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Advice needed

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Holders Residential, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. Holders Residential

    Holders Residential LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    I will be bidding on multiple properties. Thirty nine to be exact one owner prop. I haven't seen them all yet but most are single family dwellings a corporate office and some apartment complexes. Based on the unseen I figure at least 35000.00 a year. My problem is that all but two of these properties are in 5 different counties and most are at least a 45 minute drive from my home. Im not quite sure how I could handle all that driving. Plus mantain the other 60 or 70 yards that I mantain. Also should I charge extra to compensate for driving time? I know the figure I gave above is low but Im just trying to figure out if this is doable I dont want to bight off more than I can chew. Although I would like to expand out into multiple cities.
  2. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,694

    Always include your drive time in ALL of your bids. Time is money plain and simple. If you don't get the job because of the extra you charge for drive time, then you're better off without it.
  3. Holders Residential

    Holders Residential LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    Do you charge an hourly rate? Do you charge to and from?
  4. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,694

    I estimate how much time the job will take overall. However, most of my jobs are within a 6 mile radius, so drive time's minimal anyway. But I still take it into account. Then I quote the job, charging about $62 - $70 an hour, this is for my ultra-efficient one man operation. Each job still ends up being priced competitively.

    I seldom tell my customers my hourly rate, it would scare them away. I just price the job.
  5. Holders Residential

    Holders Residential LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    Thanks that helps alot. But does anyone know how to manage yards that are that far away. Are they worth doing or should I find more yards closer to home. I do like the idea of being able to glean more customers from a wider area. But I dont know if this is the most profitable way to operate. But I do think figureing in drive time is a must.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    If your estimate is $35,000, winning bid will probably be at around $20,000...happens all the time guaranteed.
  7. Chynoweth

    Chynoweth LawnSite Member
    from UT
    Posts: 8

    One thing to consider is you may drive 45 minutes to do one account to start with, but with a little word of mouth and sales pitch you may pick up a few other accounts in that area. So now you drive 45 minutes to service 10 accounts. Something that you may factor in to make the bid for the account more competitive. Unless as you say that would be more than you can handle then you'll need to bid it as the only account you have there.
  8. PORTER 05

    PORTER 05 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 642

    personally i wouldnt travel any further than 10 miles from our shop for weekly maintenace......big tree jobs , lawn installs even spring and fall clean-ups, sure but not weekly maintance
  9. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,178

    I wouldn't worry that much if you are going to get all of the accouts as long as you are making what you should. What you are making on the close one will equal out what you loose on the far ones.I wouldn't risk loosing the chance to cut 30 good priced yards because of 5 alright priced ones. Its like Chynoweth said you will pick up more in that area. I am assuming you will have two crews w/ that many yards, but I also don't know the size of your yards to know how long they take you, so I guess you could also be flying solo. I have 80-85 yards w/ 3-4 guys in the summer. What I do is let them cut the stuff close to home and I go cut the 8 $25-50 yards I have or send 1-2 of them (they are 30 mins from me) by doing this they are working and I am not paying 3 guys 30 mins there and 30 back. If it is calling for rain we all go and get it knocked out. It is cheaper paying wasted labor than going back The next day.
  10. jsf343

    jsf343 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,767

    Unfortunately I agree Rod. Not to many ways around it either. Control costs, know thy numbers, and do the best work you can.

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