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  #1  
Old 11-05-2013, 12:55 PM
calundeen calundeen is offline
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Acquiring and Bidding Commercial Mowing

Hi!!

Looking to get into commercial accounts such as townhomes w/ HOA's, apartment buildings and businesses along with more residential that I already have.

What are your strategies for acquiring such accounts and bidding them? btw I live in Minnesota so mowing is from Mid April to Mid October

Thanks!!
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:06 PM
ducnut ducnut is offline
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I don't mess with them, because they've been bid down so low. I feel like it's putting hours on a machine just for revenue; not profit. I'd much rather have residential, as you're not bidding for the work. If you've got a good reputation, you'll make a lot more money per hours invested.

The big guy around here said he just dropped cards at every business he saw. He only does a couple very large complexes, because he has two 10.5' machines and 8 guys that can get them done in a single day. Complex managers don't want crews around the property any more than they have to.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:33 PM
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jsslawncare jsslawncare is offline
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Acquiring and Bidding Commercial Mowing

I second that^^^^^^
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:30 PM
MasScape MasScape is offline
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Commercial is a lower margin but maybe you are only making 30% instead of 40%. That 30% is over a 50k commercial contract instead of a 5k residential. Commercial can be very profitable if your efficient, know how to bid extremely well, and know your company numbers very well. We do a mix of commercial and residential. If I did it again, wouldn't change that...
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:44 PM
ducnut ducnut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasScape View Post
Commercial is a lower margin but maybe you are only making 30% instead of 40%.
I wish the margins were that good, around here. We've got two LCOs that have run down everything, including municipal stuff. Next year will be interesting, as the big guy said he's going to bid for fuel cost to really put the screws to these two. As a group, we try to get things to where we're making money without screwing people, but, there are always those who don't care about profit.

When a regional mgr tells me to not waste my time because there's no way the current LCO is making money, based on his math and other location bids, indeed I will not waste my time. The dude was called out for trying to skip mowings, as he's bid it so low. I don't need it.
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Stihl BR600 blower
Stihl BG55 blower
Stihl FS55R trimmer
Stihl KM55R Kombi system
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Stihl HS45 hedge trimmer
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  #6  
Old 11-05-2013, 08:26 PM
Middle Tennessee Lawn Middle Tennessee Lawn is offline
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We have a big box company here in Nashville that will do over 50 million this year and they hope to net 8percent after all exspenses now note thats still 4 million after all payroll, fuel etc.
even small profit margins can add up if the numbers are big enough.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:37 AM
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cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
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Commercial has basically gone the way that residential has, it's a high volume game with low margins, it's all about volume so you have to be very very very efficient. I've talked to a few of the larger LCO's here and they said a certain big box LCO was underbidding people just for market share. I've had a few of their guys apply for jobs with me because they won't pay their guys jack and expect them to work ludicrous hrs.
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  #8  
Old 11-07-2013, 11:11 AM
calundeen calundeen is offline
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anyone have tips on acquiring and bidding commercial mowing?
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  #9  
Old 11-08-2013, 12:04 AM
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cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calundeen View Post
anyone have tips on acquiring and bidding commercial mowing?
Start small, it's all about developing relationships with the right people, just have to walk in and normally talk to the facility manager/ property manager and find out when they renew their contracts. Generally should have a professionally printed folder telling about your company and it's credentials to leave with them.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:39 AM
twomancrew twomancrew is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpllawncare View Post
Commercial has basically gone the way that residential has, it's a high volume game with low margins, it's all about volume so you have to be very very very efficient. I've talked to a few of the larger LCO's here and they said a certain big box LCO was underbidding people just for market share. I've had a few of their guys apply for jobs with me because they won't pay their guys jack and expect them to work ludicrous hrs.
Here they poach your labor. They make big promises and your guys go out the door. When you fold they win. I have been approached myself in this way by there guys. Also I have shook hands with two of they biggest local guys here and through a conversation with the equip dealer I have learned that those two guys go camping together in the winter and shoot big game. They get along, they compete above the table, they are both HUGE here, they are as secure as they can be. I doubt we will ever see them here on LS.

Yes it is a high volume game, and if you start picking away at big accounts in my area you get dept of revenue, zoning, city environmental inspectiions, you name it they all showed up on my doorstep once I got into that market. It was like I p'ed someone off or something. Go figure.
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