack...
acrajchel
11-17-2014 06:39 PM
11-24-2014 07:58 PM
by thom
17 582
How much do you up sell...
Essex Groundskeeping
11-23-2014 07:13 PM
11-24-2014 06:29 PM
by stevef1201
8 189
This sucks...
Matther777
09-18-2014 05:56 PM
11-24-2014 05:49 PM
by biglee
16 3,215
Pressure Washing...
WesleySnips
07-31-2014 07:13 PM
11-24-2014 04:32 PM
by acrajchel
4 670
New website
Chilehead
11-20-2014 04:39 PM
11-23-2014 07:40 PM
by Just for Cuts
12 315
My site is on fronts page
tbtigers03
11-14-2014 05:58 PM
11-22-2014 10:49 PM
by Just for Cuts
16 539
Pics for website
tbtigers03
11-21-2014 05:40 PM
11-22-2014 10:01 PM
by Just for Cuts
3 169
Peco Bagger
AGPS
11-18-2014 02:20 PM
11-22-2014 05:56 PM
by AGPS
9 347
Beginner Mistakes:...
Steve
01-31-2007 12:45 PM
11-22-2014 02:42 PM
by stevef1201
22 6,209
Contract or no contract?
TRV
11-20-2014 09:18 PM
11-21-2014 09:33 PM
by TRV
3 205
Hi to you NOTHERNERS
stevef1201
11-11-2014 05:56 PM
11-21-2014 08:02 PM
by stevef1201
4 358
Billboards for marketing
ExtremeLawncareServices
11-16-2014 08:39 PM
11-21-2014 07:05 PM
by acrajchel
13 420
Belt dealer problem
googus
11-21-2014 08:45 AM
11-21-2014 06:36 PM
by Steve
2 153
Good help is hard to find
Hanks Lawn Care Services
11-19-2014 03:27 PM
11-21-2014 06:32 PM
by Steve
7 264
What is going on with...
biglee
11-14-2014 03:04 PM
11-20-2014 02:50 PM
by biglee
40 1,001
My advice for new guys
avetslawncare
11-15-2014 09:32 AM
11-19-2014 01:47 PM
by biglee
10 542
Lawn Care business...
crieg122
10-23-2014 02:23 PM
11-19-2014 12:39 PM
by acrajchel
28 1,906
raking leaves ?
robert8509
10-22-2014 10:19 PM
11-18-2014 04:24 PM
by acrajchel
14 1,497
Leaf removal
madmedic8575
10-24-2014 05:14 PM
11-17-2014 07:34 PM
by acrajchel
6 1,230
sod job
SGlawncare
10-30-2014 09:21 PM
11-17-2014 07:10 PM
by acrajchel
7 816
Customer wants me to...
Mr. Mow
11-09-2014 07:13 AM
11-17-2014 06:48 PM
by acrajchel
10 588
Hello!
Brian3137
11-11-2014 07:15 PM
11-17-2014 06:46 PM
by acrajchel
14 516
small biz in Phoenix,AZ
anthonyramos1
11-08-2014 09:35 PM
11-17-2014 05:59 PM
by acrajchel
2 364
Client won't pay...
WesleySnips
10-30-2014 03:53 PM
11-17-2014 05:37 PM
by acrajchel
22 1,424
Government contracts
avetslawncare
11-15-2014 08:50 AM
11-17-2014 12:59 PM
by Steve
2 292
Need help on deciding a...
Brian3137
11-10-2014 06:32 PM
11-17-2014 12:44 PM
by Steve
12 556
West cost lawn prices
SGlawncare
10-09-2014 10:51 PM
11-16-2014 07:54 AM
by stevef1201
8 1,649
So how do you guys...
Mr. Mow
10-26-2014 08:55 AM
11-15-2014 08:44 AM
by avetslawncare
14 1,761
Truck, Trailer,...
hawthornelawncare
12-23-2011 01:01 AM
11-13-2014 08:35 AM
by jrs.landscaping
81 31,909
The most dangerous part...
Steve
10-06-2014 03:45 PM
11-12-2014 05:05 PM
by stevef1201
14 1,740
A little hang up in snow...
stevef1201
11-08-2014 07:05 AM
11-12-2014 12:51 PM
by Steve
4 477
Bi-weekly winter...
lxarth
11-04-2014 08:37 PM
11-12-2014 10:06 AM
by WesleySnips
9 671
taking first steps...
sizemorelawncare
11-10-2014 08:24 PM
11-11-2014 01:21 PM
by Steve
1 370
Back Pack Blower
Ian Lovejoy
11-09-2014 08:41 AM
11-11-2014 08:12 AM
by Just for Cuts
4 425
Business Cards
crieg122
10-25-2014 01:03 PM
11-11-2014 07:56 AM
by Just for Cuts
12 1,377
How the unregister?
alive101
11-04-2014 07:39 AM
11-10-2014 01:48 PM
by Steve
4 649
Belt adjustment question
googus
11-05-2014 06:43 AM
11-10-2014 01:38 PM
by Steve
5 551
New parking area
ExtremeLawncareServices
11-07-2014 09:47 PM
11-10-2014 01:25 PM
by Steve
2 392
Podcast
Shark1611
11-07-2014 05:42 PM
11-10-2014 11:41 AM
by Steve
1 352
hi, from Minnesota
rjklohn
11-07-2014 02:21 AM
11-07-2014 01:44 PM
by Steve
1 371
New to snow plowing
SS.Lawncare
11-05-2014 04:00 PM
11-07-2014 01:21 PM
by Steve
6 624
New Member
tonyap
11-05-2014 10:35 PM
11-07-2014 01:15 PM
by Steve
1 413
New to the business
jcurr33
11-05-2014 03:21 PM
11-07-2014 01:11 PM
by Steve
1 464
Lines
Matther777
11-04-2014 02:19 PM
11-07-2014 12:54 PM
by Steve
1 499
» Popular Tags
4wd apartment complex article marketing auger bark bid bob villa charge collections commercial decorating demonstration edging employee problems equipment rental ferris first truck georgia gopherhaul grass hardscapes hills how much to charge installation introduction jobs john deere quik trac landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care business lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care seo lawn care website lawn care website seo managing a lawn care business mechanic monthly mr dave mulch mulch price new business past due patio install per hour service podcast push versus ride reo scripts seo shell small engine repair snow starting a business starting a lawn care business start up lawn care business steve stihl sulky theft toro tractor auger trimmer rack up sell employee walk behind wood wright stander rh
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:27 AM.


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

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:27 AM.

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