Originally Posted by coolluv
Quote: I would not see contracts service agreements (SA) as the cure all either. I have very few frankly and they do not mean much IMHO. End Quote.
Ok..maybe I mistook what you said.
I try to do more pre-qualifying over the phone. I ask some questions and then I tell them basically how it works and most times that tells me whether we are going to be a fit for each other.
Eliminates the wasted time and running on estimates for a price shopper or cheap @SS. My service agreements are flexible on what services you want. If they don't want fert because they are happy with their fert guy then so be it. Its not a deal breaker for me.
If they like to take care of their own landscaping....no problem. Prices go up and down...monthly cost depends on the services they choose. That way everyone is on the same page. I will also state again that most think an agreement is assurance you are going to get paid..not really and unless its for a large amount of money I'm not going to wast the time going to court.
Plus I don't let a customer get to the point of owing me money that the amount would justify taking them to court.
Here is my thinking. First thing I want to do is get them as a paying client. If they have over grown beds, shrubs and lot of work to do. There are many reasons for this but I try not to judge. I want to get paid to clean them up at a fair price.
Additional services often generate more profit than mowing for sure. If I bundle those the price seems higher to the client. If I do it seperately then they are not as bothered. I then can go back to them and present a bundle after the site is up to standard. They are comfortable with us, we are comfortable with them ( paying) and I have not had to scramble or invest a lot up front on a contract.
I then will offer a maintenance price but typically in the second or third season. I also like to get then rolling in mid summer.
On the otherhand, I go to an estate house or ranch and the place is well cared for, little neglected and there is only maintenance.... then I will propose a service agreement.
I have residential units that gross more than small commecial clients. We are pushing 6 to 10K a year.