LawnSite Member
I have a friend from college who has landed a job with a convience store chain. Every year he comes to me to give him a bid for manintenance, at first I gave him a well thought out bid at a decent rate. I was leaps and bounds over the guy he had doing it. Since then each year he would ask for a new bid, each year I would just tack a little on to the last bid and send it. My company and many others were never awarded the contract because we were about twice as high. Then he realized that I am doing installation now and asked for a bid for a new location, I intially told him that I would not unless he gave me his budget upfront (he is my friend). Well I got the bid, but he wanted to lock me into a years worth of maintenance along with the installation so that the plant worry would be 100% mine. He lost about $10,000 worth of plants last year in another location due to poor maintenance, Offcourse he fell down when I told him the cost of maintaining this location.(Because he is used to paying peanuts)<p>He agreed to to give the installation contract seperately from the maintenance contract. In the installation contract I inserted a clause in it that stated that the application or practice of prunining, fertilization, herbicides, or pesticides had to be performed by a licensed entity or the owner to make the plant warranty valid.<p>The reason I did this is because the people maintaing his other locations are pruning shrubs with weedeaters, scalping the grass etc. Its horrible. (You get what you pay for).<p>One of this guys locations is located within 1/4 mile of my house. My wife will not frequent the store because it looks so horrible. I have tried to educate my friend on the appeal of a well maintained store. He said price is a big concern. Well I mentioned the story about my wife and told him this may not be the only person that feels this way. <p>He is now looking for a cheapest price he can get from someone who is licensed for the location I am doing the installation. <p>I will now add this warranty clause to all my Installation contracts and suggest to the other installation companies in town to do the same. <p>The reason I am telling this story is that many people in this forum have mentioned the importance of getting licensed. In my state (Louisiana) you have to study manuals, have a passing grade on a written test and pay various fees, to become licensed. <p>I think it is very important to be licensed. I think that people should realize that just because you own a lawn mower and cut grass for money you are not neccessarily doing a professional job.<p>Thanks for taking the time to read this.<p><p> <br>


Springfield, IL
Thanks for the good post. I couldn't agree more about price. You get what you pay for, in most instances. <p>I agree also about being licensed and insured. I was neither of the above during my first year.<p>I consider myself very lucky I didn't need the insurance while I was skating by.<p>I didn't apply anything other than NPK so, that was all legal.<p>I recommend having enough business to support these costs and have them taken care of beforehand. Hindsight is 20/20.<p>I however, don't agree with some of those that I hear from time to time posting about low-ballers, who are unlicensed and uninsured. Some people do operate businesses this way and it is wrong. <p>However, my experience dictates that customers appreciate reliability, insured contractors, and licensed contractors after having dealt with some &lt;b&gt;real operators.&lt;/b&gt;<p>Those that complain loudest about these things generally are the ones who use it as an excuse why there business is doing poorly.<p>I don't want you to think I'm implying anything that I'm not. Just pointing out a fact I've not heard mentioned before. I'm sure you can relate.&lt;p&gt;John