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Husky03
02-07-2005, 07:10 PM
Since I am not 18 I cannot legally hold anyone to a contract so I have been thinking of just giving my new customers a rule sheet with things that would normally be in a contract. I still cannot think of a good way for billing either. In the years past I just get paid upon completion of job or several weeks in advance so I may just continue with this method. Also, I need some simple estimate sheets if anyone has them. Thank you and any advice appreciated :)

Lux Lawn
02-07-2005, 07:15 PM
Husky
Check out Captainding An estimate form you can use in the elements of business section a lot of guys have been using it.As far as a rule list type them out a letter explain to them what you expect out of them as a customer and what they can expect out of you as there service provider.

Husky03
02-07-2005, 07:39 PM
Yeah, I thought of a letter instead of a sheet. It may be a little more personable and friendly. What estimate sheet are you talking about (captainding) ? Thanks for the help.

carbon737
02-07-2005, 08:25 PM
Husky, are they asking for a contract? Me personally do not offer contracts. I think they are a waste of time. If you are not worried about them going somewhere else I woundn't worry about it.

Lux Lawn
02-07-2005, 08:33 PM
Captainding made his own estimate form that a lot of guys are using.Do a search under estimate forms I think its in the just starting out in business forum.I do not know how to add the link.

HOOLIE
02-08-2005, 12:14 AM
I give customers a "service agreement", which basically tells the customer the price, frequency, payment terms, etc. The word "contract" seems to have a million interpretations on LS. I think some guys are looking for something that will guarantee the customer will pay for the entire year, even if they cancel after the first cut. I'm not sure of the legality of that, I'm sure it could be done, but not many people are going to agree to an arrangement of that kind.

I would have them sign some sort of service agreement. So what if you're not 18. I don't know how many customers will be thinking "Oh, I can screw this kid, he's not 18 yet".

Team Gopher
02-08-2005, 02:57 PM
Hi Husky03,

I think this is the link to the estmate form mentioned. (http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=90976)

Husky03
02-08-2005, 04:17 PM
Thanks for the link, but that's not exactly what I'm talking about. The kind I am talking about is when I get a call and I drive over for an estimate I want a sheet that says I will do this for this price. I am probably just going to make my own on Microsoft Word. They will not be the most professional, but I think if I get a good idea of what to include I can make it look nice and also make it easy to understand. Thanks for the ideas. Keep them coming. :)

mastercare
02-08-2005, 04:57 PM
Like others, I don't use any contracts for lawn care. I tell my customers that I don't need a contract to keep customers. They like the fact that they don't have to sign anything, and that my work ethic alone will keep them a happy paying customer.

And, as far as an estimate sheet: The only time I use one is if they want to "think about it." It's just company letterhead that says - After walking your property we have determined a weekly cutting price of $xx. for the 2005 season. Please call soon if you'd like to be added to our busy schedule.

But, many will tell you that you need to sell it on the spot. If you get a "let me think about it" you're closing ratio is much smaller. This means that the person you're dealing with is either not the decision maker, is getting several quotes, or just putting you off. Your best customer is one that you can sell on the spot. In that case, I typically don't put anything in writing unless they request it. I give them a price verbally, I show up when I'm supposed to, do good work, and send them a bill exactly as I quoted them. Never had any problems.

Just a tip for you though: When you do get people who want to think about it or check with the spouse, be sure to call them back quickly. Some people refuse to do follow up calls. My first year I didn't do any follow up calls, and only got a couple of them. The next year, I would call a prospect 3 days after I left them a quote....I got about triple the response rate. When you call them back, tell them that you're just calling to follow up on your quote, and that you'd like to know if they want to be added to the schedule. My phone never stops ringing and we're filling up our schedule quickly. I just wanted to call and make sure you were taken care of since I gave you a quote first, and wanted to give you the first chance of getting on our schedule.

This shows some urgency and pushes them to a decision. It also prevents them from having time to get 320 quotes from every scrub out there.

Hope I was of some help.

Gautreaux's LNG
02-09-2005, 01:19 AM
customers hate the word contract.... service agreement is fine. And don't over burden them with too many rules and regs?

mtdman
02-09-2005, 01:29 AM
I hand out a Guidelines sheet every year, and have the exact same thing posted on my website at http://www.tjslawncare.com/terms.html. I don't do contracts, but it's good to have a set of guidelines for the customer to have that heads off any redundant questions or issues that might occur. And, to cover your butt when extra charges pop up, etc.

Lux Lawn
02-09-2005, 03:24 PM
I hand out a Guidelines sheet every year, and have the exact same thing posted on my website at http://www.tjslawncare.com/terms.html. I don't do contracts, but it's good to have a set of guidelines for the customer to have that heads off any redundant questions or issues that might occur. And, to cover your butt when extra charges pop up, etc.

Tom- I just checked it out and it looks real good. I think that takes some of the stress out of the fact that there is no contract involved.I send out something similar to that in the spring to all of my customers.

Husky03
02-09-2005, 08:15 PM
Mtdman: thanks for showing me your site. That was exactly what I was looking for. Gives me some good ideas. :)

Husky03
02-09-2005, 08:25 PM
Mtdman: thanks for showing me your site. That was exactly what I was looking for. Gives me some good ideas. :)

mtdman
02-09-2005, 09:44 PM
Mtdman: thanks for showing me your site. That was exactly what I was looking for. Gives me some good ideas. :)

Your welcome, both times!

I send out a snow sheet with guidelines as well in the winter. I actually need to revise the mowing guidelines for this year. But yeah, it does cover my butt because I don't use a contract in some areas. The key is in communicating with customers. Even if they don't read that (and I'm pretty sure many people don't bother to read them), you can always point it out later that it's part of the terms of service.

:D