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Residential Contracts

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by PrimoSR, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. PrimoSR

    PrimoSR Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    Ok so I am posting my first question on here and I know what everyone is going to say I should do, but I want to know what people actually did when they were first starting out (and why)?

    I am in the process of writing up contracts and as I have never done this before I am wondering how many people just use a free template online or copy of someone else's vs. how many people have actually had a lawyer write it up and/or proofread it.

    Like I said I know what everyone is going to say I should but [reminder] this is my first year and I will probably only be doing 10-20 drives of family and friends.

    Thanks,
     
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Your first mistake in plowing,plowing for friends and family!
    Lot of copies of contacts are floating around here,you can use the search button and some will come up.
     
  3. Willman940

    Willman940 Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    I'm in the same boat, and same area, I'm just sitting down with customers and working things out, whether it ends up on paper or not is not a concern at this point in time, but since your serving a more upscale clientle, I'd have something on paper.

    will
     
  4. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    Famous last words. :cry:
     
  5. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    ALWAYS GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING!!!!

    And on a side note Will, why would you just have the "upscale" people sign a contract?...... Low income, millionaires doesn't matter, people sue for nothing now a days..... get it in writing and cover your a$$...... It cost me $200 to have my contract drawn up from my lawyer.....

    Friends and Family? Its all fine till someone slips, feels "wronged" and sues you... don't think it won't happen...... Money changes people.....

    Get a GL insurance policy and a contract for every customer.....
     
  6. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,552

    I explain what I'm going to do, tell them the cost, ask if they have questions, and shake there hand. give them my PH# and say call if you have any questions or concerns. done deal.
     
  7. Cranky

    Cranky Junior Member
    from Calgary
    Messages: 10

    I've always been sketchy doing business with family members. Sometimes, they make the absolutely worst customers ever.

    Snow plowing, or otherwise. LOL.
     
  8. plowatnight

    plowatnight Senior Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 305

    starting out

    I like the miester's philosophy, I avoid contracts with single family housing because there is not enough profit per account to put my neck on the line with any promise. If it snows, I'll come and plow it out of the way in a reasonable amount of time and this what it will cost you. This has worked perfectly for the last 20 plus years and i'm too old a dog to change now. Secondly, I've been told ..... If you can't screw your friends and family, Who can you screw.
     
  9. Willman940

    Willman940 Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    Well, I didn't't mean to start trouble. I like alot the later posts already do business with alot of these people, they know where I leave as it is't far, and if they have a problem I expect to see them on my door step. We work it out and move on. I see all points and maybe it is time that I draw up something on paper. I say that for the upscale customer not because of my fear of getting sued its so you have something to cover your ass with. They have a problem, they signed the contract, if its in the contract then I/you better fix it. You say tomato, I say tomAto, but if I get caught saying tomAto....

    I think it was already said but, I do have all summer to reconsider.

    P.S. I apologize for the spelling and grammer, its very late.
     
  10. plowatnight

    plowatnight Senior Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 305

    res contracts

    Again I say, You know these people, they know you. you're gonna do the best you can and it's either gonna suffice or not. If they're satisfied, they'll pay. If they're not satisfied, you either did a crappy job or they're unreasonable. both of these issues are fixable IMO. You know what you gotta do. Welcome to snow plowing, misery loves company. And as I've said before, Experience is a wonderful teacher, go ahead and give it a try.
     
  11. PrimoSR

    PrimoSR Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    Where are you in the west metro?
     
  12. PrimoSR

    PrimoSR Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    Ok - I will ask it again since only two or three people have actually answered the original question.

    Should I use a contract that is one here for my first years or spend the money to have an attorney write one up for me? And if your opinion is to go the attorney route why?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
  13. PrimoSR

    PrimoSR Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    So are you saying I should have an attorney write it up for me vs. use one that is already on here?
     
  14. PrimoSR

    PrimoSR Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    Thanks - I like your answer!
     
  15. PrimoSR

    PrimoSR Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    Thanks for your input, do you have any on the actual question?
     
  16. PrimoSR

    PrimoSR Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    Thanks for the reply; so I deduct that your advice would be to use one of the free ones found on PS?
     
  17. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    You can go from a hand shake to a 10 page contract all depends what your plowing. A lot of bigger properties have their own contacts so you need to read them over.
     
  18. plowatnight

    plowatnight Senior Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 305

    Res Contracts

    Primo, one other thing I'll say, I'm a small operator (as in I operate all my equipment and some of my shoveling by myself) It takes me 12 to 20 hrs per snowfall total clean (Usually)! I probably average around $100 or so an hour most of it net cuz my stuff is paid for. Some guys on here operate in the hundreds to millions $$ with huge amounts of equipment and employees or subs. Whatever ! ! I'm stupidly happy with my little operation and my customers and this has worked for me, I love what I do. What's the point? Well, you have to judge for yourself, do those big money folks on Minnetonka need a contract? Maybe and a contract is a contract, The parameters needed should be dtermined by you based apon the protection you need for your business. Hope this helps!
     
  19. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157


    Yes, Have your attorney write one up... if you do get sued, he will be the one defending you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  20. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157


    I don't care how big or small you are, it only takes one slip and fall to ruin everything you've worked hard for...Even if its not your fault you can be brought to court and waste valuable time and $ defending yourself.....

    "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"...