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Cimarron Landscape
08-13-2005, 10:00 PM
Hey,
Just got a call for my first commercial mowing account. Unless I totally blow the bid, I've landed the job. It's a semi run-down bank on a 1/2 acre of turf.

I will be:
Mowing
Trimming
Edging (not much, 400 linear feet total. 5 minutes max.)
Blowing. (Quite a bit considering the parking lot.)
Clipping 140 linear feet of hedge, once/month.

I am going to offer weed control in the parking lot, applied 1/month max, or when needed.
There are 16 crepe myrtles and I'm going to offer to clip them late winter. I'm thinking I might do this as a separate charge, not sure.

It will be mowed twice/month.

I'm thinking somewhere in the vicinity of $200/month with a year contract, including all above mentioned except the crepe myrtles.

Is this reasonable or am I way out of line?
For the same size yard on residential I would charge $100/ month, but after considering the blowing, trash pick up, etc. $200 seems reasonable.

Please give me your opinion. I hafta call him this night, so help!! :rolleyes:
~Brian

qualitylandscaping
08-14-2005, 01:33 AM
I don't know for sure how big that place is but my lowest priced commercial account is $298.50 + tax per month.. Thats a mowing only account (gas station) takes 15-20mins a week to do..

I would say anything involving hedge trimming and your price is way to low

GarPA
08-14-2005, 04:51 AM
Even excluding the pruning, I think your monthly fee is too low. Perhaps some other guys from Texas can give you what they would charge since they're more in tune with your market down there

Keep in mind that big parking lots can be time consuming and backpack blowers like to drink gas at a pretty good clip

yrdandgardenhandyman
08-14-2005, 04:56 AM
Hey,
Just got a call for my first commercial mowing account. Unless I totally blow the bid, I've landed the job. It's a semi run-down bank on a 1/2 acre of turf.

I am going to offer weed control in the parking lot, applied 1/month max, or when needed.



Can a 16 year old even get a pesticide applicators license?

TURFLORD
08-14-2005, 08:41 AM
Commercial accounts suck. Banks, condos, and gas stations are the cheapest most unreliable customers. The only reason your getting this job is because you don't charge enough or your dad is the property manager. Commercials have to be done first thing in the morning (7 AM) so you don't have to deal with people and their cars. They'll drop you as soon as they find someone cheaper. Have fun picking up the garbage.

SodKing
08-14-2005, 08:44 AM
Can a 16 year old even get a pesticide applicators license?

I was going to ask that as well...

Precision
08-14-2005, 08:59 AM
my standard rate is $100 per (man) hour for commercial work.

I would bill out the crepes as an add on per occurrance.

In peak season
You are looking at 45 minutes (using my equipment) to cut edge and line trim WEEKLY
You are looking at 30 minutes to blow Weekly
You are looking at 1 hour monthly plus disposal for trimming Monthly
30 minutes Monthly for spraying for weeds.

SO my guess is 6.5 hours monthly peak season

Half that in dormant season.

figure out your season and do the math.

YardPro
08-14-2005, 09:27 AM
Commercial accounts suck. Banks, condos, and gas stations are the cheapest most unreliable customers. The only reason your getting this job is because you don't charge enough or your dad is the property manager. Commercials have to be done first thing in the morning (7 AM) so you don't have to deal with people and their cars. They'll drop you as soon as they find someone cheaper. Have fun picking up the garbage.


not true......

we have awesome comercials.... one we have had for approx 25 years....

most other commercials we hold onto for long periods...

they are all good money accounts, with lots of no bid extras.....over 100K alone with one in particular..l.

TURFLORD
08-14-2005, 09:50 AM
not true......

we have awesome comercials.... one we have had for approx 25 years....

most other commercials we hold onto for long periods...

they are all good money accounts, with lots of no bid extras.....over 100K alone with one in particular..l.
The experiences you've had with commercials, I've had with residentials. I try to stick to homes. The commercials that want it to look good no matter what are GOOD accounts to have. I've had the odd bank, gas station, and office building. Nothing lasting very long. It's always money or politics. Maybe I've just had bad experiences.

Cimarron Landscape
08-14-2005, 09:58 AM
Turflord, this guy will be on a year contract.

So, with the hedge and all, we're lookin at $400?

I haven't looked at the specifics for a pesticide license. No, I don't have one. I suppose I'll leave that out until I can get one.
Most of the licenses I've looked at have no 'real' age limit. They do requre a DBA, which does have an 18 age limit. What were going to do is register it in my dad's name, and somehow try to include me in that. Then, I can use the DBA for licenses.
and no, DBAs are NOT required in Texas to be in business.

Thanks for the help guys. It was so late last night I told him I'd call him back monday with the bid.
~Brian

LwnmwrMan22
08-14-2005, 10:11 AM
Why do you have to blow off the entire parking lot??

If you're halfway careful you shouldn't have to blow hardly anything at all.

I've got 5 banks here in MN, all at $400 / month or more for what you're listing.

Runner
08-14-2005, 10:18 AM
Way too low.... I agree with the others...this is too low even withOUT all the shrubbery work. The first statements kind of summed it up. The phrase "a semi run-down bank". A little lesson.....this is a good PROSPECT because when trying to break into new work, this is a good market. You look for some of the places that need help. Many lco's just drive by the nicer places saying. "Oh! THAT would be a nice place to do!"
Well, bidding these types of places is usually a waste of time, because when they are already looking nice, many times, your proposal just goes into the round file, because they are completely happy with the service they have. In other words, it's not worth it for the business to switch. We get it all the time, and places tell me about this or that service and their bids.
On the other hand, when going after the places that need some help, unfortunately, many times, they're like that for a reason. This may or not have been the case. They may have just had a shabby service. In any case, you're quite a bit too low,..and you should just be up front with them right away, and let them know. If not, you're going to regret it down the road. $200 a month may sound like "big money" to you right now, but you're going to find that after you pay a few expenses and operation costs, for the time you're putting into this place, you won't be making squat. you might as well be working for someone else, because you'd be making more. I can see your optimism in numbers, however, don't "positive think" yourself out of money. For instance, 400 ft. of edging - 5 minutes, max.. Don't forget you have to unload, load, and most of all, blow it all out. Oh,...don't forget to have some extra blades to change. So, you see, be real with yourself in figuring thes times and expenses. Don't make the mistake that so many do and let the gross numbers fool you into thinking you're making that much. Good luck with it.

TURFLORD
08-14-2005, 11:31 AM
Cimmeron, I usually charge T and M. I don't do service contracts. On the rare occasions that I do, I use a simple formula. First, how much service does the customer want? just mowing? trim and prune 3X per year or just once? Weeding every month? Etc. Ask the customer to specify this then base your quote on that. I figure out the price I want for the services requested based on T and M, then divide by months of service.

shortgut
08-14-2005, 01:14 PM
only thing that I hate about commerical property owners is they try to ride the credit for at least 30 days not the 20 that I normaly give all my customers and then it usually involes a phone call to Jog their memory if it happens again this month going to impose a late fee

ed2hess
08-14-2005, 02:40 PM
The $200 per month in our market- a few miles north of you-would be the absolute max. you would get per month. You would have to do the crepe mrytles once a year. Only on upscale commericial can you get more for mowing than residential, and if TG bids you won't get any more.

topsites
08-14-2005, 02:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by yrdandgardenhandyman
Can a 16 year old even get a pesticide applicators license?


I was going to ask that as well...

Not to be rude but you ppls please lets stop dogging on folk about HOW they're running their biz that is their choice so let them do what they want and if it's illegal then let that be their problem, at least for this trivial a matter.

sorry dunno much about commercial contracts, i only have 2 comm accounts and both are verbal, don't believe in written contracts.
What I do want to say is 60-90 day payola delay is normal and 180-day delay is not unusual - THAT you need to be prepared for.

Cimarron Landscape
08-14-2005, 03:06 PM
How I came about the place is:
This bank recently sold. The guy that bought it is in San Antonio, and he saw my ad in the paper here. Basically, it's not run down due to him. :)

Runner, I really appreciate you're reply. I've done that to myself so many times you would think I'd learn. :rolleyes:
Each time I get a job, I price it higher than what I think is reasonable. On new things I'm not familiar with, I many times come in low after the fact.

I have not yet quoted any sort of price to him. No ballpark, nothing. So I'm still free to say what I want.

Based on what I'm hearing $400-$450 isn't too out of line.
~Brian

P.S. Thanks Topsites. I'm not going to do any applications Illigally. Thanks though!

Cimarron Landscape
08-14-2005, 03:11 PM
Didn't see you're reply ed2hess.
Thanks. I'm not really Bidding per se, the job is mine if I don't go overboard.
I'm the first and only guy he has contacted, unless he's lying, which I doubt.
so....$250? I'm lost... :rolleyes:
~Brian

yrdandgardenhandyman
08-14-2005, 03:36 PM
Not to be rude but you ppls please lets stop dogging on folk about HOW they're running their biz that is their choice so let them do what they want and if it's illegal then let that be their problem, at least for this trivial a matter.



So if someone asks a question we are only supposed to point out the positive and ignore the negative? I figured that this kid might not be aware of the licensing requirements. My post wasn't meant as a slam or an insult. I was trying to ask a question about whether a 16 yo needs to be licensed in Tx. I never even hinted at the "scr" word.

Cimarron Landscape
08-14-2005, 03:54 PM
Not so much of a 'kid' as one might think...
~Brian

Lake Claire Lawn Ranger
08-14-2005, 04:17 PM
Not so much of a 'kid' as one might think...
~Brian
Your profile says you're 16.
It's a relative thing. :D

Cimarron Landscape
08-14-2005, 04:48 PM
LOL!!
I gotta admit, ya made me laugh! :p
Kid usually refers to behavior as well as age. That's what I meant. I appreciate the humor. :D

ROTFL!
~Brian

Cimarron Landscape
08-14-2005, 05:36 PM
So what's the consensus?
I'm thinking I'll offer between $250 and $300. Whadya think?
~Brian

SodKing
08-14-2005, 05:37 PM
Not to be rude but you ppls please lets stop dogging on folk about HOW they're running their biz that is their choice so let them do what they want and if it's illegal then let that be their problem, at least for this trivial a matter.

sorry dunno much about commercial contracts, i only have 2 comm accounts and both are verbal, don't believe in written contracts.
What I do want to say is 60-90 day payola delay is normal and 180-day delay is not unusual - THAT you need to be prepared for.

Topsites, your posts are ridiculous. You adamantly flaunt your ignorance in this business by trying to help people blatantly ignore rules that were put into place to protect themselves, others, and the environment. The poster, being 16, may not realize that the proposed action, applying a control product for hire, is illegal and we are calling him to the carpet to point it out.

Misapplication of pesticides is NOT a trivial matter.

Lake Claire Lawn Ranger
08-14-2005, 05:43 PM
These guys may have just saved Brian a lot of grief and money.

stumper1620
08-14-2005, 06:41 PM
Not to be rude but you ppls please lets stop dogging on folk about HOW they're running their biz that is their choice so let them do what they want and if it's illegal then let that be their problem, at least for this trivial a matter.

sorry dunno much about commercial contracts, i only have 2 comm accounts and both are verbal, don't believe in written contracts.
What I do want to say is 60-90 day payola delay is normal and 180-day delay is not unusual - THAT you need to be prepared for.
I have a comercial that ALWAYS payed slow, ( the local paper I advertise in)
I didn't pay my ad bill, when A/R called me to get a card # to charge to, i asked them if account payable had a E-mail address, they said yes & gave it to me along with a person to send attn. of, ever since I started E-Mailing the bill I have a check in hand within 2 days. payup payup payup :D :D :D :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Lake Claire Lawn Ranger
08-14-2005, 06:59 PM
BRILLIANT! :drinkup:

Cimarron Landscape
08-14-2005, 09:30 PM
Ok, back to the original question...
Right now I'm thinking I'll offer him $270/month, for 2 mows a month. No weed control, no crepe myrtles. This DOES include the hedge clipping.

I base this on Ed2hess's reply on the local market, and previous opinions on being low. Opinions?
once again, thanks.
~Brian

Lake Claire Lawn Ranger
08-14-2005, 09:35 PM
It's none of my business but why are you dropping the crepe myrtles? The customer still needs that done at the proper time.

Cimarron Landscape
08-14-2005, 09:44 PM
The original $200 did not inclue the Crepes. Also, the customer never mentioned the crepes. It's just a sales point. I'll mention it when I give the bid, and that I'll do them when they need it for an extra $XXX.XX. I'm not exactly dropping them.

~Brian

Lake Claire Lawn Ranger
08-14-2005, 09:48 PM
My bad. Needed to go back and read the first post. :blush:

Cimarron Landscape
08-15-2005, 08:45 AM
I'm going to call him today. I'm still worried he wil flip out if I offer him $250 a month. I also remembered that there are a few more feet of hedge than originally posted. Probably another 40 ft. at most.
I'm thinking $100 a mow, done bi-monthly, and $50 for the hedges, done montly

Ed2hess- Do those lawns you spoke of have hedges to clip? What's the standard here for hedge clipping?
~Brian

LwnmwrMan22
08-15-2005, 09:04 AM
I'm going to call him today. I'm still worried he wil flip out if I offer him $250 a month. I also remembered that there are a few more feet of hedge than originally posted. Probably another 40 ft. at most.
I'm thinking $100 a mow, done bi-monthly, and $50 for the hedges, done montly

Ed2hess- Do those lawns you spoke of have hedges to clip? What's the standard here for hedge clipping?
~Brian


So.... you're going to clip 200' (approx) of hedges for $50?

Are you cleaning up the clippings too? Or just leaving the clippings behind?

Cimarron Landscape
08-15-2005, 09:13 AM
aha!, see this is why I'm asking. I forgot about that small detail :blush: :rolleyes:

OK, $300/month.
~Brian

daveintoledo
08-15-2005, 09:35 AM
id charge 150.00 for that alone????

Runner
08-15-2005, 10:24 AM
I was just going to say....40 more feet of hedges to trim? 50 bucks? That 40 more feet is worth the 50 bucks, alone!

Cimarron Landscape
08-15-2005, 11:19 AM
I'm going to call him around noon I think. Currently I'll offer him $325. There is a total of around 150 linear feet of hedges, not 200. But still, a substantial amount.
~Brian

Dave_B-The_Grass_Guy
08-15-2005, 12:09 PM
Yeah, $400.00 sounds about right, but do yourself a favor, call a pest control person and ask them if they would be willing to sub out under you, it would cover your a$$ in the event of misaplication or something. I would hate to hear of a guy being sued over fire ant control because some little kid decided to eat the "yellow candy" lying on the ground or something.

I sub out my irrigation installs. I don't have any liscensing either, just a DBA. I either get them to kick me back a finder's fee, or just pay 'em out of my own pocket after.