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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.

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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.
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  #1  
Old 03-24-2010, 08:22 PM
racerdude711
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Default Big Customer

I'm 17, and have been mowing for the last 5 years. Last year was my first big year, due to the fact that I was 16, and able to get my drivers license.

Anyway, yesterday I saw an add on craigslist for free paver stone. So I went to pick it up, and turns out the guy that I was picking it up from is a "Property Manager". These pavers were at one of the properties he manages. While I was there, I explained to him that I have a lawn care business, so he told me to bid the house where I was picking up the pavers.

Today I get a call, and he wants me to give him a bid for all of the properties they have. (Somewhere around 20 properties that need mowing) So, I'm going to give him the bids, but I have a few questions.

Since I'm not over the age of 19, I can't legally sign to a contract. How do you think I should go about payment. Should I demand prepay? I know that they may be reluctant to do it that way, but what are my options. There is nothing holding against them to make them pay.

I also would like to know how I should present myself with all of the bids. Mail them? Hand them the bids in person? What will make me stand out?

Any help is appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2010, 10:19 PM
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You can sign an agreement for service and include payment terms, did you register your business and open an account in your company name? Email invoices the night before the work is done and payment is due as the work is completed, jobs like this can sink you if you do not get paid so make sure he understands you are a small company and cash flow is important. Don't let them run credit.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:35 PM
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I agree. Don't get too excited about this. It might be too big right now. Having 20 properties to service for one customer is quite a bit until you reach a certain size because you never know when you will get paid.

I think right now it would be better to have 20 different residential clients than one big one.

But play around with this. Experiment. You might get it and it all might work out. Just don't be so focused on getting it that you run into it with blinders on and forget about everything else.

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Since I'm not over the age of 19, I can't legally sign to a contract. How do you think I should go about payment. Should I demand prepay? I know that they may be reluctant to do it that way, but what are my options. There is nothing holding against them to make them pay.
Have you talked to them yet on how they would like to handle the billing? Have you suggested they prepay? Or maybe prepay for half of them?

Keep us posted on how all this goes.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:55 PM
JP Landscaping JP Landscaping is offline
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Default check this

hey, I see you're from nebraska too.

Well how about asking for a post dated check at least for the first one?

I agree with the agreement. the one I use is an agreement called a lawn care proposal. When they sign, they "agree" to what is stated in the proposal and that is how they accept it. It doesn't say contract on it. I could email it to you if you would like. It's pretty simple and clear.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:26 AM
racerdude711
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JP Landscaping-

That would be great if you could email me the proposal. Thanks for your advice. Also, thank you to Steve for your advice as well. I will keep you guys posted on how this works out for me. I like the idea of paying for half of it up front.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:50 PM
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Theres a General Service aggreement i found in the forums..ill post the original and the one i modified a little including payment terms..

you can look over them if youd like or if you have any suggestions to make towards mine id be glad to hear them
Attached Files
File Type: doc GENERAL SERVICE AGREEMENT Original.doc (5.9 KB, 14 views)
File Type: rtf GENERAL SERVICE AGREEMENT OFFICIAL 1.rtf (7.0 KB, 11 views)
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:03 PM
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What made you go with your current payment terms? Did you experiment with a bunch of them and come up with an ideal situation for you? What would be the ideal?
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:48 AM
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As far as a contract, It is no big secret that I am no fan of them and dont recommend them. Now adays they want you in one for your cell phone, your internet, your cable, your house, your car. If the lawn care guy wanted me to enter one I would laugh at him and tell him to get off my property. The idea in plain and simple. You show up every week, mow my law, take your money and go away. Plain and simple. As far as the question "did you register your business and open an account in your company name?" I dont think this is possible as I needed to be licensed to get an account and both the licensing authority as well as the bank required me to be at least 18yo. As far as turning in the bid, this is a big deal for you and your company, this can take you to the next level so I would be very very personable about it. Lets put it this way. This property manager is putting the trust of his business into someone who is not even consentable, I would deliver it in person. As far as payment this is where the tables turn. I have had very very bad luck dealing with property managers. I normally would deal directly with the owner and have no trouble but if dealing with a property manager you can expect to get paid late all the time if at all and they will scrutinize and complain about every charge or fee they can. There is no point in attaching a late fee for non payment as they will argue with you for 3.2 years on a $5 late fee. At the same time you are note licensed, and are not old enough to enter a contract so for the most part you have NO legal recourse if he refuses to pay you. Always get payment up front. If not dont do the work in good faith hoping he well pay.
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Old 03-29-2010, 12:06 PM
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I require all payments before service or when it is done as well. But arent you asking the customer to show good faith in you as well that you will get the job done when you are not willing to do the same for them? Again i require payment before pr when work is completed. I do so for the cash flow and so I dont have to hunt the money down cause I dont like the contracts as well. Just food for thought......
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Old 03-29-2010, 12:54 PM
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Default would like to register and pay gov't

i need some advise i live in canada and started my lawn care bussiness last year and want to start pay the gov't this year i think i am aloud up to 30000 without paying taxes? i only make about 8500.00 is it worth it?
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