View Full Version : Lost bids.......Depressed

SJR Lawncare
03-09-2001, 02:05 PM
I just found out that I lost 2 bids for 2 seperate community entrances & their common areas. On the 1st one, there were 2 other companies bidding also. My bid was $6640 for the entire thing Spring clean-up & mulch,Fert program,monthly maintenance, & mowing..etc. One other company bid $6200, The other co. way underbid us both with $4900. I couldnt believe it. So I told the community assoc. president, " cheaper doesn't mean better."Then said "thanks & good bye." Hopefully he will also realize this fact. The other lost bid was a smaller place that, when I drove by this morning was already mulched. So I lost that one without even knowing it. Anyway this sucks because I was really hoping to get these, or at least one of them. I guess I'll just keep on trying to get more to take their place. Does this happen to you guys too? How do you deal with it, without going insane??

SORRY SO LONG!!!!!!!!! SJR Lawncare

03-09-2001, 02:20 PM
I know the feeling. I lost a big account that I purchased new equipment for and the Township Trustee had told me it was mine and to go ahead and get the equipment. I am currently talking to my attorney about that one. Today, I just talked to another guy that I bid on his properties and I missed both of them by the exact same amount. It is giving a better idea of where my competition is but they did bid on his residence of 7 acres with a lot of trees and 850 feet of wrought iron fence to trim around. They bid $100 per mow and trim. I told him there is no way I could compete with such a low ball bid. I too am trying to get new clients and I am trying to sell them on quality and great customer service. Good Luck, I am in the same boat.


03-09-2001, 02:27 PM
sjr, don't worry about losing 2 bids, you can make it up, from the sounds of it the 1st bid is way to lowand the guy will probablt be out of business soon. also the president sounds like a cheap a$$ and doesn't care about quality he just cares about how fat his back pocket is.

03-09-2001, 02:33 PM
I remember the first time that I had the opportunity to bid on a commercial account, I couldnt sleep. They had been doing it In-House and I knew that I was going to be able to take the contract- afterall I was the only one bidding it!! I thought for sure that when they found out that I could save them money by outsourcing it to me, that I had a sure fire win.

Well as it turned out, they kept the maintenace In-House and I didnt get that bid. They even had their own equipment, and I knew that I could have saved them on the maintenace and labor by using our services.

Basically this is a time to reflect. You know that you are within a few hundred dollars of the competition, and this is fine. I would not change your pricing structure unless it turns out that you are constantly thousands of dollars above the rest.

If it truely bothers you, then you can re-asses your overhead, and see what you can change to bring it down some to get you into the same ballpark as the others. Just remember that clients and prospects are usually looking for the mid range when looking at pricing. They will throw out the highest and the lowest and look at whats left to make a decision.

The other thing you could consider would be to put a pamphlet together with your prices on it and this way it could save you some ground work, yet keep your name from the circular file by just passing out business cards. This way if they are interested they will call you!! This might help you spinning your wheels and placing bids when they arent doing anything more than price shopping. This will also give you the chance to feel them out over the phone as to their needs and your availability as a LCO.

We have all been there. For the new guys who have not had their turn yet, its down the road. It happens to us all and will continue to happen. The best advice I can give for you is to stand proud on your bid, and continue producing great results. If you have to - line up residential accounts for references so that you will have piece of mind to offer the next prospect.

Good Luck this season!

03-09-2001, 02:37 PM
i have a exmark lazer z 52" 23hp, and i thinking about double blading. i need some info for this unit if any of you guys have tried it for the exmark.and what combinations if you don't mind. thanks

Fantasy Lawns
03-09-2001, 03:15 PM
It's easy for a low ball bid in the cooler months ....wait till it starts to get hot & needs it weekly ....then when the place lots like junk ....give the guy a follow up call ;->

cutting edge
03-09-2001, 03:16 PM
This is the philosophy that I have adopted: God knows what I need and what I don't need.

Yesterday I learned that the high school that I went to was accepting bids for lawn maintenance, but that the deadline was today. I did everything I could (in what little time I had) and came up with a bid. The school board is going to decide Tuesday night on a bid. Normally I would be a nervous wreck waiting on the outcome, but God has been doing some great things in my life lately, and somehow I'm just not as anxious. By the way while working on this bid I got a call from a business that I had given a pruning bid to. They not only accepted my bid on the pruning but they want me to mow also. All I can tell you is to put your faith into God and everything will work out according to his plan.


[Edited by cutting edge on 03-09-2001 at 09:14 PM]

SJR Lawncare
03-09-2001, 03:50 PM
Thanks for the support guys. I guess you cant win them all,I just hope I will continue to have jobs to bid on and Derrick, you are right, it helps to have a little faith in God. Good luck to all.


03-09-2001, 04:30 PM
Knowing is better than not knowing! I.ve put in 2 bids that amount to $1300.00 a month and can.t even get a staight answer from either of them. I called and left a message for one of them and the guy never called me back, I go by the place and it just looks worse than it did when I bid on it a month ago. I would hate to add more on and then out of the blue they say hey Homer, when can you start? I don't want to overload myself, at least you guys can move on with your life.........this is so depressing!


I bid on one yesterday and bid it for a straight dollar a minute........$278.00 per cut but I included in my bid letter that there were plenty of grass cutters out there and we try to separate ourselves from the grass cutters by doing top quality work. They sent me an invitation to bid, I didn.t ask them, we.ll see how that one goes. I have to wait until the 30th for them to open it! Long wait but hey, I just might get it and if I do it will be a nice one!

Oh ya, God will direct your paths if you let him. Garth said it best when he sang unanswered prayers. Left alone we would get ourselves in the biggest mess!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[Edited by HOMER on 03-09-2001 at 09:32 PM]

03-09-2001, 04:39 PM
This is one of the reasons I no longer bid commercial properties. These guys know how despirate some lawn service companies can get and play them for chumps. I've seen bids lost for less than $100 and the company that lost was doing the property for the last 3 years! The commercial property owners/managers are nothing but whores.

03-09-2001, 04:41 PM
WOW Mowerman..........you seem a little bitter! :D

03-09-2001, 04:52 PM
I agree completely with mowerman, that is exactly what 95% of them are. When you are dealing with those people I've found you usually have to fight to get your money also.
There are some very good property managers out there , but they are few and far between.

03-09-2001, 05:33 PM
If I had a dollar for every commercial bid I have sent in, and did not recieve I would be rich! A lot are price shoppers only...Commercial can be a pain some time...but heck what else is there to do in the winter..but bids? Goos luck guys! eggy

03-09-2001, 05:37 PM
This happens every year for me.
But that is what business is all about
I personally think if you get every job
you bid on, you are to low in price and
not selling quality,
It hurts when you put time and effort in a
bid and know you can do it and do it right, and
then you don't get it. The one for me this year was
a 20 acre apartment complex (28K account) The problems
was I already do one complex for them but did not get
the bid for another....go figure

03-09-2001, 05:50 PM
do not double,wait a minute.Well you live far enough away Iguess. Double with that machine and youll love it.

03-09-2001, 08:11 PM
Being new to this business and falling on myself. I have come to this one conclusion. Most business where I live are mainly concerned about price then quality. I have submitted about 20 bids thus far and only one has come back with a green light. I like to follow up with my bids a few days latter and People don't return calls nor do they respond to thier voice mail. I'm frustrated but, will press on. I do feel good about submitting the bids and selling my services. I think maybe the slow down in the econemy might have something to do with it, or maybe I'm a little high. I was able to look a a contract from one place and it included fert, mulch, 5 acres of turf for 50.00 per week. I have to charge more than that or I'm taking a loss.

03-09-2001, 10:20 PM
$ 50.00! Maybe thats why I have not won any bids, my price wouldnt be anywhere in the ball park for that.

03-09-2001, 10:30 PM
man do you guys bid this stuff low-
i just bid a 50 unit townhouse complex (cut the grass / clean the leaves / clean in spring / clean the snow on driveways and 2 roads / and 10 fert applications) 120,000 plus tax (10k a month) and i never got a call back from it. i think that the guy i was talking to screwed me over. so ya know what? next year i will just go back to that one, and numerous others. it dont hurt me any. just go back harder and stronger next year.

03-09-2001, 11:27 PM
SJR, don't feel lonely. I lost a $25,000 bid in October after I was told I had it and then I lost a $19,000 bid in Nov. Oh well, wasn't meant to be.

03-10-2001, 12:12 AM
I have lost a lot this year, its amazing how cheap people are working.. One of the recent jobs i bid on was for $54,000 everyone was from like $50,000 to $65,000 someone came in at $30,000 a year, it never ceases to amaze me..

EarthTech Landscapes
03-10-2001, 02:37 AM
Don't worry about losing the bids. you can always find more work out there. i have lost plenty of bids. Although I really don't do to much maintence any more and only have one crew doing that. i pretty much specialize in new yards and the landscaping end of things now.

03-10-2001, 03:12 AM
It's all part of doing business! If it was easy, everyone would be doing it! Alot of people can do the work they just cannot run the business end. Getting all to hyped up about losing a bid is just a waste of good energy. You get some you lose some.

It stinks to lose a customer that you have been doing for years over just a few hundred dollars, but do you go to another dealer to buy equipment or supplies when you can save a few hundred dollars. Sure you do, if you need to watch your expenses or money is tight or your looking to cut your overhead. Would you go with a $25,000 bid to build a barn if another company gave you a bid of $15,000 for exactly the same thing.

Business is business and the customer's business is just like ours. They are looking for the best deal for THEM not us, while we are looking for the best deal for US not them. When it comes together, you have a deal, for that season. Next season it all starts over again!

Paradise Yard Service
03-10-2001, 04:17 AM
Winning a bid never made my day, Losing a bid never broke my day. Nuf said.


03-10-2001, 09:00 AM
this is my second year doing commerical..i bid one dollar a minute plus materials...i cant seem to get these commerical accounts to leave me alone...i gave away all my reidential accounts.. i quess ishould feel lucky all the other guys have so much equipment to pay for .. but to each his own first year i had two commerical this year i have ten... more work than i can do.. so i quess ill sub some out to a low baller

03-10-2001, 10:27 PM
My own neighbourhood turned me down. Mowing price was about the same. He was half of my price on watering flower beds, but if he wants to stand and water flower beds for an hour and pay the water bill all for $30 so be it. The last issue i have is with fertilization, i was told to bid the whole park 10 acres where as the other guy only did the entranceway and thr front of the park maybe 2-2.5 acres. They told me my bid was way overpriced. I wander why?

I have yet to hear about another bid. $650 a cut last guy was around $575 this guy was hard to get a hold of, never trimmed a thing(they have thousands of feet of fenceline), and he also charged him for a cut that he did not perform. The pres. of the homeowners assoc. says i am way to high but another trustee says it never looked so good, after i cut it in the fall with all the leaves and 3-4 weeks of growth.

if i get this bid i would need to buy a ztr, it would be nice to know more than a week in advance

oh well

03-11-2001, 08:46 PM
I think I'm going to give up on apt. complexes...Can't seem to get bids anywhere close...I've bid on 4 complexes totalling close to $200,000..These have been very large complexes...I think some of these larger companies actually bid these complexes figuring on a loss..I think alot of them are just filling in space because they have to keep several employees busy yearround...So even if they lose a little or just break even, it's o.k. with them..I also want to keep my employees busy yearround, but I want to make money doing it..I've had more success with smaller commercial accounts...I picked up Long John Silver's a couple of weeks ago...This is going to be a good contract...I've just come to a conclusion that condos and apt. complexes are just too much hassle...Instead of trying to please one customer, you're dealing with hundreds....Derrick

03-11-2001, 09:45 PM
I bid a commercial property 2yrs ago...this was my first and only commercial account. When I bid it I beat the previous lawncare company by several thousand $$ He has several employees and several trucks trailers etc. I went and bought all new equipment just for this job and with the income from this account ALONE I can pay for all my equipment in two months so this leaves 8 months pure profit even if I bought BRAND NEW equip. Every year...Now the previous lawncare guy thinks Im lowballing him but I feel that Im making a fair living @ around 30G's a year with one account and working 3 or 4 days a week 10 months a year. Is it bad business to bid these commercial accounts so low? I do quality work and Im there on the property 4 days a week which the property manager REALLY likes because if they have a need all they have to do is look for me on the property not a phone call and wait for the company to show up. It is a win win situation for everyone except the companies that have lotsa overhead which is everyone accept solo operators. Are the you guys losing alot of these commercial accounts to solo's? The only bad thing abot this setup that I have found is that I have all my eggs in one basket but from the sounds of it you can have several baskets and loose them all the same time!!!!!

This web site is the best!!!!

Mid Rivers
03-13-2001, 01:14 PM
I think I just lost a couple accounts. One of them I did last year. It took me at least 1-1/2 hours to mow, trim, blow.... I bid $55 on the job, some guy came in and bid $30, good luck to him (not really). Hope he doesn't fall in the water retention pond ;) OH well I figure when his stuff falls apart they will call me, I'll jack the price up a bit and we'll all be happy. With any luck I will have to much business by them and I can tell them to mow it themselves until next year.

03-13-2001, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by joshua
i have a exmark lazer z 52" 23hp, and i thinking about double blading. i need some info for this unit if any of you guys have tried it for the exmark.and what combinations if you don't mind. thanks

Joshua, been there done that, I have a new 2000 lazor Z 60" 26hp the double blades SUCK on leaves, your mower will blow them away from the deck before you can even get over them to mulch them up. I spoke with the rep of Xmark about it and he finished my story before I had a chance to finish, he knew about the problem. To much downflow, as far as reg-grass cutting I'm going to try them this season. The rep for Xmark said with there decks it would not make much differance. Good Luck...

Ron Helsel
RNH Property Service...

03-13-2001, 05:24 PM
Well add me to the long list of lost bidders!:mad:

My hospital bid didnt go through, got the message a little while ago. These people are so tight they squeak. A HOSPITAL NO LESS! They wound up giving it back to the guy who has done it the last 3 years, wonder why? The bids that he got were probably just folks like me trying to make a little profit so he could grow his micro-mini company a little bit. He had already stated that he wasnt too happy with the guys that had it because he never kept the beds up.............oh well............I would have! $885.00 a month for a HOSPITAL! reckon how long it takes a HOSPITAL to make $885.00????????????

NOT TOO LONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:rolleyes:

03-13-2001, 08:59 PM
i lost a small residential today, after it was already signed by the husband and sent back for scheduling. So i called the wife back to confirm her cancellation and recieved the typical BS were going to go with the guys that cut a couple in the neighborhood already. Thinking your never home when i cut, u dont know what i cut, and u cant tell me the truth of what made u switch, after 3 years of mowing. Then she said if it doesnt work out i will call u back, and i am thinking tough luck, your spot has been filled. And the customer fill her spot will be worth more than her, never fails.

LScom Addict
03-14-2001, 03:27 AM
I tried to get a property this spring because of location and was a cut throat I thought at $170. Guess I was wrong. The lucky bidder will get a measly $165 to cut it. For that price he can have it. I had damn near given it away at that price.

03-14-2001, 10:18 AM
Competition is so tough in my area that I have bid on stuff I know that I can't aford to do at the price I gave them, and guess what I STILL didn't get the job. Low ball is the name of the game where I live and it has just about put me outta business. Everybody keeps telling me 'hang in there'. The problem is to many part timers and to many ignorant people out there trying to get the job. You see these guys think 'hey thats $600 dollars a month' but what they fail to realize is that they have a $10,000 machine that has to pay for it self and those 1099 that they are going to get at the end of the year. And by the time they realize they lost their a$$ on the job and try to up there bid the next year, theres another idiot pricing it lower than that guy did the previous year. GIMMEE A BREAK!