Contracts or NO contracts?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lurch01, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. Lurch01

    Lurch01 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    My self and my partner have a disagreement. He is the bank I am the labor and brains. So I tend to listen to him as he has the $$$,

    We are just starting out our business and 20,000 door hangers a month will go out through June. We even are raffling off a Honda Civic after we reach X amount of accounts.

    I like contracts, We can leave a cancel anytime with a 2 weeks written notice. He thinks they scare people off.

    In the Houston, TX area we must compete against the illegal’s form south of the border so I understand why he is concerned, but we can never begin to franchise out the business as we plan to if we don't have contracts.

    Please tell me the pros and cons you have experienced. I have 7 days before 5000 door hangers go out. If I need to make changes, I need to do it fast.

  2. freshcut419

    freshcut419 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 155

    How will you be passing out 20,000 flyers per month? Are you mailing them ? Oh yeah I would pass on the contracts, If you are liked they will keep using you from year to year....
  3. smokes

    smokes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    No contracts!Unless your customers are stupid enough to sign them.Contracts are for suckers;don't treat your customers like suckers.Good luck to you and the business.
  4. Lurch01

    Lurch01 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    My add says "Door Hangers", 20,000 door hangers. I have been putting out 15,000 a month for my Real Estate business for years. My average cost made and delivered is only .18 per door. In the area of Houston, TX where I live I can hang 4 hangers every minute with little problem.

    Also if we have down time and no business guess what my crew will do? Hang door hangers.
  5. a clear difference lawn

    a clear difference lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 421

    If you have an "opt out in 2 weeks" clause for both parties - then what is really the point of having a contract? If I was a potential franchisee I would still consider the possibility that in 2 weeks all my business would be gone. I know the contacts will nider you getting business - I just fail to see how they could help. Not bashing you, just my opinion.
  6. jlouki01

    jlouki01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    To start with stop referring to them as contracts. Refer to them as a service agreement.

    I wouldn't do one stem of work without an agreement signed. You don't have to put a clause in that sets a service term but you do want to specify your payment terms and the penalty for not following them.

    So let's say you get 50 customers off your door hanger blitz. In 2012 how will you know who is renewing and who is not? How will gauge what your business is going to look like year to year without service agreements?

    I'm not here to tell you to lock people in.. getting paid is important and knowing your work load from season to season is critical.

    Anyone who tells you not to use some sort of written agreement is a JimBob.
  7. oldclawn

    oldclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    38 seasons and we've only had 5 contracts in all that time. A contract, as it relates to anything we do, is worth little more than your morning Charmin. Do good work. Be honorable in all you do---you might take a hit here and there--big deal.
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,940

    Lurch, what services are you offering? Are you primarily grass cutting, landscape install, trimming, or ????
  9. Lurch01

    Lurch01 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    Thanks, for the info.
    38 Seasons, Yes i would say as that counts for some knowledge earned. I am great full
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  10. freshcut419

    freshcut419 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 155

    I do well with "door hangers" here to. I would love to hang 20,000 per month. I only drive by and put them on mail boxes at the street so I can do alot in a few hrs. But 20,000 wow I'd go nuts doing that many.If I did my math right at 4 per min= 240 per hour would be 83 hrs to do 20,000 door hangers.That is still a cheap way to pick up new jobs. Your season must be starting to take off . I still have 8 weeks to go..Good luck this year

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