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View Full Version : Bid Help PLEASE!!!


melanieb3
03-13-2009, 02:13 PM
Ok, this is our first big commercial bid and I need some help with the pricing. PLEASE, serious help! It took me an hour and a half just to measure everything! Of course, I am new at this and I probably went slower than most people would...

92,663 Sq. ft of mowing (with only about 12,000 sq. ft being in an open space. The rest goes around the parking lot which would most of have to be used by a push mower or using a weedeater)

4,936 ft of edging

152 small trees

159 bushes

It says we should fertilize and then asks how many times a year we plan to..any suggestions? I was thinking 2 times.

and weed control

and blowing the curbs which is 4,936 ft

The Specs: Mow, edge and trim lawns. curb runs edged and weeded. Trees, shrubs, groundover, flower beds and ornaments grasses properly mainted and groomed free from disease and large concentrations of pests. Debris moved from sidewalks, gutters and all planted areas. Fertilize all grass areas ___ times per year.

Toy2
03-13-2009, 02:24 PM
How many times are you mowing???? Twice a month, once a month.......

melanieb3
03-13-2009, 02:42 PM
oh sorry. He said 33 cuts... So I'm guessing weekly during the growing season

ElliottsLawn&LandscapeInc
03-13-2009, 03:16 PM
I would do it for $300 per cut or like $825 a month

BLS 2002
03-13-2009, 05:51 PM
It says we should fertilize and then asks how many times a year we plan to..any suggestions? I was thinking 2 times.

Just wondering... do you have an applicators license? Do you know how to do soil tests?

melanieb3
03-13-2009, 08:28 PM
My husband is getting his app license this month and will know how to do spray and fertilize and all that is involved..but I have to have this bid in by tomorrow.

$300 seems too low to me.

33 cuts:

92,663 sq ft to mow approx. 2.13 acres although it's not all open area: 3 hrs @ $65/hr=$195. (33 cuts=$6435)

4,936 feet trimming/edging: 5 hrs@$45/hr=$225 (33 cuts=$$7425)

159 trees and 152 bushes to trim: 8 hrs@$45/hr=$360. one time per year so divide this by 33 cuts=$11

Weed control: 9 gallonsx7 applications (april-oct and Jan):63 gallons@$10/gallon=$630 divide by 33 cuts = $19

Fertilizer: 19-510 slow release $225 materials plus 1 hr@$45/hr= $270 times 3 applications (end of April, June and Aug)=$810 divide by 33 cuts =$24.50

total: 474.50 per cut times 33 cuts=$15,658.50 divide by 12 months= $1304.86

Am I about where I should be? Or should it be lower?

Listen, I am willing to take a cut in this just to get the business. Doing this all day once a week with our truck in the parking lot (rolling billboard) and doing a great job so ppl will be happy with the work we do...

I would be willing to make less...but still profit so we can pay our bills and such...but we need to get our name out there and get more business! We need to grow!

What do you guys think?

and again...yes we have insurance and the husband is getting his pest. app license this month so he can spray and fertilize for next month!

clallen03
03-13-2009, 09:08 PM
I still think your bid is low compared to pricing in my area. You are talking about a little under 2 acres of trimming or pushing. I read everything you figured up, most of which I dont understand. One thing you are not taking into consideration is that you will be working on this property all year not just those 33 weeks that you mow. This is not residential that only want there lawn nice during the growing season. Most commericals want there property nice all year long, so you have to charge for that.
I dont see anything about leaf removal either? What type of grass are we talking about? What about blowing the parking lot? What about the flowerbeds....do you need to install seasonal flowers are just keep them weed free?

I cant really give you anything concrete but just from what I have we are looking at the $1800 to $2300 range. Your market may be different, but there are other things you need to consider.

Good luck and I hope this helps. :)

melanieb3
03-13-2009, 09:21 PM
Thanks for your help...

There are actually no flowerbeds. There are islands in the parking lot that need to be weed free and have one or two trees or some shrubs that need to be trimmed. The spec sheet is one they use country wide for the same store...some may have..but this company does not.

I don't have to blow the parking lot, just make sure I get all the debris from the curbs...there is no grass on the islands in the parking lot and they hire a sweeper for that.

I didn't think about leaf removal...sigh...back to my research.

ed2hess
03-13-2009, 10:48 PM
Your bid would be way high in our area. But it depends on whether there are large lawn companies in your area. The bid price of $65/hr for stuff is way high...normally half that by big companies. We take care of several hotels that size and they run around $1000/mo. The present condition of the place dedicates whether we bid high or low relative to the $1000. Some of these go as low as $600. The money is made on the extra stuff...irrigation, flowers, tree trimming, mulch.

Carolina Cuts
03-13-2009, 11:11 PM
it looks like you have your husband spending 8 hours there for each weekly visit....
3 hours to cut
5 hours to trim
sounds like a lot of time for 2 acres...



you need to figure out how many hours he'll spend on site, per regular maintenance visit. Know your operational costs and price accordingly with your hourly rate.

btw - 2 acres shouldn't take 3 hours to (just) mow.... unless maybe he's pushmowing...

humble1
03-14-2009, 12:15 AM
the almost 5000 sq ft of trimming edging 5 hrs. I am confused are you talking about using a weed wacker to string trim way too long. And if you are actually edging like when you do barkmulch way too low.
I would sugest starting small, knowing your costs, and being profitable. Whyt are you doing what you do? To make money, when I see you say I dont mind taking a hit, just to get the job, thats crazy. Never bid something on ego just so you can say yeah we do that place. my .02

foreplease
03-14-2009, 12:47 AM
I don't have an opinion on your prices but it appears you have materials only figured for weedkiller and nothing for labor or the application. It's going to take some time to run through nine gallons seven different times. Sounds like a heck of a lot of chemical for a site this size, or do you mean diluted gallons? Either way, I don't think you have added anything to make the appliation and do the paperwork. Sounds like a nice job though.

BLS 2002
03-14-2009, 02:56 AM
In my area 3 applications of squirt and fert for that size area would be $900 - 300 per app. Also my price to cut 2 acres would probably be around 85-125 per cut depending on trimming/terrain/difficulty. If you have two people working one trimming the other mowing that would cut your time in half. It's been my experience that the trimming takes just about the same time as the lawn sometimes.. that is if you are particular about trimming.... :)

melanieb3
03-14-2009, 09:55 AM
the almost 5000 sq ft of trimming edging 5 hrs. I am confused are you talking about using a weed wacker to string trim way too long. And if you are actually edging like when you do barkmulch way too low.
I would sugest starting small, knowing your costs, and being profitable. Whyt are you doing what you do? To make money, when I see you say I dont mind taking a hit, just to get the job, thats crazy. Never bid something on ego just so you can say yeah we do that place. my .02

It's not square footage...just feet around the outside of the parking lot from entrance, around store to exit, you know..where the grass touches the curb.


Ok...so I can't figure out how to quote more than once..but here's what I got for everyone else.

Carolina Cuts: It will mostly be push mowing...There is only approximately 10,000 sq. feet that can be mowed by the ztr. And a lot of it just weedeat.

foreplease & BLS 2002: that's 9 gallons of diluted spray times 7 applications at $10 per gallon. Hence $90 per application times 7 equal $630.
Fertilizer is $225 for 9 bags plus $45 for one hour to spread equals $270 times 3 applications equals $810. As for the amount of time to cut, if two people cut it in half the time, then instead of on guy cutting at $45.00/hr that would be 2 guys cutting at $90.00 per hour...same price to do it in half the time with 2 guys.

I still have a few hours to submit my bid...but in talking with my husband...and the fact that we didn't talk about leaf removal and the weeks we won't be cutting but need to make sure the property looks nice, we're thinking on bidding it out at $18,656.00 which would be like $358.77 per week or $1552.57 per month.

We took our original bid and added 3 hours to clean on the week we don't cut which is 3x45=$135x19weeks=2565 added on.

BLS 2002
03-14-2009, 07:38 PM
Bidding can be frustrating when you're first starting out. I hope you get it! Don't be discouraged if you don't - it is a learning lesson and there will be many more to come...

turf&tree
03-14-2009, 07:55 PM
9 bags of lawn fert for 2.1 acres seems like alot. I use 6 bags of the "good" stuff on that amount of turf. You must love the flush growth followed by the endless hours of mowing. I would rethink your bid. At that rate you will be mowing every 4 days. As for pricing, if you can get $65.00 per hour I'm coming down to setup shop.
Jim

THC
03-14-2009, 08:08 PM
I had a bad experience with commercial bids years ago. I went to price out about dozen properties for one city bid. Spent money, time, did everything I could to get a great price and then I found out people were bidding half of what I bid. Lowest bid wins, LOL. I stick to residential I imagine it would be different if I didn't have to do the mowing myself.

ambersLawnmowing
03-14-2009, 08:33 PM
5 Hours of trimming? Wow, i dont think i trim that much in a week. Best of luck to you and your husband if you get that.

Lawnut101
03-17-2009, 01:06 AM
Good luck! Let us know how it turns out. If you don't get the business, ask what the winning bid went for, and shoot for that price next year. Figure where your costs may have been high or where you estimating may have been wrong. I was going to bid on a large condo complex this year, and I was way high compared to the competition. The president of the board told us what the winning bid went for, so next year we can be more competitive.

George Mason
03-17-2009, 01:29 AM
I agree with humble1. Who am I to give advice on this topic other than to say that I struggled through year one but would hate to think I was committed to something I was taking a hit on 33 times. If I am not mistaken you said in a earlier post that your husband still has a FT job? I'd wait for residential jobs to come, be patient, it's a virtue. On the other hand, if I am mistaken and he needs work that bad then I guess do what you have to do, I just know I had a hard enough time bidding smaller jobs last season and paid what is commonly referred to as the stupid tax. I knew the stupid tax was in effect 10 min. into the job but luckily they were one and done, clean ups, that type of thing. Again, I'd hate to think it one day into a year long commitment.

Good luck with it though, and haste makes waste so be careful not to rush your bid.

FourTrees
03-17-2009, 02:52 AM
I would say about $14,500 on the year. Sadly winning bid will be less than $11,500.

Did you hear if you got it?

DillonsLawnCare
03-20-2009, 11:39 PM
Did you get the job>>?????

melanieb3
03-23-2009, 11:39 AM
I called today to ask if they had made a decision and they said they will make the decision by the end of the month.