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Old 02-16-2011, 11:35 AM
slicknick slicknick is offline
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Location: Ohio
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As a 2 man crew, how do you contact and bid on small commercial properties?

Let me first start off by saying that as of today I have obtained an LLC, as well as my permit to operate in my county. I am also close to signing on with an insurance company for a 1 mil liability policy.

So, for someone who has only cut residential for the past 5 years, how do you get your foot in the door with SMALL commerical properties? I'm not looking to take over some massive HOA or apartment complex, but a funeral home, small privately owned shopping strip or something like that. Can anyone get me off on the right track?
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:43 AM
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Mahoney3223 Mahoney3223 is offline
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search it ...this has been covered a thousand times before. best bets are calling, direct mail etc. there's some good threads on here about it
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:44 AM
DaytonBioLawns DaytonBioLawns is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slicknick View Post
Let me first start off by saying that as of today I have obtained an LLC, as well as my permit to operate in my county. I am also close to signing on with an insurance company for a 1 mil liability policy.

So, for someone who has only cut residential for the past 5 years, how do you get your foot in the door with SMALL commerical properties? I'm not looking to take over some massive HOA or apartment complex, but a funeral home, small privately owned shopping strip or something like that. Can anyone get me off on the right track?
Funeral homes are family owned businesses most of the time. Know the owner, or know the family and you will be in. Some high end funeral homes will require a portfolio of work AND reliability on your part.

People only die once (usually lol) so the funeral home not looking respectable could really set someone off....

That being said... My GF's family owns one around here and he asked me to bid. I backed down because it is like any other small commercial in pay but they are more demanding and typically a bigger PITA.

You are on the right track though. I would just call the funeral home during business hours and state who you are and why you are calling. Be respectful and curtious. If you get a chance to meet the owners before that, then do it.... most businesses will chose a service if they a)know someone b)heard it advertised at least 7 places c)they have a reason to choose you!!!

Give 'em choice C, market to choice B, and become the person they know.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:47 AM
slicknick slicknick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahoney3223 View Post
search it ...this has been covered a thousand times before. best bets are calling, direct mail etc. there's some good threads on here about it
Currently in the process of doing this.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:51 AM
slicknick slicknick is offline
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I guess what I'm asking is if I send them letters in the mail, would it be more appropriate to offer my services AND offer a bid at the same time? OR-would it be better to ask for the opportunity to bid on the service and wait for them to get back to me?
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:15 PM
DaytonBioLawns DaytonBioLawns is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slicknick View Post
I guess what I'm asking is if I send them letters in the mail, would it be more appropriate to offer my services AND offer a bid at the same time? OR-would it be better to ask for the opportunity to bid on the service and wait for them to get back to me?
If you are going to send them something by mail.... get an 8.5x11 full envelope and address it to them. Write a letter from you to them...not a general customer x fill in letter...but a specific one. Tell them that you appreciate their time, and have included a bid for their business and corresponding agreement. I did that with everyone I knew or "knew of".... It can be a good way to waste money fast on postage though! So only do this to specific clientele.

So... outlining that
-Business card
-Cover Page w/add and contact and a sort of "whats included in this" index
-Short letter (to customer telling them what you are offering and why to chose you.... couple paragraphs max)
-Bid Sheet (just has estimate and what it is for in basic writing)
-Service Agreement (a contract outlining the terms and conditions for the bid proposal enclosed. Put a document number on the bid sheet and refer to it as an attachment to the contract for legal reasons).
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:25 PM
slicknick slicknick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaytonBioLawns View Post
If you are going to send them something by mail.... get an 8.5x11 full envelope and address it to them. Write a letter from you to them...not a general customer x fill in letter...but a specific one. Tell them that you appreciate their time, and have included a bid for their business and corresponding agreement. I did that with everyone I knew or "knew of".... It can be a good way to waste money fast on postage though! So only do this to specific clientele.

So... outlining that
-Business card
-Cover Page w/add and contact and a sort of "whats included in this" index
-Short letter (to customer telling them what you are offering and why to chose you.... couple paragraphs max)
-Bid Sheet (just has estimate and what it is for in basic writing)
-Service Agreement (a contract outlining the terms and conditions for the bid proposal enclosed. Put a document number on the bid sheet and refer to it as an attachment to the contract for legal reasons).
Hey thanks for taking the time to write that all out. Definitely very helpful to me. I'm nervous to jump from the residential sector to the commerical sector. I've had tons of experience face to face with clients but I want to expand to commerical to do something new, and to ultimately make more money, but its difficult when you have no prior experience in that segment of the market.
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  #8  
Old 02-16-2011, 12:51 PM
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Golfpro21 Golfpro21 is offline
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In my humble opinion I would definately put something professional looking together send it to the business' your looking at targeting, but I might refrain from putting any specific prices in your literature as often is the case each business has different needs, different payment terms etc.
Tell them what you offer, your insured you use well maintained equip show previous work, what you can offer that is different and better, but hold off on offering up specific prices until you actually get the chance to meet and discuss their needs etc.

Just a thought....wish you the best on getting the contracts
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:54 PM
CircleC CircleC is offline
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Put some marketing material together, something as professional as you can. Get dressed in your sunday best and get a hair cut/shave......Just go in and ask! Dont make it harder than it has too be. You may hear a lot of "NO's" but all you need is 1 to say "YES". Start with the small owner run businesses and go from their. McDonalds, Walgreens ect are always hard to deal with and not worth the headache. Keep it simple and things will work out.....if you dont do it someone else will and you will be kicking your own @ss for not talking too them!

Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:19 AM
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cps cps is offline
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I like what DaytonBioLawns had to say its deff some good advise!

..another option that I use is a web site called "Service Magic" They will send you leads at a cost from other people/companies in your area that are looking for services that you offer. I think I pay around $15 each for residential lawn care and $25 for commercial lawn care. However you must provide them with proof of Insurance, WC, and License #s.

I know this is a shortcut but I have gotten some GREAT jobs from large companies that normally I wouldn't have been able to contact.
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