Process of Services... How to?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Slcareco, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682


    What do you guys do when you get work aside from cutting lawns, like weeding, cleanups, trimming, mulching, etc. Do you give them an estimate then a Bid/Proposal? If you have any example of proposals please attach. Ima kinda lost with this, I dont want to scare people away with too much paper work and i dont wanna get screwed ethier......... and what about deposits

    Let me know thanks!
  2. GroundUp

    GroundUp LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    Im going to bump this post up because im interested also... I have a grasp on how to charge for mowing a lawn. but for trimming im lost. PLEASE HELP!
  3. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 863

    The size of your operation and are these contracted customers already will determine that answer. If your large or on your way, everything is written down and signed off on before work is begun. Prices are typically set also, based upon what the profit margin needs to be in relation to your costs.

    If you solo like me, and run things on a more personal level(you'll never be rich in money this way) pricing will vary, and generally will not involve more than a verbal okay. If I am already there and its a mowing customer of mine, and they say can you trim those yews for me? (My first response is I'll gladly replace them with sometime requiring less maintenance!) I'll say sure how's $20 sound? Sometimes its cash right then, sometimes its added on to their invoice at the end of the month.

    If its an estimate for a new customer, a written estimate with price/description/haul away -yes/no, is a must. If your not very experienced with pruning/trimming bid by the hour with a minimum. This is good so you don't lose your shirt if it starts taking a lot longer than you thought. But If you have a good crew and know you can fly, just bid a fixed price.

    Remember most customers don't realize every plant has its own time and way to be pruned. Done incorrectly, and the plant won't flower next year etc. So document it was the home owner that wanted the new growth cut off the lilacs and to cut the tulip greens off right after flowering:p

    I only do deposits if I need to buy lots of materials up front, all labor is billed after completion.
  4. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    ok, so if i get called for an estimate get the info I need go back home with it then call or email the quote? Then if they accept meet them with a proposal and have it sign or just a full service contract and check the box of the service being done? Hope i dont seem confusing
  5. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 863

    try to have everything in your truck. really the only time you want to mail a quote is if its a large landscape job. either have forms ready to go an you just fill in on site or have a printer/laptop in truck and do it that way.

    in this business, the first to provide a reasonable estimate wins.
  6. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    have any sample of estimates / service agreements for services other then mowing?
  7. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 863

    Good idea, this way they see your other areas without you looking like your hard selling them. IE Customer X signs mowing contract, month later needs fertilizing done and says, hey didn't I see Slcareco offers this?

    I use a standard form that over the years I keep adjusting as I encounter new situations that need to be addressed (like mowing around kids toys and having to charge if they want me to come back) all this I put on the back in small print. CYA on the back where they sign, and the front stays clean and simple.
  8. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,096

    I use the same form and just check off boxes as needed! I do require a deposit on larger material purchases or if they are a new customer. I can't afford to be stiffed because some lady wanted 12 yards of rare and expensive mulch! If they want it, they pay for it upfront and then I collect the labor charges once the job is complete!

    If you do a search for "contract" or "customer agreement" or "proposal", you should find plenty of help!
  9. gaulk

    gaulk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 83

    send me your fax or e-mail i will send you a copy i gust finished it i think you will like it, it is very simple and covers everything and looks good
  10. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

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