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Are we Too High???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by wrestlingcoach, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. wrestlingcoach

    wrestlingcoach LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 251

    My partner and I just bid a 15 acre business.
    They wanted it mowed weekly.
    Easy Mowing 15 acres big straight area to go fast
    Plus weed control on 2.5 acres of it.
    Our bid $17,000.
    $600 a time (26 times @ $40 per acre) plus
    $1000 for a 3-step weed control about $3 per 1000 square feet
    hedges trimmed a couple of times a year

    the winning bid was $9,000 another bid was $19,500
    my partner's hunting buddy worked there and gave us the scoop
    after the fact

    any help or suggestions.
  2. terracare

    terracare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 353

    Figure out how you can mow it for under 9000. The business is most likely to take the lowest bidder, just like any other commercial account.


    EDIT: Not trying to knock the commercial market, there is money to be made; but this is just being realistic. Most commercials will take the lowest bidder, and many times the lowest bidder will do a quality job. Keep this in mind when you are hunting out commercial accounts.
  3. timinkc

    timinkc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 217

    I guess it's just a question of what a particular market will bear...it's been my experience that around here, nice level lot, $9000 would probably not have gotten it.
  4. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 916

    Thier is a few companys by me that will charge 10 dollars an acre. They are doing it to try to weed out the other small companys. Thier 15' mowers are paid for and it dont take to long with a large mower vs a Z.
  5. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    Yeah, do it for 8 grand. Then next year someone can do it for 7 grand, the year after for 6. Get the point. The only reason commercial is cut throat is because everyone is scared to hold their ground. If everyone walked away instead of bending over, WE,WE,WE, would be the ones setting the standard for commercial pricing. I look at commercial bids as what I need to make a good profit. If the company wants to go buy all the equipment and get manpower to do what we do, and can do it cost effectively, let them. That will happen before I work for free.

    With a bid of $17,000. There's no way you are going to trim the fat to get below 9 grand. Be real.
  6. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Posts: 1,557

    The only commercial jobs worth having are the ones where you also do the owners residential home also. Price that low just let it go and let someone else lose money instead of you.
  7. terracare

    terracare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 353

    Randy Scott,

    If he can profit by bidding under 9000, which I agree doesn't sound very feasable in his situation, good for him. I am not telling him to undercut it just to get the work, but your attitude is entirely wrong (and right at the same time, if every commercial account thought like you and I about the (under)pricing in our industry). If he can profit by bidding this one at 9,000 or under and fill a slot in his schedule, I say go for it. It's 9000 bucks more in his pocket that he didnt have before. If he decides that this account is no longer in his best interest to maintain the next season because he has other, more profitable, jobs lined up, then get rid of it.

    Just a word of advice before getting into price wars for commercial accounts tho... KNOW YOUR COSTS! Know all of your direct (labor, machines, gas, etc.) and indirect (phone, insurance, tax) expenses on a per hour rate before you get in there and bid it. If you can put a penny in your pocket, fill up a slot, and pay off that equipment, I say go for it. Just make sure you aren't losing money. Good luck

  8. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    I wouldn't waste my time for 9 grand.
  9. bastalker

    bastalker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 965

    Your kiddin right??? Figure out how to mow it for under $9000???..You dont see the big picture. There is ferts, hedges etc...

    Damn fellas, its a no brainer....Let these idiots go out an grab all these commercials for peanuts!! They think they are somethin after winnin a $9000 bid. Lets see how much they think of thierselves come the end of the year......I dont care how many mowers they have, an how big they are. They are just plain ignorant, and chances are they are just picking up work to keep the help busy...

    I Hope they grab em all! Then I wont have to worry about them bidding on high end residentials. You know, the people that really appreciate the work you do for em......The people that want thier yards lookin good...

    I dont bid on commercials at all anymore. I am to expensive, an I am not about to waste my time bidding on some commercial piece of crap property that just wants the cheapest...

    So to all you guys that keep postin on here about losin commercials to these lowballers doin it for nuthin. Quit wastin yer time, an get accounts that appreciate what you will do for them...
  10. terracare

    terracare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 353

    So you come here and complain about it :)

    I just said I didnt think he should undercut it for the work. I simply said if he could, which I dont think is likely either, net anything off of it, then go for it if he needs the work. You called me ignorant yet you restated just about everything I said in my last post. You just elaborated and bitched about it more.

    Actually, if you look at our picture thread, you will see that it is full of more higher end lawns and one commercial account.


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