Originally Posted by yazzy
I'm getting ready to place a bid on an upcoming mowing contract for the local school system, which has 3 schools and its central office. It's my first commercial bid to make so any thoughts would be nice. If I get this deal, I'll jump in and start getting my equipment for the job creep my way into the business.
Calculated mowing area of the school schools is approximately 46 acres. The high school campus is approximately 30 mowing acres, while the the middle school, elementary school, and board office is 16 acres.
I think they prefer bi-weekly mowings so I'm going with that. The contract would run from March 1 to November 30, so what...9 months?
I've calculated approximately 20 mowings for each school, give or take a little on weather. There will also be 3 bush trimmings conducted, one in the beginning, middle, one to close out the season, and also 2 mulchings.
This is reasonably close to some of the other contracts they awarded in the past, so my bid for the job is $13,000.
$9200 for mowing, and the trimming and mulching at $3800.
Okay, first off, how long will it take you to mow 46 acres? You don't know because you don't have the equipment to know how fast you can mow an acre. I would say the industry average is between 1.5-2 acres an hour. So say you can mow 1.5 acres an hour, that's 30.67 hours a week to mow. If you are bidding $9200 for mowing, that's $9200 / 20 mowings = $460/mow and $15.00. After you factor in fuel, your time, taxes, insurance....etc, you won't make anything. Plus there will be a lot of wear and tear on your equipment because im sure it isn't the smoothest ground.
I would consider making your bottom dollar, break even price, about double or even triple where you are at right now. It's going to be a lot of work, and if you aren't making your top dollar per hour, it's going to keep you too busy to bid work that will actually make you money. Don't worry about what it has gone for in the past, bid it where you need to bid it to make money. If you do not get it, you will be better off that way.