my contract or theirs

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Buffalo1, May 20, 2002.

  1. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,488

    Maybe I was a bit too harsh.... hadn't slept well the night before and was a bit cranky last night. My comments above were directed to this specific situation. However, I really don't think that our customers (as a general rule) go into a business arrangement with the specific intent of screwing us. We've had some problems being paid by some big companies too.... but, more often than not we get our dough.

    In the particular case noted above, it sure sounds like the company is willing to pay, but just want their contract signed before hand. I've had that happen before too. I suppose there is some language that someone needs approved so payment can be made. It sounds like a sure bet that if he doesn't sign the paperwork he, for sure, is not going to see his money. So... for the sake of being paid this time around - I was simply stating that signing the contract may be in his best interest in order to get paid.
  2. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    One of the property management companies we do maintenance for has their own contracts ... sure I would prefer our own but that wasn't in the cards.
    I think it is a little short sighted to say you would never sign anyone else's contract.
    They also happen to be the fastest payers of all our commercial accounts.
    Then's your business. If you want to turn away work because they want you to sign their contract then it's your choice.
  3. Dennis E.

    Dennis E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    No need to explain. Been there before.

    My point I guess is that a business owner always needs to cover all the bases. CYA. It's smart business.
    My accountant's advice was that when I'm providing service they sign MY contract. Not the other way around. I deal with some big corp. currently,have had most of them for years and years. There was never a problem with my contract being used. Some of them do have "agreements" that other vendors are required to sign. I have no idea why. Maybe it depends on what the vendor does.
    Now that I think of it I have seen forms,contracts I guess,from when I bid on a hospital years ago. Kind of a "fill in the blank" type deal. Both parties signed it and got a copy if the proposal was accepted. I did not get it though. In that type of case I would go that route if need be.

    Those cases that I mentioned above have really been the only two extreme problems that I've had. Most all are decent about getting checks to us on time.As far as commercial accounts go.
  4. johnhenry

    johnhenry LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    This is crazy you cant dictate terms to a business. Esp if they are major corporations. They have there own guidelines to go by. You must remember you are in the contracting business and are providing a service for them. If you dont like there terms they have lots of lco's to chose from. I have some major corporation accounts and everyone is billed differently.If you go into the commercial end of this business you have to play the game. As far as them signing a contract most big corporations will not sigh them homeowners will.If you approach big companys like sears,allstate,banks,and major restruants with your contarct they wiil shy away from you. John I agree with your statements
  5. turfman33

    turfman33 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 226

    Your Business, Your terms. I have made the same mistake of doing the handshake. I had one client that I didn't have on a contract (My contract), who didn't loss. Then I had one on a Contract that didn't pay until he had the final warning. It was his signiture on the contract as well as mine and my terms.

  6. Hawkeye5

    Hawkeye5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    Buffalo: I don't know if your dealing with a large corp. or not, but I can verify that larger corporations will have requirements of all their contractors, some reasonable and some unreasonable. The requirements are put together by lawyers (sorry to swear) that don't live in the real world. They don't intend to screw you, but their job is to protect their employer. I personally have seen contracts that I would never have signed (pay particular attention to the 'holdharmless agreement'), but the requirements for contractors should be included within the bid specs, and may have provisions which will have a major impact on the final price as they raise your cost. The fact is that if you want the job, your going to play by their rules while you are on their property. Your free to decide if you like their rules or not. I don't find it worth the time to fool with accounts such as this, but it is up to each contractor to decide if the game is worth the candle. JD
  7. Grasshog

    Grasshog LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    Look over the contract they offer. If you agree with it sign it.
    If not advise them of the changes you like to make.

    I have found in commercial work a lot of times they have their own contracts. I sign away and get the cash rolling.

    Anyone have a pen?

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