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Old 07-31-2012, 10:19 AM
K c m K c m is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 409
Starting to Bid Commercial.

Hello Guys. I haven't done much commercial bidding as the residential market was sufficient for growth in my company, however I am trying to expand much more. Potentially commercial, and Industreal. I have a few questions for you guys that do commercial work.

1. When going in face to face with the chief of maintence or property owner what do you include in your portfolio? (pictures, billing policy, references)
2. Also when offering a bid do you have an acrage layout for example .50=$25.00, 1acre=$50.00) or do you offer different numbers per property and per portfolio?
3. Do you bundle services? such as weekly mowing=$50.00, once a month hedge trimming=100.00 if I bundled that together we would take 5% off monthly bill? Or is more feasable to sell the mowing then sell other services along the way? (i know companies are looking for full service contracts)
-or do I bid the whole fall and summer and make that the price then divide into amount of weeks?

Although I went to college for Marketing they don't teach a whole lot of service industry work, they mearly touch on production industry like factory work.

Any help would be fantastic.

Thanks. Rob.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:36 AM
HPSInc HPSInc is online now
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 648
my 2nd year in the biz i got 3 commercial places. they are private communities. i got 3 year contracts at 2 of them and a 1 year at the other. they will resign if they like me and i have no doubt they are going to. my one 3 year is for mowing weekly,weeding, 2 cleanups per year and maybe sneak in a little pruning. trimming shrubs etc, and plowing all winter. i get paid the 15th of each month the same amount all year round.

my second commercial place is for spring, summer, fall. no plowing. its a few towns over and too risky to make it there if we get a bad storm. i dont wana look bad so i dont bid it. it starts april 15 to oct 15. i was mowing in march this year and didnt get paid for any of that. the plow company was. and they didnt have to do a damn thing. its either do the work, or look real bad. and i was happy as hell to get the account so i did it without complaining. i get paid 15th of every month the same amount.

3rd place same deal as the second place. no plowing. april 15 - oct 15. paid on 15th same amount. i dont bid snow cause i dont have dependable help for that yet. but eventually ill be able to.

I never break down how i charge. I bid a total price not including tax. ofcourse tax gets tacked on. I type up what i do. break it down in bullets. very simple. mow weekly, trim this month, mow, trim, clean up leaves, garbage on lawn areas, etc. remove all debris.

I have seen some companies with huge bids. pages of stuff telling every detail of their company and why they are the best. claim they hand prune in december (total BS its snowing HELLO) put pictures, motto's, all sorts of crap. Property managers dont fall for it. Most have been in the game long enough to not care or read any of that crap. All they wanna know it your price. And they dont want you to SUCK. thats it.

SO again, i dont break down any pricing. I just give a price. And I add a 2 or 3% raise each year in my bid up front. so if i get the 3 year it goes up a little after year 1. When I get the bid sheets from prop manager it says from what months to what months the contract is and what they expect done.

I love commercial maintanence. Its cut and dry!! steady money, and less BS than residential customers. you still may get complainers but it is what it is and just make the people happy if the money is right for you. Also, I dont bill anything. I either pick up my checks or get them mailed to my house. BOOM

hope that helps

Last edited by HPSInc; 08-02-2012 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:48 AM
HPSInc HPSInc is online now
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 648
Also, since my mind is in mars right now that its almost 3 am...they put in the contract they can terminate you if your not "cutting it". so just do a good job and you shouldnt have any problems. if you get the bid, you sign some paperwork for them and your off to the races!

Last edited by HPSInc; 08-02-2012 at 03:58 AM.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:04 AM
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cgaengineer cgaengineer is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Winder, GA
Posts: 15,782
I have a standard letter talking about our company signed by me, aerial phot of property I'm bidding, insurance forms, chemical license, business license and anything else that may help me stand out from the competition.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:20 PM
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Glenn Lawn Care Glenn Lawn Care is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Inver Grove Heights, MN
Posts: 2,652
That is some really good info shared here!
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