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Tim Wright
03-01-2006, 03:38 PM
I have a bid here for 5.6 acres housing developmen., It is broken up in to 4 larger areas, two around entrace ponds, two in the back and then smaller areas between town houses and along the perimeter of the the development.

They want trimming and lose garabage pickup also.

They also have mulching job and the trimming of hedgerow along the road.

I am about to bid $600.00 per cut, once per week. That is $75.00 per hour if it takes me 8 hours.

I will also include mulching for the reciept cost of the mulch and trimming of the hedgerow free of labor if I get the bid.

If they pay for one half of a 28 week period up front, I will throw in a free mowing.

What do you think?

This is my first large bid, so I am rather green.

Thank you.

LB1234
03-01-2006, 08:20 PM
They want trimming and lose garabage pickup also.

A 35k mowable complex that we do takes three of us about a half hour. One guy constantly on a mower, the other spending a few minutes on a mower doing some trim work, the third guy goes around and picks up garbage and then starts trimming. Guy on the trim mower than starts trimming. Then the mower guy starts clearing the walks and the like. All in all we can be in and out in a half an hour. We get $75 for that. I'm probablly on the low side also, but we get a crapload of work from them in other areas which makes it a good account. Anyhow, its about a half an hour for a little less than an acre for garbage cleanup and trimming. So, 5.6 acreas is approximately 240k sq.ft...divide that by 35k...I'm getting ~7 or 3.5 hours for you...obviously that is a HUGE amount of assumptions on my part.

They also have mulching job and the trimming of hedgerow along the road.

Make sure you get your moneys worth here and include that price in the bid...in other words, if I'm going to do the lawn for amount x, you have to contract me to do the rest of the landscape work. Just my opinion.

I am about to bid $600.00 per cut, once per week. That is $75.00 per hour if it takes me 8 hours.

I think its going to take you every bit of 8 hours by yourself. I think 3 hours in trimming/garbage pickup, another three in mowing, and another 2 hours to blowing...thats no breaks, straight through. And if you have retention ponds and the like you'll have gates, fences, and the like so the 3 hours for trimming may be even more. Do you have employees? Can you get it all done with only one mower, efficiently? Or do you have to travel back a forth to the trailer over a few acres in order to change mowers...you will also have to fill up the trimmer a few times just to get the job done...kinda sucks when you have to walk back a few hundred feet...it sounds like you are a solo operator.

I will also include mulching for the reciept cost of the mulch and trimming of the hedgerow free of labor if I get the bid.

Being very blunt, you are freakin' nuts. I'll assume you are going to be in the 10 yards per acre range for mulch. That's about 50 yards of mulch...that'll take you days to do on your own, and you are planning on just charging them the cost of mulch? Am I interpreting this wrong, please say I am cause you are WAY off the mark. Crap, 50 yards of mulch will bring me in another 3500 to 4 grand and you want to do it for a few hundred. Again, I'm making a few assumptions here. I'm not even going to get into doing the hedgetrimming for free.

If they pay for one half of a 28 week period up front, I will throw in a free mowing.

Why would they pay you half up front? You are asking for an 8k check before you step on there property. Granted, its a great idea, I just can't see them doing it. hopefully I'm wrong.

What do you think?

Honestly, it makes me wonder whether or not you are operating a legit business. Please don't take this the wrong way, but have you put a lot of thought into this? I'm really confused on this one:dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:

CAG
03-01-2006, 08:33 PM
I have never herd of a management co paying up front for mowing.. You could blow the whole deal I would leave that out of the proposal.

Tim Wright
03-01-2006, 11:04 PM
Thank you very much for your replies.

Yes I am solo. I would do all of the riding, then the trimming, then the pushing. My issue is that I have just mowed residentials, and small jobs at that. This bidding is rather new to me.

Yes I know, no management would pay half up front. It was just a thought.

You are most likely right. It will take me a good days worth of work to mow.

There is not as much mulch there as it soulds. All of the mulch is around trees (approx 20 total) and a pump house and the sign. It is probably 4 hours worth of labor if I use my tractor and bucket to care the mulch from the truck/trailer to each little tree. All within the front acre around the ponds. (The ponds are decorative with fountains). I was trying to think of a hook for them, and land a decent mowing account.

I should probably go ahead and price out the mulch part and just see what happens.

Thank you again for your replies. It really helps.

Tim

BSDeality
03-02-2006, 11:18 AM
I think if you go in bidding $107/acre you're going to be in for a big surprise. Realistically you're going to get maybe $60/acre for the mowing/trimming. It's up to you how long it takes with your equipment. How much garbage do you foresee on the property? is it alongside a major road? or next to where kids hang out? i can't make a call on the garbage quote without more info.

I would offer a 5-7% discount for prepayment of the year, but I don't see many commercial accounts take advantage of it.

i'm at a loss for words from the first response... $75 for 4.5hrs of labor and machine time? HOW THE HELL DO YOU MAKE MONEY $16.66/hr. it costs me more than that to RUN my business.

PMLAWN
03-02-2006, 12:09 PM
"if it takes me 8 hours."--- IF??

If you do not know exactly how long it will take, RUN AWAY. If you are off by a couple hours that is 25%
Very easy to go broke at that rate.
Grow slow. Learn as you go

palawnman
03-02-2006, 12:32 PM
"if it takes me 8 hours."--- IF??

If you do not know exactly how long it will take, RUN AWAY. If you are off by a couple hours that is 25%
Very easy to go broke at that rate.
Grow slow. Learn as you go

Commercial accounts can be good, if you bid it properly. I agree with PMLAWN, if you dont know how long it will take you, you are better off passing on it. A miscalculation on a small lawn cutting job isnt that bad, but when you do bigger jobs, those mistakes get magnified, and you could really lose your pants in commercial work. Once you do this job long enough, whether it be commercial or residential, big or small, you will get a really good educated guess on approximate cutting time. And do not sell yourself short, even though it is a good try with giving away the labor for the mulch, look at it from the opposite side. What if this housing development wants more quality work than cheap work, giving stuff away for free could make you look desperate. Dont always assume because you are the cheapest or are giving away free labor that it is looked at as a positive. Good luck with it.

Ron

LawnMowerMan3875
03-02-2006, 12:52 PM
All you guys or gals are talking about over bidding or under bidding. How about some advise on how to bid and how much. I am also new to the business part of lawncare. I mainly do residential and small business accounts, but sometimes I am unsure of the amount to bid the job at. I finally put into afftect a min. fee for me to even consider pulling my truck and trailer up to the job. I do live in a smaller community of about 8000 people, but have expanded to surrounding area's. So, if you guys or gals can give me some examles on this issue, it would greatly be appreciated. And I know there are a few more out there that are in the same shoes as I. Thanks...LawnMowerMan3875

BSDeality
03-02-2006, 12:59 PM
what the others have said is that you basically shouldn't be bidding on large scale jobs when you're inexperienced & under equipped. if you're off by 10% on a $40 lawn its only $4, but if you're off by 10% on a $600 job thats $60 & thats a BIG difference. The only way you can be an accurate bidder is knowing EXACTLY (to within 5 minutes) how long its going to take, proximity of other accounts you have, and scope of work. If you don't know how much mulch you're going to need and how long its going take don't bid. You cannot just say "i'll add the receipt for the mulch onto the final invoice". They want to know exactly what its going to cost them, and you should know well before you go to buy the mulch. Again this all comes down to experience, you have to trim shrubs and 25' of hedges at the jone's house first to know how long its going to take you to bid on the 300' of hedges out front of the commercial job.

Tim Wright
03-02-2006, 04:30 PM
[QUOTE= Again this all comes down to experience, you have to trim shrubs and 25' of hedges at the jone's house first to know how long its going to take you to bid on the 300' of hedges out front of the commercial job.[/QUOTE]

I know you guys are right, however if one never bids on these jobs, one willnever get the experience. So, I have to try. I have to stick my neck out there and go for it, and do my best to eliminate any or as many snaffoo's as possible.

Then I won't have to ask anymore questions.

I am better off educating myself and trying, than I am running.

Thank you all for your input. It is a huge help.

Tim

BSDeality
03-02-2006, 05:01 PM
Sorry if I came off as sounding like an ass, but you really need the experience with the smaller jobs before you can bid the larger ones, a 10% difference in the a $40/wk job for 28 weeks is only $112 for the season, however the 10% in a $600/wk job is $1680.... quite an exponetial difference. It'll be better for everyone in the long run.

Tim Wright
03-02-2006, 05:07 PM
I understand your answer. I have 40 smaller to medium lawns that I mow. But I do not bid them.

I have the equipment. Its time for me to grow the business.

Tim

BSDeality
03-02-2006, 05:13 PM
how did you not bid them?

Tim Wright
03-02-2006, 05:35 PM
Good question. I guess I kind of did. They are just rather small.

This in reality is no different, I am just not use to the large area all for one client.

Tim

Tim Wright
03-02-2006, 05:42 PM
Thinking further, I have been mowing more as an on the side or second business, and video production as my first business.

By virtue of the both markets, that is doing a switch and I am now focusing more on mowing and landscaping.

Having said that, my current lawns are with lower end clients. With the housing development, I am dealing with a different client and that is where the issue is, in my head at least.

Thank you again for going on with me in this thread.

Tim