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redoak77
10-11-2005, 12:44 AM
I have the opportunity to bid on Lawn Maintenance for a new dollar general store that is going up in our town. It is pretty much my job as long as Iím not way off on the bid. I determined it to be about $30.00 a cut. That allows me to make a nice profit and it is pretty much a commercial minimum. I was just wondering how this stacks up to similar accounts you guys have. I have enclosed a diagram w/ the grass areas highlighted. I figure it is similar to mowing a gas station. There will probably be some 21inch work involved.

The company also wants me to stop by two-three times a week to keep the parking lot picked up and the grass areas next to the road clean. This shouldnít be a problem because I drive by it every day and it seems like this would be a good way to make some extra money. I donít know how much to bid for this though so I could really use some input on this issue.

Thank you for any and all advice.

Varsity L&G
10-11-2005, 12:49 AM
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The company also wants me to stop by two-three times a week to keep the parking lot picked up and the grass areas next to the road clean. This shouldnít be a problem because I drive by it every day and it seems like this would be a good way to make some extra money. I donít know how much to bid for this though so I could really use some input on this issue.

Thank you for any and all advice.

I do not think I would stop by there 2 or 3 times a week for 30$. Seems like a large waste of time and resources your not going to get compensation for.

I would go by there once a week and mow for 30$. large amounts of trash would be Extra billed in 30 minute increments of 27.50$ per half hour.

topsites
10-11-2005, 12:51 AM
Well I have a 30-dollar minimum now I charge commercial lots the SAME money I charge residential BUT:
- I do NOT accept work or make deals with managers, supervisors or anyone except the Owner. Yes, I think a Dg could be franchised, thus I'd like to speak with the franchise owner and if that is NOT who got me into this in the first place, fuggedaboutit.
- For the grass, if 30 dollars covers it, then 30 dollars it is, I'd say 30 dollars covers 30 minutes of azz-busting work (you really got to hump it).
- For the lot pickups, 30 dollars as well.

Now:
I have 2 Tuffy's stores AND the owner's home is my account as well... One of the Tuffy's is a VERY small lot, takes maybe 10-15 minutes, the other one is larger and takes 30 minutes. Since the owner has 3 accounts with me, I do each Tuffy's for 20 bucks (plus it came around at a time when my minimum was 20) but I also get paid CASH right when I'm done, from the register (I write them a receipt in return).

So... Your choice, IF it's really on the way you might give them a cheaper than a $30 minimum rate (like if it takes 10-15 minutes, 30 is a bit outrageous but 20 wouldn't be THAT high) but I would NOT do the trash pickup / lot clearing for free.
I mean, it might only take 5-10 minutes of machine-time, but I find out quickly this 5-10 minutes turns into 15-20 FAST when you count the time it takes to pull in / out, load / unload, AND collect the money (well if there's customers in line you MIGHT have to wait).

Envy Lawn Service
10-11-2005, 12:58 AM
Yep, you are about to get hosed on that deal.

Trash is unreal at retail sites.
You'll have to clean up 3 times a week.
Then a forth time before and after you mow.
The grassy areas will be full of trash to be removed, then the post mow hard surface cleanup.

Better figure 5 man hours per week or negotiate other terms.

GrassBustersLawn
10-11-2005, 12:58 AM
Not to rain on your PARADE...BUT

1.) That looks like ALOT of grass for $30.

2.) You are not making "a nice profit" on a $30 job! If you think you are, you have not CORRECTLY calculated your expenses/overhead.

3.) You'd have to pay me a WHOLE HELLUVA LOT to even put a 21" on my trailer, and even MORE to actually use it!

4.) Make sure you get $30 each stop to pick up their trash.

5.) Never let the client know you "go by there daily". Make them think that you are going out of your way every time you service them!




Mike

o-so-n-so
10-11-2005, 01:08 AM
Ask for twice as much $$$ and work up a contract to include everything they ask for. Seems to be a lot of work/liability for 30.00 a cut.

JKOOPERS
10-11-2005, 01:20 AM
i guess $30 for mow wouldnt be to bad , just for mowing. trash, edging and weeds is all extra . it looks like there is only about 12,000 sq ft of grass.

Envy Lawn Service
10-11-2005, 01:36 AM
He would be responsible for keeping up with over 36,000 sq ft of turf, beds and asphalt all combined. Plus I'm betting the trimming and edging is worth more than the mowing on that site.

I'll stick to my guns on this one.

Wouldn't take too long just to run over it with the mower.
It's the rest of the job that would rip you a new one.

ADLAWNCUTTERS
10-11-2005, 04:48 AM
Charge them, if they want you to be the boy then they have to pay you. I would charge a min of 50.00 per time to pick up trash. If they say that is too much politely tell them if they want to save money pick up the trash themselves.I would charge a min of 75.00 to cut and trim each time. It might cost you 5.00 in gas just to drive and cut. My ztr wouldn't come off the trailer for 30.00 for a commercial place.

GarPA
10-11-2005, 05:02 AM
Not to rain on your parade, but even if there was NO trash, 30.00 is hardly a "nice profit". And as others said above, stopping there a few times a week will be nothing but a hassle and to include that in their 30.00 weekly charge is frankly ridicuous. We (and most in my area) wont drive a commercial mower off the trailer for less than 40.00. You could easily spend 1 manhour per week just to keep the trash picked up and disposed of

PMLAWN
10-11-2005, 06:19 AM
To cut that for $30 will be profitable----For DG.
All the trimming, curb hopping, 21" stuff, I see a lot of trees around in the plan. Even with out garbage you will be there almost an hour.
Big loss!

("Well I have a 30-dollar minimum now I charge commercial lots the SAME money I charge residential BUT:
- I do NOT accept work or make deals with managers, supervisors or anyone except the Owner. Yes, I think a Dg could be franchised, thus I'd like to speak with the franchise owner and if that is NOT who got me into this in the first place, fuggedaboutit"-- by topsites)

You limit your work with a view like this. Yes you can get a few Mom and POP places but the larger places have owners that will never talk to a lawn company.
I do not believe I have ever talked to an "owner" of any of My commercial.
First a lot have home offices out of state and than no "owner" but a board.
Most are run thru a property management firm or facility's management firm and that is their job to enter contracts as an agent.
All business are in business to make money at that business and to waste time with stuff that does not make them money is a loss. They outsource building management to someone else and will not be involved
A lot of my single family homes that I do as rentals I don't even know the true owners name.
The first time a lawnboy says that commercial will always go with the lowest price is the sign that that lawnboy will never succeed in business of any kind including this one.
Learn what commercial properties want and need and what their managers want and you can sell to them. ( and if you think it is getting the grass cut you are wrong). The process of taking and reviewing bids is very costly so they will do it as little as possible and keep the right company around if they find them.

befnme
10-11-2005, 07:30 AM
$ 30.00 ??????? for all that work. no way jose. i dont mean to step on any toes but sounds like a lowballer to me.

LB1234
10-11-2005, 07:44 AM
I'd give a bid around 125 per week. Would include your mow, trim, blow once per week, edging every other week of the sidewalks/walkways/curbs, trash pickup twice per week (utilizing there dumpster or garbage cans). Basically it'll break down to 70 for the cut and another 55 for the trash pickup.

Lawn-Scapes
10-11-2005, 08:33 AM
I would probably bid that @ $50/cut... if I really NEEDED the work. If I didn't.. $60

Good luck........

Runner
10-11-2005, 08:46 AM
These last two posts are SO much closer to the truth than the others. I will GUARANTEE you that a sweeper coming in and buzzing that lot would be atLEAST $40 per visit. For the mowing, by the time you drive over there, mow it, trim it, and drive away for $30, what have you made? After taxes and expenses, about 10 bucks an hour. be honest with yourself and be realistic.

TLS
10-11-2005, 09:19 AM
This would be a job I'd steer clear of. Too much "gingerbread" for me.

In any event.... On a "good" day, your talking at least an hour of work. Looks like LOTS of string trimming/edging. Plus a LOT of blowing. Never underestimate blowing off.

Now add in the PITA factors:
Trash
Cars in lot
Cars pulled up to far to mow underneath
Traffic in lot
Traffic on road
Where to park your rig

So....If this were in my hometown, and I were to bid....I'd be quoting $90-100/visit to Mow/Trim/Blow

Also....I'm not a trash man. Suggest they get their $7/hr employees to clean the lot 3x's a week.

MBDiagMan
10-11-2005, 09:23 AM
I just thought that I would point out that the discussion going on in this thread could be EASILY construed as a violation of Anti Trust laws. An attorney familiar with Anti Trust laws could nail the butt of the persons bidding on this contract after discussing it here.

It would probably never happen from a discussion forum, especially since there are probably no two people here who would bid on the same contract. But, if two of you bid with the same pricing on Dollar stores even in different cities it could EASILY be construed as price fixing and prosecuted as a violation of Anti Trust laws.

I would never turn anyone in or anything like that and I don't care what you do, it's none of my business. I just want to make sure that everyone is aware of their actions.

I went through a seminar about Anti Trust laws and it was absolutely ridiculous the things that they can nail you on.

Best of luck,
Doc

TLS
10-11-2005, 09:25 AM
Price fixing this isn't.

If anything, we're helping the poster make a couple of bucks, not loose them.

newz7151
10-11-2005, 11:11 AM
Hey guys cut him some slack. At 16 years of age and having been doing this since he was 12, $30 probably sounds like a good bit of money to him. There probably won't be a contract unless the legal age is lower where he's from, so if the Dollar General doesn't like his work, should he get it, then it's easy for them to just find somebody else.

Just because it's a Dollar General doesn't mean you should charge the same kind of prices they do in their store... unless of course your quality of work is the same as the quality of some of the stuff you buy there.

TLS
10-11-2005, 11:14 AM
I had no idea the original poster was 16

Not that it matters, but it does explain for the $30 price.

However, a persons age should have NO bearing on prices charged.

LwnmwrMan22
10-11-2005, 11:26 AM
Hey guys cut him some slack. At 16 years of age and having been doing this since he was 12, $30 probably sounds like a good bit of money to him. There probably won't be a contract unless the legal age is lower where he's from, so if the Dollar General doesn't like his work, should he get it, then it's easy for them to just find somebody else.

Just because it's a Dollar General doesn't mean you should charge the same kind of prices they do in their store... unless of course your quality of work is the same as the quality of some of the stuff you buy there.


This is the problem with the LCO's. Personally, it would fall in my $300 / month range, without going back 2-3 times to pick up garbage. If that was the case it would have to be around $400 / month.

Here's another example of people thinking they're getting great money, but in fact they're 1/2 of what should be charged.

PMLAWN
10-11-2005, 11:29 AM
I just thought that I would point out that the discussion going on in this thread could be EASILY construed as a violation of Anti Trust laws. An attorney familiar with Anti Trust laws could nail the butt of the persons bidding on this contract after discussing it here.

It would probably never happen from a discussion forum, especially since there are probably no two people here who would bid on the same contract. But, if two of you bid with the same pricing on Dollar stores even in different cities it could EASILY be construed as price fixing and prosecuted as a violation of Anti Trust laws.

I would never turn anyone in or anything like that and I don't care what you do, it's none of my business. I just want to make sure that everyone is aware of their actions.

I went through a seminar about Anti Trust laws and it was absolutely ridiculous the things that they can nail you on.

Best of luck,
Doc
Any lawyer knows that if a guy is cutting grass for $30.00 that there is no future in trying to sue him:D
But you are right that it could be looked at that way.
As long as no one says "OK lets all do $40"

newz7151
10-11-2005, 12:06 PM
I had no idea the original poster was 16

Not that it matters, but it does explain for the $30 price.

However, a persons age should have NO bearing on prices charged.


Well, after going from his birthday, I guess he's actually 17.

I agree, a persons age should have NO bearing on prices charged, but it might be a factor in their actual business outlook, earnings expectations, true expenses and other issues involved in running a legitimate business. That $30 he bids will probably end up costing him $45 in expenses.

trying 2b organic
10-11-2005, 12:13 PM
The original price is low we agree. I generally charge twice what I would if i was bidding a residential the same size. You will be blown away at the PITA factor of this place and loose you shirt talking the prices you are.
PM lawn hit most of the important points. The lawn is the last thing they ever notice or care about. - so true, same with HOA.

MBDiagMan
10-11-2005, 01:02 PM
Any lawyer knows that if a guy is cutting grass for $30.00 that there is no future in trying to sue him:D
But you are right that it could be looked at that way.
As long as no one says "OK lets all do $40"

I totally understand why you think that this is not price fixing unless it is worded like your example, but many court cases have proved you wrong. There is a court case where there was a third person who simply overheard another person state the price that he was going to charge for the new product. Someone else stated he would sell it for the same price. The third person never said a word but sold their product for the same price. ALL THREE OF THEM were convicted of violation of Anti Trust laws. The conversation took place in a mens room after viewing a presentation of the new product.

Just as with anything else, you get a bunch of snaky, slimy lawyers together and they can cause all sorts of non sensical decisions to made in a courtroom.

I agree that the likelihood of anyone being prosecuted over $30 lawncutting would be almost impossible, I am merely trying to tell folks about some of the unbeliebable crap that has occurred in our courtrooms involving such activity. Be mindful of it.

Good luck,
Doc

Maitland Man
10-11-2005, 01:05 PM
..............double that 30 bucks....if you don't get it....you'll have time to market. I know that you are probably thinking that this will get your foot in the door for commercial accounts, as well as on site advertising...but it will just get your foot crunched! Alot of the people are responding because they, themselves, have done it!!:waving:


Dennis