I know that even though it’s March, a lot of you still have snow, and it’s probably starting to feel like Spring will never come.
However, you should view the snow as a blessing, because you’ll have a little extra time to get your records in order and manage the Spring contracts in your lawn care business.
Plan While It’s Snowing to Keep Your Business Growing
Springtime is a hectic time for any lawn care business.
At this point, you should be figuring out how to do the mail merge. You’re also probably frantically printing out contracts and sending them out.
Good luck getting them signed and back to you in time!
It’s a mad rush every single year – aren’t you tired of it? Even though you’ve carefully planned everything out, something will go wrong.
Suddenly you’re getting new user lists, factoring in new discounts, and who knows what else. Something will eventually cause your whole system to break down.
The reason things seem to fall apart every year is that things change without your knowledge. What’s the solution?
Avoid the yearly contracts completely!
Perpetual Contracts Keep Everything Running Smoothly
It may sound scary, but it’s actually very beneficial to avoid the yearly contracts!
Why? They’re a mess!
They take way too long and it takes too much effort to do them every year.
What you need to do is create perpetual contracts. In these contracts, say that you’ll continue servicing the lawn until either one side gives notice. By offering perpetual contracts to your customers, it avoids the whole Springtime rush of figuring out who your customers are going to be.
Think about it for a second.
How many times have you tried to chase a customer down to get a signature for a contract? You’ll give them a call, they’ll agree, and then they’ll do something like put it on the refrigerator so they won’t forget. Mother nature will play a cruel joke a few days later and drop a ton of snow, and suddenly, the customer’s forgot all about the contract again!
We implemented perpetual contracts a while ago and haven’t looked back.
Less Office Hours Means More Working Hours
As with any sort of ongoing contract, you’re likely to run into a problem customer. It’s inevitable that you’ll have a customer that claims they didn’t sign up for it, or they switched lawn maintenance companies.
But here’s the deal – these customers are few and far between. On average, 95 to 98% of your customers are going to be fine with you continuing to do your work without bothering them.
And for those couple of customers that you end up cutting and not getting paid for – who cares? The few headaches you run into with perpetual contracts versus the nearly uncountable headaches you run into with yearly contracts easily make the switch worth it.
You’ll save so much time not bothering with yearly contracts and all their Excel spreadsheets that you’ll have time to work on more lawns. More time equals more business, and more business equals more money.
It’s a win/win situation all around.
Always Notify Customers of Changes
The one thing that you should always do with a perpetual contract is notify the customer of any price changes. Usually, a 30 to 60 day window is recommended.
Since you’ve already done all the job costing from the previous year, you’ll know exactly which customers you’ll need to raise the price on. At that point, you can just send a notification letter and not worry about getting a signature on it.
As for the rest of your customers, you can keep on doing what you do uninterrupted.