Contracts

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by AlanJ, May 14, 2002.

  1. AlanJ

    AlanJ LawnSite Member
    from orlando
    Posts: 2

    I have heard some differing opinions on getting cutomers into contracts, what is the safest way to make sure that you get your money out of the deal and the best ways to get them into the contracts in the first place.( referring to residential customers for basic lawn maintenance)
     
  2. RB

    RB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 306

    This is my first year w/contracts and I'm glad I did. I will deliver my bills on the 17th of May and payment for June services are due by June 1st. $25 late fee if payment is not postmarked by 06/05.

    I really like contracts, it puts us in the driver's seat (where we should be anyway). It also forces you not to procrastinate.

    If you would like a copy of my contract email me at ronslawns@aol

    Ron
     
  3. Wayne's Lawn Service

    Wayne's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    :cool:

    We have been using contracts "service agreements" since 1987.
    By far, this is one of the best things we have ever done. After revamping our bidding stratagies and using contracts, our service has done well ever since. If you would like additional information on service agreements, feel free to visit us at www.profitsareus.com. Either way, good luck and have a profitable year.

    Wayne
     
  4. LAWNS AND MOWER

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,129

    Let me get this right. The customer is charged a late fee and services for that month haven´t even been performed. Except maybe for 1 cut if the yard is cut before the 6th. I have a problem with this. How in the world can you get away charging a late fee and you have not even done any work. Smells fishy. You better be careful. Our local cable company got hit with a major lawsuit doing the same thing you´re doing.

    LAWNS AND MOWER
     
  5. prairie

    prairie LawnSite Member
    from kansas
    Posts: 115

    Contracts are and can be from the most simple to very defind. I have 2 contracts a standard and a complex on for the bigger jobs and commercial ones.

    It is standard that we recieve $50% upfront before we even think about breaking ground. This way if the client is a stiff and doesn't pay we still have some $$ and didn't get too screwed.

    I've had to involve attourny battles(never court) in trying to get $$ after a job is done. I'll say this it's not worth it unless it was a bigger job atleast more than $10K. If we get our 50% my losses are a lot less and we will just send threat letters and if it doesn't work, we black ball them from ever doing biz with us or other landscape companies I know in town.

    Cheap and dishonest people are all around, and the most deceiving are the ones w/ all the CASH. They don't like paying us for an honest days work.

    My attourney helped me draw up my contracts and if you would like help I have plenty of friends in law that can help you at no charge, just e-mail me your Q's.

    Funny thing is, my attourny told me that he has the same problem we do. That after his service is done the clients don't want to pay him because they don't need him anymore!!! That's a fact and he spend half his time in court trying to get his $$ from the people he's already helped.
     
  6. Toatlandscape

    Toatlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    I have found that they are unless you want to spend lots of time either on the phone or in the courthouse filing liens and such. I have found that a clear understanding from the inital meeting is better for you. Also be consistant, don't make different "deals or promises" with different customers because sometime you will forget who gets what. These agreements should be put in writing so you both remember. But try to avoid doing different things for different people. Do what you want but do it for everyone. You will be much happier down the road. Been there done that.
     
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    contracts r a must, sleep much better cus of them. there are people in this world, who think, well, whats he gonna do if i dont pay? nothing.
     

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