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  #11  
Old 11-08-2013, 10:28 AM
twomancrew twomancrew is online now
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: East, IA
Posts: 943
Here's the deal from IA. Commercial accounts are WAY better. I started by calling and asking for the GM, if that don't work identify yourself as a guy who mows grass and ask for the person in charge of those contracts. I started with businesses I could get on the phone. Some places have a vendor packet you need to do exactly as the packet says. Those are really nice.

Get in there and do as many bids as you can. I go out in Feb. and call and make a list. Then I go bid crazy. 3 years ago I bid 50 businesses and got 1. 2 years ago I bid 43 and got 2. This year I used a slightly higher margin, bid 30, got 0.

Now I pick a business and go after it. I get the person on the phone, force a meeting, and I take the ***** over. This works great.

I would like to hear from someone with 20+ years of this to see what they can recommend to both of us.
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  #12  
Old 11-08-2013, 10:39 AM
twomancrew twomancrew is online now
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: East, IA
Posts: 943
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpllawncare View Post
Commercial has basically gone the way that residential has, it's a high volume game with low margins, it's all about volume so you have to be very very very efficient. I've talked to a few of the larger LCO's here and they said a certain big box LCO was underbidding people just for market share. I've had a few of their guys apply for jobs with me because they won't pay their guys jack and expect them to work ludicrous hrs.
Here they poach your labor. They make big promises and your guys go out the door. When you fold they win. I have been approached myself in this way by there guys. Also I have shook hands with two of they biggest local guys here and through a conversation with the equip dealer I have learned that those two guys go camping together in the winter and shoot big game. They get along, they compete above the table, they are both HUGE here, they are as secure as they can be. I doubt we will ever see them here on LS.

Yes it is a high volume game, and if you start picking away at big accounts in my area you get dept of revenue, zoning, city environmental inspectiions, you name it they all showed up on my doorstep once I got into that market. It was like I p'ed someone off or something. Go figure.
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2013, 06:08 PM
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cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 2,647
Quote:
Originally Posted by twomancrew View Post
Here they poach your labor. They make big promises and your guys go out the door. When you fold they win. I have been approached myself in this way by there guys. Also I have shook hands with two of they biggest local guys here and through a conversation with the equip dealer I have learned that those two guys go camping together in the winter and shoot big game. They get along, they compete above the table, they are both HUGE here, they are as secure as they can be. I doubt we will ever see them here on LS.

Yes it is a high volume game, and if you start picking away at big accounts in my area you get dept of revenue, zoning, city environmental inspectiions, you name it they all showed up on my doorstep once I got into that market. It was like I p'ed someone off or something. Go figure.
They won't poach my labor, they won't pay enough! I will let them have the trash but they won't get my top guys!
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  #14  
Old 11-08-2013, 08:03 PM
LandscapeSavannah LandscapeSavannah is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 105
Most big chains have a management company that handles all of that. We service commercial accounts and big box stores and our guys are not to discuss business with any employees of the location. Granted I'm sure some local chains and smaller commercial accounts could be obtained through a manager but ours are run by people all over this country. The pay is alright. We definitely have higher profit margins on residential accounts, but the commercial ones are year round, and usually lengthy contracts. I do not target commercial properties at all, but if we are discovered and it is worth while I'll acquire it.
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