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  #21  
Old 09-23-2001, 12:57 PM
summitgroundskeeping summitgroundskeeping is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Hobart, Indiana
Posts: 410
I think

it's because, it's too hard to give a bid without seeing the job site. And it depends on how much it would cost you to do a job compared to them. For me to landscape large comm jobs, I would have to charge way more than a larger LCO in my area, but to mow small to larger-medium lawns, you can't touch me, you know? It just depends.
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  #22  
Old 09-23-2001, 01:03 PM
kris kris is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: nowhere
Posts: 1,833
There is alot more to consider in your example.

Demographics for one play a huge part. Try charging the same amount for a lawn in San Francisco as you do in .... Idaho.

If my overhead is much lower than someone else ... I may be able to charge less and still make more "profit" than the other guy.

For the record...ours(overhead) is high.
Maintenance ( 2nd season ) makes up about 1/10 of our business. The rest is Landscape constuction. If you factored in the greenhouse business you would probably be around 1/50. We also pay more per hour than many other maintenance companys.

We find it hard to compete, but I must say that we showed a profit in the first year of the maintenance division. This year's figures are not complete but we are on budget to do much better.

We stay away from $20 dollar res. .... instead we concentrate on commercial, where insurance etc keeps some out of the bidding.

We won't stay in this if we don't make a profit.. we stick to our prices and get alot of work because the business has been around for 35 years and people know and trust us to do the job we are being paid for.

I understand your frustrations but this is a free country and people may charge whatever they want.
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  #23  
Old 09-23-2001, 03:05 PM
Likestomow Likestomow is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 994
Bidding on commercial property is difficult, weather you are new to the business or experienced. After you have submitted some bids you will have a better feel for what your market will bear. Don't be afraid to place some bids, even if you are not very sure of yourself. In the beginning for me, a friend of mine in the business told me to figure up a price and then add 25% more to it. I thought he was being over zealous, but he was just being practical.

I have been rejected in my bidding far more than I've been successful. When I get rejected, I always try to go back and say, "To help me bid more successfully in the future, would you mind telling me what bid you finally accepted? If they will tell you, and most will, you will have a good example to go by right in your market.

So go ahead and give out some bids, but I'd recommend that if you are going error, error on the high side, not the low side. After a while you will be able to estimate how long a job will take you and what your expenses (if any) might be. Just take time to think it out (imagine yourself doing the work) and look at the property more than once. And don't be afraid to fail! There will always be more opportunities ahead, the Lord willing.
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  #24  
Old 09-23-2001, 07:20 PM
AltaLawnCare's Avatar
AltaLawnCare AltaLawnCare is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Altavista, VA Transition Zone 7
Posts: 962
I think bidding has to be based on time spent on the job. The smallest yard I cut is the hardest and it takes 2.5 hrs due to the rough terrain and layout. I regretted getting the customer, at first, but they are always looking for other services (mulching, topsoil, overseeding, etc.) so in the long run I think it will work out.
I was lucky, I discussed price with a fellow in my area before I got started, and learned what the "average" was (this was an hourly figure).
Learn the "bottom" in your market, figure out your hourly cost to operate, and start bidding on the high side to get a feel for what your market will bear. It's been my experience that if you get any properties on the "high" side, they are hard to keep.
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