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View Full Version : Critique my contract!


Slcareco
01-26-2005, 10:59 PM
I'm just starting in the business and from alot of help from petrentz heres what I came up with.... comments, suggestions, critiquing, anything would help... thanks!!

mastercare
01-27-2005, 02:58 PM
I think its a good contract, and maybe even more detailed than needed. When describing your services, and what will be done, I can tell that not only is it a contract, but a sales piece. Here's the only problem I see: Read each service carefully. For example, in your fall clean up you mention that "all leaves will be removed"......

What if you miss one leaf? I know this is ridiculous, but if you leave one leaf on the property, havne't you breeched your contract? This is getting picky. But, to avoid this unlikely problem I would word it along the lines of "leaves will be removed as completely and efficiently as possible." This lets them know that you'll do the most complete job possible, but not if it means picking up every last leaf by hand.

Many will disagree with me here, but for mowing accounts, I dont' use contracts. For other services (leaf clenaup) I just verbally quote a price. I know this doesn't cover your rear, but I've been stiffed very few times. Maybe in the last 5 years I've been shorted on $120. How do I use the lack of a contract as an advantage?

When I meet with a prospect I tell them that I don't require a written contract. I specifically use the phrase "I don't need contracts to keep my customers. I provide reliable, quality service. You (the customer) expect that kind of service, and I expect that services will be paid for in a timely manner."

This shows them that you're committed to them. The fact that you don't have contract, but have many permanent, long-term customers is a testament to the quality of work you perform. They know that they're getting what they pay for, and at the same time you dropped a discreet warning that you expect payment on time, or no service. I've done cuttings, aerating, fertilizing, weeding, mulching, shrub planting/removal, garden walls, etc.. I haven't been stiffed yet. People would much rather work with a hard working, honest person, than refer to a contract to find out who is required to do what.

Service means "what can I do for you?"....not "what does my contract require me to do today?" Treat 'em right, and they'll do the same. I sitll believe that most are good people and when serviced properly, won't have reason to complain or not pay.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox

PLM-1
01-27-2005, 03:12 PM
Looked pretty good. One thing that I did notice was that your font size changed in the middle of part 4. Just thought I would point that out!

Slcareco
01-27-2005, 07:13 PM
goood points thank you

jajwrigh
01-27-2005, 09:57 PM
Here are my suggestions:

Too long!! Keep only the info in the contract that you and the customer need to agree on. (price, frequency, payments, etc) Remove all the descriptions and explain them verbally if they iquire about them. You should add something to ensure timely payment, like a late fee or something. People WILL screw you with payments at some time or another no matter how "nice" they seem. Its part of business. Just try to remember to cover yourself in every liable way possible. From a customers standpoint shorter will be sweeter.

I saw something about cutting will resume the next dry day.....what if its too hot and dry and thats why your not cutting it?

Just some input, but I would say overall you are off to a good start!

Victor
01-29-2005, 10:45 AM
I saw you used bits and pieces of the Service Agreement I wrote. While I think you did a pretty good job with your version. I think you left out some of the more important components my service agreement has in it. Like Jajwrigh said. You really should have something in your agreement that covers the financial aspects of your agreement. If you look at my agreement. You'll see a thorough explanation of those terms. You don't have to copy my terms word, for word, but if you want to copy it word, for word, at least you'll be covered fairly well.

With that said. I do like the job you've done so far. I think you're on the right track. In this day and age, you're going to find people that will cheat you out of money any chance they get. They don't care how good of a job you do. All they care about, is getting an opportunity to cheat you. I think you're doing the right thing by protecting yourself. After all. We are professionals. Try getting any other service without a service agreement. There's a reason why you can't get a gym membership without signing a thorough contract. The same thing goes for heating and cooling, or plumbers.

Vic

Slcareco
01-29-2005, 04:00 PM
thanks man is there anyway you could attactch your contract to this thread if you dont mind?? thanks a million

ALarsh
01-29-2005, 09:06 PM
I like it but it is too long. Nobody wants to read a 4 page contract for lawn service. You could shorten it down.

PMLAWN
01-30-2005, 10:34 AM
It looks OK. Just a thought, As Victor said, you are a little light on the finance part.
Here is what I do.


LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE CONTRACT

AGREEMENT made this _ __ day of _ _, 2005 between *** Enterprises, Inc. DBA ********, whose principal place of business is ****************************** hereinafter called the “Contractor”, and _ , hereinafter called the “Owner”.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this agreement is to identify the terms and conditions under which the Contractor shall provide landscape maintenance services for the property of the Owner, which is located at _ _, in the , and is hereinafter called the “Property”.

SCOPE: The Contractor agrees to provide all landscape maintenance services for the Property, which are detailed on the attached Schedule “A” with the exception of the following items: . The scope of services can be modified in the future via written change orders signed by both parties.

MATERIALS & EQUIPMENT: The Contractor will provide all materials, supplies, and equipment required to complete the services on Schedule “A” with the exception of the following items: ___ .

CONTRACT PERIOD: This contract shall become effective beginning the _ _ day of _ _, __ and shall continue for a period of twelve consecutive months until the _ _ day of _ _, 2006_. Upon its completion, this contract will automatically renew for an additional one-year commitment, and shall continue to automatically renew after each completion until it is terminated in writing. This contract may be canceled by either party upon thirty (30) days receipt of written notice of cancellation. Notice is to be sent registered or certified mail with return receipt requested.

COMPENSATION: The Owner agrees to pay the Contractor the total contract sum of $_ __. The total sum shall be pro-rated into twelve equal monthly installments of $__ _ each. Installments shall billed be on a monthly cycle, with the first bill on _____ . Payment for each installment is due on the thirtieth (30th) day of the following month, until the total contract sum is paid in full.

DELAYS: In the event that the Contractor is unable to or is delayed in completing the services agreed upon due to acts of God or to no fault of the Contractor, the Contractor shall be excused from completing such services for a period of time as is reasonable until such services can be completed by the Contractor.

DAMAGES: The scope of this maintenance contract does not include additional maintenance required or repair of damage due to vandalism, weather, vehicular or pedestrian traffic, act of God, or damage by others. Such work shall be considered an extra service and shall be authorized by a separate work order.


PERFORMANCE: The Contractor warrants against any defect in the workmanship of its employees or in the materials used on the Property in performance of this contract and only for the duration of this contract. Contractor shall be responsible for the repair of any irrigation parts damaged by its employees. Contractor is not responsible for plants dying due to excessive water or lack of water. This agreement does not include watering of plant material. Personnel applying pesticides/herbicides will be licensed or working under the direct supervision of a licensed applicator.

OWNER DEFAULT: Should Owner fail to compensate Contractor any or all of the accrued portion of the “Contract Price” within fourteen days of the due date for such sum, then Contractor shall be entitled to cancel this contract on the fourteenth day without thirty day written notification to Owner and shall be entitled to recover damages for breach of contract by Owner.

LAW: The laws of the state of North Carolina shall govern this contract. In the event of suit or action commenced to enforce the terms of this agreement, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees and costs.

INSURANCE: Contractor will provide Certificate of Insurance upon request by Owner.

Upon executing this agreement, as noted below, Owner and Contractor acknowledge they have read, understand, and concur with the provisions of this agreement and are contractually bound to the terms of such. This agreement supersedes all proposals (oral or written) and all other communications and prior agreements between Owner and Contractor relating to the content of this contract.

Agreed and Accepted:



Date . Date

Printed Name Title Printed Name Title

Address Address

Phone Phone





Schedule A
Scope of Work

---------------This is where we write what we are going to do for this customer.

This works for us as we can use 1 contract for every customer as far as the legal stuff goes but we can detail each property in the scope area.

I do not use late fees (which I know will make a lot of you out there flinch)
because I have never had to and if they are over 14 days we are going to be using legal methods.

We use this on most all of our customers except some of our bigger commercial and 1 of our HOAs
I have 1 commercial that was written by their contract dept and gone over by my lawyer and it is 14 pages. Talk about BS

jpmako
01-31-2005, 11:53 AM
Here is a copy of mine
Hope it helps

Jason

Slcareco
01-31-2005, 03:11 PM
excellent contract jpm you dont mind if i use some of your material do you? its reallyyyyyy good!! i like alot and keep it coming guys!! thank you all its a real big help!!!

moremowing4me
01-31-2005, 03:18 PM
hereinafter called the “Contractor”, and _ , hereinafter called the “Owner”.

BS


Dido!!!! ;) ;)

Slcareco
01-31-2005, 05:25 PM
ALarsh how would you shorten it then?? :dizzy:

ritchiem
01-31-2005, 05:44 PM
Try to stay away from personal wording like, we, you, I, etc...try to be a bit more formal. Watch your justification as well, you need to be consistant.

Are you a fully insured company??? and for how much???

Quote

5. Any damages must be reported within 24 hours of service. Failure to report damages within that time frame constitutes a waiver, and releases SCOTTS LAWN CARE CO. from liability.

End Quote

I would not sign that. I don't know many who would.

Hope this helps.

Richard

Slcareco
01-31-2005, 05:50 PM
good point and thanks but how would you word it to cover myself from damages that isnt from me they try to blame me for?

ritchiem
01-31-2005, 05:56 PM
If you are honest and upfront with your clients, they will be too (most of them). If there is any dammage what-so-ever you need to let them know right away. Now if they are coming after you trying to get money out of you for nothing you did, they'll do it no matter what your contract says. And heck, the way your contract is, means that if my property is dammaged in any way shape or form, I got 24 hrs to come after you. Some people will take advantage of that. I would word it like this.

Quote

NOTIFICATION AND APPROVAL

The Contractor must immediately notify the Owner of any damages and/or accidents to any property or individual. No repairs to be commenced without notifying and receiving the approval of the Owner.

End Quote

Slcareco
01-31-2005, 06:00 PM
i think ill just take that out then lol

Slcareco
01-31-2005, 06:02 PM
here is my contract after all your guys comments and suggestions so far let me know how it came out so far (not finished)

jpmako
01-31-2005, 08:30 PM
here is my contract after all your guys comments and suggestions so far let me know how it came out so far (not finished)

Looks pretty good but I would change Cutting Edge Landscaping, Inc. to Scotts Lawncare co before you sign anybody up.LOL :waving:


Jason

Slcareco
01-31-2005, 09:24 PM
lol i know thanks man

jpmako
01-31-2005, 09:32 PM
Otherwise it looks good, very well thought out.
Two quick things
Part V: CONTRACT AGREEMENT Change it to SERVICE AGREEMENT
And for clarification purposes I would add page numbers.
Just my 2 cents.
I will read over it in more detail tonight.

Jason

Slcareco
02-01-2005, 01:44 PM
thanks so much let me know what you came up with after reading it in more detail...

Slcareco
02-01-2005, 04:42 PM
you have aim or yahoo at all just wondering?

jasonnau
02-01-2005, 05:09 PM
Here's mine if I formatted it correctly.

jasonnau
02-01-2005, 05:11 PM
It looks better in microsoft works format. Ignore the spaces. I wouldn't mind some ideas either.

PMLAWN
02-01-2005, 06:59 PM
thanks so much let me know what you came up with after reading it in more detail...


At the bottom of each page that is not the signature page you need to have a place to initial, And yes add numbers---1 of 3---2 of 3---3 of 3.