View Full Version : Commercials on equal monthly payments?

12-08-2009, 02:43 PM
Today I decided to cold call a list of apartments, HOAs, and food chains. To my suprise, A LOT of them are taking bids right now. Some of them would say they are always accepting bids. I would then ask if there was a company that they are currently under contract with and they would say yes, but we are always looking for a better price.

This leads me to believe that they would drop any company in a heartbeat for the lowest price. Which leads me to my next question.

I posted a thread on here a few weeks ago asking how you receive all of your money if the client chose early cancellation(being a set monthly price situation). Most replied with " You dont". Some of you guys agreed that the client would win in court if it went that far. Some even suggested not putting anything in the contract to guarantee you get paid on early termination. The reason was that it may scare them away.
My conclusion.... You guys are crazy. How can you afford to take such a risk as to lose money when some lowballer follows right behind you? If a mulching job was at the beginning of the contract, you could lose thousands of dollars! Most will say to bid jobs like that seperately but commercials in my area want a full service, same monthly payment, so it can be including in there monthly budget for the year. Is it like this in your area? For the ones that do have contracts written correctly, are potential clients scared of haveing to pay what they owe?

Perfect touch landscapes
12-08-2009, 02:55 PM
I try to collect at least one mont upfront and he'll no I don't do mulch job first thing, I bill them one month in advance, and in contract I spesify which services I will perform, how many and what time of the year I will do them. Some of them will hire you to get everything up to date, then in slower month when you don't do as much work they say what am I paying 500 for? They know when you mulched the property there was materials and labor and mulch job alone would of cost 1000 bucks, but they paid only 500. Collect as much as you can upfront. Truegreen for example gets everything for whole year upfront or broken up in two payments. I will only pick up commercial on set montly pay and collect one payment upfront if accound is up to date not 6 months behind
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12-08-2009, 04:39 PM
When you do contracts you always wait til that service is paid for in full before you do it. It takes a little work on your part but it will help you in the long run.

12-08-2009, 05:40 PM
It ain't all as simple as just turning in a lower bid, thou I can appreciate what might come of it.

12-08-2009, 07:22 PM
Go get ahold of a TruGreen or Brinkman contract and you will understand what happens when a contract is cancelled. And yes these companies all alway taking bids but if they are happy with their service they wont' change. The will come with their lower bid and we will play poker.

12-08-2009, 10:02 PM
Do you know where I can get a copy of there contract? Or how I would go about doing so? Are they members on this forum or are thoughs businesses?

12-08-2009, 11:08 PM
My contracts say that I can allow someone to cancel at my option. If I choose not to let them out, I continue providing services and they continue paying. If I choose to let them out of the contract, I am honest and upfront with them by adding up the amount of services provided multiplied by how many times I provided them and then subtract the amount of money they paid me.

If they paid me less than the totlal of all services provided, they owe me the amount of money due before any cancellation will be allowed. If they paid me more than the total of all services already provided, I will return the overpayment to the customer as long as all other obligations are met.

I have not had anyone challenge me on this condition as of yet. If they did challenge me, I may be willing to compromise on my terms depending on whats at stake. In no situation will I allow myself the risk of not getting paid. Period.

12-08-2009, 11:32 PM
My contract's states that if the contract is terminated early, the buyer is responsible for all pro rated payment's for completed services(worded much better though :laugh:).

12-09-2009, 03:12 AM
on our proposal we post a set price per visit and list the job at hand to them and they know before we come that day it is X and there is no cancellation due to a missunderstanding . if they were to drop us .........it would open up time only there is no unpaid balances left over . i hope i read this right. i would be glad to post a copy of a proposal .

12-09-2009, 12:39 PM
My contracts list a specific amount of work for a specific period of time - usually one year in length.
Cancellation by client for any reason other than my company's non-performance results in the client paying the retail value for the work completed prorated through the remaining contract period.
And Yes I have won in court over this - a signed contract is an enforceable contract.
Like Ed says, on the rare occasion I have a client play "I have a lower contract" we play poker which results in the client realizing what my company charges verse the competitor for the scope of work offered means I keep the client at the present rate.
I have lost only one client to a lessor rate but I didn't care as they were a pita anyways.

12-09-2009, 06:24 PM
Do you know where I can get a copy of there contract? Or how I would go about doing so? Are they members on this forum or are thoughs businesses?

A little complicated but I'll take a shot. When you figure the monthly price you have an amount for each thing you do...mowing $90 a cut, bush trimming $150, etc. etc. Customer doesn't know these figures just the monthly. But in the contract you state what each amont is in the event they cancel and you set the items slightly higher...like mowing $110. So if they cancel you go back to the beginning of the contract and figure up the amount they owe based on the inflated amounts for each service and subtract the amount they have paid to date and that is what they owe. Customers try starting contracts in May then in Sept they say it doesn't need it any more I will call you. When they get a bill showing they more than what they have paid to date they first go ape shxx then after they realize they were stupid they settle down and let service continue.

12-10-2009, 12:12 AM
I know what you mean by ape ****. People have ask me how a monthly billing cycle works, and the two commercial accounts I have have both questioned it. None of them can get it through there head on why they would owe money on early termination. I would have to say it is rocket science in most eyes. I cant, for the life of me, figure out why everyone makes it so complicated.

12-10-2009, 09:42 AM
In our contracts only for residential's that the contract may be terminated with a minimum (30) day written notice. In the event the contract is ever breached, the customer will be invoiced for all work performed from the beginning date of the contract, and all payments made thus far will be credited to the invoice, and the customer will be responsible for the remaining balance.... I had one customer that was a cheapskate and said I breached my end of the agreement to the contract and so the contract is void and don't come back (I did miss one week because for 3 days straight it rained and the next week it rained 4 days straight and all he cared was a part of my agreement it said once a week weather permitting, he said thursday and friday was sunny you could come then-- he found a way to not have to pay $247 a month for november december january and february by again being a cheapskate).

So for next year, the clause is being restated to if the contract is ever voided leaving it to if the customer tried taking you to court for not meeting your agreement you can still invoice them for the work performed all year and they will be responsible. I state in their the customer will be invoiced for our general labor rate per man hour of $40 per hour and the use of any specialty equipment, tools, or power equipment will be billed in addition to the general labor rate. That way you don't loose if you have done 20 yards of mulch and 40 hours worth of blowing leaves on top of 32 mowings, ferts, squirts, aerate/overseed, and pruning.

Customer run if they have to pay in advance, our contracts run March-February -- Ex. March 01, invoices are billed for the month of March and due by March 30th. We explain it is not a month in advance nor a month behind - for employees who get paid once a month, they work all month and by the last day of the month, they get their check, they don't work all of say June and get their paycheck by July 30 roughly. I explain it is a fair billing method, customer doesn't loose for behind a month in advance and we don't loose for having to put up all expenses entirely and we are not behind a month on collecting a previous month's dues.

12-10-2009, 09:46 AM
My contract's states that if the contract is terminated early, the buyer is responsible for all pro rated payment's for completed services(worded much better though :laugh:).

My contract does too.

12-10-2009, 10:18 AM
Well I have not done any contracts yet, I do what i say i am going to do and i get paid for it. Really the only reason a customer has to cancel on me, is financial hardship. If they are having trouble financially, holding them into a contract so you can get paid is straight ******baggery.