Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by GroundControlLawnCare, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. GroundControlLawnCare

    GroundControlLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    Im just starting out and had a few to ask ya,ll.Istill have my full time job and i do lawn care on weekends. Do you make your customers sign a contract and pay up front right then, or after the first month is completed.
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    For residentials,... for 25 years, we have never used a contract for lawn maintenance (mowing and such). Now, for lawn CARE, we are required by law here in Michigan to have a service agreement with all customers. The reason being, is that we have to have hardcopy of their signature stating that have read and accepted the terms in agreement that they have read a form we have that is the risk/benefit information pertaining to the use of pesticides on their property(s). On commercials, ....yes...we do have a service agreement for all work.
    By the way....nice name! :laugh:
  3. GroundControlLawnCare

    GroundControlLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    thanks alot but do you have them pay before or after work is completed for the month? mine are yearly contracts split up in 12 payments for so many cuts a year.
  4. Horsepower Lawns

    Horsepower Lawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    I don't use contracts. All but one of my customers pay at time of service or mail it to me once a month. Either is fine with me.

    I have 1 customer that owes me $30 for the last mowing I did for them about 2 months ago. IF I mow for them next year they will pay BEFORE I mow. They were a slow pay & the yard also had dog sh1t in it anyway, so if i lose them its fine with me.
  5. Poncho25

    Poncho25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    I use agreements (just a better name for the client) on 90% of my clients the others are usually selling their home or are seasonal, those I require to leave a check the day I come, If they forget I will take care of their yard but it has to be left the next time, now for new clients, the only time I require to be paid before the work is when its a clean-up job, other then that, I invoice them and let them know its due before the end of the month, and then the next month they will fall on the reg invoicing schedule. Hope this helps.
  6. jcb287

    jcb287 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 126

    We also use an "Agreement" for every customer.Explaining what services will be performed and billing info.Everything is there in black and white,signed and dated.Makes it a lot easier if you ever have to collect money in court.:)
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Before or after is actually a whole chapter in itself. Myself, I bill at the end of the month (week of last operation), and collect usually within a few weeks (sometimes within a few days). Now, there are SOME on here that do it different ways, and they work well for them and are perfectly logical. Some send their bills out on the 15th, and expect payment by the first. What this does is prevent the additional time of working in the hole. With my way, you have 30 days out that you worked, the potential for another 30 days before getting paid, which now puts you to 60 days without pay. Now, if you DON'T get paid? You now have 8 weeks lost instead of 2 weeks.
    Now, others use a pre-pay type basis, which insures that you have your money, but many are hard pressed to pay their lawn guy for services not yet rendered.
  8. GroundControlLawnCare

    GroundControlLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    thanks alot ground control and all you all.not thrying to hurt the lawn industry but start a graet biss. just baught a grasshopper 120 48 only capital other then my new echo edger . just want to be competitive,min charge is 35.00$ not worth it for less. alot of compitetion around here but lots of development also . thanks for the help, typing sucks!!!

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