Commercials on equal monthly payments?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by stevenf, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    Today I decided to cold call a list of apartments, HOAs, and food chains. To my suprise, A LOT of them are taking bids right now. Some of them would say they are always accepting bids. I would then ask if there was a company that they are currently under contract with and they would say yes, but we are always looking for a better price.

    This leads me to believe that they would drop any company in a heartbeat for the lowest price. Which leads me to my next question.

    I posted a thread on here a few weeks ago asking how you receive all of your money if the client chose early cancellation(being a set monthly price situation). Most replied with " You dont". Some of you guys agreed that the client would win in court if it went that far. Some even suggested not putting anything in the contract to guarantee you get paid on early termination. The reason was that it may scare them away.
    My conclusion.... You guys are crazy. How can you afford to take such a risk as to lose money when some lowballer follows right behind you? If a mulching job was at the beginning of the contract, you could lose thousands of dollars! Most will say to bid jobs like that seperately but commercials in my area want a full service, same monthly payment, so it can be including in there monthly budget for the year. Is it like this in your area? For the ones that do have contracts written correctly, are potential clients scared of haveing to pay what they owe?
  2. Perfect touch landscapes

    Perfect touch landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    I try to collect at least one mont upfront and he'll no I don't do mulch job first thing, I bill them one month in advance, and in contract I spesify which services I will perform, how many and what time of the year I will do them. Some of them will hire you to get everything up to date, then in slower month when you don't do as much work they say what am I paying 500 for? They know when you mulched the property there was materials and labor and mulch job alone would of cost 1000 bucks, but they paid only 500. Collect as much as you can upfront. Truegreen for example gets everything for whole year upfront or broken up in two payments. I will only pick up commercial on set montly pay and collect one payment upfront if accound is up to date not 6 months behind
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    SNAPPER MAN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    When you do contracts you always wait til that service is paid for in full before you do it. It takes a little work on your part but it will help you in the long run.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    It ain't all as simple as just turning in a lower bid, thou I can appreciate what might come of it.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,370

    Go get ahold of a TruGreen or Brinkman contract and you will understand what happens when a contract is cancelled. And yes these companies all alway taking bids but if they are happy with their service they wont' change. The will come with their lower bid and we will play poker.
  6. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    Do you know where I can get a copy of there contract? Or how I would go about doing so? Are they members on this forum or are thoughs businesses?
  7. greenchoppers

    greenchoppers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 162

    My contracts say that I can allow someone to cancel at my option. If I choose not to let them out, I continue providing services and they continue paying. If I choose to let them out of the contract, I am honest and upfront with them by adding up the amount of services provided multiplied by how many times I provided them and then subtract the amount of money they paid me.

    If they paid me less than the totlal of all services provided, they owe me the amount of money due before any cancellation will be allowed. If they paid me more than the total of all services already provided, I will return the overpayment to the customer as long as all other obligations are met.

    I have not had anyone challenge me on this condition as of yet. If they did challenge me, I may be willing to compromise on my terms depending on whats at stake. In no situation will I allow myself the risk of not getting paid. Period.
  8. cochino12

    cochino12 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    My contract's states that if the contract is terminated early, the buyer is responsible for all pro rated payment's for completed services(worded much better though :laugh:).
  9. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,038

    on our proposal we post a set price per visit and list the job at hand to them and they know before we come that day it is X and there is no cancellation due to a missunderstanding . if they were to drop us would open up time only there is no unpaid balances left over . i hope i read this right. i would be glad to post a copy of a proposal .
  10. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    My contracts list a specific amount of work for a specific period of time - usually one year in length.
    Cancellation by client for any reason other than my company's non-performance results in the client paying the retail value for the work completed prorated through the remaining contract period.
    And Yes I have won in court over this - a signed contract is an enforceable contract.
    Like Ed says, on the rare occasion I have a client play "I have a lower contract" we play poker which results in the client realizing what my company charges verse the competitor for the scope of work offered means I keep the client at the present rate.
    I have lost only one client to a lessor rate but I didn't care as they were a pita anyways.

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