Chances are good you didn’t get into the landscape industry because you love paperwork. Nope! You enjoy working outdoors, creating beautiful landscape designs, watching plants flourish and nurturing their growth, and developing attractive, useful landscaped areas that add value to clients’ properties. Negotiating contracts and filling out forms just isn’t where you want to be spending your time.
That’s why it’s so important to reduce the amount of time and effort put into contract negotiating, writing, and follow-up and more time into what you love to do best – working with the land. The best way to do that is to create automatically renewing contacts with your loyal clients. You’ve built trust with them; they want you back, so honor them with a renewing promise to be there for them. That means any time spent on the this end of the sales process can be spent developing NEW clients, not doing busy and unnecessary paper work with existing ones.
If pushing papers aggravates you, here are six good reasons why you should consider automatically renewing client contracts:
- They’re the gift that keeps on giving. Once you’ve successfully negotiated a contract, that means both you and your client find it acceptable. So why not put it in place and leave it there? Every year you both receive value from the renewing contract. You know its value for the coming year, which will help you with forecasting and budgeting, and your clients don’t have to try to remember to get a hold of you every year to negotiate and sign a new contract.
- Both parties are automatically assured of what’s going to happen in the spring. Your clients can relax, knowing you’ll automatically start up service again next year when the time is right and you avoid the stress of having to start all over again each season with all that paper. The contracts are already in place when it is time to reset the season to start a new year of landscape care practices.
- You can have confidence in revenue forecasting and what your income base will be. Each contract has a revenue value and an input value (the time it takes to service that contract) so you know how much time you need to spend on each property each week or month for the duration of your yearly seasonal cycle. If you have X number of reoccurring contracts, that gives you the total number of man-hours you need to provide so you can create an input map and determine what the resource gap is – the difference between the number of hours of labor required and the number of workers you have to provide them. You’ll also know what you sold versus what you need to sell to meet obligations and make a profit for the year.
- You can rest and recuperate during your off-season instead of worrying about contracts. This benefit pretty much sells itself. Who wouldn’t like some downtime in the breaks between your peak work times?
- Your business becomes less vulnerable to the competition and less susceptible to having clients picked off by the “other guys”. With contracts automatically in place each year, there’s less incentive for clients to jump ship. If competitors come knocking at clients’ doors, sorry, they’ve already got a landscaping contractor, thank you very much.
- Without automatically renewing contracts, you run the risk of losing your best clients every year. They’re your best clients for a good reason – they pay on time, have lots of work for you, and aren’t a pain to work with. You already know that and chances are the competition probably does, too. Why run the risk of potential loss when you could have these sweet relationships automatically renew each year? Good for you AND good for them. What’s not to love about a Win/Win arrangement?
So stop the repeated craziness of having to sign brand-new contracts each year and pledge to start implementing automatically renewing contracts instead. You and your clients will be glad you did!