Contract? No Thank You!!!!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by LAWNS AND MOWER, May 25, 2002.


    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,129

    I can count on one hand how many times I've used a contract. Mainly large landscaping jobs. I try to stay away from contracts if I can help it. Got a lead from one of my customers about his friend that had moved into town. Wanted his entire landscaping redone. Got in touch with the guy, met him at his place and walked the property. Told me what he wanted done. Told him I would crunch some numbers and get in touch with him in a few days. Gave him a call and told him that it would run around $10,000. Told him I would send him a contract. This guy said he didn't like contracts, that they made him nervous. He said, "Instead of you sending me a contract, why don't I just send you a check for $10,000 and if the job goes over, let me know how much more I'll owe you." After picking my jaw up off the ground, I told him that would work. Got the check today and haven't even started on the job. If only all customers could be like this!!!!

  2. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    I'm wondering who has the list of how much work gets done, in what manner for $10,000? Without a contract, misunderstandings are common. It can start with a very innocent, "I assumed that you were going to do such and such as part of this." At least you have the money, now its reputation your have to protect.
  3. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 870

    Use the term "service agreement", but get it in writing.

    I admire that the verbal agreements are working and you're getting 10,000 downstrokes, but sooner or later you might work for someone who's out to sqeeze you.
  4. Grasshog

    Grasshog LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    Its nice to see some people still have faith in the fellow man
  5. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Maybe things are different in NC than in other parts of the country. If so, that's great that trust goes far there.

    In WI, people feel uncomfortable if there is not a contract, spelling out who is going to do what, and when. I had one customer tell me that anyone they ever had do work for them without a contract never turned out well. And conversely, any contracted work always turned out as expected.
  6. strickdad

    strickdad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    no things are not different in nc, for that kinda money i would have to have a contract.. you may find yourself working for a long time for that 10,000... i hope things go well for you..
  7. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Smooth move! Give some hungry lawn guy $10 K, then milk him for $15 - $20 K, and beat him out of the difference. Pretty easy with no contract. One on one verbal agreements are the con man's bread and butter.

    And I wouldn't give anyone $100 of my money up front without something in writing. Your guy is nice to be so trusting, and you're nice, too, for also being so trusting. Will no one, one of you, or both of you get burned???
  8. tlcservices

    tlcservices LawnSite Member
    from fl
    Messages: 61

    looks like u just bought the farm . u will be doing everything for nothing in the end .u have made the ultimate BUSINESS mistake.unprofessional from the word go.

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,129

    Expand on this, please.

  10. Hawkeye5

    Hawkeye5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    I recently did a web search regarding choosing a lawn service. Most of the web sites were Better Business Bureau, University and AG pages. Guess what? They all recommend a contract or service agreement. It's simply good business practice. JD

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