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View Full Version : Venting...HUGE LCO's working cheap??


bpfaeh
03-18-2009, 09:23 PM
I was asked to bid on a large (~10 acres) commercial property as the company was not happy with the service (mainly not happy with snow removal service) they were receiving. Turned the bid in for the whole works (mowing, trimming, mulch, bed maintenance, edging, snow removal, salt application, etc.) and was quickly informed that I was significantly higher, which really baffles me as typically I am very competitive with the larger companies. Are they really doing things THAT cheap!?!?!? I asked for some clarification on where and how much, but I just dont see it....

Its been a weird year here already....got a grand total of 2 calls off of over 2000 flyers and only landed ONE of those calls! Is everyone having the same luck!?!?!!?

GravelyGuy
03-18-2009, 09:26 PM
I've had a ton of calls, but landing very few. Lots of crazy calls!

CLARK LAWN
03-18-2009, 09:43 PM
even though it is warm out it is still mid march. give it a couple of weeks it will pick up.

Carolina Cuts
03-18-2009, 09:50 PM
my calls have been off and on... got a few right away, then nothing.... 2 more came in last week. Then a full quiet week of NOTHING....

Yesterday??? 3 calls and 2 website emails...

I've learned the calls seem to come in when I'm not worrying about it...

bpfaeh
03-19-2009, 04:51 PM
I asked for some clarification on where my bid was higher as I just couldnt see it....Im guessing that he had me bid something they WANTED and not what is currently being done. Cant win them all I guess....just frustrating sometimes....hope everyone's business is picking up!

Holleys Landscaping
03-19-2009, 06:26 PM
I got in contact with a few businesses that I put bids in with today and was shocked what the company they picked was charging. I dont know if they could at all make money off it. What I am finding odd is that I am making more money off residentials than i am off commercial! doesnt make sense....

nobagger
03-19-2009, 07:05 PM
This freaks every one out this time of year. Rightfully so with the economy. But, like some one said, its only March! Typically we still have several inches of snow and no one is thinking of mowing, (customers that is). We've had a couple weeks of mild temps and sun and it does feel like it SHOULD be April but I have to look at the calender and keep reminding myself its still March. Our calls don't typically start coming in until the first couple weeks of April. Just keep pluggin' away and before you know it the calls will start.

kaferhaus
03-19-2009, 07:08 PM
Most large companies got that way be being efficient. On commercial jobs it's even more apparant. And I'm referring to the larger commercial jobs.

Most of our work is commercial and while I've lost bids to other large operations I've never lost one to a solo or even a guy with a small crew of 4-5 guys.

I measure and bid those jobs myself. Once we get the job I lay out a "work plan" for getting it done most efficiently (I do this in my head when working up the bid). Go over the plan with the lead man of the crew that will be doing it and tell him how much time it should take from gate down to gate up.

I'm rarely off more than 3-5 minutes.

The right "work plan" the right people and the right equipment. And we still make very good margins on commercial work. We've been doing some for so long that they only take 1 bid, ours.

The only problem we ever had was with illegals, and those have been run out of town or into other avenues of revenue.

punt66
03-19-2009, 07:12 PM
Residentials are typically more profetable then commercials around here. But some lco's like commercials because their usually not as picky and have to deal with less billing time and windshield time.

mowcrazy
03-19-2009, 08:28 PM
I make a TON more money on my residential jobs. most of the time it is easy to pick up more jobs on just one unload process. We have several subdivisions where we mow each small yard for $40 bucks but all the yards are running together (they are neighbors). We mow 9 homes right in a row, one unloading. Thats $360 and it takes us right at 4 hours to mow them. If that were a commercial lot with even less trimming and just one building you could never get the work. If it were a commercial type mowing it would be in the paper and every yahoo with a mower would be bidding and you would never get it for $360 either. Even if you just mow for the little lady down the road for 50 bucks for a 3/4 acre lot I would have a lot more confidence that i would get the job from the little ole lady and not the commercial 3/4 acre lot. I hate commercial accounts!!! No loyalty what so ever with most of them. Treat your residentials good and most will stick with ya forever.

nobagger
03-19-2009, 09:10 PM
I make a TON more money on my residential jobs. most of the time it is easy to pick up more jobs on just one unload process. We have several subdivisions where we mow each small yard for $40 bucks but all the yards are running together (they are neighbors). We mow 9 homes right in a row, one unloading. Thats $360 and it takes us right at 4 hours to mow them. If that were a commercial lot with even less trimming and just one building you could never get the work. If it were a commercial type mowing it would be in the paper and every yahoo with a mower would be bidding and you would never get it for $360 either. Even if you just mow for the little lady down the road for 50 bucks for a 3/4 acre lot I would have a lot more confidence that i would get the job from the little ole lady and not the commercial 3/4 acre lot. I hate commercial accounts!!! No loyalty what so ever with most of them. Treat your residentials good and most will stick with ya forever.

I agree 10000000% However we do a few commercial places and so far they have been loyal. But I'm sure we're talking the big "chain store's" Case in point... I just bid a large furniture store and the manager actually let me read his email he got from the corp. office. It read "In these trying times we are all trying to save money where ever possible. In an effort to reduce spending in property and lawn care services we are now going to bid each property every year. [B]We are even asking all existing contractor's to lower their rates in order to share the cost burden which has been very successful."[B] (yeah right) But the 131,500+ sqft went for 125.00 a pop!

topsites
03-19-2009, 10:35 PM
All I've gotten in way of new calls is a few pulling dang Jedi mind tricks on my arse, thinking they're so smart.
And it may not have been on purpose and maybe it wasn't but what difference does it make?

One of them got me pretty good, a referral no less.

The other one wasn't as smart, before I knew it I had that one talked out of hundreds of dollars worth of work,
but I'm guessing that ain't right either because I still hadn't caught on when I let that one off the hook at the
very last minute and once the light dawned upon me I kind of regretted this but I'm glad I did.
Why they never do that for us?
Actually, some do...

I still hate it, after several years of that I get so tired of the BS some days.

even though it is warm out it is still mid march. give it a couple of weeks it will pick up.

Yeah, it's the price shopping time of the year right now.
I guess therein lies my fault, seeing how I forgot about that.

I'll definitely be on the lookout hopefully before I get myself into another infamous loss leader.

lawnpro724
03-20-2009, 12:16 AM
Been getting calls every day for couple weeks now and landing about 50% of the jobs I look at. Its looking like its going to be a great year for us, better than last year.