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  #21  
Old 04-04-2013, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratchetmaster2 View Post
Exactly my question.
I feel that residential contracts would be so much more damaging to my cash flow than helping it. People hate being locked in with a contract, I know I do.

Besides, them signing a contract doesn't make it impossible for you to get stiffed on payment. A customer can still call their bank and cancel a check or credit card payment. Then you'll say "but then I have evidence to take to court". You ain't going to court either way, pal. With or without a contract, it's $30. Losing $30 after making $3000 is the cost of doing business.
Ok, I have to ask this question then - how do you avoid having the potential of non-paying customers? Besides "taking care of them" and "doing a good job".
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  #22  
Old 04-05-2013, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by GreenBlue View Post
Ok, I have to ask this question then - how do you avoid having the potential of non-paying customers? Besides "taking care of them" and "doing a good job".
its call cancelation fee. mine its 50.00 bucks
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  #23  
Old 04-05-2013, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by GreenBlue View Post
Ok, I have to ask this question then - how do you avoid having the potential of non-paying customers? Besides "taking care of them" and "doing a good job".
I've never ever been stiffed. In doing this for 3 years now, I've always gotten paid. Not saying it was always easy. But I've never had a person not pay me for a service at their house.
YOU KNOW WHERE THEY LIVE!! I always say that as a joke. "yeah, paying me after the job is done is how I usually do it. I know you're good for it, I know where you live after all haha"
Does anyone stiff the plumber? the electrician? How about the HVAC guy? No, because they know where you live. I'm not implying that as a threat, but still.
If you're that scared of losing $30, then I think you're in the wrong business. I'm not saying it's ok, at all, but every business loses money from non-paying customers. You think nobody has dined-and-dashed at a restaurant before? Ever heard of uh...shoplifting? How about a foreclosure, ever heard of one of those? It is the cost of doing business, you canNOT eliminate risk. You can minimize risk, but contracts, I feel, are not the way to do it.

Besides the feeling of suffocation from a contract, there are other problems. Like I said, a person can STILL stop payment and screw you.
You know what the problem is? Customers are more likely to steal/not pay if they see it as a faceless corporation. "oh, it's ok to steal from Wal-mart, they make billions, losing $50 won't affect them". By forcing customers to sign a contract, you are looking more and more like a faceless, ruthless, humanless corporation.
You know why nobody has screwed me? Because I'm a 18 year old kid busting his *** trying to make money.
Why don't you have some trust? After all, the customer is trusting YOU on their property. Trusting YOU to spray chemicals where their family and pets live. I know some people are pure scumbags, but what happened to innocent until proven guilty? Give a little, and you'll get farther.

Last edited by ratchetmaster2; 04-05-2013 at 12:44 AM.
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  #24  
Old 04-05-2013, 01:05 AM
ratchetmaster2 ratchetmaster2 is offline
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You know the big guys are gonna come in here, slap you around, and tell you to stop fooling around with residential accounts anyway. "there's no money in 'em", you know.

Do what you feel is best. I'm trying to have an educated argument here: Are residential contracts beneficial or not?

I'm saying that they aren't, and your defense isn't holding up too well. You're only argument point is "I don't wanna get screwed on payment (oh, and doggy poopoo)"
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  #25  
Old 04-05-2013, 06:13 AM
LawnBoy0311 LawnBoy0311 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratchetmaster2 View Post
You know the big guys are gonna come in here, slap you around, and tell you to stop fooling around with residential accounts anyway. "there's no money in 'em", you know.

Do what you feel is best. I'm trying to have an educated argument here: Are residential contracts beneficial or not?

I'm saying that they aren't, and your defense isn't holding up too well. You're only argument point is "I don't wanna get screwed on payment (oh, and doggy poopoo)"
A lot of the "big guys" are actually going back to residential. Higher profit margins. Majority of commercial properties take the cheapest bid....so be prepared to lose because someone will come in cheaper. Ask DPLD (Where are you??????). He does a ton of commercial and I think I remember him saying he was going back to residential.

Greenblue, you've got a lot to learn my friend. How old are you and your buddy? When did you come up with this genius plan to start a business? A contract will not make people pay. It's an agreement between you and the customer on the services your going to perform. You can write all the fine line crap in there all you want....it doesn't mean they have to do it. Think of it this way.....you cut my grass for $150 a month. After the first month, I don't pay you. You take me to court and after all the fee's and legal battle, you had to pay just as much if not more in court costs. It's up to the judge who wins.

An easy way of not getting stiffed is to bill in advance. Cell phone carriers do the same thing.

The reason for my question of pro's vs con's was to see if you thought out your plan. Good luck with your business, I wish you the best.
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  #26  
Old 04-05-2013, 09:18 AM
ratchetmaster2 ratchetmaster2 is offline
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Exactly. The court costs.
You're scared of losing some money, so you want your customers to sign a contract.
Think about all the money you're going to lose by making them sign a contract. Most customers will say "no thanks, I'll find someone else".
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  #27  
Old 04-05-2013, 09:45 AM
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just my 2 cents.... this is the reason that i do ( Pay me then i Mow )

i do not do ( Monthly Billing )
I do not do ( Weekly Billing )

When i Pull i Check my customers ( Door Mat ) or hidden location for my payment ...

if it is there then i mow and so on

if no payment is there i call my customer to let them know that they forgot to leave payment and either i get i dont need lawn care this week or can you mow later in the day when i get home

i only do ( contracts ) for commerical accounts or Real estate agents

no contracts for Res. accounts
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  #28  
Old 04-05-2013, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnBoy0311 View Post
A lot of the "big guys" are actually going back to residential. Higher profit margins. Majority of commercial properties take the cheapest bid....so be prepared to lose because someone will come in cheaper. Ask DPLD (Where are you??????). He does a ton of commercial and I think I remember him saying he was going back to residential.

Greenblue, you've got a lot to learn my friend. How old are you and your buddy? When did you come up with this genius plan to start a business? A contract will not make people pay. It's an agreement between you and the customer on the services your going to perform. You can write all the fine line crap in there all you want....it doesn't mean they have to do it. Think of it this way.....you cut my grass for $150 a month. After the first month, I don't pay you. You take me to court and after all the fee's and legal battle, you had to pay just as much if not more in court costs. It's up to the judge who wins.

An easy way of not getting stiffed is to bill in advance. Cell phone carriers do the same thing.

The reason for my question of pro's vs con's was to see if you thought out your plan. Good luck with your business, I wish you the best.
As I have said before this will be my first lawn service, I don't know all the in's and the out's, I'm trying to make decisions based on what others have done and been successful with. I am 28 and my best friend and business partner is 21. Its very confusing though when you hear of someone doing something, so you think its a good idea and then someone else says no you don't want to do that because blah blah blah. I am not afraid of losing $30, I've tried to learn what I can on here and tried to get good advice on different things, most have given me good advice. I'm just wanting to do what I can. I'm not trying to get treated like an idiot or like I'm stupid, this type of business I have never had before so I only know what I read on here and then see people doing where I live. If everyone noticed I said this was a contract I was working on and "considering" it doesn't mean that I planned on using it, maybe I should have made that more clear, that's why I asked for advice and suggestions.

Last edited by GreenBlue; 04-05-2013 at 10:36 AM.
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  #29  
Old 04-05-2013, 12:52 PM
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the best thing to do ( IMO ) is just read what has been posted / and try certain ways out and when you figure out which way works best for you buddy stick with that one and you should be ok .. Good luck
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  #30  
Old 04-05-2013, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenBlue View Post
As I have said before this will be my first lawn service, I don't know all the in's and the out's, I'm trying to make decisions based on what others have done and been successful with. I am 28 and my best friend and business partner is 21. Its very confusing though when you hear of someone doing something, so you think its a good idea and then someone else says no you don't want to do that because blah blah blah. I am not afraid of losing $30, I've tried to learn what I can on here and tried to get good advice on different things, most have given me good advice. I'm just wanting to do what I can. I'm not trying to get treated like an idiot or like I'm stupid, this type of business I have never had before so I only know what I read on here and then see people doing where I live. If everyone noticed I said this was a contract I was working on and "considering" it doesn't mean that I planned on using it, maybe I should have made that more clear, that's why I asked for advice and suggestions.
Get out of "business owner" mode. Don't think of money, don't think of how people will screw you over, don't think of anything related to costs or your business.

After that is all said and done, put yourself in the customers shoes. Afterall, they are the ones who pay your salary. What would you look for in a company? How would you like to be billed? Would you sign a contract with a guy you don't know? Think of what you'd expect from a lawncare company.

When you have your idea, do that! Tweak it a bit here and there. Last year I billed out at the end of the month. I changed it this year to advance billing from suggestions of guys on here. Your first year won't be perfect, but try out different things and stick with what works the best.

You can't do what everyone on here suggests. Just like quotes,estimates, etc...we all live in different area's. Everyone here is different.

You also made no mention of "thinking of using a contract". Your original post was about using a contract for billing a flat rate.

I understand your trying to learn. We all were at one point. Heck I still am! You and I are actually the same age. But if I told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?? Think CUSTOMERS FIRST.
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