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View Full Version : New guy with a bidding question...


jason9696
04-10-2007, 04:21 PM
Hi everybody first of all. I love the site, very helpful!

I am bidding on a job that is far bigger than I have previously bid on before, but it would be a great account, and it's super close to my house. Here is a sketch of the property.
http://www.newcelica.org/photopost/data/500/medium/lawn.JPG

It is a total of 5 acres. I have a JD X500 48" that does about 2.5 or so acres/hr but this property has a lot of obstacles and trimming as well. What would you guys bid on this? I am my only employee BTW.
Thanks!

bigmudder77
04-10-2007, 05:03 PM
id love to mow that id charge about $300-$500 a week. if i seen it in person i would be able to tell you better.

C&K
04-10-2007, 05:06 PM
How much time do you think it will take? 4-4.5 hours? Multiply your normal rate and see what you come up with. Personally, I might say, one man show @ $50.00 per hour = $225.00. This may be low or high depending on your rates. Know your overhead to the penny and add your hourly wages. We have to charge $23.66 ($25.00) an hour plus wages per employee. Some LCO's charge $75.00 per hour and some charge $35.00 per hour. Usually, you can take a little off your bid (say 10%) on half-day properties in exchange for no "windshield time". So, about $180.00-$200.00 may be an appropriate bid for me on that property. Don't be surprised what the winning bid is. Commercial properties are tough to win and make good money. Hope this is of some help. Good luck!

bigmudder77
04-10-2007, 05:12 PM
4- 4 1/2 hours i think it would take at least 5 hours min. there are lots of things in the way that will need to be trimmed and edged and then blown off also if you can mow 2.5 acres in an hour thats flat land right? with all this stuff in the way its gonna take a while i had a 3 acre lawn i mowed it took 4 hours to mow, trim, edge, blow. but there was lots of trees to trim around but still i was working my butt off to get done faster and it still took that long

C&K
04-10-2007, 05:55 PM
You are right Mudder. Could take 5 hrs or more. Only he would know that. Just a guess.

jason9696
04-11-2007, 08:07 AM
Thanks for all the input, I was leaning towards the 5-6 hour mark as well. I think my rates are going to be lower than $50/hr around here though, I think most people are in the $40 range. This would be a great job for me, I really hope I get it.

jason9696
04-18-2007, 02:55 PM
Update: The "Board" is meeting today, so I might know tonight whether I got it or not :) I bid $216 weekly and the treasurer said that he thought that was low. He seems like a nice old guy, who knows, maybe they'll raise the rate. lol :)

xpnd
04-18-2007, 04:41 PM
Look at your smallest most profitable job. How many times over will that one job fit on this one. Multiply that by what you are charging for the small job and that is your price. Why do more work for less money? Most will tell you to discount the job for some inane reason. I can't figure that out. My minimum is $30.00 for a small lot. If that lot would fit 20X over on this job site I would then charge $600.00 and no discount. I would prefer to have 20 small jobs with a great profit margin than the colossal job with a so-so profit margin.

The largest disadvantage with large jobs is that when they go by the wayside (and they will) they leave a tremendous void in the wallet and you will find yourself scrambling to fill that void. A small job leaves and you will barely notice it before another job fills that gap.

Set your price, don't sell yourself short and be prepared to fill a void when it goes belly up.

jason9696
04-19-2007, 08:23 AM
This job will take me anywhere from 5 to 6 hours a week to complete, you are saying that I should be charging $100/hr? I don't think that seems logical. As for offering a discount for larger jobs, why not? You save seat time and gas by only driving to one location for that day. As for leaving a void in the wallet, I don't know if that is a good approach to take. By your logic you should only take little accounts and leave the bigger jobs for someone else?

xpnd
04-19-2007, 09:17 AM
This job will take me anywhere from 5 to 6 hours a week to complete, you are saying that I should be charging $100/hr? I don't think that seems logical. As for offering a discount for larger jobs, why not? You save seat time and gas by only driving to one location for that day. As for leaving a void in the wallet, I don't know if that is a good approach to take. By your logic you should only take little accounts and leave the bigger jobs for someone else?

Every day of the week. I get very few large jobs because I am too expensive for them. If I can tie you up on a job that takes 6 hours to complete, my crew will be able to service at least 20 small jobs. Now we both made about the same, I spent more on gas and labor with the truck. Here is the kicker for you though. This week one of those small jobs cancelled. At the end of the month my gross sales will be down just $30.00 times how ever many weeks I haven't serviced that job. Your collosal job cancelled at the same time my small job did. You've lost 20 times what I have lost in the small job and now have to fill in almost an entire day, while I am looking at only filling in a 20 minute gap. You have lost more in sales in one day than I will lose over an entire year with my small job I no longer have. I'll take the small jobs any day of the week. I let the big jobs for you smart guys.

As far as discounting. I know of no other industry crammed with so many idiots willing to perform more work for less money. And what is worse than that, we are our own worst enemy. We teach the customer not only to expect it but to demand it. This client has the money to own a freaking estate, his pockets ought to be deep enough to pay.

Lastly, if you think the owner is going to pay you $500.00 to $600.00 a week to service this place you are out of your mind. If it is a commercial sight keep dreaming. When I was working this size properties, I would come in with 3 men, 2 Z turns, a couple of trim mowers and charge $350.00, be done in little over 2 hours and make a killing. That is your competition. If you want to compete in this market, your pricing will need to reflect as if you had the necessary equipment and men to take on this job. You are thinking solo serial work. You need to think in multiple men with work being done concurrently.

Good Luck.

martinfan06
04-19-2007, 09:23 AM
I would agree fully great insite good info^^^^^

jason9696
04-19-2007, 04:26 PM
I see your logic xpnd, it's just that no one has really explained it that way before. Either way, I just got an email and they said they went with someone else. Maybe it was for the best....right? :)