How long between first contact to finished job?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by grandview (2006), Jun 12, 2009.

  1. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    When someone calls for an estimate for a landscape job how long does it take you to finish?I not sure if people are worried about money or what not, but lately I've gotten calls for small jobs 1-3,000.00 I give them the estimate and they say ok and then a couple of days later they cancel .So I guess what I'm saying is I might have to give them the estimate and if I get the ok do it in the next 2 days so they can't change their mines.
     
  2. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    I get a written contract for plantings and get a 50% deposit at signing. That 50% is non refundable... if they cancel, I drop off the plants and say goodbye, although I've never had to do that.

    I don't have many customers with mines, and if they did, why would they change?
     
  3. STRINGALATION

    STRINGALATION LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 777

    i have found that at times they get excited and say go but then talk to their significant other and get a stop

    also i have found that the ones who cannot really afford it have the money at the moment and if you wait then they dont have it any more.


    i am big on my deposits. for the most part a go- ahead is not official untill i get a deposit
    it says on my estimates that a materials deposit is required to get on our schedule.

    now i have not had anybody change their mind after the deposit but having read this i will put in a provision of some sort of monetary compensation
     
  4. ponyboy

    ponyboy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ny
    Posts: 1,412

    I think the law might be local is 10% dep now that being said I get 1/3 upon sigining contract 1/3 the day we show up and the rest the day we finish might be higer than 1/3 with an additional work added on that is outlined in my proposal. Yes it is refundable unless I am out money but I only have had one say no in the last few years, if they cant afford it would you want to know before you finish and they can't pay or bounce a check
     
  5. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,693

    What about if you drew a plan out in detail with the types of plantings and placement of them. You charge a certain fee for the design. If they decide to go with you you tell them you will waive the fee or half of it.

    That way, you know what type of material you need and how much of it. When they say they are going with you to do the job, then ask for the 50% right there or however much the materials cost and let them know in writing it is not refundable if they cancel. Then as another member stated, just drop off the material if they cancel and be on your way. The plus is you just made money by charging a design fee and not having to waive it because they canceled.
     
  6. Isobel

    Isobel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 548

    Estimate to finish product can be anywhere between 1 week to 5 weeks. Depends on the size of the job, and how long it takes the client to get back to me.

    The way I schedule is that a client doesn't get onto our calendar until we have a deposit in hand. Deposits are usually 30-40%, enough to cover wholesale material costs and then some. I tell them that if they want to cancel we need 48 hours notice, otherwise the deposit is non-refundable. Although I am thinking of changing that to 5 days notice.
     
  7. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    In years past we would be 2-8 weeks from meeting to finish. The later being special orders, spring rush, and permit delays.

    This year we are running about 7-14 days. Unlike the other responses I prefer to wait. This may lead to lost projects on occasion, but you are avoiding non payments. There have been several times I have gotten deposit on signing, rushed in a few days later, hand out when complete, and had to fight for 30-60 days to get the remainder. Also no work over $250 for new customers and $500 for existing without an iron clad contract.
     

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