What To Do If One Party Fails To Deliver
It is possible for a lawn maintenance contract to be signed and one party fails to deliver. The service provider may fail to do the work as agreed. They can do all the work perfectly but the property owner fails to make the payment as agreed.
The lawn maintenance contract should have provisions on what should be done if one party fails to meet its role. The service provider should protect themselves by including clauses of non-payment claims and the possibility of use of lien.
What Are A Landscapers Duties
A landscaper is typically in charge of maintaining the grounds on residential and commercial properties. As a result, they are generally tasked with the following
- Pruning of shrubs, thorns, and flowers
- Mowing the lawn to make it even and easy-to-maintain
- Spreading fertilizer as necessary
- Maintenance, i.e., use of pesticides and keeping the grounds clean.
- Raking, sweeping, mopping, and removing any unwanted dust, leaves, plants, etc.
- Adding aesthetic value to the flora in the premises, i.e., keeping everything manageable, organized, and aesthetically pleasing.
While landscapers are very in-demand in upscale localities, they dont typically require licenses either. As a result, a landscaper can be anyone who is capable and wishes to perform the aforementioned tasks. Their pay largely varies depending on the property, season, and level of expertise they possess. They may choose to charge in two ways per hour, or per square foot. The average rate in the United States for landscapers is $45/hr, while they charge $4-$12/square foot on average. Typically, larger properties get better rates, while smaller properties are likely to cost relatively more.
How To Win Back Lost Commercial Lawn Care Accounts
Some warnings for people starting out on commercial landscaping contracts:
- Do NOT price yourself out of profit.
- Do NOT try to buy commercial jobs. This is a scam, and you will lose money on this.
- Do NOT depend on one account. You will lose accounts. Keep some steady residential accounts as a safety net.
When you lose an account, dont freak out. If your finances are straight, and you have back-ups, you will be fine.
But you dont have to just accept the loss.
Heres what you do:
Write up a Thank You letter.
Be grateful, and use phrases like, We want to thank you for giving us the opportunity and, “It has been a great experience working with your team “
Be polite on your way out, and there’s a huge chance you’ll get hired back when the next lawn care contractor messes up.
and heres the kicker:
When you write your “Thank You” letter, include one last counter offer.
Your professionalism + an irresistible offer will keep some businesses in your pocket.
If they still dont want you, then move on.
Chances are, they will switch landscape contractors again next year.
After all, you want them to remember your professionalism and high quality service, not your desperation.
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Lawn Maintenance And Snow Removal Contract
Due to the demand of your skills in the company that you are working, the idea of maintaining your lawn would rarely cross your mind. You might worry what could happen to your abode if the surroundings were not taken cared of. Well, I have good news for you! Set aside your worries, it will just add lines to your forehead, because there are a lot of contractors now that can do it for you. If you are the type of person who prefers to pay the services in bulk, then this contract is right for you.
Lawn Care Contract Samples
- Service details in the form of trimming, mowing, or fertilizing
- Signature of the contractor and customer
- Payment terms
Note: You dont have to sign a contract if you deal with small businesses or residential properties which expect a sole service such as mowing a lawn or trimming. These small works can be dealt with a handshake or a word to finalize the deal. Also, you can claim payments by sending monthly invoices or checks during agreed times.
Building Relationships When Seeking New Accounts
A big part of finding commercial lawn and landscaping accounts is connecting with the right people. You cant just call companies out of the blue and expect them to give you the commercial landscaping contract.Cold calls and emails dont work that well, Durden says. Instead, he says attending community events or meetings will allow you to talk directly with the property managers. Then, if you follow up with a call, its a warm call.There are also several organizations that can put you in contact with the decision makers. Durden suggests getting involved with real estate groups, such as Commercial Real Estate Women . Another organization he recommends is Building Owners and Managers Association International. Its members are building owners, managers, developers, corporate facility managers, leasing professionals and asset managers. Chamber of Commerce meetings, CEO forums and other networking events are also good places to meet potential clients. Build your sphere of influence, and the world gets much smaller, Delany says.
Can You Hold On To A Landscaper On Retainer
Technically speaking, yes, you may. That being said, this might not be the most financially viable option. Many commercial and residential properties simply hire landscapers for extended periods of time, with sessions scheduled at regular intervals. As a result, there is no need to hold on to them on a retainer basis. The only reason to hold on to a landscaper on a retainer basis is the priority and/or emergency service, which may be of value to large-scale commercial properties.
In such cases, holding onto their services on retainer is an entirely plausible outcome. Keep in mind that established lawn care service providers may choose to decline an offer to keep them on retainer, as they are likely to receive a ton of business. As a result, it may be a more efficient option to simply hire them either on a project-to-project basis or on a recurring monthly basis.
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How To Write A Contract For Lawn Care Service
Contracts are written for your protection. A clearly worded contract can prevent misunderstandings on both parts, spell out what you will and will not be responsible for, and serves as a promise from your customer that you are going to be paid for your services. Writing a lawn-care service agreement won’t take you much time, but might save you a great deal of trouble should problems arise.
Include the basics. Make sure the contract has a space for the name of your business, your name, the customer’s name and address and the date. Make sure that your business license and bonding information are posted clearly on the contract. Include the date the service is scheduled to begin and how frequently you will work on the lawn. If it won’t always be you completing the work, clearly state in the contract who might be working on the lawn.
Outline services you will provide. If you’re going to mow, trim, weed and dispose of yard waste, spell it out in the contract. If there is an exclusion, make it clear as well. For example, if the property owner keeps dogs in the yard, let him know if picking up feces is or is not your responsibility. If you’ll provide services such as dog waste removal for an extra fee, the contract should clearly outline the amount of the fee.
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Develop Relationships With Existing Contractors
Being a subcontractor for other contractors can increase your chances of winning bigger accounts of your own down the road. Not only does it give you the experience and client roster, which is especially important if youre just starting out, it also allows you to get your foot in the door and make new relationships.
You never know when a commercial account youre subcontracting for might become unhappy with their provider and look to you, someone who has already worked on the account who they trust and know does good lawn care. Dont pass up these low hanging fruit opportunities to build relationships and make money while youre at it!
How Do You Bid On A Mowing Contract
A commercial mowing client will first ask you to provide a bid for services. This bid should contain the list of landscaping services your business provides as well as the pricing. If you perform general gardening services like hedge trimming as well as mowing, clients can meet all their lawn care needs with the one contractor.
In the lawn care industry, the basic mowing and edging services will be about the same for all businesses, and its hard to differentiate based on anything but price. For that reason, its a great strategy to emphasise any additional or special services that your business can offer, helping your bid stand out from the rest.
When providing an estimate, be sure to visit the property yourself to inspect it. That way, you can visually gauge the amount of work required, and the client knows you are giving a quote specific to them, not a generic figure. This will also help you understand any unique needs the client has and how to win them over.
You may opt to add a section to your bid that contains references. If you have worked for a previous client who was pleased with the results, ask them if they are willing to take reference calls. This can give new clients confidence in your services, especially if youre relatively new to commercial work.
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What Should Be In A Landscaping Contract
A landscaping contract should include several essential elements in order to make it enforceable and lawful. Rather than having complicated legal language, the more easily clients and contractors understand the agreed-upon terms, the fewer disputes may arise in the future.
In addition to simple language, you should incorporate the followingelements into your landscaping contract:
- The names and contact information of the landscaping contractor and client
- A statement that acknowledges both parties mutually consent to the terms and conditions
- The contracts start and end date along with the terms of payment
- AStatement of Work that lists the services being provided to the customer, including ongoing maintenance and site inspections
- What to do in the event that the contract needs to be amended or terminated
- How you will handle non-payment claims, including the use of alien
- A completed copy of yourinvoice template to present at the time of accepting payment or signing
- Limitation of liability with regard to third-parties
- The local, state, or federal laws that govern the agreement
- A dated signature from both parties acknowledging the agreement
Getting Your Mowing Crew Size Right
This sounds relatively simple but Bruce says youd be surprised how often the wrong crew sizes are matched up to jobs. This is a huge detriment to making sure your commercial mowing contracts are profitable.
Thats because Bruce says the more crew members you have in a truck, the more your windshield time goes up. Thats something that you want to avoid. Windshield time is one of those hidden profit killers. For one hour of travel time, with a six-man crew, youre paying for six hours of time that has just been spent in the truck, making zero profit.
Of course, your most profitable crew size is your one-man-crew but that cant be right for every job, Bruce says. The key is to get as small a crew as you can for the job while still being able to get the work done the right way.
Building crew size comes from experience, Bruce admits. But it also comes from staying on top of your jobs and ensuring that you dont have more crew members than you need going out to a site. If you have crew members that are sitting around with nothing to do, that is taking a cut out of your profitability. But the only way you can know this is to stay on top of your jobs.
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Tips For More Profitable Commercial Mowing Contracts
There are a number of factors that go into creating the best commercial mowing contracts and all of them must be in line in order to have success. In fact, even if you have just one item askew, it can eat away at your profitability.
As a commercial mower, your goal is for all of your jobs to be profitable. With the cost of doing business not getting any cheaper, you need to be able to make more money and build up more profitable commercial mowing contracts in the pipeline.
This doesnt just happen by chance. There is a lot of legwork that goes into improving your success. Bruce Birdsong, founder, and CEO of Precision Landscape Management, a full-service commercial landscape management firm employing over 300 employees, knows this very well. Hes been in business for nearly four decades and has learned from his mistakesand his many successesabout what it takes to produce more profitable commercial mowing contracts.
Bruce recently shared 5 of his best tips that he says can make all the difference between a profitable contract and one that falls short of helping your bottom line.
Heres How Ed Prices His Commercial Jobs:
After a walk around, I might decide that a property will take an hour and a half with three people. I will need one truck and one trailer, so Ill build out the quote like that. So three people on the site means Ill bill them out at $45 an hour, $45 per employee. There are three employees, so thats $135 for the job to start.
Then I consider what equipment Ill have on site. I charge two times the hourly rate of labor just to have the staff on the site. About $5 of my price ends up going to my equipment overhead.If you have little experience with pricing commercial contracts, take Eds advice and follow the same approach you would with residential clients:
Figure out how much time it will take you to do a commercial job, and then think about much money youd make on a residential job. Say its an hour and a half. If you normally do three residential jobs and bill them at $50 per job, you should be making $150 an hour to do that commercial job, or very close to that.
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What Is A Lawn Service Contract
As a lawn care provider, you can make and sign Lawn Service Contracts to safeguard your interests as you plan to provide lawn moving or other services. Signed by both the lawn care provider and the property owner, this document can help define each party’s respective expectations. When you build your Lawn Service Contract on Rocket Lawyer, you have the option to access Document Defense®, which allows a lawyer to help you get paid or enforce your legal rights.
Be More Specific About Your Lawn Maintenance And Care Services
Dont just write, You will maintain the grounds.
Instead, you can break down the services and give clear details.
Here are some examples:
- Summer pruning of various trees and shrubs
- Border ending for walkways, patios, and driveways
- Watering and weeding regularly
When your services are crystal clear, your client will better understand what you do and will be happy to sign the contract.
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Looking For A Lawn Maintenance Contract To Use For Your Business Weve Got A Template Ready To Be Customized For Your Needs Today
There are a lot of ways to make a good living, and one that lets you enjoy the fresh air at the same time is working in lawn care. But your business is probably a lot more than just mowing a few lawns here and there. Because of that, you’ll want to consider a lawn maintenance contract template. Not only does that help your business look professional, but it gives clients peace of mind. Here’s what to consider.
Bidding On Commercial Lawn Maintenance And Landscaping Jobs
After youve laid the groundwork, its time to turn your attention to the bidding process.
If youre bidding commercial maintenance and landscaping jobs like you bid residential, you wont get the work, Schill says. Most commercial accounts are chasing the bottom dollar. Thats why its so important to have a good grasp on every aspect and expense of your business.Youre better off trying to take the scientific approach, Durden says. That includes taking good field measurements and knowing the number of man-hours the task will require.It costs time and money to put a bid in on a property, so make sure you truly understand the specs and the clients expectations, Schill says.When working on a contract, Delany says to add a clause giving you the right to pause work until you get paid. If you dont have that in your contract and you stop working, youve breached it first.One of the main numbers to look at when bidding commercial lawn maintenance and landscaping jobs is your profit. Since all landscape contractors are paying approximately the same amount for trucks, mowers, labor, overhead and fuel, the deciding factor is often how much profit do you want/need to make on this job, Delany says. Here are some questions Delany suggests asking yourself when deciding how much profit to add to your bid:
You may not be able to answer all of these, but the more you think about these, the better chance you have of winning the account, he says.
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