Hey guys, new guy on the block, first full year in biz…been picking up storefront accounts but got a call today from one telling me there old window guy showed back up again and won’t need me. I did a contract with them but had a escape clause in it. Should I take that escape clause out? Put them on a 6mth contract they can’t break?

I don’t usually bother with contracts. With storefronts you might lose them but then 3 months later they’ll call you back when their old window guy stops showing again and oops I raised my prices.

If I get turned away with the “Check in with us next time.” I let them know that I reserve spots for storefronts in my daily calendar (just like a restaurant). If I can’t keep them on a schedule, I’ll have to fill that spot with another account and I may or may not have time to do a one off clean. If you’re every 2 weeks, we can change it to every 4 weeks if it helps the accounts. It just needs to be scheduled.

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Right, I get that…I’ve had storefronts since May 2015…reason I’m asking this is because I just did a contract for a biweekly account, said his guy hasn’t shown up in 2mths…so we did the contract and the next da he calls me, telling me the old company showed up??? The other company does a really half ass job, maybe he’s just blowing smoke up my butt because he owns a cleaner and is just to cheap

Thinking if I can put a no escape clause for a 6mth term on the contract would help me to retain them?

What I really want to do is make it so they would have to buy out the remaining contract in order to break it?

For store fronts (mom&pop)…


Its not going to happen 99% of mom&pop shop would never sign a contract with a clause like that in there.

There are many things to think about. Is this for $10-20 jobs? If so it isn’t worth the headache. Between people being turned off by paperwork, other cleaners not using contracts, reaching the right person who can execute a business contract, etc.

Also keep in mind if you setup a contract to clean windows every two weeks you are bound to do that. It isn’t a one way street where they have to keep using you. If something happens and you can’t clean then you breach the contract and they can seek damages. What if they turn into the worst client imaginable? You are stuck with them!

If you are dealing with a big chain then they might require a contract. But in my opinion it is not worth signing contracts for storefront/residential work.

I never do contracts. Your going to lose some an them you will replace them

It’s a constant ying an yang with storefronts

Pick 2 up lose 1. Lose 2 pick 1 up

i had retail business for 22 years and would never have signed a contract.
for larger property managers etc thats different.
for smaller shops or agreements you could write a “contract” that is cancellable BUT any work done before the cancellation MUST BE PAID.
trying to force someone to stay you is only going to result in bad things happening.

Instead of an escape clause, how about offering a discount if they pay quarterly or biyearly or yearly? It’ll be one way to keep your AR down AND the customer will feel like they’re in a contract.

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Unless your willing to take legal action all the way - i wouldn’t bother with any contract.

Complete waste of time, concentrate on getting more quality custom.

Ok thanks brothers!! Great advice, so what about for residential? Right now along with the work I’m doing I’m also booking residential for May, June etc… Should I do a contract to lock them in?

Nah, just offer to give them reduced price servicing if they book 2 or more cleans per year.

Keep the first clean / 1st of the year full price and then reduce based on regularity - dont reduce your 1st clean, unless you are prepared to take the hit when they don’t come back, cos they lied to you - yes it happens… shock-horror

Contracts means nothing unless your willing to play hardball - and thats not a good look.

Personally I work on a gentleman’s agreement and a handshake. If they decide to go against what they agreed, then they lose the agreement.


Taking legal action against clients can be rough on a company’s image, even if the company has solid grounds for the grievance. Eating the loss and moving on is just part of the company’s overhead.

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On the commercial I either do a contract with a 30 day cancelation notice or I give a discounted price for a longer temmrm contract. I don’t do commercial without a contract. I like Jareds idea of offering a discount for paying up front quarterly. That way they are locked in for the quarter! You’ve already been paid and with a contract that states no refund for cancelation go ahead and cancel as I have already been paid.

As for residential absolutely try to get contracts. I have offered one year quarterly contracts for discounted rates with great success and quarterly contracts with a 30 notice of cancelation.

Forget the discount that is the way it should be for smaller paying jobs. Especially when you have to chase someone down for 20 bucks. Gets to be freaking ridiculous.

Just pay me for the year an be done with it , or at least half the year 120 bucks I’ll leave a bill that says paid. 1 x a month. Done !!!

I’m going to start suggesting that for a few that I have to chase.

Good idea. I ain’t giving a discount though . I’m fine with getting paid once a month just be there to pay me

When you get into the higher paying jobs. Out here no way there going to pay up front

Contracts are only really worth it when you are talking lots of money an time taken on a customer especially if you have to hire equipment and access vehicles etc.

When you pay out of your pocket to gets job done then you need that backup of a contract, so you can play hardball to get the money that is owed.

Big jobs, yes

Small jobs, not worth it.

Right, just doing small jobs to keep busy and plan to drop the route work when resi takes off[quote=“TurnerWindows2016, post:1, topic:36730, full:true”]
Hey guys, new guy on the block, first full year in biz…been picking up storefront accounts but got a call today from one telling me there old window guy showed back up again and won’t need me. I did a contract with them but had a escape clause in it. Should I take that escape clause out? Put them on a 6mth contract they can’t break?

I don’t do route work anymlre, but when I did contracts were a way to protect my time. It saved me from showing up to jobs and then saying we don’t need it this time or showing up and them saying we found someone cheaper. When someone has to sign a contract they tend to not be as flaky. It also weeded out those people who where not serious about being commited, again to protect my time. Before I used contracts I had to deal with a lot of flakes. After I started using them dealing with flakiness was rare. They worked well for me. I understand the feeling that it is more of a hassle. But it didn’t take much extra effort to have them sign a piece of paper one time and it definitely made things more stable and reliable. Just my experience.