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View Full Version : First Commercial Bid - Help Needed.


TheTurfTender
02-25-2008, 05:57 PM
Ok - I just got the opportunity to bid a commercial job, and I want to come in around what the other guys are charging. The Store Manager will hire me if it's close.

So, the property is about 35000 sq ft of mowable grass with about 40 young trees (about 8 ft tall). Trimming and edging as well. The store does its own fert apps so really just weekly service.

I understand you don't know what my overhead is, but I think it would take me 3 hours (1 guy) and it's about 15 min from my office (home). I am figuring $50/hr labor, $35 in materials, and a 20% margin.

Am I nuts for thinking I can get about $300 a week out of them. Are these other guys going to come in at $150? I would do it for that, but I want to make some $ too!

Ok - So I am open to being ripped open here - I just need some thoughts. Sarcastic dinks are welcome to respond!

Thanks Gents!

B

TheTurfTender
02-25-2008, 05:58 PM
Just want to add my mower deck is 52"

barefeetny
02-25-2008, 07:27 PM
just under an acre

i think your time is a bit high... but i don't know how much trimming and edging you have
your material looks high too
and a 20% margin on what?

you might be way high at 300

give me a little more info...

JayD
02-25-2008, 07:34 PM
just under an acre

i think your time is a bit high... but i don't know how much trimming and edging you have
your material looks high too
and a 20% margin on what?

you might be way high at 300

give me a little more info...

Ditto........

TheTurfTender
02-25-2008, 07:37 PM
Labor, Equipment and Overhead. I thought it sounded a little high. Do you think something in the $225 range would work?

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
02-25-2008, 07:38 PM
Yes your nuts. $300 an acre (actually less then an acre) is not gonna happen. How do you figure 3 hours? From the sounds of it, the bids should be anywhere from $100-150.

barefeetny
02-25-2008, 07:47 PM
according to ferris at 4 mph at 80% efficency you can cut 1.73 acres an hour...

so unless you have a very slow machine, alot of trimming, edging and obstructions...

i would figure 1.5 hours

75$
what matireals are you talking of....
gas is worked into your 50 an hour
go high and at 60 an hour( the lawnsite gold standard lol) you have 90 dollars

unless i'm missing something you will not only be underbid.... but almost too laughable margins

i'm not being a dink.... i just can't figure it out

NC Greenscaper
02-25-2008, 07:53 PM
$250-300 month tops

advantage landscaping
02-25-2008, 08:00 PM
Ok - I just got the opportunity to bid a commercial job, and I want to come in around what the other guys are charging. The Store Manager will hire me if it's close.

So, the property is about 35000 sq ft of mowable grass with about 40 young trees (about 8 ft tall). Trimming and edging as well. The store does its own fert apps so really just weekly service.

I understand you don't know what my overhead is, but I think it would take me 3 hours (1 guy) and it's about 15 min from my office (home). I am figuring $50/hr labor, $35 in materials, and a 20% margin.

Am I nuts for thinking I can get about $300 a week out of them. Are these other guys going to come in at $150? I would do it for that, but I want to make some $ too!

Ok - So I am open to being ripped open here - I just need some thoughts. Sarcastic dinks are welcome to respond!

Thanks Gents!

B

Maybe he mows really slow........ When you are giving a bid for something like this you also have to consider that other lco's yes have different overhead, but they also have more workers and more eqiupment, potentially. That means if you think it is going to take you say 3 hrs at $50/hr, that's $150. (I am assuming your overhead is in there) Or, at 3 hours at $60/hour you would be at $180, whatever.

Now say you have an lco with 3 mexicans who also bids it. Say his cost per hour is $120, which would be VERY high I feel for 3 mexicans. They work quick, and say it takes them an hour with several mowers, trimmers, etc... That's $120 or whatever he charges. Right there you're behind already.

When bidding commercial you have to balance what it is going to cost you with how larger lco's are going to quote. Especially for solo opps your time cannot be too high... Your price/hour will be lower, but not if a larger crew can cut faster. That my friend is something that you have to figure out for your area because $120 in an arbitrary number. You have to figure it out and move on from there, and face it the first several commercial accounts you go for you will probably not get!

TheTurfTender
02-25-2008, 08:27 PM
Yes, I forgot to mention that I will use a rotary mower!! Seriously though, thanks for all the feedback thus far.

Ok- I am thinking of running with a Toro Zmaster 48". If I could do it in an hour and 1/2, that would be nice. Can I do that with the narrow strips and 40 trees?

So now I am down to the $100-$120 range. Keep talking me down guys, I want to get the job.

advantage landscaping
02-25-2008, 08:41 PM
You are the only one who can bid it properly... do some research. I mean even call some companies and ask what they are charging, it only takes one stupid employee to give you a number and suddenly you have actual numbers which are better than our guesstimates

barefeetny
02-25-2008, 08:56 PM
bro

i know you want this job...

but lets gets some facts striaght...

you said you had a 52' deck... now your saying a 48 z

what are you going to cut it with?
how fast can you mow

people want to help you.... but forget about commercial work ...your talking like someone whos done never mowed anything.

post a picture of the site
describe what your going to use on the job
i'll help you as i'm sure other members will...

but right now your making 0% sense to me

Penscape Landscaping
02-25-2008, 09:11 PM
I know you want the bid and do not under bid yourself! Go in confident and know what you are talking about when you talk with the manager. I would say it would probally take one man 1.5 to 1.75 hours @50.00 per hour = $150.00 to $175.00 per month. Good luck!!!!

TheTurfTender
02-25-2008, 09:32 PM
Bare,

I am trying to decide on what to purchase. 48 or 52? Toro or Cub Cadet.

I don't think I am going to pass up any business right now. I have kids to feed, and if I fall on my face, it'll be a good reality check.

I looked for pics before I posted, but the store is new, and there are no air shots yet.

I knew I wouldn't't give all the prudent info, but I just needed a little guidance, and I think I got it.

All of your opinions are great. It's good to know there is some help out there, and people who will keep you in line.

barefeetny
02-25-2008, 10:56 PM
turf

if your just starting out commercial is tricky... its tricky when youve been in the buisness for years...lots of nonsense and potential problems... when it good its good though... i still find new pitfalls on occasion

i think from what your telling me 150 sounds good... the standard price people shoot for is about 60 dollars an hour... some of mine are higher some are lower... On a simple acre with normal edging, trimming and pruning i can be out in an hour.... but i don't have to rush so its not as big a deal to my buisness plan

Buisness plan.... if you havn't made one yet i recomend you do so before you start....very important in my opinion

do a search i just posted a sample one here last week
Gift to new guys or something....

if your starting out... don't go beserko with equitment... really a nice walkbehind and 21 will get you in the game without risking your neck....

i know the deal with feeding a family.... i left a high paying industrial job to get into the biz... Just don't overreach and residentials will be in full swing soon...

Good luck with your buisness

TheTurfTender
02-27-2008, 01:34 PM
I put the bid in @ $135 and got it right away. Makes me think I should have went a little higher, but....Oh well.

Now I guess I should buy a Mower!!!

barefeetny
02-27-2008, 01:59 PM
congrats

this wil give you some experience and could lead to more work....135 for under an acre is good money anywhere..don't worry about the extra 15 dollars. plus as you get faster and learn the property/machine you will be out in under an hour.

now do a good job..

Nate

Penscape Landscaping
02-27-2008, 02:36 PM
Congrats turf tender!! Keep us posted on how it is going!

JayD
02-28-2008, 06:40 PM
congrats

this wil give you some experience and could lead to more work....135 for under an acre is good money anywhere..don't worry about the extra 15 dollars. plus as you get faster and learn the property/machine you will be out in under an hour.

now do a good job..

Nate

Dido on that, that "is" good money. If it makes you feel better, I had one that was a full acre with two sides of property with a drainage ditch and I was doing it for 55 per cut. The thing was, it was one I got when I took over last year when I first started.They had been paying that for at least six years said the guy I took over from. I needed some customers right away. This year I was going to raise them, but before I could, they send me an email telling me that they bought a riding mower and they will be doing it. :laugh:They don't know how good they had it. I used a 52" WB and it took me two hours with all the trim work around water soaked ditch. It will take 4X longer on a riding mower from sears not to mention getting it stuck or worse, rolling over on the poor $10 an hr man.