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Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Greatdane522003, Dec 29, 2003.
I was wondering how many of you guys use contracts and how many customers do you use them on?
I use them on all my customers now. Got burnt once, it won't be twice.
all of them are on "maintenance agreements"..commercial and residential. No signed agreement, no service provided.
I use contracts on all new customers. Once I have developed a good working relationship with current customers, I typically use a handshake if I've never had a problem collecting. There is always that one customer who can't seem to remember the price I quoted. Complex jobs get written up for quantities but again good customers are rarely required to sign the paper, it's trust on both our parts; that I will make sure the job is done as well as possible and that they will pay me when finished.
we do something similar for "good" custumers but it is still in writing. For example, when the monthly fee goes up, like it will for next season for nearly all accounts, we send them an "addendum" to the original agreement. It merely notes the changes for the coming year. I do not require that they sign it..but at least they can't say they did not receive notice. I have a number of commercial accounts where the owners get really perturbed if I require too much paperwork ...but...they will still always receive the addendum...also, some of them do not even require estimates for the yearly mulching/flowers/pruing...but I send them the projected costs anyway....never want to get into a situation where they say "I didn't realize it would cost that much".
I will be using them on all clients in 04 to hopefully bring the chances of being burned down.
To quote an old Chinese proverbe, "No tickee - No shirtee!"
Everone signs a contract or I don't drop the gate.
For you guys/gals just starting your business, some of us can't emphasize enough the importance of having some kind of work order/agreement, signed by the customer. If you dont like the word "contract" , there are other words you can use. Even for people you know well, or a customer you have had for more than one year. Some people may tell you that a customer can walk away from you midseason even with a contract..."its just a piece of paper"...they're right to a point...but...should you have a problem with getting paid, without the agreement, don't even bother trying to get the money owed thru a legal proceeding....been there done that...twice...never again..No matter how wealthy they appear ( they are actually sometimes the worst for late payment), or how well or how long you have known them. Like said above, "no tick-ee no work-ee"
And anyone who refuses to sign a
work order/contract/agreement, is sending you a BIG warning signal.They may not necessarily be a deadbeat, but they will likley be at least a PITA
Every job/client has a contract.