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  #11  
Old 11-16-2012, 11:04 AM
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tonygreek tonygreek is offline
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Without question, you will absolutely default on that contract, and hopefully, if the board has any sense, you will not be awarded this to begin with. Have you actually run the numbers? If not, here you go:

$10.43/Acre

And this doesn't include the bush trimming line item you've lumped in to the mowing bid.
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  #12  
Old 11-16-2012, 11:06 AM
ReddensLawnCare ReddensLawnCare is offline
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I honestly have no idea without seeing it. My largest property is a 3 acre HOA that takes me and another guy around 1.15 hrs and about 6 hrs of shrub trimming a year and spraying roundup in cracks and I get a little over 6K a year for that. just mowing, but that is around 25 cuts. Honestly it wouldnt surprise me if it went for 60K a year total but I really have no clue without seeing it. Feel free to call me at 704-796-1308 if you have any questions. I am available anytime. I may be able to help you out that way a lot better
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  #13  
Old 11-16-2012, 11:10 AM
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greenstar lawn greenstar lawn is offline
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Yazzy why don't you duduct all your costs from that 13g(tax, ins, equipment, fuel, wear and tear, employees, and your hr wage) and tell me if you think that number is correct?
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  #14  
Old 11-16-2012, 11:44 AM
yazzy yazzy is offline
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This is exactly the reason why I asked for advice. Obviously I'm just a one man show so no employees but myself.

All the campuses are largely open, trees minimal, terrain relatively flat with a few little rolling slopes.

No, I haven't completely factored in expenses, but I know with my other employer we ran through about $200 in diesel every two weeks in our 3 JD 997s on 100 acres of turf a week. Granted diesel is more efficient than gas, but I digress.

I'm used to being able to jump on a big nice fancy mower and hit the turf, so all this being a business owner stuff is completely new to me. I appreciate little bits of advice as it will help me make better decisions on how to bid and budget, not just this job but any job.
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  #15  
Old 11-16-2012, 11:45 AM
ReddensLawnCare ReddensLawnCare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenstar lawn View Post
Reddens you tried but he obviously is not going to listen to your advice.
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He didn't say that. He might. If we see a post next week that says " I got the bid" then I will assume he didn't listen. Haha
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  #16  
Old 11-16-2012, 11:52 AM
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greenstar lawn greenstar lawn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReddensLawnCare View Post
Please take my advice and dont bid on that. I havent even seen it but I can tell you that you will screw yourself if you get it. The worst part about being the lowest bidder is getting the job
Yazzy please take his advice
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  #17  
Old 11-16-2012, 11:55 AM
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tonygreek tonygreek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yazzy View Post
No, I haven't completely factored in expenses
The $10.43/acre number is pre-expense.

You're really not ready to bid something like this. You should really think about following the advice of starting with smaller accounts, gain the business knowledge, and then work your way up.
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  #18  
Old 11-16-2012, 12:18 PM
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Spring Valley Lawn Service Spring Valley Lawn Service is offline
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School bid. What do you think?

For me to mow that at the cost you gave I might make 20 an hour using a 48 inch toro z. It costs ten to run it an hour.
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  #19  
Old 11-16-2012, 01:20 PM
Outdoor Services Outdoor Services is offline
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A little advice:
This may look like a great way to grow your new business fast. Young man, Rome was not built in one day!
Putting all your eggs in one basket is very high risk at any stage of a business. Yes being in business you have to take risks, but better to have many checks feeding you than just one.
I think you are better off working for local small businesses and grow out from there.
Government contracts are not the cream of the crock. They are not service quality based but price based. The board has the power to terminate the contract if you do not perform to the contract standards.
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  #20  
Old 11-16-2012, 02:32 PM
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Durabird02 Durabird02 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yazzy View Post
I'm getting ready to place a bid on an upcoming mowing contract for the local school system, which has 3 schools and its central office. It's my first commercial bid to make so any thoughts would be nice. If I get this deal, I'll jump in and start getting my equipment for the job creep my way into the business.

Calculated mowing area of the school schools is approximately 46 acres. The high school campus is approximately 30 mowing acres, while the the middle school, elementary school, and board office is 16 acres.

I think they prefer bi-weekly mowings so I'm going with that. The contract would run from March 1 to November 30, so what...9 months?

I've calculated approximately 20 mowings for each school, give or take a little on weather. There will also be 3 bush trimmings conducted, one in the beginning, middle, one to close out the season, and also 2 mulchings.

This is reasonably close to some of the other contracts they awarded in the past, so my bid for the job is $13,000.

$9200 for mowing, and the trimming and mulching at $3800.

Reasonable?
Okay, first off, how long will it take you to mow 46 acres? You don't know because you don't have the equipment to know how fast you can mow an acre. I would say the industry average is between 1.5-2 acres an hour. So say you can mow 1.5 acres an hour, that's 30.67 hours a week to mow. If you are bidding $9200 for mowing, that's $9200 / 20 mowings = $460/mow and $15.00. After you factor in fuel, your time, taxes, insurance....etc, you won't make anything. Plus there will be a lot of wear and tear on your equipment because im sure it isn't the smoothest ground.

I would consider making your bottom dollar, break even price, about double or even triple where you are at right now. It's going to be a lot of work, and if you aren't making your top dollar per hour, it's going to keep you too busy to bid work that will actually make you money. Don't worry about what it has gone for in the past, bid it where you need to bid it to make money. If you do not get it, you will be better off that way.
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