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General Business Discussions A place to talk about general business discussions.

Contracts?


General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
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  #1  
Old 01-09-2008, 05:34 PM
Andrew's Lawn Care
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I have been doing a lot of research and I have kept hearing the word contracts. I was wondering if I could get some help as to what the pros/cons are, and what goes into them?
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2008, 07:16 PM
ABurlison
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Here's what I use that basically combines the estimate and contract with the customer. *It basically spells out exactly whats included in what they pay me each and every month and lists additional services should they request them.

Does anyone have any feedback on the form I use, do you think I cover all my bases and is this sufficient to use as the contract as well?

Any ideas and opinions would be great.



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Old 01-09-2008, 08:07 PM
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I made a screen cap of it so others can see what you are doing. Thanks for sharing that Andy!

Andrew, have you seen the free contract section above?
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:38 PM
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Contracts and Estimates/Quotes are 2 different peices of paper.

THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE, IT IS ONLY BUSINESS ADIVCE!

Contract: an agreement, In a contract two or more people agree to do or not to do certain things, a written agreement that can be enforced by law.

Estimate: an opinion or judgement as to how much, how good, etc.

Quote: give the price of.

A contract is a legal binding form that has precedence in court of law, parties enter into a contract, with scope of work, amount to be paid, when to be paid, terms and conditions of payment, exceptions and disclaimers to mention a few things that need to be in a contract.

Its your business but I wouldn't work with out a CLEARLY DEFINED CONTRACT. There are many good contracts in the CONTRACTS link above. The BEST CONTRACT IN THERE IS CONTRACT #8, Commercial Maintenance (16 pages). You can modify it to fit RESI as well as smaller Commercial this is how a contract should look. There is one thing missing from it and that is in trems and conditions there should be something about early cancellation fee's like this; "Early termination by contracting officer for unjust reason shall incur a $249.00 fee added to all outstanding invoices and/or outstanding contract amounts".

So basicly speeking Contracts will save you headache and protect you and the customer as everything is spelled out with-in a contract. Leave NO room for the one's who know how to work the system to work you over. PUT IT IN WRITING! any changes or devations from the contract shall be excuted upon writen change/work orders ONLY! PUT IT IN WRITING!

A good CONTRACT can save you THOUSANDS of $$$$$.

Do not rely on Estimates and Quotes Forms to work as a Contract.
Seek Legal Advice from an Attorney.

Hope this helps

OH BTW there are some Cutting Srevice only contracts in there that I use only for that purpose; CUTTING SERVICE ONLY.

Good Luck
Tim
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:51 PM
Andrew's Lawn Care
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Thanks steve and everyone else that has given me this info i have seen the contracts link above just haven't really paid much attention to seeing what the difference is. But when should a contract be use like on residential or commercial yards. Also I have heard of a yearly contract for mowing does anyone know about those? I probably end up asking a lot more questions about different things so I apologize if it seems like I don't stop talking.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]But when should a contract be use like on residential or commercial yards. Also I have heard of a yearly contract for mowing does anyone know about those?
It seems that most members of the forum use contracts. When should you use them? Whenever you do work.

See the thing is this. If you get your customers on a contract, they are more likely to stick with you the entire season and not jump to someone else. Also, if you set up a monthly payment plan that covers each month of the year, then you get paid even in the winter and the customers will most likely stick with you for the next year as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]I probably end up asking a lot more questions about different things so I apologize if it seems like I don't stop talking.
Don't apologize, this is what the forum is all about. You learn from us and we learn from you. Share with us your insights on issues as well!
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:58 PM
Andrew's Lawn Care
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So how would I go about making a contract into yearly payments?
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:49 PM
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Well one of the selling points is this:

Say you cut the lawn 8 months out of the year and it's $150 a month for a months.

You can offer your customer a discount per month fee of $100 a month over 12 months. It's cheaper for them per month but ends up being the same at the end the end of the year in total.

You get paid all year round and they get a cheaper monthly rate.

What's your view on that?
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:15 PM
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I try and be as simple as I can, but a 16 page agreement for a yard that pays $125/month seems a little ridiculous, isn't there a 1-page contract or agreement out there that could spell out the costs and act as a contract all in 1 document. You know something I could give to a potential customer that spells out what I'm charging for what services, and should they choose to accept it and sign it, it acts as the contract as well? I just try being as simple as I can and not overwhelm potential customers. Do you think the form I use could work as the proposal or estimate and act as the contract as well when they sign it? I could add a few little lines of language to make it more contractual?

THANKS,

ANDY
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Old 01-10-2008, 03:06 PM
Andrew's Lawn Care
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I think steve that splitting it up into a yearly payment is good for the customer and all but I would rather do the 8 months at a little higher price and than to split it up and actually lose money on the deal. Unless there is someway to get back the money you would be losing on the yards that you do that for. Because I'm in the business to make money not to give out a deal, but thats my opinion and its based on what I have said. I just don't know if splitting up the payments into 12 months has any benefit. Ill take any suggestions into consideration.
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