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submitting estimates and getting custom proposals?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by shelbymustang616, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. shelbymustang616

    shelbymustang616 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    Hello recently submitted an estimate for a mulch job and I submitted the estimate through quickbooks through email. Is there a problem with this? I recieved the job. My question is since I am just starting is, when a submit an estimate and recieve a job should there be a contract written out for the job? should i collect a percentage before work is performed since its an $800 mulc job like 50%. Client is about 30 min away. Should i ask to mail a check to begin work or go and collect. Also does anyone know where i can get custom proposal forms made? I can have everything written out and have it signed? thanks. hope everyone understands what I am asking
  2. Flatop

    Flatop LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    Have a contract for the job and have everything written down as to what type of work is being performed ie: prep area area where mulch is to be applied, apply weed barrier/fabric, deliver/spread mulch and so on. Case in point, had a customer that wanted mulch delivered and spread. Did not want the old mulch removed or weed fabric installed (weeds and grass were growing wild since no weed fabric/barrier was installed) I noted it in the contract so as not to get a phone call for a job 1/2 completed at a later date. Also make sure you walk with the customer if you already have not done so that you can inspect the area where mulch is to be applied. As far as getting an advance, I always ask 100% for the cost of materials up front and pay for labor once the job is complete.
  3. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    people do things diffrently.

    we never ask for any money up front. this is where the contract REALLY comes in handy.

    also: as stated above. the contract is like an out line of what will be done. and what will NOT be done. it's VERY IMPORTAINT....

    Best of luck
  4. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,887

    Since you received the job I guess it worked for you. Personally, I would prefer to hand deliver the estimate if possible then I would collect a down payment for the work, and get a signature. I don't put out the money for materials on a residential, I also love the face to face. Good time to upsell more services, get to know the client.

    You may want to check this out:

  5. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,887

  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    For my regular customers for maintenance-type work I will often just email them a Quickbooks estimate along with an introduction letter and all I need from them is a go ahead by email or phone. If it's someone I don't know I would follow up with a contract if they approve of the price and collect an advance of 50% if there are materials involved, such as in your case. I don't even schedule the job until I receive the advance.

    As far as custom proposal forms. I use pre-printed 2-part generic forms that I buy at Staples. For simple maintenance-type proposals, what I would typically do is meet with the customer and see what the job is and then go out to my truck and write it up quick and discuss it with them and see if I can get it approved.

    If it's something other than maintenace it's a whole different thing in my state. It needs to be a detailed written contract with some very specific language in it and have a 72 hour cancellation clause and even a cancellation form.

    I do all my detailed proposals on MS Word and mail them 2 copies even if I email it too.

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