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Old 12-10-2012, 07:02 PM
JeffInTexas JeffInTexas is offline
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Why not re-bid it and up the price? If you know you made a mistake, correct it on the new contract. I wouldn't say you could double it to 72k but you could still submit a higher bid. If you are on good terms with them, then they will understand. If not, you got your wish.

Also, find some legitimate guys you can pay 10/hr. Your wife and dad I'm sure are great help, but if you find some nails and act like a hammer you may spend a bit more $ right then and there on that contract but you are spending way less time on it and it allows you to grow elsewhere like in the residential market where you can do the majority of it by yourself. Sorry if something like this was posted already, I just read the first few posts on page 1. Best of luck either way. -Jeff
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:08 PM
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Mickhippy Mickhippy is offline
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Location: Queensland, Australia.
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Thanks for the update Herrick and Im sorry I was proved (at least in some respect) right!

Pulled from the other thread...
Originally Posted by Mickhippy View Post
I think this could of been a good job had you priced it right. Your going to get real pizzed off doing it for the dollars earnt. This is a huge job and I dont think you realise it! Youll get break downs and rain that will mean missed weeks which in turn mean longer grass that will slow you down and generally make life miserable with even more clean up, trimming etc.

You do have a positive attitude though and I hope this dosent suck the life out of you, and your dad!

Ill give you credit for having a good go at it though, and your honesty!
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:33 PM
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4 seasons lawn&land 4 seasons lawn&land is offline
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Originally Posted by Herrick View Post
No, and looking back that was a HUGE mistake. Who knows if we were even bidding the same work? Never again. At the time I was more worried about keeping the work than $500.

Thats what I figured. So why not bid it at 80 k and then be working your tail off for good money, should you get it. Although that would leave a bad taste in my mouth after getting screwed hard for 3 years. I bet you would still be less than the big outfits. From everything youve said its obvious you low balled it, even if unintentionally.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:21 PM
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Greg78 Greg78 is offline
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Originally Posted by Herrick View Post
No, and looking back that was a HUGE mistake. Who knows if we were even bidding the same work? Never again. At the time I was more worried about keeping the work than $500.
Originally Posted by Herrick View Post
Mow, Trim, Edge, Blow... by myself for the most part, 60" ZTR. The trimming isn't really as much as it looks, as most of the pavement is asphalt... with my experiences it really only seems to need touched up every couple weeks. Most of the trees have 2' mulch beds around them. They are in the process of building some more duplexes in the empty area at the top of the pic, so there is a large area that will be under construction and will not need any attention for a while. Part of the large area at the bottom left is actually sweet corn also. They have a full time maintenance staff for the odd jobs, just hire out the mowing. Forgot to mention I picked up the hedge trimming on this also for some extra $$.

I actually did get to see the other bids, and they were both around $45k. Guy that had it last raised his rate by $12k this year for some reason. he was at 55 hours a week, but only charging $27 per hour... my hourly rate is almost double that, but time is almost half also... he was using employees... The story I got from the center made it sound like he didn't want the job anymore... not sure why, hopefully I won't find out.

Part of my thinking is that this should be a fairly nice account... no kids, no toys to deal with, no dog poo... a lot of headaches that won't be there...
Guess I'm not following too well?
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:33 PM
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Herrick Herrick is offline
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Location: Metamora, Illinois
Posts: 506
Greg, that was the original bid... It was re-bid the next year, which is when I matched the other guy, and got a three year contract.

At this point I have no interest in working here anymore... For whatever money. I want to simplify things and "start over" in a way. Just a man and his mower...
2007 Dodge Ram 2500 HD Mega Cab 4x4 w/Meyer Plow and salter
16'X8.5' Haulmax Enclosed Trailer
2011 Exmark 29hp Kohler EFI 60" ultracut 6
2008 Exmark 31hp briggs 60" triton w/QDS Ultra Vac
2012 Deere 1026R/60" 7-iron
Honda HRX 21"
Stihl handhelds
Billy Goat Truck loader
33 years old - Since 2007 - Solo - FULL TIME
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:37 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Medford, OR
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I've always believed to never mix family/friends with business.... Hire a couple of guys from how do I say this, "Ethnic Persuasion" and watch your productivity increase 50% or more....
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:43 AM
johnnybravo8802 johnnybravo8802 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ga.
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Yea, you experienced what most of us have gone through in the past. It's tough to figure out how to grow, get the job done, and not lose your shirt and kill yourself in the process. It's like I've always said about myself, I can ride the mower all day long but running the business is the tough part for me. The fact is, you were successful with this contract when everyone thought you wouldn't be-you proved everyone wrong!!!!!Personally, I'd keep the contract and try and figure out what I need to do differently to be a business. I'm planning to bid on a golf course community in a few months that consists of 260 units, common areas, club house, office, etc,etc, and about a billion shrubs(It's huge and the largest thing I've ever tackled). The company that's currently maintaining it now has 20 trucks.....I have one pick-up and just me and whoever I hire. Some may think I'm crazy but I say, if they can do it, so can I-I don't let that kind of stuff stand in my way. Everyone has to start somewhere and I can grow just like the next's not rocket surgery. The only person standing in your way is you. Good luck!
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:43 AM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Location: DFW, TX
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Time to sit down and look at your books. Review your cost and desired income.
You need to sharpen your pencil for bidding.

There are "Small Business Development Centers" and "Score" run through the SBA. These are free programs designed to assist you. They will not do the work for you, you should have a good understanding about your finances, and business plan, from there they will help you improve it.

Many of these folks are retired or semi retired business experts.

I run a fairly successful small business with 3 employees and one part timer. Been in business since 2005. I am going in today with my financial statement. It will be reviewed for free -

Below is the Bio of the person going to look over my business for me.

Director of the SBDC as well as a growth coach, financial consultant and Lean Costing trainer on staff at the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center. Tom specializes in helping organizations grow revenue and improve profitability. Tom created a simple method of Value Stream Costing to support Lean and improved decision-making.

Tom has trained thousands of people and helped hundreds of manufacturing, service and governmental organizations of all sizes improve their financial results. Tom’s customers include such recognizable names as Dell, Ralston-Purina, Ford Motor Company, Lennox, AAA, Revlon, Department of Veteran Affairs, the City of Plano Texas, The Dallas Morning News and hundreds of small to medium size organizations needing financial improvement.

Prior to joining TMAC in 2007, Tom served as president of Integrated Cost Management Systems, Inc., a training, software and consulting company he founded in 1988. Tom was the focus of a Business Week magazine cover story titled “That Old-time Accounting Isn’t Good Enough Anymore”.

Tom has authored hundreds of articles and numerous books, including Using ABM for Continuous Improvement, The Activity Dictionary, Activity-Based Management: A Healthcare Industry Primer and The Principles. He has served as editor of the Journal of Cost Management. Tom is an adjunct professor of the Executive MBA program at the University of Texas - Arlington and lecturer at SMU’s School of Engineering.

Tom has held senior financial management positions with Motorola, Johnson & Johnson and General Motors. He is a graduate of the University of Texas - Arlington
I would be a fool not to talk to this person and learn from him. I can take my 7 years of experience and grow it on sure ground with some mentoring.

Last edited by Duekster; 12-13-2012 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:34 AM
Roger Roger is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: McMurray, PA
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Originally Posted by lawnkingforever View Post
Bid jobs you are set up to do.
Posted via Mobile Device
What he said.

I'm only solo, and am much smaller in business size. But, I also have had opportunities (unsolicited) to take on jobs with larger work scope, or jobs that required equipment and experience I did now own.

I am at a season of life where I did not want to venture too far off the beaten path. While being really interested, and enticed to take on these jobs, I just decided to leave them alone. I've developed some relationships with a couple of other LCOs in my area that are better equipped to handle. I pass off these jobs to them. Sometimes they come to fruition, other times not.

As a side note, LCOs that have a few people as crew, maybe a couple of crews, and much equipment, make it a point to establish a relationship with the solo guys. I had to work at getting a business card from a couple of LCOs that I liked. I was ready to give them leads, ready to help them out, and they couldn't be bothered to go to the truck and find a business card. I only wanted to work with somebody whose work and equipment I knew. We worked properties in the same neighborhoods. Don't pass off the solo guy as being a thorn to you. He may be willing, and happy, to give you leads that you do not need to find yourself. And, if you get a lead that turns out well for you, have the courtesy of reaching back to let him know what happened. If not, he may never pass another one to you.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:37 PM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Location: DFW, TX
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Originally Posted by Roger View Post
I had to work at getting a business card from a couple of LCOs that I liked. I was ready to give them leads, ready to help them out, and they couldn't be bothered to go to the truck and find a business card. .... If not, he may never pass another one to you.
I try to keep cards on my trucks but bottom line is they guys do not always have one. We do go through the trouble to put our contact info on the side of the truck. I hear ya however.
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