I would do it for $4000 no problem, if in conjunction with the commercial mowing codex. I think the original poster (Eric) just hasn't been in the commercial market for a while. Allow me to translate the specified workload using the unwritten commercial mowing codex:
- weekly mowing and an alternate price for bi-monthly mowing, there is (108,000sf turf) about 2.5 acres:
Weekly what? It will be cut every 2-3 weeks depending on growth, don't mow until the grass gets over 1 foot. Set deck height to 3-3.5" and floor it, cut quality is next to irrelevant.
- trimming (roughly 45 min worth)
: The outside perimiter (fence) will be trimmed every 2-3 weeks, with all inside obstacles done 1x per month.
- edging (3200) linear feet)
: Follow-up with the trimmer 1x per month or edger every two months, as long as the edge is visible, it's OK.
- blowing off parking lot (4800sf)
: Done 3x per year during the intense fall months, if parking lines can be seen through the leaves, there's no need to blow yet (legit), the rest is left to the wind.
- color change two times a year with routine bed maintenance (900sf total bed area)
: Bed mix with Oriental lilies and Siberian irises should work. Till up every 2 months and Roundup as needed.
- 11 yards of mulch one time per year
: 1.1 yards of mulch (codex compensated) with the rest being a mix of collected clippings and shreaded leaves on-site.
- they also wanted turf grass weed control and fertilizer program for (13,000sf) in the front of the business.
Mulch instead of discharge in front of the business every 2 weeks, fertilize 1x per year in spring.
- As well as trimming 12 small shrubs as needed and pruning 6 medium sized crepe myrtles.
Shrubs trimmed 1x per year (August) and Myrtles pruned 1x per year (late winter). Pruned branches go through a gas powered chipper on-site and back as bed mulch.
For $250 per month a bit tight, $350 should be OK and it's honest money.
Will the customer find the work acceptable? Most likely yes.
Will they complain next year? Yes, about the price, not the work.
Why are commercial customers like this? Because you would likely do the same.
Drive around your area and look at factories, warehouses, railroad stations and tell me what you see. Weekly manicured grass? Nada. For most businesses landscape maintenance is just unwanted expense and they will seek to avoid it as much as possible.
If you owned an abandoned barn, a small warehouse or a small family business what would you be willing to spend to have it maintained? $10-$15k per year? I don't think so. Most will pay to get a paper (receipt) to prove they're doing what the state demands them to do. Some will even settle for a paper that lists the state minimum yet will pay and be happily satisfied with even less.
Should you like commercial accounts? I don't like them, but I need their money to survive. That's why I shut up and adapt to their means. The work can be rationed / done reasonably well with some honest money to spare. Sadly there's not enough residential accounts in my area since the great factories went bust to fill my schedule.