Question for Precision about contracts.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by premierlawncare, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. premierlawncare

    premierlawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    Question for Precision about contracts. I adopted your contract and changed the business name. I gave it to 3 customers as an estimate. They did not like the monthly billing. One thought that in the winter it was not fair. One siad his wife would call me back ( he wanted me to start but when I brought out the contract he was hesitant). The third did not call me back yet. I made it for 36 cuts a year. Basically 3 a month and twice a month Jan. thur March. and 4 times a month in the summer months (May, June, and July).

    The first customer is in a nice home probablly $400K and he approached me when I was cutting a neighbors house. He said he had 2 different lawn guys and they were not doing a good enough job. I gave him an estimate of $30 per cut $25 a month for bushes and $25 a month for weed control. The lot size is probably 12,000 to 14,000 sq feet. 1/4 to 1/3 acre.

    So my question is ... am I way out of line. By the way the guy is a PITA.

    Oh, and he said his neighbors pay less. Why doesnt he call them?

    I currently have 100 customers. I just bought the biz 3 months ago. I have 9 late payers. They ingnored my late fee and are a month behind. I am not sure what to do.

    Can I lien their property without a contract (Florida)? I have an implied(unwritten) contract.
  2. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    screw them if they don't think it is fair in the winter. what I say to people like that is, Mr. Jones. you would agree that it would be really difficult and time consuming if you did the lawn yourself in the spring and summer right. When they agree, say and in the winter, you probably would only do it onece a month because you could get away with it even though it would look bad and be a lot of work by the time you did get around to it right. When they agree, say what I am doing here is charging you what I need to make inorder to be profitable but prorating it over the entire year. If you would prefer, I could charge you $180 monthly from May to Sept, $120 a month in April and Oct, and $60 Nov to March. Then it would reflect the work done each month. Or we could just go the easy way and make it $120 monthly. Either way you pay the same. But most of my clients understand that it is easier on everyone to just keep the payments the same all year round.

    then ask, Does that make sense to you? If he says no, smile politely, thank him for his time and move on.

    Do what ever you want, but why reinvent the wheel. You need 42 cuts per year. Some years two will be gravy or skips, Some years you will NEED 44 cuts.

    Do you know how confusing and annoying a 10 day cut cycle is. Monday May 2, 2005 next cut is Thurs May 12, 2005 and the next cut is Sunday May 22, 2005, next cut is wed June 1, 2005. Or did you not cut on Monday and move the entire schedule back a day so now it is Monday May 23 and Thurs June 2. What a nightmare.
    first there is a huge difference between 1/4 and 1/3 acre. 1/4 acre is roughly 10K ft sq minus house, driveway and sidewalk. so max would be 7500 sq ft of turf. 1/3 acre with same house and such is 11,500 sq ft of turf. You are looking at almost 50% more area to cut. Find a way to find out exactly what they have. Your county Property appraiser website is a good place.

    Second why are you quoting by the cut. Monthly pricing. Let me say it again, monthly pricing. The per cut thing is only in your head and only if you are quick at math. $30 x 42= 1260 / 12 = $105 monthly. I had a little chart when I first started to cheat from, but now I only calculate monthly. Then it is really easy to quote per cut. Sir, if you would prefer that on a per cut basis. Let me see, $105 Monthly or $50 per cut. That is my base price for one time cuts on your size lot. Also my way of saying we don't do per cut. Most people get it.

    Suspend service and either call them or send them a letter stating why. Then go to prepaid service. Start service on May 01, get a check on May 01. Send a bill on may 15, due by June 01. If payment is not recieved by June 08, service is suspended.

    do you want to work for free? if so keep cutting. If not show some spine and suspend service or cancel them. This time of year people that suddenly get behind are gonna drop you after they have taken you for the ride for the rest of the season.

    Perhaps, but it is more difficult. you would at least need a payment history.

    Good luck. Just be aware that no matter what you do, you will most likely lose between 25 - 60% of the clients you bought. Hope you paid less than 3 months of gross plus depreciated equipment values and I hope the part for cleints was paid over time based on retention after 2, 4, 6 months.

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