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View Full Version : Commercial bidding process question new i swear


R&T Services
08-06-2011, 04:47 AM
I understand i'll need to fill out a bid sheet never done it before with commercial. My main question is do they tell you what they need like a majority of them? or do you just know they need x amount of mulch and just mowing and bid that on your own sheet? deffinitley not rushing this just figured when i do put my foot in the door I can be ready.

My hourly rate is $28 a hour setting me $2 lower than the competition which ranges from $30-45 depending on the operation.
Would I when I bid just figure 2 guys 1 hour $56 then figure out mulch or do you you set a hourly rate per week?

If anyone could give me some answers it would be much appreciated.

Angelo585
08-06-2011, 08:37 AM
not a new question by any means... but here is everything you need to know and then some... if you used the search button, you would have found it!!!

http://lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=341624

R&T Services
08-06-2011, 12:44 PM
Yup already read that one didn't answer my question I've searched all over this is a more in depth question if im not clear on what im asking by all means let me know
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Snyder's Lawn Inc
08-06-2011, 12:48 PM
Yup already read that one didn't answer my question I've searched all over this is a more in depth question if im not clear on what im asking by all means let me know
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Most Commercial Job ask for workmans Comp do you have that That might be reason there hourly rates are higher then yours

JDiepstra
08-06-2011, 12:51 PM
$28 per hour... Explains the quesions hes asking.

djagusch
08-06-2011, 01:07 PM
Write down all the services you believe the property needs. Figure your cost (labor, material, equipment, overhead), add profit (yes its a dirty word). Divided that number over the billing period (12months, 7 months, etc).

After all that look at the work it will be and ask yourself "is it worth it?", sometimes it is sometimes it is not. Adjust the price if it is not.

Just a hint figuring 28/hr will not be worth it. Doesn't matter if you run a used w/b or new ztr with min wage $28/hr has no profit to the biz owner.
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R&T Services
08-06-2011, 03:44 PM
$28 isn't including gas there or in mowers so that's why im a little on the low side how much is workmans comp typically? Do I need it if im solo?

Djagusch my main question is does the person your giving the bid to tell you what needs to be done? Do they have the contract written for x mows x amount of mulch? If so honestly be a lot easier I know for a fact 1 commerical place around me does it just wondering on the small banks and lawyers offices
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djagusch
08-06-2011, 03:56 PM
When you talk to them prior to giving them a quote mention services that you find they need. If there is something that is important to them they will tell you that also. You need to sell services not just drop off a bid without knowing their needs.

I personally don't think they care how often you cut it as long as it looks good. So I put a height span 3" to 4.5" the grass will be maintained. For shrubs fert I put in how often but others may not.

You need to find out what works in your area.

If you have help you need work comp. Talk to tour insurance agent for quotes. Do you pay taxes? Does lawn care get sales tax in your state?
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Angelo585
08-06-2011, 04:00 PM
$28 isn't including gas there or in mowers so that's why im a little on the low side how much is workmans comp typically? Do I need it if im solo?

Djagusch my main question is does the person your giving the bid to tell you what needs to be done? Do they have the contract written for x mows x amount of mulch? If so honestly be a lot easier I know for a fact 1 commerical place around me does it just wondering on the small banks and lawyers offices
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As a business owner and a Green Industry professional, you should know the what the mowing season consists of for your geographical area, in NYS the season can go from late March to Mid November depending where you are located in the state, so anywhere from 30 to 37 potential cuts. You need to figure that out for your area. Most commercial accounts will provide a spec sheet with an outline of services, you then need to walk and measure the property yourself... do not take what someone else tells you verbatim... for instance a spec sheet may say 50 yds of mulch at 3" deep, you measure 60... see where I am going? if you bid by their 50 yds then you lost $$$ cause it is actually 60 yds and you just ate it!

This is all general business practices that you should already be aware of.

All my commercial accounts require proof of at least 1 million in liability insurance plus proof of workman's comp coverage, I can't speak for the small commercial places like a lawyers office or doctors office or something like that. If you are dealing with a HOA or Property manager, be prepared to provide not only the above mentioned coverages, but also references from other commercial accounts you service.

As a professional, the perspective client will also be looking to you to suggest/guide them on what they need in addition to what they are asking for.

R&T Services
08-06-2011, 04:12 PM
Great info guys I can tell what needs to be done I just wasn't sure if they also confirmed do I need a license to do fertilizer? And sorry im in a partnership with 0 employees so how would work mans comp work I've read its x dollars per $100 made so would it go by my income?
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JDiepstra
08-06-2011, 04:36 PM
$28 isn't including gas there or in mowers so that's why im a little on the low side how much is workmans comp typically? Do I need it if im solo?

Djagusch my main question is does the person your giving the bid to tell you what needs to be done? Do they have the contract written for x mows x amount of mulch? If so honestly be a lot easier I know for a fact 1 commerical place around me does it just wondering on the small banks and lawyers offices
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ok is gas its own line item or are they going to be supplying it for you?

R&T Services
08-06-2011, 04:41 PM
How can I put into my hourly rate gas if I don't even know what property im doing yet? Id be getting the gas its towards next year anyway so who knows what gas will be
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BradLewisLawnCare
08-06-2011, 06:39 PM
I spend like 12% ON wc.
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BenThere Lawncare
08-07-2011, 01:44 PM
How can I put into my hourly rate gas if I don't even know what property im doing yet? Id be getting the gas its towards next year anyway so who knows what gas will be
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This guy has no idea what he is doing.

Angelo585
08-07-2011, 02:05 PM
This guy has no idea what he is doing.

:clapping::walking::dizzy:

thats why I gave up on this thread.... sometimes people just don't get it no matter how simply you explain it!:hammerhead:

ReddensLawnCare
08-13-2011, 05:16 PM
to the poster, do you even know what your COSTS per hour are? Not your price. Without that, your question doesnt even matter. And I believe you also labeled yourself as a lowballer considering you found out what others in your area where charging and decided to charge 2 bucks less. How do you know you know you will make money at 28/hr. If i were to charge that with one helper, I would make $1.20/hr. Thats me though

lukemelo216
08-13-2011, 06:49 PM
yup once you know what your cost of business is, then worry about bidding. You dont bid gas by the property. You need to sit down and add all of your costs for the year up. Things like: auto ins, gen lib ins, shop/office rent (even if your using your own home you should still figure in a small amount for that), equipment costs (if you have a loan, or figure out the hourly rate of the equipment (average life span divided by the cost of the machine) , truck payment, cell phone, office phone, workers comp, fuel, advertising, equipment breakdown/reapairs, owner salary/wages, labor

No you wont know the exact figures on some points, such as advertsing, or repairs, for those you make an educated guess. Say this year you spent 800 on repairs, well next year it would be a good idea to budget like 1200 for repairs.

Now when you add all that up for 1 month you need to multiply that by 12 to get 1 year. Then divide it by the number of months you work (here i work mid march through mid november so thats 8.) That amount is the amount you need to make per month to break even for the year (saving the rest to pay for the 4 months off.) Then divide that by the total number of billable hours your anticipating. Say you think it will be you and 1 employee working 30 hours per week. Thats 240 hours per month. So you will take that monthly total, divided by 240 and thats your hourly BREAK EVEN RATE, meaning what you need to charge just so you can stay out of the red. Then add in your profit.

Example, say you have 4k/month in expenses and work 8 months per year. Thats 48k per year in expenes. You need to make that 24k in 8 months, so you need to make 6/month. Each month your working 240 hours, so you need to bill $25/man hour, to cover your costs.

As far as owner salary and wages go, you need to be realistic about it, many people arent. If your working as a foreman on your crew, then you should be making a foremans wage while your working. You need to determine that based on your area. Most maintenance foreman around me make about 12-16/hr, so if i was on the crew, id be paying myself that. Then as an owner you should be making a salary too. Say your working about 20 hours a week as the actual owner going on estimates/bidding, etc in addition to your foreman responsibilites. Owner salary is tough, but usually at start up the salary is about 50-70% of market value. I would say starting out as a small business if your working aobut 20 hours a week as an owner and not a laborer around $300-400/week would be a fair salary, and as you go, you can slowly increase that.

With your fuel you need to do a guesstimation. Figure right now your working 20 hours per week, and your filling up all of your equipment to mow 1x/week. Next year your hoping to be mowing 40/hrs per week and are guessing you will need to fill everything up 2x's. Then you just do an average on gas.


when you meet with commercial property managers, you need to ask them if they have a bid sheet avalable to use. If not you need to ask them if they have any special service requests or if they have a general idea of what they would like to all have done throughout the season.

ed2hess
08-13-2011, 07:53 PM
Write down all the services you believe the property needs. Figure your cost (labor, material, equipment, overhead), add profit (yes its a dirty word). Divided that number over the billing period (12months, 7 months, etc).

After all that look at the work it will be and ask yourself "is it worth it?", sometimes it is sometimes it is not. Adjust the price if it is not.

Just a hint figuring 28/hr will not be worth it. Doesn't matter if you run a used w/b or new ztr with min wage $28/hr has no profit to the biz owner.
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I diagree with the idea you can't make money at that rate one of the biggest companies that do residential are just right at that price point. Would you mean to say is that you won';t work for $10 per hour profit.

bohiaa
08-15-2011, 10:54 PM
How can I put into my hourly rate gas if I don't even know what property im doing yet? Id be getting the gas its towards next year anyway so who knows what gas will be
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GENTELMEN:



PLEASE I'm BEGGING YOU. DO a ballance sheet. If you dont know what it is. Do a search on the internet. there are TONS of samples. MOSt of your Questions from this post will be answered.

We understand that your here to learn. BUT. TAKE the advice that's offered.
YOU WILL be Amazed at how knowlegable Some of us are. We have dont this for MANY years. and YES, WE KNOW WAHT WERE TALKING ABOUT.
We have made all the mistakes.....

SO PLEASE go at least look at a ballance sheet.

Best Of luck

Tyler7692
08-16-2011, 01:55 PM
I diagree with the idea you can't make money at that rate one of the biggest companies that do residential are just right at that price point. Would you mean to say is that you won';t work for $10 per hour profit.

Who wants to work for $10 an hour with their own business? F that, I'll go make more money working at Home Depot with very little responsibility.... and some benefits for that matter!

vencops
08-16-2011, 10:22 PM
Free advice ---

Whenever you submit a bid, don't give any more information than they're asking for.

They'll use your information to screw your competition.....and your competition's numbers to screw you.

Torchwood
11-13-2011, 08:48 PM
Suscribed
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Glenn Lawn Care
11-14-2011, 12:09 AM
$28/hr? LOL that is something I would have kept to my self!!!