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MMLawn
01-30-2006, 02:05 PM
Okay, here is a perfect example of what I was talking about in my prior thread on folks getting into the green industry and bidding on commercial projects without having a clue as to their cost.

This was a contract that I decided at the last minute to bid on a couple weeks ago as I really didn't care in the beginning about bidding on it. The results I SWEAR to you are the exact numbers.

This is a "low bid" contract, assuming that the "low bidders" references check out okay.

This bid was open today. The bid will be overseen by a State licensed engineer and inspected weelky by a licensed landscape contractor, who the winning LCO must also report each weeks work to. It is comprised of two commercial sites, 6 miles apart. The amounts of levels of service for both properties are total as follows. Total turf to be cut is 14.5 acres, 17,000 linear feet of edging of curbs and sidewalks, 220 yards of mulch supplied and installed, fertilizer at the rate of 2# of Nitrogen per 1K Sq ft, lime at the rate of 25# per 1K sq feet, overseed with approved fescue blend seed at 2# per 1K Sq ft, aeration once per year, labor only for seasonal plantings twice per year, pre-m and weed control for 29,000 sq feet of landscape beds, pruning of shrubs and smaller trees, fertilization of trees, and complete leaf clean up and removal (and there are around 110 trees on the property) weekly during Sept, Oct and Nov. This is also a year round contract.

Other requirements: 1) $1,000,000.00 in Business GL Insurance, 2)$500,000.00 per vehicle of Commecial Auto Liability for each vehicle that will be on the property, 3) full Workers Comp coverage, 4) miniuim of 2 employees on site, except during leaf removal which requires a min of 3 employees, 5) 7% Bond must be also paid to the client during the 1 year contract to ensure the work is completed. 6) Must already be State Licenses Applicator.

Keep in mind also that the specs for the grass seed and fert are engineer spec required and at this point only the bigger name professional suppliers such as Lesco, Anderson, etc stock the required materials. Now, MY cost on materials alone for this job NOT including equipment and other related cost, only mulch, fert, seed, lime is around $8,000.00 and I get it cheaper than a lot of other guys because of the amount I buy during the year.

The bids turned out as follows going from high to low: (Mine has an * by it.)

10) $240,000.00

9) $171,900.00

8) $96,480.00

7) $92,800.00

6) 85,300.00

5) $55,112.00*

4) $50,713.00

3) $47,700.00

2) $29,999.00

and the Winner is:

































1) $10,000.00 :dizzy:

So, all you young guys posting about wanting to get into Commercial, this is what you will deal with.

Green-Pro
01-30-2006, 02:27 PM
This is a big reason as to why I have elected to focus on residential clients. I plan to retain the commercial accounts I do have if possible, I will also not turn any down that request us for service. However I will not actively pursue them. Another example: We are finishing out the last year of a contract on a State National Guard property, we took this over last year, we did not bid this one. Total turf is only 2.5 acres + or -. Lots of trees to trim around, have to get someone to unlock the gate to get inside a small area of compound to mow. This is just a mow and trim each week with a 24 times of service per year contract. Takes two guys on Scags roughly 2 - 2 1/2 hours to complete, total take averages out to about $70, thats it.
This does not include the add-ons as in Mike's example, but when taking into account employee wages, business ins, work comp., equipment and the fuel, oil, gas, filters, etc. to run them, time spent there, vehicle cost to get there, time to get there, etc. plainly we are not making squat on this account.

Like I said we did not bid but are finishing out the last year on this contract, it will be up for bid again end of 2006 season. I will bid it but only what I can factually bid based upon our numbers, IMO if somebody wants to do this prop for $60 a pop or so, have at it.

On a side note we have done an excellent job providing service and have been complimented by the inspector several times. One reason I elected to finish the contract out for another company was:
High visibility location; we get noticed by many, many people.

The chance to bid again, and who knows, actually service this location for a decent amount.

Great thread Mike, guys & gals should be aware of the potential pit falls of commercial accounts

P.S. This is not to say we don't make good money from our other commercial accounts though.

Del9175
01-30-2006, 03:28 PM
Wow. Maybe he bid low because he couldn't afford to pay any more than the $700 bond. This joker is going to lose his shorts on this one.

TScapes
01-30-2006, 03:31 PM
Great Post! I have seen this one too many times.

One would think that these type of companies would learn their lesson, but then you always seem to have others that pop out from the woodwork and do the same thing. They simply look at the $$$$ and see what they are going to get for the work, not taking into account their costs to produce the work.

nobagger
01-30-2006, 03:38 PM
Wow. Maybe he bid low because he couldn't afford to pay any more than the $700 bond. This joker is going to lose his shorts on this one.
Then he has NO BUSINESS even bidding on a property this size PERIOD!:nono: :realmad:

nobagger
01-30-2006, 03:48 PM
I am taking the route of Green Pro, You guys can have all of this commercial B.S.! Take it keep it. I would much rather spend a total of 30 minutes estimating a good residential customer than to spend hours wasting my time on crap like this. I recently submitted a letter to a realestate company asking to be put onto their bidding list last year. Well I got the specs again for this year, they were to the point but its the same stupid places I bid on last year and if 17.89 was "was too high for our consideration" for a 3-5k sq ft lawn then go find the next sucker. Have at it low ballers:waving:

Envy Lawn Service
01-30-2006, 03:52 PM
Well, I absolutely get your point of this thread.
But frankly, I don't think you have much room to talk.

#6-#10 are saying the same thing about you my friend.

nobagger
01-30-2006, 04:35 PM
Well, I absolutely get your point of this thread.
But frankly, I don't think you have much room to talk.

#6-#10 are saying the same thing about you my friend.
ENVY...????????

MysticLandscape
01-30-2006, 04:51 PM
Now i have only been in the business for a little over a year now, i have never even submitted a bid or even looked at commercial property. Ill just say that however won that bid will pro pay over 10k alone in expenses throughout the year. Ill just guess and say if i was to put a bid in, it would be around 130k-140k. Thats just my opinion

Envy Lawn Service
01-30-2006, 04:53 PM
ENVY...????????

Yeah, I see his point, see it all the time, more often than I want, ect.
Do I complain about it too? Yes, without question, there are plenty of morons out there.

But go back and look at the specs for this job.
He bid $55,112 himself.

So I was just pointing out that my opinion is that, yes the 10K guy is totally clueless. But at his bid of $55K for all that, he doesn't have a lot of room to talk himself.

Not blasting anyone, just sharing an opinion, and we all know how that saying goes. :laugh:

nobagger
01-30-2006, 04:59 PM
Yeah I see your point ENVY. My question is why is there such a huge difference in the first 2 or 3 bids? 240k to 55k. That doesn't even seem like they were bidding on the same property. It seems to me, bid #1-#3 didn't really want the job and the middle bunch seem more "in tune".

Jpocket
01-30-2006, 05:10 PM
$10,000 is ganna put this guy in the SOUP LINE REAL QUICK after he buys materials, and don't mention the labor and costas associated with that.:nono: I could see bidding cheap ( a couple thousand less thatn the other guys) But is literally gonna starve himself.

























1) $10,000.00 :dizzy:

So, all you young guys posting about wanting to get into Commercial, this is what you will deal with.[/QUOTE]

Envy Lawn Service
01-30-2006, 05:23 PM
Yeah I see your point ENVY. My question is why is there such a huge difference in the first 2 or 3 bids? 240k to 55k. That doesn't even seem like they were bidding on the same property. It seems to me, bid #1-#3 didn't really want the job and the middle bunch seem more "in tune".

Yes, I would agree to an extent. But see, here is what burns me about commercial bids, even much smaller ones....

You would think that anyone with a brain and a little common sense would be able to look at those 10 bids and weed out atleast 60% of them instantly... just by looking at them lined up 1-10... maybe more.

But NO! Of course they hire the $10K guy, who will not even be able to supply the specified materials for the job, much less do anything else. How much freakin' common sense does that take??? You got it! The 10K guy and the one who selected him deserve each other. But they won't stay together past the first material job of the contract.

And of course DUH!!! they will call for more bids and try someone else in the 10-12K range or they will call the 30K guy next, ect.

These are the same dang sites that call me year after year with their sobb story, bellyaching about the last guy and wanting a bid from me. So I go out there and the place is a wreck. Nothing is done to spec, ect.

So I give them a bid and find out right quick my monthly rate is more than they have been paying a year, or the other guy they called submitted something similar. WELL DUH!!!! No wonder you are unhappy, you stay that way, and the place is a wreck! That's why I just decline interest in submitting competition bids.

Envy Lawn Service
01-30-2006, 05:36 PM
$10,000 is ganna put this guy in the SOUP LINE REAL QUICK after he buys materials, and don't mention the labor and costas associated with that.:nono: I could see bidding cheap ( a couple thousand less thatn the other guys) But is literally gonna starve himself.

If they paid this guy 10K up front and he took that money straight to the bank and then jumped straight on the phone to book all the materials up front.... He ain't even making the material bill for 10K.

No way :nono:

daveintoledo
01-30-2006, 06:16 PM
it seems to me (and im just a beginner) that the managers in charge of this stuff should see that there is no way that guy can do the job right with that bid, and go with something in the middle.....

Precision
01-30-2006, 06:34 PM
it seems to me (and im just a beginner) that the managers in charge of this stuff should see that there is no way that guy can do the job right with that bid, and go with something in the middle.....

Yes, but when your bonus is based on keeping costs down. And it isn't "your fault" when the contractor failed to live up to the contract, you get stuff like that. Penny wise and dollar foolish is pretty common.

I am currently bidding on a 40 acre 18 building apartment complex. They are figuring out that after 3 years of low ball bids, that they can't afford to go with Mr. Cheap. Now they are going to need to re-sod about 28 acres due to irrigation issues, lack of pest and weed control and continued growth and scalp mowing technique.

The sodding alone will be more than the savings on 3 years worth of lowball bids.

nobagger
01-30-2006, 06:53 PM
Most commercial managers I've ever dealt with have a pretty good idea of the costs to do it even somewhat right. If I were that "manager" or whatever I certainly wouldn't be looking for the "cheapest" guy possible. It just goes to show ya, that there are very few people that have any type of clue. There are places and people like this everywhere, thats why,like I said before, I'm keeping my commercial accounts I have and going after the residential end of business.

Envy Lawn Service
01-30-2006, 06:54 PM
Yes, but when your bonus is based on keeping costs down. And it isn't "your fault" when the contractor failed to live up to the contract, you get stuff like that. Penny wise and dollar foolish is pretty common.

I am currently bidding on a 40 acre 18 building apartment complex. They are figuring out that after 3 years of low ball bids, that they can't afford to go with Mr. Cheap. Now they are going to need to re-sod about 28 acres due to irrigation issues, lack of pest and weed control and continued growth and scalp mowing technique.

The sodding alone will be more than the savings on 3 years worth of lowball bids.

Bingo!!!

I figured out some were just calling me every year in order to guarantee their bonus via justification. I started telling them no first. Now I just say no to all competition bids. Saves me the wasted time.

Bingo on the rest also. These here still haven't figured it out yet though. They have the exact same cause and effect you detail. As of right now, it has defaced their property value more than they have saved. Nothing says TRASHY like red clay spotted with sparse weeds, overgrown shrubs, weeds in the rotten mulch nearly as tall.... ect...

All's I can say is IDUNNO.... :confused:

Envy Lawn Service
01-30-2006, 07:01 PM
Most commercial managers I've ever dealt with have a pretty good idea of the costs to do it even somewhat right. If I were that "manager" or whatever I certainly wouldn't be looking for the "cheapest" guy possible. It just goes to show ya, that there are very few people that have any type of clue. There are places and people like this everywhere, thats why,like I said before, I'm keeping my commercial accounts I have and going after the residential end of business.

Yeah, that' right, most of the experienced ones that care to know do. It's the ones that have taken the lowballer since day one, the ones that don't care, the ones that got spoiled by the lowballer, and the new ones or ones under new management.

If a site MGR calls from a place I know has been kept decent in the past, I will carry on a fact-finding conversation with them, and if all goes well there, I will go out and give an estimate. Otherwise, I refer them on to their merry way....

QualityLawnCare4u
01-30-2006, 07:32 PM
Dang!!!! I have a commercial property that I get 6000 for a year (my biggest and best customer) and it has very few of these requirments! No fertilizer, no seeding, never asked for insurance even though I have, dont care when I do it as long as its kept neat, and Ive had it for 8 years so far (knock on wood). And all together its only like 3 acres on top of that. It does has a lot of edging, large parking lot to blow off and sometimes a good bit of trash but is still profitable. I will let the other folks have at these kind, would not even bid on it. Ill take a residentual anytime over these kind. I do it like every 2 weeks in the summer, every 2 weeks in the spring and fall and once a month in the winter.

GrassBustersLawn
01-30-2006, 07:44 PM
The CITY here put out a bid last year for 25 fire stations....LOW BID wins.

Low bidder, they later found out, HAD NO MOWERS. 0, zip, NADA. This put them BEHIND and they awarded to the 2nd low bidder in MAY, after the grass had been growing for A MONTH. Of course, they weren't happy with his performance. Since each fire station has at least 2 guys that do lawns on the side, they had lots of "I can do it better complaints." BUt I'd bet they couldn't do it at that low ball rate.

Obviously, the $10k bidder cannot complete this account. SHAME ON THEM if they award it to an INCOMPETENT BIDDER.

HELL, I'd be $10k for 220 yards of mulch alone!


Mike

Jay Ray
01-30-2006, 08:27 PM
I am assuming that complete leaf removal means you can't mulch 'em.

12 weeks of complete leaf removal WEEKLY at two locations, 14+ acres total, 110 trees -- can anyone do even that part of it for 10K, or did I read the scope of work wrong?

Jpocket
01-30-2006, 08:39 PM
If they paid this guy 10K up front and he took that money straight to the bank and then jumped straight on the phone to book all the materials up front.... He ain't even making the material bill for 10K.

No way :nono:

LOL...you got that right this guy doesn't realize he could make MORE money by NOT doing the job. Like I said he'll be in the soup line real quick after a few months or so.

Envy Lawn Service
01-30-2006, 10:16 PM
The CITY here put out a bid last year for 25 fire stations....LOW BID wins.

Low bidder, they later found out, HAD NO MOWERS. 0, zip, NADA. This put them BEHIND and they awarded to the 2nd low bidder in MAY, after the grass had been growing for A MONTH. Of course, they weren't happy with his performance. Since each fire station has at least 2 guys that do lawns on the side, they had lots of "I can do it better complaints." BUt I'd bet they couldn't do it at that low ball rate.

Obviously, the $10k bidder cannot complete this account. SHAME ON THEM if they award it to an INCOMPETENT BIDDER.

HELL, I'd be $10k for 220 yards of mulch alone!


Mike

AMEN! That's what I'm saying!!!

If a guy puts out the vibe... hey 220 yards of mulch, no sweat, no big deal, bulk job discount...

I'll yell BULLS#IT!!!! every time as they have never even had anything at all close to a 220 yard mulch job. If they did, they would know dang straight what it is all about. Mulch jobs of that size are a dang nightmare if you want them to look anywhere near presentable.

Just the one mulch install... I'm going to fall between 12K and 18K alone.

12K would be that the mulch is split between the two sites. It's all broke up on the site with many beds not being in sight of others and every bit of it all very easy access as it right off the trailer into the beds. Even then, this would be for bulk mulch and I would have to have a supplier already lined up close by that was on the dotted line to supply the quantity of high quality ground mulch.... and it would have to be installed at my convenience. Basically a project that couldn't be easier.

Otherwise, it would automatically trip to 18K or more.

Guys that would bid less just have no experience in this level of work and don't have a clue what is involved in the job start to finish nor the costs involved. It's a complicated, expensive and major undertaking to do it and do it right. I was thinking probably 18K or better if the beds are in good condition ready for mulch and it could be done in the off season.

MMLawn
01-30-2006, 10:50 PM
Yeah, I see his point, see it all the time, more often than I want, ect.
Do I complain about it too? Yes, without question, there are plenty of morons out there.

But go back and look at the specs for this job.
He bid $55,112 himself.

So I was just pointing out that my opinion is that, yes the 10K guy is totally clueless. But at his bid of $55K for all that, he doesn't have a lot of room to talk himself.

Not blasting anyone, just sharing an opinion, and we all know how that saying goes. :laugh:


Of COURSE you are blasting Envy....but that's okay, cause YES I do have a lot of room to talk as my bid was a very fair one to the vendor and a very fair one to me. For me this was a one day job for my traveling crew. After all expenses I would have CLEARED 34% each month on the project.

This was a small bid for me and why I almost didn't even bid it. So for the break down as I know it and I know what it was worth I assure you. Bids 3,4,& 5 (yes mine was # 5) were right on the money for this project (and notice they were right in the middle too, where most of your best bids are found in a situation like this). Either of those would have been profitable for the bidder and fair to the consumer. Bids 10, 9, 8 & 7 were from who knows where as they weren't even close as they were so high. I mean come on. Bid 2 would have covered his cost of materials, but not all of the employees related cost or all of the equipment related cost and of course would have made no profit in addition.

Now, the other thing I forgot on this "low bidder".......the job site is 114 miles EACH way (228 Total) from where they are located. So pulling a trailer that is easily, what at least $250.00 a month in vehicle fuel alone coming out of their $833.33 a month "low bid"? I suspect myself and bidders 3 & 4 will receive another letter from the vendor in a couple months asking us if we will still honor our bids..... :laugh:

MMLawn
01-30-2006, 10:54 PM
Obviously, the $10k bidder cannot complete this account. SHAME ON THEM if they award it to an INCOMPETENT BIDDER.

HELL, I'd be $10k for 220 yards of mulch alone!


Mike


EXACTLY, Mike! My break down in my bid had my mulch price at $10,150.00...

olderthandirt
01-30-2006, 11:38 PM
This is an every day occurence in commercial and residential work, your gonna always have the lowballer that gets the jobs. Its no big deal! he'll be gone and replaced by another and another until the client gets tired of the BS and decides to pay what the job is worth. Great example of why there are so many start up companies and so many that are out of business in a few yrs.
KNOW YOUR COST. bid accordingly and you will find the work, the trick is having enough working capital till you get to that point

Envy Lawn Service
01-31-2006, 12:17 AM
Of COURSE you are blasting Envy....but that's okay, cause YES I do have a lot of room to talk as my bid was a very fair one to the vendor and a very fair one to me. For me this was a one day job for my traveling crew. After all expenses I would have CLEARED 34% each month on the project.

This was a small bid for me and why I almost didn't even bid it. So for the break down as I know it and I know what it was worth I assure you. Bids 3,4,& 5 (yes mine was # 5) were right on the money for this project (and notice they were right in the middle too, where most of your best bids are found in a situation like this). Either of those would have been profitable for the bidder and fair to the consumer. Bids 10, 9, 8 & 7 were from who knows where as they weren't even close as they were so high. I mean come on. Bid 2 would have covered his cost of materials, but not all of the employees related cost or all of the equipment related cost and of course would have made no profit in addition.

Now, the other thing I forgot on this "low bidder".......the job site is 114 miles EACH way (228 Total) from where they are located. So pulling a trailer that is easily, what at least $250.00 a month in vehicle fuel alone coming out of their $833.33 a month "low bid"? I suspect myself and bidders 3 & 4 will receive another letter from the vendor in a couple months asking us if we will still honor our bids..... :laugh:

Look MMLawn, I'm really really did not aim to bust your chops. All I'm doing is sharing an opinion. Yes we all know opinions are like ________ , everybody has one... And maybe you would prefer I keep my opinions to myself, which is also fine by me.

I just read the specs you provided and the list of bids. For me, an immediate red flag went up because I felt you came in LOW. I say red flag because to me it seems low, even site unseen. For your bid, I felt you might do OK just on the regular maintenace and turf aspect of the job. Almost 15 acres of turf, 17,000 linear feet of edging, and that many plus more to blow, plus an unkown amount of linear feet of trimming, then bed edges, then 110 trees, removal of leaves, 3 months or more of collection, and the turf care operations..... considering a great site layout it would seem you were in the ballpark there.

But I just don't see where the money is for the mulch install and landscape maintenace aspect. I mean you are talking 2/3 of an acre of landscape to keep up with alone. Then pre-m, spot spraying, shrub trimming, tree trimming, seasonal plantings.

All I'm saying is that I figured 3 guestimates on the light side by volume and all three were in the 80's. I would have expected if they had recieved say 20 bids, that 50% or more of them would have been 84K or more.

Anyways, I have spoken my opinion, ruffled feathers I did not intend to and spoken my opinion again. You can consider those opinions or ignore them as it does not affect me either way. I know when I have said enough and it is time to shut up and go away, which is what I am going to do....

:waving: :waving: :waving:

tcls83
01-31-2006, 10:15 AM
Yeah, I'm bidding on commercial's for the first time this year. I'm sticking to whatever bid I'm putting in. I am going to bid them in a way that I know for sure I'm making a profit. If I don't get them because my bids are too high, no big deal, I'll still have my residentials which pay me well. I'll just keep on bidding commercial jobs, and eventually I should land a job somewhere. That way I know I'm getting paid well for the work.

I am also going to weed out my lower profit residentials this year by going up in price. I now have enough work where I can do that, and still live.

LwnmwrMan22
01-31-2006, 10:17 AM
Okay, here is a perfect example of what I was talking about in my prior thread on folks getting into the green industry and bidding on commercial projects without having a clue as to their cost.

This was a contract that I decided at the last minute to bid on a couple weeks ago as I really didn't care in the beginning about bidding on it. The results I SWEAR to you are the exact numbers.

This is a "low bid" contract, assuming that the "low bidders" references check out okay.

This bid was open today. The bid will be overseen by a State licensed engineer and inspected weelky by a licensed landscape contractor, who the winning LCO must also report each weeks work to. It is comprised of two commercial sites, 6 miles apart. The amounts of levels of service for both properties are total as follows. Total turf to be cut is 14.5 acres, 17,000 linear feet of edging of curbs and sidewalks, 220 yards of mulch supplied and installed, fertilizer at the rate of 2# of Nitrogen per 1K Sq ft, lime at the rate of 25# per 1K sq feet, overseed with approved fescue blend seed at 2# per 1K Sq ft, aeration once per year, labor only for seasonal plantings twice per year, pre-m and weed control for 29,000 sq feet of landscape beds, pruning of shrubs and smaller trees, fertilization of trees, and complete leaf clean up and removal (and there are around 110 trees on the property) weekly during Sept, Oct and Nov. This is also a year round contract.

Other requirements: 1) $1,000,000.00 in Business GL Insurance, 2)$500,000.00 per vehicle of Commecial Auto Liability for each vehicle that will be on the property, 3) full Workers Comp coverage, 4) miniuim of 2 employees on site, except during leaf removal which requires a min of 3 employees, 5) 7% Bond must be also paid to the client during the 1 year contract to ensure the work is completed. 6) Must already be State Licenses Applicator.

Keep in mind also that the specs for the grass seed and fert are engineer spec required and at this point only the bigger name professional suppliers such as Lesco, Anderson, etc stock the required materials. Now, MY cost on materials alone for this job NOT including equipment and other related cost, only mulch, fert, seed, lime is around $8,000.00 and I get it cheaper than a lot of other guys because of the amount I buy during the year.

The bids turned out as follows going from high to low: (Mine has an * by it.)

10) $240,000.00

9) $171,900.00

8) $96,480.00

7) $92,800.00

6) 85,300.00

5) $55,112.00*

4) $50,713.00

3) $47,700.00

2) $29,999.00

and the Winner is:

































1) $10,000.00 :dizzy:

So, all you young guys posting about wanting to get into Commercial, this is what you will deal with.

I'm just glad my commercials aren't bid out this way... I would actually have to hire employees doing commercial work.

firefightergw
01-31-2006, 04:00 PM
I am new to all of this but am starting to get some bigger commercial accounts. I did the math and for those that are around the $10K mark on mulch alone, how did you come up with that? That is roughly $46 per cu. ft. of mulch. Seems high are is there an element that I don't see? Help me here.

Thanks

TJLANDS
01-31-2006, 04:10 PM
I have a question. How did you get all that information on the other bids?
and.. Why are there that many bids? The whole thing sounds and looks bogus to me. But that is just my opinion.

LwnmwrMan22
01-31-2006, 04:18 PM
I have a question. How did you get all that information on the other bids?
and.. Why are there that many bids? The whole thing sounds and looks bogus to me. But that is just my opinion.


I just put a bid in on a school district where it listed the 21 companies that request for proposals were sent to.

If it's an open bid, meaning you can see the bids once they're open, you can have all that information.

99% of public bids are like this, and some private properties do it this way. Public, it's the law, private, they do it to try to drive prices down.

Remsen1
01-31-2006, 06:22 PM
I hope the lowballer takes the $10,000 and never shows up one day of work. That would serve this company right for being so stupid. I hope they get screwed so hard, and get the run around, and get so frustrated that they learn their lesson. I would try doing a personalized letter for this one. Something politely explaining that the winner cannot know his costs, and will not be able to meet the requirements, and to please call you for cleanup, repairs, and seasonal contract when he quits showing up. Call me if you want a professional, but not for another bid (no more bidding).

E-Z Green
01-31-2006, 07:14 PM
bid bid bid.There's a couple commercial jobs that want me to put in a bid. I've got 1 commercial from last year.dropped another last season.or did they drop me??? Anyway, the feeling was mutual and the pay was cheap. these guys loved justifying thier low pay as they could easily hire or "toss" a dope fien a fish dinner or crumb or two(chump change).

P.S. it was a fast food fish resturaunt.

There's more than corn in Indiana.

TJLANDS
01-31-2006, 07:24 PM
I have been bidding commercial jobs for many years, public private whatever, school systems, public utilities, military, condos, townhouses, state highways.
I have never seen anything as far off the wall like the example you have here.
For those of you looking to get in on commercial, do your homework, submit a comprehensive well thought out bid and be prepared to do a great presentation and you will do just fine.
Also do not get discouraged if you come across something like this, it happens, its part of being in business, forget about it and move on to the next opportunity.
One more thing if I were bidding on these specifications my bid would be easily over 100k so if you are bidding 55 I believe you are way way off.

TJLANDS
01-31-2006, 07:37 PM
I am new to all of this but am starting to get some bigger commercial accounts. I did the math and for those that are around the $10K mark on mulch alone, how did you come up with that? That is roughly $46 per cu. ft. of mulch. Seems high are is there an element that I don't see? Help me here.

Thanks
I charge for regular double shredded mulch delivered and installed 40-50 per yard. If we were edging the beds also it would be 50-60. Dyed mulch would be higher. Different parts of the country are higher or lower but I think it is ballpark. $8800-11000 without edging, 13200 with edging.

MMLawn
01-31-2006, 08:11 PM
One more thing if I were bidding on these specifications my bid would be easily over 100k so if you are bidding 55 I believe you are way way off.


Exactly why I say that you need to KNOW what your bid range is in your area. $100K bid may work where you are but you'd never win a bid here with that $100K bid as the $55K I bid was a good bid esp for this job that can easily be done in only one day using 2 mowers and a trim guy....the market simply doesn't pay that at least not in NC. This job would require a total of 45 "work" visits for the year and 6 visits that were only conducted by myself as the owner taking 30 minutes per each of those 6 visits as a required "supervisory" visit. That means my bid came to $1224.75 per work visit, meaning each man is grossing $408.25 per visit. Not a killer deal by any means, but also not a bad one day profit for one job, esp given that this would have been a smaller deal for us.

Like I said I bid this kinda stuff all the time and know what I am doing. I guarantee you I make within what the top 1% of the highest grossing LCO's on LS make and those that know me personally know that. That is not meant at all as boost, only fact to show I do large numbers. As I said at my $55K bid, I would have CLEARED, not grossed, but cleared, a 34% Profit which is a very respectible profit margin for this industry.

MMLawn
01-31-2006, 08:14 PM
I have a question. How did you get all that information on the other bids?
and.. Why are there that many bids? The whole thing sounds and looks bogus to me. But that is just my opinion.


Because as you should have easily been able to figure out if you have esp since you say you have bid "many public commercials before", it was a Government Bid, which means everything about it is public record.....

all ferris
01-31-2006, 08:30 PM
MMlawn, IMO your bid is pretty good.

I have seen government bids that do not go to the lowest bidder. I actually had a call from a guy that lived in oklahoma that wanted me to sub for him doing some federal props. in the st. louis area and he was not the lowest bid. I did not do the sub work because I was leery of the whole situation.

MMLawn
01-31-2006, 08:32 PM
Thank you Ferris.

ronniez71
01-31-2006, 09:04 PM
I smell a lowballer!!!!!!!

tteckster
01-31-2006, 09:39 PM
Exactly why I say that you need to KNOW what your bid range is in your area. $100K bid may work where you are but you'd never win a bid here with that $100K bid as the $55K I bid was a good bid esp for this job that can easily be done in only one day using 2 mowers and a trim guy....the market simply doesn't pay that at least not in NC. This job would require a total of 45 "work" visits for the year and 6 visits that were only conducted by myself as the owner taking 30 minutes per each of those 6 visits as a required "supervisory" visit. That means my bid came to $1224.75 per work visit, meaning each man is grossing $408.25 per visit. Not a killer deal by any means, but also not a bad one day profit for one job, esp given that this would have been a smaller deal for us.

Like I said I bid this kinda stuff all the time and know what I am doing. I guarantee you I make within what the top 1% of the highest grossing LCO's on LS make and those that know me personally know that. That is not meant at all as boost, only fact to show I do large numbers. As I said at my $55K bid, I would have CLEARED, not grossed, but cleared, a 34% Profit which is a very respectible profit margin for this industry.

mm, I have to say, in my opinion you boost. You jumped me right away. Claiming this and that stating your all legal and bad ect...
I thought LLC's had to file a annual report? "According to N.C.G.S. 57C-2-23, all LLC Annual Reports are due on April 15th of the current year."
Annual Reports for: M & M Lawn Care, LLC Date Formed: 12/30/2004
Previous Annual Report Filings: No annual reports have been filed for this entity. Seams to me you might be getting Dissolved. Dot your i's and cross your t's before giving advice.

milo
01-31-2006, 09:47 PM
i get alot of calls from contractors building new homes to give a price to cut the grass for 1 3 5 year terms and that goes right into the price of the house if they want the service. i also have been bidding on alot of large commercial properties and can tell everybody this. guys that have been doing this for some time know all the details of cutting. like even when they come where they are gonna park there truck. alot of new guys just see something and say a price. i do understand to a point if it is your first year in business that you want to make sure you have work to make a living but some prices people give are nuts. this season 2006 i will not drop my gate for less than 30.00 a cut. i know that every year guys loose there jobs and have a truck and a mower and pick up a trimmer and blower and call themselfs a business and those guys just come in and lowball everything and this is why the business we are in i dont think we will ever get the respect we all deserve..
there are quite a few guys on this site and it seems we all try to help each other out yet we bid on jobs against each other. i guess true LCO's really know what we know, it is what it is.. :eek:

TJLANDS
01-31-2006, 10:02 PM
Because as you should have easily been able to figure out if you have esp since you say you have bid "many public commercials before", it was a Government Bid, which means everything about it is public record.....
sorry didn't mean it like your implying, He just said it came out today and the winner was the lowest bid 10k. It would take the same gov 6 months to get me the same info here. It was just a question.
Like how two professional bids could be off by almost a quarter of a million dollars, or even 200k.

milo
01-31-2006, 10:03 PM
also when i bid on a commercial property i always ask to know the prices of the bids. if you tell them you want to make sure on your end that you are bidding right most propertys will tell you all the bids..
so far my bids are never the lowest or the highest. i do love to hear, a true $100.00 job that would take me 1 hour or 1:10 minutes to do people bidding low of $50.00 and high of $200.00 and i guess if someone can really do it or want to do it for $50.00 more power to them. and i guess if you get the job at $200.00 you are a lucky man.

TJLANDS
01-31-2006, 10:20 PM
Exactly why I say that you need to KNOW what your bid range is in your area. $100K bid may work where you are but you'd never win a bid here with that $100K bid as the $55K I bid was a good bid esp for this job that can easily be done in only one day using 2 mowers and a trim guy....the market simply doesn't pay that at least not in NC. This job would require a total of 45 "work" visits for the year and 6 visits that were only conducted by myself as the owner taking 30 minutes per each of those 6 visits as a required "supervisory" visit. That means my bid came to $1224.75 per work visit, meaning each man is grossing $408.25 per visit. Not a killer deal by any means, but also not a bad one day profit for one job, esp given that this would have been a smaller deal for us.

Like I said I bid this kinda stuff all the time and know what I am doing. I guarantee you I make within what the top 1% of the highest grossing LCO's on LS make and those that know me personally know that. That is not meant at all as boost, only fact to show I do large numbers. As I said at my $55K bid, I would have CLEARED, not grossed, but cleared, a 34% Profit which is a very respectible profit margin for this industry.
Sorry i guess you forgot the $8000 in matierials you stated before, the other extra days for mulching 220 yards,etc. My best three guys would take about 10 days. If you had that fiquired in to your 34% I apologize

lawnwizards
01-31-2006, 11:06 PM
mm, I have to say, in my opinion you boost. You jumped me right away. Claiming this and that stating your all legal and bad ect...
I thought LLC's had to file a annual report? "According to N.C.G.S. 57C-2-23, all LLC Annual Reports are due on April 15th of the current year."
Annual Reports for: M & M Lawn Care, LLC Date Formed: 12/30/2004
Previous Annual Report Filings: No annual reports have been filed for this entity. Seams to me you might be getting Dissolved. Dot your i's and cross your t's before giving advice.
can i ask what boost is?

tteckster
01-31-2006, 11:12 PM
can i ask what boost is?

brag: pat oneself
hike: increase;
promote: contribute to the progress or growth of;

kc2006
01-31-2006, 11:34 PM
AKA Boast.....

Boost is what my turbo makes :D

MMLawn
01-31-2006, 11:47 PM
mm, I have to say, in my opinion you boost. You jumped me right away. Claiming this and that stating your all legal and bad ect...
I thought LLC's had to file a annual report? "According to N.C.G.S. 57C-2-23, all LLC Annual Reports are due on April 15th of the current year."
Annual Reports for: M & M Lawn Care, LLC Date Formed: 12/30/2004
Previous Annual Report Filings: No annual reports have been filed for this entity. Seams to me you might be getting Dissolved. Dot your i's and cross your t's before giving advice.


Ahh..would you like me to fax you a copy of 2005's there Sherlock? Cause I just happen to have a Certified one right here in my desk drawer, which is the only one that has been due since switching to an LLC.....:dizzy:

kc2006
01-31-2006, 11:50 PM
I still believe in you Mike.

(I'll pm you my address to send the check for that plug)

MMLawn
01-31-2006, 11:53 PM
LOL.....KC

BTW, TT you do realize that that report you were so worried about still won't tell you any thing else right? It is only a one page form that just reconfirms the business enity name along with a $200 yearly filing fee since a LLC is exempt from NC's Corp taxes.....

LawnMowerMan3875
03-03-2006, 06:09 PM
Let see, How does that saying go?? Treat your neighbor like you would like to be treated! Another one is: Opinions are like *******, everyone has one..But its up to you whether or not you want to be one or looked at as one...JMO...

sheshovel
03-03-2006, 06:22 PM
Yes, but when your bonus is based on keeping costs down. And it isn't "your fault" when the contractor failed to live up to the contract, you get stuff like that. Penny wise and dollar foolish is pretty common.
Quote

WE HAVE AWINNNNER!!!BINGO..ding ding ding...MM knows this...You don't have to tell him.

Tharrell
06-01-2006, 06:31 AM
I'm pretty sure that's the rest area bids from Yadkin and Iredell. My bid was the 96k. I bid 36k on the Surry. No, the low bidder didn't get them because they didn't have a pesticide lic. Still, I know who did get them and they probably won't keep them. I have a state contract now but, probably won't bid any more of them because of the way I saw this one go down.

Tharrell
06-01-2006, 06:46 AM
Here's the other one on Surry county. Riverhill got the contract in both areas. I hope this works, I'm going to copy and paste the tabulations.IPS Public Menu Tips Bids by Category Bids by Department Search for Open Bids Search for Bid Number Vendor Link NC P&C Homepage

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State of North Carolina
Interactive Purchasing System
Results of Search


Bid Tabulation

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Bid Number: 54-DO-10329755 Open Date: 1/26/2006 Last Change Date: 1/30/2006 8:31:16 AM
Description: Complete Profes Lawn & Grds Maint of Rest Area/Welcome Ctr - Surry Co

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Vendor: BO's Landscape & Janitorial Ser. EXPRESS CLEANING Harrell Commercial Services
Delivery: 30 days 30 days 30 days
Item 1 $25,356.76 $98,280.00 $37,800.00
Total Price: $25,356.76 $98,280.00 $37,800.00


Vendor: Hometown Lawn Care M&M Lawn Care,LLC niten lawn service
Delivery: 30 days 30 days 30 days
Item 1 $49,600.00 $27,814.00 $36,600.00
Total Price: $49,600.00 $27,814.00 $36,600.00



Vendor: Riverhill Landscaping, Inc. Shoebridge landscaping Inc. SLS
Delivery: 30 days 30 days 30 days
Item 1 $18,998.00 $45,150.00 $7,500.00
Total Price: $18,998.00 $45,150.00 $7,500.00
Nope, didn't work right. Anyway, I bid the 37 k. I forgot about Richard Nitens bid underneath me.

CutInEdge Lawn Care
06-01-2006, 08:14 AM
So with interest on 700, fuel, insurance, etc... He made a whole wopping
-$2600

cessnasovereign
06-01-2006, 08:37 AM
LOL, but dang I wouldn't even know how to bid something like that!! As a matter of fact, I wouldn't even try to. I just got an apartment complex for $337.50 a cut and about to get two other smaller ones for about $125 a cut, BUT they were just like "dude just cut the grass" they don't want any mulch included, any apps, etc, they just want to see the grass cut and that's it. So it was a pretty easy bid for me, just starting out.

cessnasovereign
06-01-2006, 08:41 AM
Oh and next year I want to get away from the residentials and go for commercials, but the easy commercial properties like the ones I have now. Nothing like MM explained, I would have no idea how to even begin on bidding something like that, mine would probably be that crazy 200K+ bid just to make sure all my costs were covered. ;)

Tharrell
06-01-2006, 11:56 AM
There's been a lot of DOT work around Charlotte up for bid in the last couple of months. That's who the contracts I have and the ones we were bidding on were for. I can send you the IPS link if you would like it. That's how the state does all of it's bidding now. You'll need your pesticide certificate and commercial liability insurance to do business with them.
I could have done both bids for less but, I didn't need the work that bad.

watatrp
06-01-2006, 12:13 PM
One nice thing about lowballers like that is that while they are being kept busy doing one property like that and trying to figure out why they are losing money they are not competing with you for the next one.

Surf'n'Turf
06-01-2006, 01:44 PM
It has been my experience, at least with multi-resident dwellings, that the high and low bid are often discarded, leaving the middle bidders. I agree that 34% net is right on the money for this kind of work. Those #'s posted are completely wacked.

Idealtim
06-01-2006, 03:47 PM
I would go out of my way to see what happens to this guy+account. I wouldn't even be mad, i'd laugh in his face. I'll tell you one thing-for what i'm doing, the money is found in residencial. I have my reasons.

cessnasovereign
06-01-2006, 04:12 PM
There's been a lot of DOT work around Charlotte up for bid in the last couple of months. That's who the contracts I have and the ones we were bidding on were for. I can send you the IPS link if you would like it. That's how the state does all of it's bidding now. You'll need your pesticide certificate and commercial liability insurance to do business with them.
I could have done both bids for less but, I didn't need the work that bad.


What kind of work?

dvmcmrhp52
06-01-2006, 06:50 PM
EXACTLY, Mike! My break down in my bid had my mulch price at $10,150.00...



Mike,
I'm guessing this is blown in mulch?
What type?

jcthorne
06-01-2006, 10:06 PM
Ok......a little advice to you guys........when you see a contract stating: This is a "low bid" contract, assuming that the "low bidders" references check out okay) this should tell you one thing*******BOND MONEY******

The company who is accepting bids knows what it takes to do this property and I asssure you they know that $10,000 want touch it. I'll leave it at that. Draw your on conclusions about what is really going on.

Tharrell
06-03-2006, 07:22 AM
Here's the bid he's talking about. For some reason they listed my bid twice. It didn't help! The "bond" was actually a 7% reduction on your invoices for the first year. They keep the money through your term. Think of it as a savings account assuming you didn't incur penalties! Oh, and those penalties were pretty stiff. That's why my bids were what they were.

IPS Public Menu Tips Bids by Category Bids by Department Search for Open Bids Search for Bid Number Vendor Link NC P&C Homepage

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

State of North Carolina
Interactive Purchasing System
Results of Search


Bid Tabulation

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bid Number: 54-DO-10329757 Open Date: 1/26/2006 Last Change Date: 1/30/2006 8:27:44 AM
Description: Complete Profes Lawn & Grounds Maint of Rest Areas - Iredell/Yadkin Co

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vendor: BO's Landscape & Janitorial Ser Emory Lawn Care Service EXPRESS CLEANING
Delivery: 30 days 30 days 30 days
Item 1 $50,713.52 $240,000.00 $171,990.00
Total Price: $50,713.52 $240,000.00 $171,990.00


Vendor: Harrell Commercial Services Harrell Commercial Services Hometown Lawn Care
Delivery: 30 days 30 days 30 days
Item 1 $96,480.00 $96,480.00 $92,800.00
Total Price: $96,480.00 $96,480.00 $92,800.00



Vendor: M&M Lawn Care,LLC niten lawn service Riverhill Landscaping, Inc.
Delivery: 30 days 30 days 30 days
Item 1 $55,112.00 $47,700.00 $29,999.00
Total Price: $55,112.00 $47,700.00 $29,999.00



Vendor: Shoebridge landscaping Inc. SLS
Delivery: 30 days 30 days
Item 1 $85,300.00 $10,000.00
Total Price: $85,300.00 $10,000.00

topsites
06-03-2006, 10:00 AM
Great Post! I have seen this one too many times.

One would think that these type of companies would learn their lesson, but then you always seem to have others that pop out from the woodwork and do the same thing. They simply look at the $$$$ and see what they are going to get for the work, not taking into account their costs to produce the work.

No because for the most part it is noobs and they'll last 6-12 months, long enough to satisfy the contract and go out of business, all in one fell swoop. Then, next year it's the same bs all over again, one reason why some contracted places look like crap year after year.

This is one reason they say do not get into commies until at least your 4th year, even now in my 5th year I feel like I'm being taken by my first commie but at least today I am smart enough to cut my losses and am highly willing to take the chance of being fired long before I lose my tail (and have the sense to see it coming).

I would go out of my way to see what happens to this guy+account. I wouldn't even be mad, i'd laugh in his face. I'll tell you one thing-for what i'm doing, the money is found in residencial. I have my reasons.

Oh, I agree... I should've listened to the old-timers and stayed away from commies as solo.
But one thing's for sure, it's my first and last, I will NEVER bid another commie and if I do, I'll remember to multiply whatever bid I am thinking of by at least x4. Then, I am either way overpriced and don't get the job (which is what I want), or maybe I'll halfway make ends meet. Smarter yet, just don't do it, no more commies for me.
It is a lot of money, but after I look at the hours a commprop eats, I'm hardly getting $30 / hour and that chills my incentive to even want to go out there, it is a miracle I even show up anymore. The reason I stick with it is so I will be SURE to remember for a LONG time to not do this again.