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To sign, or not to sign, that is the question...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LawnBoy89, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. LawnBoy89

    LawnBoy89 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 967

    Haven't been on here in a while. So to give you a little backround I'm 16, I'll be driving by mid to late June. I just got a 6 1/2 by 12 trailer and I have a 48'' Ferris mower to go. I started my business last year with a couple neighborhood accounts. Now since I'll be driving and I have a trailer, and I've picked up a few more accounts. Should I make my customers sign a contract? I don't have a family to support, so it's not that big a deal if I don't get paid, I know it sounds stupid but I'm not insured or anything like that so I don't know if I really need to have my customers sign a contract. What do you guys think? If you do feel that I should have a contract, do you have a good one that I can see? Thanks alot guys.
  2. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    You can't sign a legal contract until you are at least 18 years old so you can't make them sign one.
  3. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    Oh boy...grab something and hold on tight, kid... :D
  4. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    I've been there just do a good job, show up every week, act like a businees man, and treat your operation like a busineess and you won't need a contract. You just have to learn how to read people to tell if they are cheap skates or not. At this stage you want to go with a per cut payment schedule, that way if they don't decide to pay after maybe two cuts you won't be out Hundreds of $$$$$ like some guys on here. and NEVER LET ANYONE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOU BECAUSE OF YOUR AGE!
  5. LawnBoy89

    LawnBoy89 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 967

    Hahaha, I know I'm not the most experienced kid but I'll get there. I really do do a good job and since I love mowing I'll definetly never miss a week. I really didn't want to do contracts anyways.

    One more question. I work at a grocery store and alot of my customers stop there and a couple of them want to pay me all at once, like $600 all at once or something like that. Does this sound like a bad idea?
  6. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Insurance. Have you ever broken a window with something the mower picked up? You will. Are you aware that some sliding glass doors may run a grand or more to replace? Have you thought about the possibility that something a lot worse can happen even if you aren't doing anything wrong? Like a child darting into the path of your mower?

    Those kind of things are why you have insurance. My suggestion, since you are 16, go to your Mom or Dad and ask if they can take you to see their insurance agent. Explain to the agent that you are just starting out (part-time I presume) Find out your options. It might be a rider can put on your parents' homeowners policy to cover your enterprise. That should be cheaper than buying regular business liability on your own. But either way, you run risks without insurance that most of us find unacceptable.

    I admire you for your willingness to work. Good luck.
  7. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    it doesn't really matter if I get paid. Well if that is the case, why bother charging at all.

    No but really, yes you should use contracts. At least you have something to fall back on should they stop paying. Then you have a signed document to add to your lein filings.

    But hey its your money and you really don't care if you get paid.
  8. cward

    cward LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    I admire you desire to work and run a business. However, I pray that you (and your parents) get you insurance before you start mowing. You may not be worried about getting paid, you might ought to worry about being sued should something unforeseen happen. Good luck and I wish you well.
  9. LawnBoy89

    LawnBoy89 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 967

    How much does insurance usually run? I know it sounds like a good idea. Also, the contract stuff, I figure this way: If they miss a payment, I will stop services until I recieve that payment. If I take a $30 loss so be it. Is this real stupid? I mean do customers usually pay up if you show them there contract, or do you have to bring it to court?
  10. gslawncare

    gslawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    I got a quote in chicago suburbs for 70 per month for 300000 liability. You would have to knock the house down to need more coverage. If you want to go on that professionality tip the guy told you before, the forms are just as important. I've acquired a few customers and when their giving the shpeil they include that they didn't really like it that they didn't recieve reciepts. Go onto word and make something youd like to look at. Use invoices and leave reciepts in the mailboxes. when you make the invoice put the dates when you cut or dropped off the reciept. Lawyers are pretty expensive, but if you got an invoice with reciept dates get the person to admit there a cheap skate to your face. if they don't pay then, then sometimes you just have to move on. Good luck!

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