View Full Version : First Commercial bid need pricing Advice

06-19-2009, 07:45 PM
Thanks in advance for reading. I have my first commercial bid to do. For now the owner is just looking for weed removal from beds, beds re-edged, and new mulch. This could however turn into a mowing account and regular maintenance account so I want to be as fair as possible, without being a lowballer, but I don't want to bite it in the end. I know every bid is a risk but that is why I am asking for advice. I figure the more I get the better educated I am. So, to fill you in...
There are two brand new buildings that were put up 2 years ago, which was also the last time anyone did anything with this property besides mow it. Apparently, the owner is on the towns blight list for not upkeeping the property and has enough money to pay all the fines but hasn't been real motivated about fixing it. I called him to ask if he was interested in service and he was happy to hear from me and asked for a quote on the services mentioned above. Where it goes I'll let you know...but in the mean time I am happy just to get the bidding experience. There are so many beds of all shapes and sizes. Please tell me what will help you help me. Should I give the sqare feet of all individually, should I tally up the total that needs to be tended to? Some beds are filled with weeds and others have only a little. All will need to be pulled so I am thinking a fairly labor intensive job. I have myself and 2 helpers possibly a third if needed. I have a small skid steer I can put on the property to spread mulch faster. I can scoop and drop to reduce wheelbarrel work while my guys spread. I will check the thread in a little while to see what info any helpful person needs. As always, Thank-you for all your time..This site and the people on it have taught me alot! :usflag:

06-19-2009, 07:56 PM
I've said this before and I'll say it again.

If you don't know how to bid correctly...just charge hourly...40-45 per man hour sounds like a reasonable charge for this kind of job...

You do it hourly...you can work at a good pace, not worrying that your losing your arse...not to mention more inclined to stay longer and do the extras that really make clients happy.

You bid it out straight...you can either make a killing, lose your arse, or make a good profit...you just gotta know.

Now as far as the Lawn Maintenance... You must come up with a price per week...Do the initial mowing during the hourly cleanup...so you don't have to worry about the lawn being trashed when you show up to do the first of the maintenance cuts, and also this will give you an idea of how much the weekly mow price should fall.

06-19-2009, 08:11 PM
So am I to understand
"You do it hourly...you can work at a good pace, not worrying that your losing your arse...not to mention more inclined to stay longer and do the extras that really make clients happy."
I tell the owner this is what I charge an hour... Put me on the job
or 40-45 per man hour and rough guess how long it is going to take,bid that and hope and pray I get it done in time?
Do you guys give yourselves a couple hour cushion or do you really have it timed out from experience? It's the experience part that gets me. I have the experience doing the work but was never the guy who bid the jobs. Years later I decide to go out on my own and wished I had paid closer attention to the clock all those years. At least I'd have more under my belt than mechanics, what to do and an artistic eye.
Thanks again,

06-19-2009, 08:21 PM
If you have experience doing this kind of work, you might be able to figure out how long it will take you and two guys to do.

Defenitely give yourself a cushion...but don't get scared if you go over on time..as long as the place looks tits.

06-19-2009, 09:45 PM
I try real hard not to sacrafice quality even when I know it costing me. Its a learning process and sometimes I'm happy to break even. I don't have alot of time to network with other pros. Who's got time when there is so much to be done. That's why the help here is awesome... Rainy days, midnight when the normal people are asleep.. I can type in and get the help I may have had to spend all day picnicing and socializing for. I just don't have that kind of time. Don't get me wrong.. I wish I had that kind of time and maybe I will someday but I need what time I do have with my wife and kids. :cool2:
Thanks alot for your help. I really appreciate it.