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View Full Version : Why can't I win a bid???!!!


burge19
03-26-2009, 10:15 AM
Ok I live in michgan and like everyone else on this website i am not going to work for free. I can not seem to win a bid. I am pretty sure my prices are not to high. I just submitted a bid to 60 for a little over an acre. it would have taken me about an hour. Then i bid 300 for leaves. Am i really to high? Cause yesterday i went by and seen another company doing the property. What am i doing wrong??? Do you think because i am young they think i can't do the work right? I am 19 and have been doing this for 2 years now. i have pictures that look awesome from some of my work. I dont know what to do. Can anyone help??

kaferhaus
03-26-2009, 10:28 AM
Do you think because i am young they think i can't do the work right? I am 19 and have been doing this for 2 years now.

That very likely was the reason. I've gotten jobs that I know for a fact I was underbid on because the homeowner told me she had "better prices" but she didn't want some kid messing up her lawn or disappearing in a month or two.

And I have no idea of what your professional "image" is. Makes a difference to many folks.

David Haggerty
03-26-2009, 10:31 AM
You've got to sell yourself. Not just on price. Determine what your strengths are and market those.
For instance, if you have to drive an old ratty truck, promote "low overhead".
Make yourself stand out. Be persistent as you can without being an irritation.
You have to be able to promote yourself. If you're going to survive.
It's the part of this business I like the least.

Sweet Tater
03-26-2009, 10:33 AM
Well, this is just my opinion on what might be happening, please dont take offence.
yes it is possible it could that your age is affecting perception of your ability. Maybe you are a bit too high in cost, in some areas you can get more than others, the $1 a min rule that is repeated on here so much is a nice base line, and I do my best to achieve it, however not every area will support those prices, my area is borde line in that being a bit high priced. Are you insured and lic? that could also be a factor. these are just some Ideas of some things that could be a factor, its difficult for someone else to evaluate your situation but maybe these suggestions well help you think it out

ambersLawnmowing
03-26-2009, 10:54 AM
Maybe it is because you got there late in the season,or Didnt SELL it or because you only think your prices arent too high. Either way it sounds like you need to sit down and do some research. Find out what everyone is charging, Market yourself diff. Just because your 19 doesnt mean much, It is hard out there and many people are taking extreme measures to ensure that they have work. They are lowering prices and offering more then the little guys can. I notice this also, but in the estimates i include a free service, or diff. billing then most can offer. Now you said you have pictures of work, are they just pictures or did you spend alittle time with it and print a flyer with your pictures of work and services offered. I would look at pictures as a selling point, If they truely look good then words dont even have to be said to get the account.

grasschopperofchicago
03-26-2009, 11:02 AM
I am in no way going to state that you are too young to be doing this, I was doing it at that age 23 years ago...however! I think that it could be possible that you will lose work because of it. I would suggest you have polos on with your company name, and have your truck/trailer lettered if you can. I think you have to work harder at a professional appearance than say a 30+ old. Keep hitting it, and you will find it comes easier...It's not you, it's just society and their views!---Stinks...but grind it out!---

GracesLandscaping
03-26-2009, 11:10 AM
Im not sure about thecost of living in your area but that would be a little high in my area if it would take an hour maybe less. In my area noone hardly ever gets over 50.00 an hour. and no im not trying to bash you at all. as far as the leaves i have not seen the property but on an average lawn here (not one full off 50' tall trees) a rule of thumb is double the cost of cutting so imo the price on leaves was way high. the only jobs doing leaf removal you will get 300 out of here would take you basically all day long to do. Also I guess it could have something to do with your age although i havent had much trouble picking up accounts and im 22 and 6 yrs in business BUT most of my clients were word of mouth. One suggestion you could do is give a customer a reference sheet, or show them pictures of some of your work to prove to them your not just some teenager trying to get some beer money for the weekend and will stop showing up in a few months. Because im sure you know as well as i do, that there are plenty of "younger" people trying to get in this business that dont give a crap what the yard looks like when they are finished. Hope this could help you, it did myself a few times ive had a customer sound kinda skeptical about accepting my bids when i was a little younger, I would just say and if you want some references of lawn ive maintained over the years i would be glad to give you some phone numbers, or if you would like to see some pictures of landscaping work ive done i would be glad to show you. none of them accepted it, but i think it gave them a sense of comfort i guess you could say and they let me take care of their lawn and have used me ever since.

newtostone
03-26-2009, 11:15 AM
Letter your truck and trailer, talk to people let them get to know you, let them feel as if you know what your doing. And grow some facial hair

Mimowerman
03-26-2009, 11:26 AM
An acre should take about 20 min.... and goes for about 40.00 around here or less sometimes.... you just have to sell yourself! Building a company takes time ... I've been at it for 10 years and just now are seeing some good numbers. You can't get 60.00 and hour for a 21" mower , that 20 min I have a couple z's going, and then balls to the wall weedwacking, edge, and blow after. Don't get disapointed , its a learning curve as well .

grasschopperofchicago
03-26-2009, 11:31 AM
Letter your truck and trailer, talk to people let them get to know you, let them feel as if you know what your doing. And grow some facial hair

hehe! on the facial hair!
I would do as New & I stated, provide a professional image...most important. I would also consider a website, you can do one through godaddy for next to nothing and they will host it...what I would do is get it up and going and consider posting as many images of your work and a little background about your company, but sound professional...use "We" instead of "I" on site ...and get customer quotes from current clientle posted. I would put on your bid or flier "SEE YOUR SITE FOR SAVINGS!!" or more like...."Visit us on the web @ www.example.com for additional savings" It may be a simple 10% off coupon however it drives them to a place to see what you are all about and view your work, versus carrying a portfolio around.
Keep in mind, the impact of the site will say a lot about you, as far as ease of navigation and setup, their templates are pretty easy however...just an idea!---as stated earlier....just pump away at em...they fall eventually!

LouisianaLawnboy
03-26-2009, 12:42 PM
For Michigan I'd say 60.00 is a little high. Try something around 45.00 hr.

topsites
03-26-2009, 12:42 PM
Yes, I think it is possible your pricing is too high.

Richard Martin
03-26-2009, 12:51 PM
An acre should take about 20 min.... and goes for about 40.00 around here or less sometimes.... you just have to sell yourself! Building a company takes time ... I've been at it for 10 years and just now are seeing some good numbers. You can't get 60.00 and hour for a 21" mower , that 20 min I have a couple z's going, and then balls to the wall weedwacking, edge, and blow after.

How many people? He's a solo and it will take him longer. If you've got 3 guys on the job and it takes you 20 minutes then that's a full man hour, the same time it takes him.

Frue
03-26-2009, 01:37 PM
Well let me be the first to state the obvious. You live in M ichigan with unemployment about 10% In fact you are the highest unemployment rate in the country. So having said that the fear factor in your state is greater than other states say texas. I would adjust the price. Foe an acre I would drop it down to 48-55. Your state is being hit hard try remembering this when giving bids.

If you are not retrieving any bids look at these areas also. 1. Professionalism, from appearance, bid presentation, is it on a piece of paper or on a bid form with your logo and company info on it? 2. proper amount of time getting to know your potential customer. Sometimes taking a extra 15 min makes all the difference in the world. 3. Answering your phone as your company name. Often times people want to know you can handle the job. If this is a part time gig they are less likely to give you top dollar.

Lawnut101
03-26-2009, 02:10 PM
You may have to lower your prices and establish a name for youself in order to get your first few jobs. Someday you can charge those rates.

Trevors Lawn Care
03-26-2009, 03:54 PM
Ok I live in michgan and like everyone else on this website i am not going to work for free. I can not seem to win a bid. I am pretty sure my prices are not to high. I just submitted a bid to 60 for a little over an acre. it would have taken me about an hour. Then i bid 300 for leaves. Am i really to high? Cause yesterday i went by and seen another company doing the property. What am i doing wrong??? Do you think because i am young they think i can't do the work right? I am 19 and have been doing this for 2 years now. i have pictures that look awesome from some of my work. I dont know what to do. Can anyone help??

I was 18 when I started. I used the age to my advantage. Most people were impressed with someone as young as me that had my **** together. Your price of $60 is a bit high. I was Lake Orion, Oxford, Rochester area, and you were not getting more than $45 for an acre.

I sold the company with over 110 weekly lawn accounts at 22 years old. Age should not be the issue.

burge19
03-26-2009, 08:57 PM
ok thanks for all the help guys... it just seems hard to have some overhead and try to compete with what some of the people around here are charging

GracesLandscaping
03-26-2009, 09:46 PM
ive learned this myself.. you cant start out making a fortune because theres so many people out there doing it. and there arent that many people willing to pay top price for quality work. at least 50% of my accounts "just want the grass cut" and 80% of my accounts are in the nicest neighborhoods in my town... the doctors lawyers and so to say lol. your best bet is to have another sort of income and mow lawns for a lower price than the top notch guys are, and build your name/image up. a few years of word of mouth will do wonders for you. for instance an account of yours has a party and a friend says "oh wow your lawn is so beautiful who mows it?" and they will say you, and they will probably call you if they already pay someone to mow it! hang in there and if you try and do good work you will succeed

fazzy815-66
03-26-2009, 09:57 PM
I live in Mich as well (as you can see)....what area do you live in?... I think you are probably to high unless your in the upper class area....even then with the economy as it is your probably too high 45.00 for an acre is good... all the advice everyone has given you is very valid.

johnnybravo8802
03-26-2009, 10:18 PM
I would have probably bid it for less money and I've been doing this for years. My first impression would have been, "Why would I pay some kid the same as what a seasoned professional would charge?" I worked cheap at your age and that is what people expect the neighborhood boy to do-no offence. At 19, you can't even begin to compare yourself to someone who has done this for years and is charging X amount of money. I'm 38, look 28 and have been in this business for 28 years. When I tell people I've been in this business that long, they look at me cross eyed and have this big question mark on their forehead:confused:. It's hard to explain to people that I was plowing gardens all day long when I was just 8 years old while other kids were playing Nintendo. I got my first weedeater when I was 11 and my first chainsaw at 16. Hell, I cleared our whole property with a bush axe when I was 12 years old. People were actually scared of me in highschool and called me the "Chainsaw Massacre":laugh: I've done everything under the sun in 28 years but it's still hard to sell that. It takes a long, long time to gain respect as a professional and it's been tougher for me because I look so young and it may be the same for you for a long time- No joke, just telling it like it is!!!:drinkup:Keep plugging away!!!

Uranus
03-26-2009, 10:24 PM
Are you showing pics of your work when doing a mowing/cleanup estimate?

burge19
03-27-2009, 04:55 PM
Are you showing pics of your work when doing a mowing/cleanup estimate?

No i have not yet. I have recieved some good advice from everyone that i am going to try. thanks everyone