View Full Version : landscaping bids on site??

02-14-2004, 02:48 PM
1.Do you guys submit a bid/proposal on the site where the work is to be performed. 2. Or do you take down the info write it up at the office and mail it???? We have been doing #2 for some time now but i was curious to see what has worked best for you.

Thanks, Jason

02-14-2004, 04:43 PM
I much rather have time to think about it, without being pressured by a customer looking over your shoulder. Take the time to sit down and make sure you've thought of everything, crossed all the T's, dotted all the I's.

Then, hand deliver if possible.


02-14-2004, 04:44 PM
never mail... always deliver in person to explain and help wiyh decisions. try to upsell or if it is a no, try to re-bid to sell a smaller job.

02-14-2004, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by therainman
never mail... always deliver in person to explain and help wiyh decisions. try to upsell or if it is a no, try to re-bid to sell a smaller job.

Even better...

Always hand deliver. I do.

02-14-2004, 06:36 PM
I always like to see the job think about it for an hour or two, never give an estimate on the spot unless its necessary. This way I can think everything out and give my best work at my best price. I will drop it off and go over it with the customer if they would like that way they can ask any questions.

02-15-2004, 01:57 AM
Small straightforward jobs I will sometimes give an on-the-spot estimate. Most of the time if tell them I will contact them when I come up with a bid and then meet with the client in person to go over it.

Randy Scott
02-15-2004, 11:25 AM
Jobs that should be around two, three, four thousand or so, I give them a ballpark at the site. Let's me know if they had any idea it would cost that amount and I can generally weed them out right then if it's more than they want to spend. I just ask them right out, should we do the quote or is it more than they want to spend. Larger jobs, people usually have an idea that it will end up a home equity loan or something and they are aware of the larger amount that some work will cost them. They've been doing their homework and know what the big jobs can run them. Everyone still gets a contract, regardless of job size. So my final numbers will be done in my office where I can think through everything and double check the numbers.

02-15-2004, 12:16 PM
It is good to give a free estimate(ballpark) at the time you meet the perspective client,as Randy mentioned.

We have this plan in place.created by mvaden
FREE ESTIMATE ! What does that mean ?

Maintenance projects like mulching and yard detailing are offered in the Free Estimate.

Landscaping estimates are different. Usually, homeowners have no plans, drawings, or plant lists when we arrive. In that case, consulting or planning is needed, not an estimate.

Consulting and planning are not free. Those are services we offer. Consulting - if local - is about $25 minimum, and that provides up to an hour and a half. Each additional hour will be at least $20 per hour. We have never had anyone go beyond 2 hours. If homeowners have plans and details available to present to us, a Free Estimate is an option.

Most design plans are done for a fee. We prefer a flat fee, so estimates are provided for our design plan workmanship. Prices start in the realm of $25 for a sketch, and up to $200 or more for an entire residential lot. This includes travel to the site, acquiring some measurements, photographs, drawing the plans, copies, notes and plant lists. Cost will vary according to complexity, lot size and the city we need to travel to.The design is yours even if we do not install it.

The design prices are based on the condition that dimensions and plot plans are provided to us. Otherwise, time is required for measuring, which we are glad to accomodate.

Pruning estimates are the easiest to handle. Usually people know exactly what they want. Most pruning or tree removal estimates are given almost immediately .

Arborist Diagnostic fees range from 25.00 to 200.00 per tree. They consist of :
What is wrong with my tree ? What can I do to save it ?

We reserve the right to cancel a fee. Sometimes people call for advice; like for how they can save a tree that has been severely sunburned. If it canít be saved, we will cancel the consulting fee, and just give a free removal estimate instead.


02-15-2004, 03:01 PM
depends on how easy the job is. sometimes i have given an estimate on th espot but for the most part i take back the figures and think about it for a while. then i will go back to the site and hand deliver the estimate and go over it in detail face to face with the potential customer. You have better cahnces of getting them to sign with you

02-15-2004, 08:14 PM
how are you guys having time to back track to the job to hand deliver an estimate what happens if they are not there. Are you guys calling and setting up a time? I always would just mail the proposal to them mainly for the jobs of 5k and below. Lawn care i do on the spot. Larger jobs i would stop by to show them again what is going to go on.


02-15-2004, 11:07 PM
I never mail a estimate,being at the job and discusing the bid in person is like the short isles at the grocery store,some people buy on inpulse. This part to me is the most important part of the job. I always schedule a return visit to work out measurements,
and changes.

I do Landscape designs and Installations, Renovations , pruning, flower beds,sod installation,drainage,tree removals,planting,and mulching. I do not cut grass.

I do not do maintenance contracts however I recomend the client
gets one for the first year after installation.

02-16-2004, 03:01 AM
Like so many things, it all depends on the specific situation. Many times I can reach for the laptop and whip it out (I have setup several easy plug in forms) - and then there are other times when I want/need to ponder the actual request againist what actually needs to be done to increase the presentation thus increasing the potential sale.

My best guess is that 75% of the time I can provide the estimate then and there - and 8-10 be given the opportunity to carry through as well as stay within the required budget. A few times I've really missed the mark - but as you know - it only takes a few of those (for us slow fellas that is).


hole in one lco
02-16-2004, 04:20 AM
Heres what works for me.
If a job is going to cast over 10,000.0 . I take the potential client to diner to discuss the job and offer my bid at that time. I haven been turned down yet.

Green Gopher
02-17-2004, 03:33 PM
Hole in one,

Do you factor that cost in your bid or do you just write the dinner off? It seem like at $10,000 you would be taking a lot of clients out to dinner that might not take your bid. I could see a large commercial or $100,000 bid, but for me that seems like an expensive way to get new mid range business. How much do you budget monthly for client dinners? I have worked in the medical field and sales reps took us out to dinner all the time, but we are talking hundreds of thousands of potential dollars in supplies and equipment were on the line.

I like your creativity and the client probably doesn't get that kind of service from the rest of us. I am sure that after that night they tell their friends about the dinner, and that can't hurt your business.


P.S. Could you come bid a project at my house?:D :D

02-17-2004, 09:12 PM
Like others, on smaller jobs I bid on site and others I like to think about before putting a number on it. It seems like every time I bid too fast I burn myself. I also like to hand deliever if possible. The down side is the time and expense of making another trip, but that I guess is the cost of doing business. It also seems that people are not only buying landscaping, they are also buying into you. You have one opportunity to make a positive impact on the customer when you do the initial bid and you have another when you deliever the bid and go over it with them. Especially if it is a nonrefered job, to them, everybody's quality is the same. I believe these people are more likely to buy from you if they like you. I think you lose this advantage by mailing a quote.