serious question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Brianslawn, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

    do contracts turn customers away? i havent used mowing contracts at all yet, but market is oversaturated with lco's around here so customers take advantage and get couple mowings, stiff you on bill, then call someone else up and do the same to them. they get free weekly mowing year round and when you take one to court its a matter of who says what. i have about 10% or more of customers like this every year costing me $10,000 a year. i want to do simple contract that says i mow on certain day each week unless weather interferes, they get billed monthly and pay within 2 weeks of bill. if payment not made i stop mowing until it is made. charge late fee after a month past due. 30 days notice to cancel by either party.

    my dad thinks no customers will sign this. his lawn biz flopped, mine doing ok.
    if customer dont sign they probably wont pay anyways. if they do sign, good customer for years. thinkin bout givin discount for signing. will people sign or will they call up some new guy that may or may not do good work?

    we would like to add more customers, but its a waste of time if we dont get paid.

    because of delinquencies we charge $40-$50 a yard to compensate. most people pay cause I am a state LICENSED COMMERCIAL landscape contractor, bonded, million $ insurance, plus we have more back up trucks and walker mowers than anyone else around here. i just dont want to raise prices anymore for my loyal customers.

    what do you guys think?
    thanx!
     
  2. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    if u can't get a contract signed, you can thank the little boys who came before you, and did business on a handshake and a pat on the head. if, u can't get a signature, and you are getting stiffed, get out of the business.
     
  3. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    get them to sign or forget them, never been an issue once you explain its for there benefit as well as yours
     
  4. S man

    S man LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,562

    That is a lot of walkers!!!!! :cool2:
     
  5. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 805

    Take credit card numbers and bill the day after the mow, when they sign up mention there's a 6 mow min.
     
  6. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

    bobby, you are prob only name on here more famous than sean. mac i always look forward to your answers to various topics on here. you both have great wisdom, yes, even you bobby (sometimes). any more input from you guys or others would be appreciated.
    thanx
     
  7. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

    and yes that is a lot of walkers. snapper ztr was first ztr i got when just starting out on my own. nice mower and cheap. small and slow though. for sale now. everyone wants grass caught so got couple walkers. then took over lawnmaster, former walker dealer and lawn co. lot of money rollin in, but lot of headaches, too. tj justice's justmowit.com prob the same. high gross, low net.
     
  8. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    $10,000 a year you're losing? The answer to your question seems obvious to me. Get that signature on paper. Do business on your terms, not theirs.
     
  9. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Brian, I dont have contracts and it has been a nightmare. I will NOT take on any new clients unless they sign one. Example, friday I went to mow a yard and when I got there it had been half arsed mowed. PO I went to the door and the lady told me they had bought a mower at a yard sale, no phone call or nothing and this yard was 10 miles away. Saturday went to a yard that was my biggest, 225 once a month and it had been mowed! I did not even stop. Im going to put a stop to this sh-t right now! No contract, no mow or Ill quit! :angry:
     
  10. Mancinioldhorse

    Mancinioldhorse LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    Everyone of my clients are on contract...except one.....who do you think stiffed me...and it was/is a friend. Just called me up and said it's too hot, the grass isn't growing so he DOESN'T NEED ME to maintain the property for a while....I told him the situation, that this is a business, not a neighbor hood kid down the street. That all my clients are on contract except him and that was only because we are friends and I didn't feel it was needed. He just said he'd call me when he thought it needed to be serviced...I'm thinking about just walking.....working for friends is just not a good thing. But getting em all on contracts is.
     

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