View Full Version : When should I start bidding on those commercial accounts?

12-11-2004, 01:40 AM
Hey guys,
I'm really looking to expand my business a whole lot next season. I really want to get into commercial. So when should i start gettin my bids in on commercial accouts. I live in Northern New jersey our season usally runs from april till the end of oct.

Also what do you guys accually do with bidding, just write up a contract put a nice cover letter to the managment on it, drop it off, and hope they sign it?


12-11-2004, 01:48 AM
i have a portfolio that i keep that has a lot of pics in it and a portfolio that i include in all of my bids. and if they call me back to discuss it i show them the more en depth one

as far as when....call the property manager or whoever does this for the company and ask them when they are accepting bids. most ive noticed start to accept in january or early febuary in my area.

12-11-2004, 01:51 AM
Most start looking in the new year, ie) Jan'05.. I have a meeting wioth one of the biggest property management in Janurary, if I get in with these guys I will expand to 4 trucks immediately..

12-11-2004, 02:01 AM
What I have been doing is simply walking in and talking with whoever handles grounds management. Talk to them and sell yourself basically...services offered and equipment etc.. I wont tell them a price upfront until after I ask them to let me look around first. Then I give my quote after taking that time to do so. Or at least if I do already have a price in mind I still take the time to look around first.

I think this approach is more personal and easier to get the job by doing so. Of course I am professional at all times. I tell them a quote then if they want one in handwriting or typed I will do that as well. Some places even send the quotes to a regional manager.

With timing...the way I have been doing it is talk to these companies you may be interested in sometime late fall or even early winter. Usually they don't really want to deal with their yard again until a few weeks before mowing season begins again. So mid to late January I see them again and try and get things going. I then show them my contract and let them decide...and hardly ever do I change my price. That will kill you sometimes.

12-11-2004, 02:39 AM
What do you guys bring with you when you have a meeting with the property managers? DO you guys bring your commercial bid sheet, workers comp sheet, insurance papers, services offered and other stuff to entice them?

12-11-2004, 10:16 AM
does anyone have a sample of a commercial bid sheet they could share with us? thanks


12-11-2004, 11:42 AM
How do you guys accually meet the property managers? What do you do with smaller companies who i'm sure do not have property managers? I don't really feel like i would be taken seriously only being 20.
Sorry for so many questions guys i will be olnly starting my 3rd season next year and i'm eager to learn how to get into the commercial business.

12-11-2004, 01:19 PM
Call the property manager and ask them directly, when you can meet with them..

Its okay, you're in your 3rd season but I am in my 2nd season..

12-11-2004, 01:43 PM
Before you can bid you must know what these people expect. Most of the time they have Bid Specifications available that can be photo copied and given to you. Take that home, work up a proposal, and come back. This can even be done over the phone and faxed to you. If they wonít do it over the phone, they are tight with their present LCO and it would be a waste of your time to go any further.

If they donít have Bid Specifications, I just ask for a copy of their last contract. Sometimes they give the whole thing to me, and sometimes they white-out the price. Either way you need to know what is expected of you so you can bid apples to apples.

I also like to ask if they had any thing they really liked about their present LCO, and anything they really didnít like. If the present LCO is charging less than what you propose but they are not happy with some aspect of their service, you know what to talk about. You have to know what the issues are so you can concentrate on them when you come back and make your proposal.

P.S. If you are rejected when you come back with your proposal, ask in a nice way if they wouldn't mind telling you exactly why they rejected my bid... was my price too high?... do you need more referrals? I usually do this as I am walking out the door so it doesn't look like I'm trying to turn it around. I say, "Just so I can learn from my mistakes, and if you don't mind, can you please tell me where I went wrong? This way I can do better with the next prospect." What I'm really doing is probing and attempting to close once again, only in a subtle way.

12-11-2004, 01:47 PM
yes and walk through the property with them..

IF they dont have a bid sheet for you, make one up yourself or find one on this site and then you can tailior it to your needs.

Tell them a bit about yourself and the company, ie) schooling, how long you been doing this, other commercial accounts you have,etc..

12-11-2004, 03:51 PM
I have asked "What is your maintenance budget?" Sometimes that works, sometimes it is unproffessional. I would always put anything concerning price in writing.

12-11-2004, 04:09 PM
LOL, i never get a budget answer... :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

12-11-2004, 04:52 PM
if you think they wont take you seirously do what i do and wear a tie and really look nice walking in there. i was 16 thoughout this whole season and although i didnt get any of the condo complexes i bid on, because of my price, they never questioned my age. i did get alot of the places like wendy's and other smaller commercial places.

to answer your question if they dont have a property manager....just go to the property and ask if you can talk to someone about placing a bid. if its a restaurant youll get the manager or someone like that.

12-11-2004, 05:58 PM
Better Grass, do you do multiple Wendy's or just one or two because I heard they bid them out by section of town. i.e. east, west, north, south etc.

12-11-2004, 06:46 PM
Bettergrass I bet I know which one you do across from Meijer or the one across from BP. I like to bid on Cemeteries if you don't like to bid on them and if you know where any are getting bidd on in are area email me @ firecadetnick@yahoo.com

12-11-2004, 08:47 PM
i got a single one....the one across from meijers on mont road

gateway....i dont get your question are you asking me if i want to give up the bid for next year or you asking me if i want your cemeteries.

also gateway jw are you doing any of the large commercials around here...i am getting ketterer co. and probally surburban oil.

12-11-2004, 08:48 PM
by the way gateway which one is infront of bp.....im still trying to figure out where you are talking about

12-11-2004, 11:31 PM
The Wendy's beside elegant car wash and oil etc., no I don't won't your properties. I did'nt know if you had herd of any cemeteries up for bid in your area, and if your not bidding on the cemeteries or props up for bid can you tell me where they are. No I am not going to give up mine. No, I don't have any jobs over that way yet, I try to stay more residential. You do a pretty good job at Wendy's. Also con-grats on the other possible jobs :waving: Also if there are any jobs in my area for bid can you tell me, and did you get to talk to Deerefield fire dept. yet?

12-11-2004, 11:47 PM
ahhh i forgot you were the guy with the fire dept.....but no i havent been able to get ahold of them, ive been really busy.

um im really not sure of to many cemiteries...i think theres one on montgomery rd...union cemetery...a lco services it but dunno if it is up for bids.

ill let you know if there is anything else i find open. I HATE CEMETERIES...they creep me out and are a pita

12-11-2004, 11:53 PM
Thanks, also if I here of any commercial props for bid in your area I let you know. I saw Chief-57 but I forgot to ask him, sorry.

12-12-2004, 01:19 PM
Gatewayuser, I know the Jewish cemetaries here in town bid out their cemeteries cause I know a guy who used to do them, but I don't know how he got them

12-12-2004, 03:19 PM
id have to guess and say just call the cemeteries....

grass man whats your lco called

12-12-2004, 04:02 PM
Vater's Lawn Care, I operate in the western side of Hamilton county and Cincinnati.

12-12-2004, 05:13 PM
nvm havent scene you around...