how many people have noticed that customers tend to "shy away" from the dreaded "contract"? how many have lost possible clients because they will not work without a contract? here is what i'm getting at, and it's just a thought, definitely too much time to think at this time of the year: when i was in my early teens(not that long ago, really it wasn't) i worked for a department store. i was the "recieving clerk". part of my job was to calculate pilferages. this means items that were stolen. i documented the cost of these items on a weekly basis, then handed in the totals at the end of the year. thefts were expected, and were considered part of doing business. at the beginning of the year, they estimated how much they would lose to theft in the upcomming year, this was factored into operating cost, and prices etc were set accordingly. now, to the lawnman. does anybody estimate theft(people who skate on the bill) and factor this loss into your operating costs and price the work accordingly? which brings me to the contract issue. is it a wise move, to say the heck with the contracts? not many people will screw you, but contract or no contract you will get your share. by eliminating the contracts, you will get more work(i think), and as long as you factored in a certain amount of theft each season(it's part of doing business, so i've heard) and not take it personally, and adjust prices accordingly, you should be ok? or not? i'm rambling, but i think u guys get my point. does it make sense? i have personally yet do do any mass marketing. this year i will.with the small amount of advertising i've done over the years , only a handful of people objected to a contract, and i would not take these people on without one. as i mass advertise this year, i'm wondering how many will object, and if my suggestion above will make any sense.