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POWER STROKE
01-11-2011, 12:26 AM
I was wondering how all the solo guys and small operation guys word their contract/service agreements. I was just wondering if anyone could post theirs on here. I used the search button and just found big lengthy contracts or commercial contract/agreement. I was just something 1-2 page something the customer want be afraid of to sign.

Thanks in advance for any help or input

ashgrove landscaping
01-11-2011, 12:54 AM
No contracts here man. Your word is enough where I'm from.

Hook and Ladder
01-11-2011, 01:02 AM
I have been in operation for three years now- everything has been word of mouth based. I have nothing large commercial scale but have never had a problem with the word of mouth. If there was a problem to arise there is laws that protect you but unless you are reeling off a huge monetary value or larger agreement I wouldn't worry.

Puddle of Oil
01-11-2011, 02:33 AM
I'm gonna start requiring agreements in April. I was stiffed last year and I refuse to let that happen again.

Richard Martin
01-11-2011, 03:00 AM
Here's a sample. I have another contract for 12 month pay customers that is very similar to this.

Agreement for Lawn Service

This agreement entered into between Richard Martin and John Q Public 123 Anywhere St, Winterville, NC 28590, commencing on March 23, 2007, and continuing thereafter as long as both parties are satisfied. Each party agreeing to give either party a 15-day notice of intention to change or terminate this agreement unless otherwise stated in this agreement.

Richard Martin will provide and John Q Public agrees to pay for the following service:

One basic lawn care package as described below.

Basic lawn care package includes: Mowing, weed trimming and blowing off of concrete surfaces. This service will be provided weekly for $25.00 or bi-weekly for $30.00. John Q Public has the discretion of the service interval. Richard Martin will make every attempt to perform the lawn service on the same day of the week. If weather or other circumstances beyond Richard Martin's control prevent him from performing the service on the day of or the day after the regularly scheduled service day Richard Martin reserves the right to skip the lawn service until the same day on the next week.

This service is limited solely to the above defined service unless otherwise stated in this agreement.

Richard Martin is not responsible for any damage of items left on turf areas and or malfunctioning sprinkler heads.

Payment for the Basic lawn care package will be either at the time of service or on a monthly billing interval. If John Q Public chooses to pay on the monthly billing interval then the bill becomes due upon receipt. Any bill not receiving full payment within 21 days shall be considered delinquent. All services will be temporarily stopped on any delinquent account until full payment for services rendered has been received. In the event the lawn service is cancelled for non payment, John Q Public must pay the outstanding balance, PLUS a $10 fee for each week that was missed, in order to resume service. (Due to over-grown grass. In the event of default the client agrees to reimburse Richard Martin all administrative costs, collection costs, attorney fees, recording fees and/ or court costs (Any NSF Check will incur a $25 Fee). After the 2nd NSF Fee the account will be put a permanent weekly Cash/Money Order only basis for the remainder of the Agreement in question. And no renewal will be accepted.

dhardin53
01-11-2011, 04:48 AM
95% of all my accounts are perfectly happy without a contract, Me as well. Its all in the salesmanship. A good salesman talks everything over with each customer till everyone is in agreement and understand how simple its going to be to use my service.

There are the occasion here you need something in writing. A) the customer that has unusual special request and conditions. B) some large commercial accounts. In these situation after the customer has hear and agrees to my service, and to reassure that every thing we talked about is clear. I will offer to put in writing the basices of our agreement/conversation in a "conformation letter". This is just good business sense for both parties.

The letter I send is quick response to the outline point by point that is dealing primarily of what we spoke about. No long legal sounding jargon and confusing extras not talked about in advance. The basic golden rule. Who-What-When-Where-How Much.

Patriot Services
01-11-2011, 08:32 AM
No contract, no signatures. Just a single sheet outlining my policies. First months service fee due upon completion of first cut, 15th thereafter. This way I will never lose more than 2 weeks of service. Has worked for me for 20 years. A customer is most likely to flake on the first month. Pre-pay lawn service just won't happen here with all the scrubby scammers roaming around.
Posted via Mobile Device

4 seasons lawn&land
01-11-2011, 10:03 AM
No contracts for lawn care, too small to bother. Looks silly unless its a huge commercial or something.

Heres mine, very simple, I use for commercial services and Im going to start using on residential landscape jobs because people get wierd on you and then its a big stress out, no more of that.

Clark Griswold
01-11-2011, 10:47 AM
A hand shake is good for me!

DA Quality Lawn & YS
01-11-2011, 12:22 PM
I would not go without an agreement for resi customers at this point.
Not so much for what I do (I know I will do consistetnly good work) BUT for what the customer is responsible for.
Need to dictate payment terms, how to handle late pays, how to handle customer whining 'oh don't come this week, doesn't need cut', how to handle dog crap, etc.
Then when customers balk, you just refer them to your agreement, and they have nothing else to say.

GravyTrain
01-11-2011, 12:59 PM
just marking this thread to find it later

Robert Pruitt
01-11-2011, 02:03 PM
no contracts. if they want they can. if i want out the same. have only had one problem in twenty years.

Roger
01-11-2011, 10:21 PM
Power Stroke -- you posted the same thing on 1/4/2011. The answer is still the same:

----------------------------- reposting


I read far too often on LS about "this is what I put in my contract," meaning they had constructed it themselves. Also, asking for another person's contract is paramount to asking for their trimmer. A contract is a document, paid for by you, a piece of intellectual property. I think none of us would consider asking an LCO working next to us, "give me your trimmer." Why would we expect another to give us their piece of intellectual property?

The notion of "one size fits all" is bogus. Local laws differ, and how a dispute is adjudicated differs from place to place. To think that a contract is transferable reveals a lack of understanding the value and meaning of a contract.

If you are doing simple residential services, such as lawn mowing, trimming, etc, why not just use a simple letter of understanding. Forget the notion of a contract or service agreement (same thing -- calling a document different names changes nothing). Remember that many residential customers are established business people, some of which own their own company. Often these people work with contracts every day, and are far more skilled in dealing with these matters than the grass cutter.

There are many more LCOs that fit the attorney wanna-be category, than attorneys being the wanna-be LCO. There is good reason for this.

chipk1
01-12-2011, 09:12 AM
A handshake and good old fashion customer service takes care of 99.99% of any non payment problems. Contracts for resi's are useless in my opinion. If by chance you get a deadbeat defaulting customer, is it really going to be worth your time and money trying to pursue collection for a few hundred bucks? I maybe get 1 ever 3 years. Which is extremely low for most business bad debt write off.

zturncutter
01-12-2011, 09:22 AM
A handshake and good old fashion customer service takes care of 99.99% of any non payment problems. Contracts for resi's are useless in my opinion. If by chance you get a deadbeat defaulting customer, is it really going to be worth your time and money trying to pursue collection for a few hundred bucks? I maybe get 1 ever 3 years. Which is extremely low for most business bad debt write off.

Agreed, in 20 years I have had 3 no pays on the maintenance side and all landscaping and irrigation work paid 100%. You can have a contract with the residentials, take them to small claims court, win and still not get paid. Check the customer out before you work for them, not after they don't pay.

Richard Martin
01-12-2011, 09:25 AM
These contracts serve more than just a means of collection. For me the most important part is laying out exactly what I will and won't do and for what price. All of us have had customers that want more than they pay for. They assume something is included. Right now I have one customer in particular that constantly (at least once a year) tests to see what I'll do for free. In their contract it specifically says that tree trimming above head height is not included and that I won't even do it at all. Twice now they're tried to get me to do some tree trimming "it's just a small limb, you can get rid of it, you go to the dump all the time" and once they tried to get me to do a free leaf cleanup. All 3 times I've reminded them of the contract and that was the end of it. They're great payers and will be customers as long as they're around (they're in their late 80s) so I'm not going to ditch them over this. BTW the contract and 12 month pay was their idea. I didn't have ANY and have never had ANY 12 month pays before them. Now I have 3 and it's great.

zturncutter
01-12-2011, 09:37 AM
These contracts serve more than just a means of collection. For me the most important part is laying out exactly what I will and won't do and for what price. All of us have had customers that want more than they pay for. They assume something is included. Right now I have one customer in particular that constantly (at least once a year) tests to see what I'll do for free. In their contract it specifically says that tree trimming above head height is not included and that I won't even do it at all. Twice now they're tried to get me to do some tree trimming "it's just a small limb, you can get rid of it, you go to the dump all the time" and once they tried to get me to do a free leaf cleanup. All 3 times I've reminded them of the contract and that was the end of it. They're great payers and will be customers as long as they're around (they're in their late 80s) so I'm not going to ditch them over this. BTW the contract and 12 month pay was their idea. I didn't have ANY and have never had ANY 12 month pays before them. Now I have 3 and it's great.

I have handled this both ways with and without agreements. Commercial stuff is always in writing. Residentials though just have never really been a problem, even when I had several employees if something came up I have always been able to work it out to the customers and my satisfaction. Actually many times they have offered to pay extra for things I felt were included. Yeah don't you love those yearly advance pays off the top of my head I think I have 6 or 7 now.

Scgentlman1
01-12-2011, 10:13 AM
Power Stroke contact me at scgentlman1@yahoo.com, I will share my agreement with you. I pefer to call it and agreement other than a contract. It is 2 pages but you can delete areas of the agree; that doesn't pertain 2 u.

exmark user
01-12-2011, 10:36 AM
Power Stroke contact me at scgentlman1@yahoo.com, I will share my agreement with you. I pefer to call it and agreement other than a contract. It is 2 pages but you can delete areas of the agree; that doesn't pertain 2 u.

Would you please email it to me too please?????
chasewillis99@yahoo.com