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Old 07-30-2011, 11:45 PM
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Kelly's Landscaping Kelly's Landscaping is online now
LawnSite Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Milford CT
Posts: 4,000
You really have quite the cult following what you said was nothing new to me it was common sense. The guys that drool over your posts are clearly missing some of their business fundamentals if they feel every thing you say taught them some top secret formula for success you simply state what they should have already known. The area I have problems with is getting the large condos to ask for a bid in the first place after 9 years we still get very few calls like that.

A few years back I got nice opportunity it was for a condo of about 240 units we did the walk through. And listened to what the guy wanted basically he was your typical collage grad lib who thought he knew how to get info in a more easily understandable format wasn't true he had never done this and had no clue what was involved.

So we took our packet home to study it demanded edging every week (latter told us different he didn't know the difference) bagging the entire place all 5 acres of turf you get the idea. So I was to do a bid on fert as part of it and sent my partner to measure the lawn we were the only ones to do it says the people that lived there. And something interesting came out it was more then 7 acres of turf and why did I know that cause I don't care what the home owner or property owner says to me they are untruthful until proven other wise. That would of been a fun to learn I'm 10 bags of fert short every time we do and application after I miss quoted the job by over 2000 dollars a year.

But the real reason I prefer to measure all large jobs no matter if they want fertilizer or not is it grounds you in reality. It opens your eyes to the real size of the job and that is essential for bidding on anything out of your comfort zone. So on this job with fall and and spring clean ups and pruning and fert and mowing how did I do? Well I bid 47,000 dollars on the place the guy told me he wasn't going to use us which was a disappointment. He said they had 3 bids in the ball park mine and one for 48,000 and one for 49,500 they went with the highest of those 3. There was 2 guys that bid way low 20,000-30,000 they were thrown out as not having a clue what they were doing. And they had 2 high bids 70,000 -90,000 so this place was all over the board.

The reason I think I lost was not price it was they wanted a Thursday-Friday cut but insisted no weekends I could not promise that if I got bumped by rain so I wanted Tuesday. They wanted no fewer then 3 men I had no issues with that if I did Tuesday I would of hit the place with 2 two man crews. The thing I think hurt me the most was against my better instincts I didn't drive there in a dump truck but instead a smaller short bed 1500. I got the impression he assumed that that meant we didn't have the right equipment silly perhaps but this year I drive in a ram 4500 and the jaws drop.

Now I had another large one last year the people who called were trying to orchestrate a coup so they wanted the prices for a condo meeting. Well ran into a problem kind of hard to price a place when your told you can drive through but you can't walk around. This place had some very old very large shrubs and were talking days worth of trimming with a 3 man crew. So while I was able to price the lawn and the clean ups I left that trimming part blank and man did that guy flip. You had a walk through he screamed yes sir I did all of 45 mins I needed 3 more hours and you wouldn't let me have it. So best I can tell you is this is my price per hour.

Now I think the coup failed but it hurt to be willing to walk away from a account that was worth 30,000 a year but I did. Because it doesn't matter if you have the account the question is are you making any money on it and with out a way of verifying I was I could not commit to something that big.

Now Procut you seem to dislike the hourly rate formula and my thinking is cause most do not understand it so they just adopted what every one else picked. I do charge 60 and hour and never less then 50 and the reason cause my hourly expenses are nearly 40 an hour. My guy that makes 17.25 and hour add in time and half and your at 25 add in the gov F U charges and hes 30 an hour at time and half. Then there's all those little expenses you talked about rent trucks you name it and that adds up to 10 an hour. So when I saw your 1000 hour example I knew my bid wasn't going to be 27000 no it was going to be around 55,000 and if I got the job great but if not I am fine with not giving up a 1000 hours a year for 0 or worse yet a loss.

Also read your post how to fail on banks that was eye opening never have your credit line with the bank you have your checking account from that actually was great advice even if you gave it indirectly. And not over leveraging your self was also some good advice. So do you plan to have a more advanced lesson post so I too can one day tell you best post I ever read.
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