Dana Sparks reports:
"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...Talk about money. Your contract should state how much the customer will be paying per servicing and what will happen if they fail to pay...Make a provision for what happens if you fail to fulfill your end of the contract...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...Highlight issues that may be ambiguous. The contract should state which party is responsible for repairing such items as irrigation systems and fencing should those be damaged. Agreement should be reached regarding the use of chemicals on the lawn and who is responsible for paying for and applying them...A contract is the simplest way to address issues before they become misunderstandings. Spell everything out in plain English and take your time to go over the contract with your customers before either of you sign[s] the agreement."
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