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stevenf
10-10-2008, 07:05 PM
How do you guys land the big commercial accounts? Im not talking about going door to door on small business owners. Im talking about an apartment complex, chain stores, food chains, entire gated communities, parks, organizations.
I am trying to get together a business plan and start targeting bigger commercial accounts now for 2009. Next year will make or break me. If I can land one good account for year round income, I will be 98% closer to making this my career.

mowerbrad
10-10-2008, 07:11 PM
Most parks are handled buy the city/township or are bid out by the city. So you start by calling your city hall and asking them. As far as larger commercials, pay them a visit and ask to speak with the person incharge of the grounds. And for gated communities and apartment complexes, you need to talk to the home owners association or the owner of the complex.

stevenf
10-10-2008, 07:17 PM
The person in charge of the the grounds sounds more of a janitor to me then someone I need to talk to. Do you visit everyone or do you call and ask when bids are being accepted then you visit when you present your bid?

davis45
10-10-2008, 07:18 PM
As far as large apartment complex's. I'm talking 10-30 acres and 15 buldings, most of them have an office with someone working there fulltime. Call in and ask, they usually all take bids every winter.

BUT, this is where those companies with 40-50 employee's come into play. They bid them dirt cheap so they can have 'filler' time. For example I bid one at $640 and I was praying I didn't get a call saying I was the winning bid, because I would hardly break even. I called and asked,they were friendly and said the winning bid was $475.

MileHigh
10-10-2008, 07:21 PM
If you have a business name, aggregate liability insurance 2mil at least, and pay for workmans comp..It's all about bidding the right numbers to get the jobs.

stevenf
10-10-2008, 07:23 PM
I would like a few more inputs on hwo you get them.
But when you say break even, do you mean fuel/supply cost or what you owe on overhead for equipment?
All of my equipment will be paid off so im just wondeirng if that comes into play alot with you guys.

stevenf
10-10-2008, 07:24 PM
If you have a business name, aggregate liability insurance 2mil at least, and pay for workmans comp..It's all about bidding the right numbers to get the jobs.

I have all of this minus the workmans comp. I dont have employees.

davis45
10-10-2008, 07:33 PM
I would like a few more inputs on hwo you get them.
But when you say break even, do you mean fuel/supply cost or what you owe on overhead for equipment?
All of my equipment will be paid off so im just wondeirng if that comes into play alot with you guys.

The equipment you have listed will not be able to get these jobs done in a timely manner. Most of these larger commercial properties will require Workers Comp even if your solo.

topsites
10-10-2008, 07:34 PM
You can not, as a business, rely on one account for most of your income,
the account holder will see right through this and they will eat your lunch.

In other words you need to be diversified enough to where any one account can not
make or break you, failure to do this will leave you unable to walk away from it.

That is in case things go south, and wonder "but gee what in the world could ever go wrong"
in a potential predicament such as this the simple answer is everything will.

The equipment you have listed will not be able to get these jobs done in a timely manner. Most of these larger commercial properties will require Workers Comp even if your solo.

That too, most commercial accounts spell out their requirements on their terms,
we don't get to pick and choose how we want it, they tell us how it is.

MileHigh
10-10-2008, 07:34 PM
I have all of this minus the workmans comp. I dont have employees.

you'll need employees if you get any large commercial jobs.

Some places want you to have workmans comp for yourself as well...yes the owner. Also for if you injur someone else on the site that doesn't work there.

MileHigh
10-10-2008, 07:36 PM
Most of these larger commercial properties will require Workers Comp even if your solo.

correct statement

djagusch
10-10-2008, 11:14 PM
Call the apartments and ask if they are taking bids. If they are ask if you can meet with them so you understand their needs. For homeowner associations usually their is a property management company that you'll need to talk to but meeting with the BOD will get you a better shot. With bigger commercial stuff (strip malls etc) talk to the leasing company to find out who to talk to.

When you say your stuff is paid for you still have overhead because it will not last forever. You should still figure in dollars per hour to buy new equipment. I think a 10K mower broke down over 2000 hrs is still costing $5 hr just for the purchase and doesn't include any maintainence. I think your business plan needs to address these items before you worry about finding out how to get accounts.

TNT LawnCare Inc.
10-10-2008, 11:40 PM
As i have said before grass is grass Steve.


1.You need to have employee's to tackle large complexes,they dont want you there all day long .Most will want full service , mulch,flowers twice a year,fertalization,shrubbery trimming Ect,Ect.. Lots of work for one Man..

2.As stated 98% will require workers comp on these employee's

3.Dont think just because your bidding on commercial accounts your gonna charge them out the Wazoo !

4.Take my advice theres more low balling going on in Commercial.Its not always the greatest accounts to have.

5.You can make great money off high end residential.Same type full services.

6.Lots of less headaches on residential.

7.If i were you i'd attack more residential clients were you already have them.

8.If your wanting some commercial accounts i'd go after very small ones 1st to get your feet wet. Such as maybe a few banks,churches, a couple of food chains. Maybe some small office complexes.

9.Dont bite off more then you can handle.

10.You need to find out who owns the property and who is in control of grounds maintenace decisions.Simply call up and ask Questions or walk in and ask. Well best of luck :waving:

Florida Gardener
10-10-2008, 11:51 PM
All i know about the HOA's and apartment complexes in South Florida is that the "big dogs" always have them. The companies with 40-50 employees. Lots of lowballing on these. Remember, they need these to keep their guys busy. I agree with the above statement. Go with high end residential/residential.

If you are adement about getting commercial accounts, look for banks, doctors offices,churches,etc. Stuff that you can do by yourself. If you get an HOA/Apartment complex you will need at least a couple of guys at minimum depending on the size of the neighborhood. Most around here have at least 10 guys per neighborhood. Ive seen some with about 15 guys doing an HOA.

stevenf
10-11-2008, 03:04 AM
I know my equipment wont handle that. I am getting a Quick 32" and a 48"+ rider at the beginning of next season. Paying cash.
What you guys are saying would be a good start. I completely overlooked small shopping centers and office complexes. Thoughs would be more in my range for the first few years. Arent these type of building owned by big investment and landlord companies? Should I go ask one of the stores or doctors who they pay rent to and go from there?

Florida Gardener
10-11-2008, 09:34 AM
well, i would think that some of the doctors might even own the building/property. i would like to land a couple of small commercial properties when i am ready. stuff that i can do by myself that would take me no more than 2-2..5 hours....

good luck