why contracts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by EPIC, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. EPIC

    EPIC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    why have one for every residental customer ?
  2. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,584

    1st rule of business is CYA:Cover Your *&$. Best way to do that is to get it in writing.
  3. kipcom

    kipcom LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 352

    No need for one if you offer & do a good job. I suggest you offer them a service contract that guarantees them the price and have a 30 day written notice to cancel ( either party).
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    the reason for the contract is a mutual understanding of what will be done, for how much $$, rain policies, etc. and, payment policies. the gentleman above is living in la la land. if u don't have a written agreement, you'll get eaten alive. chances are he is....but just don't realize it
  5. the ace

    the ace LawnSite Member
    from usa
    Messages: 147

    We do it just so everyone knows the rules, example, how much per mowing, when payment is due by, what we are and are not responsible for, just the basics so we both know and have it in writing.
  6. PGA

    PGA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    I dont do contracts with residential.

    I agree with kipcom. If you do good work then what do you need to worry about?

    When I pick up a new house there is a CLEAR understanding of how my company works. What day we will be there, rain guidelines, sprinkler guidelines, pet and gate policies, billing, etc etc...

    Im not saying I have never been stiffed for money but I can tell you this much, in 6 years I have lost about $400.00 total on deadbeats. IMO thats a pretty good track record.
  7. the ace

    the ace LawnSite Member
    from usa
    Messages: 147

    I would say that's real good, I took a $166.00 and $175.00 loss just last year. I know it's not as good as the money but, some nails in the driveway do give back a little satisfaction!:D
  8. PGA

    PGA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Honestly, I think it has to do with knowing people in general. I have turned down jobs or overbid the hell out of them from people that just looked shady and I got a bad vibe from.

    Another thing is most of my houses are word of mouth and referalls so 75% of my customers know each other or know someone who knows someone else so if they stiffed me word would get around really quick.
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    the bottom line is, if u tell me u aint gettin boned, it means that you have very lenient policies...such as, no due dates, or cancelation clauses.
  10. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    And when you do good work, and they just decide to not pay you....or, they leave their kids toys all over the yard....or they are mad cause you didn't mow on your scheduled day, even though it rained......or the guy next door decides he is going to start a $10 per yard mowing service.....or any number of factors.....
    They decide to not pay you for mowing this month, even though you did the work as you said you would and they had a clear understanding of how your company works.

    Or are you one who requires that your customer pays you every time you are there. That sounds more like Joe blows yard service...from our car trunk to your lawn.....LOL

    it all boils down to.....Policies will be broken. The question is, how will you go about collecting.
    "But your honor....he wasn't there those days. I had to get someone else to mow or I did it myself."
    With that contract.....you SHOULD be covered. Nothing is perfect, but its an extra layer of protection.
    And as far as if you do quality work....well, about 80 percent of my residentials are on contract...and I do quality work....and I get paid.

    Yes, I have been stiffed, even with a contract. But I learned from it. The wife signed it and since her husbands name and hers is on the deed to the house, I could not make a lein stick. Now, both names go on the contract...Period.

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