am i too late to make bids

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Afamilylawncare, May 2, 2003.

  1. Afamilylawncare

    Afamilylawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I am new to the business and am working on getting my first account. I am going to be using a eXmark Metro ECS WB with a 36" deck and a 21" push mower I am very motivated but am thinking i am too late to land any real accounts. I have my sites on making about 35-50/hr for a two man crew.
     
  2. I don’t know that region, but if you hustle, you can probably end up with a full dance-card within the next two months. It is late, so you’ll have to settle on the left-overs. Make yourself as presentable as is practical and drive around looking for lawns that aren’t mowed. Find the time when people are home so you can talk to them face to face, you'll make much faster progress that way.

    With that equipment, you should stay away from large accounts, they’ll eat your lunch. If you’re looking for your first account, there is no amount of preaching that will make you believe in keeping your bids high. That’s totally understandable. But as time goes by, you’ll kick yourself for every low-ball bid job you get.
     
  3. Afamilylawncare

    Afamilylawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    what do you mean with when you said with that equipment is my equipment good or bad in your opinion i didnt follow what you meant but overall thatks for the advice and your comments
     
  4. Mr.Stripey Lawn Care

    Mr.Stripey Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    Your equipment is fine, but with a 36 inch deck and a pushmower, your productivity isn't going to be as high, as say with a 48, 52, or 60 inch deck. The larger the job, the longer it is going to take you, and the less you will make an hour, especially with two of you. Think of it is once the pushmower has done all it needs to, somebody is going to be wating on you and the Metro to finish.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Gr grass n Hi tides

    Gr grass n Hi tides LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    I don't think it's ever too late to get your name out there. I have three new accounts in three days. I see lots of other posts talking about picking up new clients. Keep handing business cards to everyone you know and meet, pass out door hangers, etc. Most of all, do quality work on your jobs and the the work will come.
     
  6. Doogiegh

    Doogiegh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 871

    I was new to this last year... Here's what I found out.

    1) Advertise in a local weekly newspaper. Not the daily. The daily covers too much geographic area, the weekly is usually just your local town and keeps the route tight. People also save the weekly and use it as a reference guide. The daily isn't as well read for classifieds.

    2) With your mowers - here's what they mean.... If you were to look at a "large" residential property and you figure it out and say to yourself.. "Wow, this is really large, most of my jobs are $30 or $35 per cut and people say ok to that, and, well gee, this is so large that I'm gonna bid $60.." The customer will laugh at you in the face.. Cause you're thinking it's 80 minutes worth or work with your 36" mower so it's $60 to cut it, right?

    Wrong.. Some other dude with a 52" ZTR can have the whole property mowed in 22 minutes and is charging $35.. And here you are bidding $60.. you'll look like a fool...

    Myself, I stick to small, gated properties that the "big boys" on the 52" ztr's don't even bother to give an estimate to. My customers for right now are mainly elderly who CAN'T do it and love to have a clean cut looking person do it OR a divorced female living with 2 young children but trying to stay in a house who can't do it.. etc..

    Don't even bother to try to compare to some of the guys on here, although their information is priceless, their rigs, setups and overall equipment is so top-notch, it's impossible to copy or even try to pretend.. Take one step at a time.. And no it's not too late to start... Wait for it to get 97 degrees out for 2 weeks straight in July.. PRIME time to advertise.. Cause all the wanna-be's drop out left and right and you get all the phone calls.. "I had a guy but he stopped showing up and I can't reach him".

    PS - read on here as much as you can and do searches to really get a good idea of what's up..

    Good luck,
    Gary
     
  7. Yep, like those guys said, you’re equipment is fine. I think anything that works is fine for now. If you mow a large account, you might get the same amount of money someone with a 52” or a 60” ZTR charges, but it will take you at least three-times the amount of time to get it done.

    I say this a lot, but you shouldn’t be working for money, you should be working for a PROFIT (making lots of money at a rapid rate). Your equipment is designed for a specific size range. Look for accounts that are too big for 21” push mowers, and too small for 52” ZTR’s. Play the game to your strengths.
     
  8. Afamilylawncare

    Afamilylawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    With the exception of the seldom sarcastic comments, these suggestions and advice are very useful and very interesting to read. I always say that if you look and listen to people that know better than you, you stand a much better chance for success. As i stated earlier, I am very eager to learn and very motivated to become a success. Hope i am not setting my sites to high and setting myself up for a lte down.
     
  9. gravedigger5

    gravedigger5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 505

    You can get lots of good advice on here. But you have to be able to relate it directly to what you want to do or where you want to be in the future. earlier in the thread they were saying to stick with smaller gated yards. Well I think (and your going to get lots of different opinions here) if your goals are to grow your business, don't be afraid to bid on even medium open accounts, just learn to bid these profitably and with confidence. (Thats the hard part) If your planning on getting larger machines in the future, even bid on larger jobs, to be able to justify purchases of bigger equipment. My first few months in the biz was slow like yours only getting a few accounts, but into my second year picked up a larger commercial with nothing but a used 48" belt drive wb and a 21" push, taking about 6.5 hrs to do. Made enough "profit" on that job to justify buying a 62" ztr ("MY" goal for the year) and cut the time on that job down to 3.5hrs. With that ztr I was able to double the accounts I do and double the "profit" and triple the gross income. And I still take on small gated yards even though I also have a big machine. It all depends on what you want to do. Just use all the info from this site the best way it helps your biz grow, it has really helped me. Thanks again everybody here and good luck to you. Marc
     
  10. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    I started my business in October, it's never to late.
     

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