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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.

Contracts.. written or not


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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Old 07-03-2009, 05:29 AM
golfnpreacher golfnpreacher is offline
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Default Contracts.. written or not

My thought is to steer away from "paper" contracts with residential customers and would like opinions of those that have "been there, done that"

My thought is that when things appear to legal and long term, it gives people reasons to hesitate. However, I do send an e-mail that states what I am providing and the expected payment.
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:54 AM
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I don't do paper contracts. I treat the first payment as an agreement to pay.

However, if I were doing monthly contracts I would do a paper contract.

Last edited by mark123; 07-03-2009 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:09 AM
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It seems in general, newer lawn care businesses prefer not to use written contracts but as time goes on and they get burned here or there by a customer, the start using contracts and then adding to them.
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfnpreacher View Post
My thought is to steer away from "paper" contracts with residential customers and would like opinions of those that have "been there, done that"

My thought is that when things appear to legal and long term, it gives people reasons to hesitate. However, I do send an e-mail that states what I am providing and the expected payment.
I do not do paper contracts with residentials only commercial.
I have a verbal payment agreement with the customer which has worked well for me for the most part. The few customers i have had that gave me payment issues turned out to be PITA customers I don't want anyway so I drop them.
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:13 PM
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I did some checking, an e-mail confirming the scope of service, the conditions and time or schedule of service and the price of that service is considered a "contract" if you should go to court.

So, when I email someone and say...

I will .... (mow, trim, edge, blow, etc) on a weekly basis for $XX.xx per service and will continue this until you notify me of a change. Additional services may be provided on request.

We have a "contract" even though nothing looks scary and legal.
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Old 07-04-2009, 06:22 AM
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Could you even put this into a written estimate? Would that be helpful as well? Maybe on top of your email?
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:38 AM
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I use written agreements, I apologize for all the fine print & explain it line by line but insist that I must have it as a CYA measure as I have been burned many times in the past. The clients you WANT will understand & have no problem with it. The people who are likely to screw you will be scared off & that's fine with me. I do this for year round monthly customers only. Per cuts I do not require anything as it's simple, I come & perform a service. You pay right now (or leave payment for me in a prechosen spot). And even at that... It's usually the "per cuts" that screw me & usually it's some new customer on the 1st service that never sends payment & ducks the phone calls.... so there never is a 2nd service & I send them to collections.
Peaple can be great but some of them just suck, there are some real low life sleaze bags out there.
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