|Start A Lawn Care Business > Starting a Lawn Care Business > Protecting Customer Lists with Confidentiality Agreements|
Free Tips on how to operate your own Lawn Care / Landscaping Business.
This week's tip is how a confidentiality agreement
can help protect your
lawn care customer list and annual customer contracts.
More information on confidentiality
agreements and protecting your lawn care business can be found
within the business program available through StartALawnCareBusiness.com.
If a new employee has ideas of working in your company for only a few months, the presentation of a Confidentiality Agreement at the initial hiring process will let it be known this activity will not be tolerated.
Require lawn care employees to understand that all paperwork, lawn care software, customer lists, pricing lists, and other documents are the property of the company. The employee is not to disclose customer information, and lawn care customer estimating methodology to anyone outside the company.
Within the Confidentiality Agreement disclose which information you consider a "trade secret" and specify remedies you will seek if trade secrets are disclosed to outside parties.
Upon termination of an employee, conduct an exit interview. Reaffirm the acknowledgement of the Confidentiality Agreement. Also, require the employee to submit all company property (paperwork, documents, software, etc) back to the company.
If the terminated employee gains employment with a competing firm, contact the business owner to make him aware of the Confidentiality Agreement signed by that firms new employee.
Maintain a close relationship with your
customers. Lawn Care Customers who look upon their LCO with the viewpoint
"service relationship" will be reluctant to hire that firm's former employee.
Treat your employees fairly, pay them well, and attempt to employee them year-round. An employee who looks upon you with respect will think twice before attempting to steal away your customers in an underhanded manner.
While Confidentiality Agreements do help deter terminated employees from luring away your lawn care customers, we have found that the best protection of your customer lists comes in the form of customer management and fair employee treatment.
Keep in close contact with your customers even if your crews do all the work. Let them know they can call you, the business owner, with any questions or concerns. If a former employee is offering to do yards for a $5.00 reduction in price, your good customers will alert you to their antics.
Keep close contact with your employees too. Give them a respectful and rewarding environment in which to work. Let them know how hard you, as business owner, works. Them seeing you working equally as hard as they do cutting lawns may be a deterrent to them wanting to steal your customers.