Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Kurt, May 3, 2001.

  1. Kurt

    Kurt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    I have been in business for a month now and started having residential customers sign contracts because it will save me in the slow grow months. I'm afraid they might drop me after I got their yards up to speed and busted my ass during the summer.
    Does anyone have an opinion on this subject?
  2. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    I have over 150 residential customers, and have a contract with one of them. All contracts are breakable anyway, probably just a waste of time.
  3. Vintage

    Vintage LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I have never used signed contracts and have not had a problem with customers paying in the winter. I do have a contract posted on my web site but this is mainly for new customers to read so they know what is included in the monthly price and what I bill separate for.

    If you would like to see that contract just click on the red house below.

  4. GreenQuest Lawn

    GreenQuest Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    Everyone signs a contract here. Its just the way I have always done it.
  5. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    we have contracts on the commercial property's (as the price will be reflected in the service requirements)....on the resi's we provide a "statement of work" which outlines the level of services ...(basic or full or premium) ...the rates & payment part of the monthly service based on a yearly agreement ...

    Yes you may get dropped in Nov that case if they call back in spring charge em more an explain a "summer contract" is more you are spreading out the cost of service thru out a full 12 months (so you have income in winter)

    In May all your Tues & Wend jobs are getting 5 events yet pay the same as last or next month when they get 4'll fine thru experience that the better yards will keep you ...while the non irrigated may drop ...
    Develop good communication with your customer BEFORE you start and than thru the Summer .....Good Luck ;->

  6. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    Those who dont use contracts, better provide services COD cuz when a customer turns up dead (one or two a year of mine do) the estate executor (trix) wont even answer your phone call for payment without a contract somewhere.

    Words to the wise, gentlemen (and ladies).
  7. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Service agreement on the bigger one time type of jobs.

    We don't use contracts on our grass accounts.

    We get paid by the cut. Only a small percentage of our customers are on a monthy billing plan.

    So if we get stiffed for a cut or two, so be it. No one has passed away before paying.

    Pull out a contract here in this backwards area, and potential customers would take off running. There have been comments here in the past that if you can't sell a yearly contract, then you are doing something wrong. uh huh, right.
    I guess because we have never had a shortage of customers ever, we don't get too concerned if we lose a few. We'll just pick up another one to replace that pay by the cut customer before the week would be out. We always take on extra work to cover for a dry season.

    If you can sell the yearly contract go for it. Depends upon your area. Plus we work enough in the 8 months, that we sure don't want to be tied up the other 4.

    [Edited by 1MajorTom on 05-07-2001 at 09:50 PM]
  8. Groundcover Solutions

    Groundcover Solutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,254

    We have every one sign a contract. Last year we lost about $2,000 from people we did not have under contract and still will not pay us. We have thretoned them with collection agencies and other things but still will not pay. So we decided to have every one under a contract. Most of the old coustomers agreed to this and the ones that don't we just drop (they usualy are the ones that only pay when they feel like it). So i would say you should have all of your coustomers sign contracts.

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