View Full Version : How Much Should I Bid On My First Commercial Job?

02-28-2011, 12:24 PM
My brother and I own a small landscaping business and all we have is residential lawns. We just got an offer 2 bid on the common areas of a neighbor hood. All they have are some traffic islands, the entrances of the neighborhood (I think two or three), and a strip of land by the road. Any tips for pricing it. Should I try to price it by the aproximate hours or some other way? I generally try to price my jobs where my brother & I make $50 an hour combined. Is that the rate I should keep for commercial jobs, or should it go up or down? What ever suggestions or advice you can give will be very much appreciated!

02-28-2011, 12:32 PM
price it to make $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

02-28-2011, 12:44 PM
as above...price it to make the amount of money you need or are happy making , but make sure to cover your expenses such as gas, equipment depreciation, labour, and since your dealing with a commercial account, make sure you have liability insurance.....any company up here seeking bids makes anyone submitting a bid also submit proof of insurance....if something goes wrong theu don't hesitate to sue so cover your butt

Mountain Peak
02-28-2011, 01:13 PM
Figure your cost of doing business per hour and then add the profit you want to make each hour. That's your hourly rate. Then figure out how long it will take to mow that grass and go from there.

02-28-2011, 01:27 PM
first they are gonna want to see insurense also a minimum of 1,000,000 coverage.

02-28-2011, 07:30 PM
Do it by the hour. Im assuming with you having a combined hourly rate of 50, your probably not paying insurance or have your license. If you do..i apologize. If you dont...GET IT! It is vital and your going to need it in the future anyways. SO to your question...charge by the hour...i would charge atleast 40 per person...so 80 combined...and since it is small...make this a learning experience...nobody can tell you exactly what to do..just ideas...at least your smarter then a lot of guys on here who only mow two yards and want to know how to bid on a 30 acre account...start slow and small...grow from there. You might loose money on it, but you will learn. Been there..done that

02-28-2011, 07:40 PM
Welcome to lawnsite.

There is a huge amount of information you can gather by first searching for a topic.

Allow me to help you with this one.


02-28-2011, 07:50 PM
Ask to see the contract from last year so you can compair prices from the previous company that has been doing it. works about 50% of the time when i bid commercials, some people will give the info out right away in hopes that you can beat the previous guys prices.

02-28-2011, 08:51 PM
Thanks for all the responses. I do have a license, but no insurance. I'm calling for quotes now, though. I found out the is a retention pond we would have to do now also. I'll let you know how it goes.

02-28-2011, 09:27 PM
U must first know your cost of doing business. knowing your $ per manhour is a must

02-28-2011, 09:58 PM
by $, I think he means costs

Painting Stripes 11
03-04-2011, 02:24 AM
what i do for all my commercial accounts is walk out the square footage length times width for you slow ones out there haha, add it all up and times that by a dollar amount.

Ex: a property had 205000 sq.ft i times that by $1.50= $305.00 per mow and if they want to know how much for the whole year take 305 times 30 (30 mows in a season) = $9150

03-04-2011, 02:34 AM
You must be close to break even at $25/man hr. You will probably need to charge at least $40/man hr to make money. With lower overhead you should be able to make decent money at that rate. Figure out how long it will take you, plus drive time and there you go. For instance it takes 2 of you 1 hr. That's $80. Then it's a 15 min drive each way. Charge them what it costs you to drive there. So an hour total at $25/hr of costs. I say an hour for 2 of you. But you could probably get away with charging around $15-25 for that part. So using my example $95 seems like a fair price.

But you have to figure you own costs and do this equation yourself.