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joshman108
06-09-2011, 08:14 PM
Hi. Im in highschool and working my second year residential. Im going fairly well for starting off and I know the residential market pretty well, but i know nothing about commercial mowing.

For ease, lets say 2 same sized jobs, a big res. and small com. take the same time to do. Do you get paid more for the commercial job simply because its commercial and you can? Or is the pricing the same?

Im thinking about moving into commercial soon

nobagger
06-09-2011, 08:49 PM
Hi. Im in highschool and working my second year residential. Im going fairly well for starting off and I know the residential market pretty well, but i know nothing about commercial mowing.

For ease, lets say 2 same sized jobs, a big res. and small com. take the same time to do. Do you get paid more for the commercial job simply because its commercial and you can? Or is the pricing the same?

Im thinking about moving into commercial soon

Well first off your in for a rude awakening. In my experience commercial accounts tend to be less money than residential. Every swinging you know what is drooling over them and then the bidding begins which means, usually the lowest price wins. There is very little loyalty so don't put all your eggs in one basket because you might not be there next year. TRUST ME!!! more times than not there not worth the headaches. We do 3 big box stores and many other commercial places but these 3 are a complete PITA! picking up garbage for an hour before you can even start mowing, call backs for a single sidewalk crack weed, stupid stuff. Don't get me wrong, we have a few that are good accounts but every year you have to worry if the next low baller slashed the price again. I know the allure of doing a "commercial" account is great but again most aren't worth the phone call.

topsites
06-09-2011, 09:51 PM
To answer the question, given the conditions you described with two lots...
One residential, one commercial, both identical to each other down to every
single last detail except one is residential, the other is a business.
Assuming both would have exactly the same work done.
The price would be the same.

One should always charge what it would cost to do the amount of work being asked of us to do,
plus materials and what costs you may have, labor, all of that.
But we don't charge more because we can, nor do we charge extra just because it's a business.

As to whether that actually and ever works out that way in the real world?
That could be a different story.

205mx
06-09-2011, 11:22 PM
And make sure u have some profit. I've nickeled and domed myself to death on some bids. Make it worth your while.
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Lawnut101
06-09-2011, 11:58 PM
Commercial jobs are usually more money, but less profit. They cover more expenses, but cost more to do a lot of times. It's hard to find residential jobs that bring in as much as a commercial job. Fyi, Condos are the worst... and cheap

justanotherlawnguy
06-10-2011, 02:15 AM
Commercial is garbage!!! Why does everybody think comm. Is the holy Grail of lawn service?

Next time you drive by commercial sites, look at the guys maintaining them. 98% are garbage lowball lawn guys working from a dodge Dakota. If that's what you aspire to be, then go for it...
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Hell on Blades
06-10-2011, 05:04 AM
Aside from some of the points above, both markets are profitable in their own ways.

You will run into a problem bidding commercial properties until you're at least eighteen. As of now you're not old enough to sign a contract, even if you are initiating it.
Also, I'm assuming that you've not insured yourself, due to your age. Most commercial properties ask for more than minimum insurance. You will have trouble getting insurance until you're 18.

BCL Services
06-10-2011, 07:18 AM
Commercial is garbage!!! Why does everybody think comm. Is the holy Grail of lawn service?

Next time you drive by commercial sites, look at the guys maintaining them. 98% are garbage lowball lawn guys working from a dodge Dakota. If that's what you aspire to be, then go for it...
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This statement is just idiotic. Or maybe your idea of commercial is much different than mine. Most true commercial clients require contractors to meet many requirements to even submit a bid to even considered.

justanotherlawnguy
06-10-2011, 09:41 AM
Here is my idea of commercial: obviously there are different kinds of commercial. You've got companies like valley crest that do the common grounds for all the nice sub divisions around here. I know for a fact that nobody on this site van compete with them.

Then you have apartment complexes that some of the medium sized guys can handle.

There are strip malls, car dealerships, businesses, restaurants, gas stations, fast food etc which is what most of the commercial jobs guys on here refer to. Maybe it's different where your at, but here in this part of Florida, those types of commercial accounts are serviced by the dirtiest, garbage lawn guys out there. Next time i get a chance, I will take some pics of the guys I see doing commercial work.
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joshman108
06-10-2011, 11:10 AM
thanks guys this helped. Fortunately I am 18 and am legalizing my business next year. How much does insurance cost?

justanotherlawnguy
06-10-2011, 12:04 PM
thanks guys this helped. Fortunately I am 18 and am legalizing my business next year. How much does insurance cost?

Why does every newb on this site have to have their hands held for everything?

Call an insurance agent!!! And when you find out how expensive commercial auto insurance and liability costs, well you will probably just skip it.
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BestImpressions99
06-10-2011, 12:19 PM
Honestly if a guy is licensed and insured for professional work who cares if they aren't big enough to bid subdivisions and apartment complexes. One thing you DO have to have is insurance and a license (at least from my experience).

Joshman, you will be spending quite a bit of time (again from my experience) doing odds and ends to make the business happy. We're contracted on a monthly price that is the same even in the winter when there isn't any cutting going on. The only thing that is extra is mulch and if the owner wants the shrubs trimmed more than once. Other than that your bid will most likely (not definite, but definitely ask) include ALL extras... mulch, shrub trimming, blowing the parking lot (even in the winter), planting and removing vegetation. Just a couple things to think about.

I don't remember exactly what insurance costs. I'll look into it... but age will have alot to do with what you'll pay (the same thing that effects car/motorcycle insurance rates).