Acquiring and Bidding Commercial Mowing

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by calundeen, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. twomancrew

    twomancrew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 945

    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.
     
  2. twomancrew

    twomancrew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 945

    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.
     
  3. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    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!
     
  4. LandscapeSavannah

    LandscapeSavannah LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Posts: 112

    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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