Bidding on a 130 home subdivision

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mmonte4, Mar 6, 2007.

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  1. mmonte4

    mmonte4 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    enough of the insults already. I am a college graduate also YardPro, and may be interested in expanding in the future. If you are willing, I look forward to hearing your advice on startup, expansion, etc.

    I would like to post some pics of the neighborhood, but dont know how to do it on a msg board. This could give you guys some idea of what kind of equipment to recommend, as well as # of people needed to complete the job in 12 hrs or less. This will help me tremendously in crunching the numbers.
     
  2. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    It is not that everyone is being negative. Starting a business like this is kinda like learning to swim. You start off in shallow water so that you can still touch the bottom, and you get your technique. Then you swimm a little more, each time with longer strokes, holding you breath more and slowly venturing into deeper water.

    This guy says he has swimmed before, but he has never been in a long term swimming marathon nor has he trained for one. Yet, he want to take a ship to the middle of the ocean and jump off and swim to shore. Now, some people might want to learn to swim this way, either sink or swim and you entire life depends on it, but I do not and I would not advise it.
     
  3. Here's my take on it, not to be bashing you, I see yourself and a lot of others on here come in and ask how much , claiming you know what the other guy is charging, you don't know whats in the contract and what else is involved. You take that price as the gospel not knowing if the other guy is already the lowballer or what. Why would anyone jump at a bid like this when they want to pay less and have you cut several more times, just doesn't add up. Yes its not rocket science anbody can mow grass but its not the sitting on a mower that will kill a business.
     
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I agree with PbI in that the more experienced crowd could use a change in direction in so far as the put downs and the criticism go.

    Yes, I see the disaster coming, too.
    But all new Lco's make mistakes, that's par for the course and whether we like it or not, we have to allow them to make a few, because there are some things that can not be learned from any place but the driver's seat.
    And to gain experience, he needs hands ON to get his feet wet, there is no other way because you can't get experience if you don't DO it. So it's a little bit like when someone first wants to learn how to drive...

    Yes, I know he's new and this HOA is likely not such a good idea.
    This is unfortunately also one of those cases where a new Lco is being asked to take advice blindly, to trust the more experienced crowd and to follow their recommendations without proof, I had to do that for a long time and still do sometimes.
    And I think PbI should take this into heavy consideration is that even guys with 4-5 years in have gotten took for a ride with commercial contracts, and that to start small with residentials makes a lot of sense because it's bad enough with those when you get took for a few hundred dollars of a ride (vs. a 2 thousand dollar one, per month!).

    See, the problem is that 2k sounds like a lot of money but it could easily end up costing you 4 - 6 a month, and being that you've never dealt with this before it is even more possible you won't see it, so then you do not react and by the time you do see it, your business finances will have been reduced to a pile of dust, that in a nutshell is the problem.

    I would, if I were you, allow someone else to take the HOA, I guarantee there's nowhere near the money in it that you're seeing. And you can always reconsider it next year, if you plan on doing this for any length of time then take this first year and just do residentials and I think by the time the season is over you should see it, but if not then you will see it somewhere around the end of your 2nd to 4th year.

    Put out some more advertising, that's what I would do right now.
     
  5. proweedeater

    proweedeater LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I cant believe this. You should read what you posted and if it dosnt sound crazy to you then you should be commited. I'm starting my own buisiness this season but have 15-20 years expeirience mowing and WEEDEATING, amoung other things that will have to do in order to stay in buisiness. I have also done exstensive planning and am going to work alone for the first season which means a lot of hard work. I'm scared and I have a good plan and know what I'm doing, you should not be in this buisiness, no way.130 small lawns means a lot of trimming as well so get ready to become a pro weedeater or your through. If you do have employees they r not going to last long doing all the trimming, you have to do some. I would say you should split it up, ie you both mow and then you both trim then blow. it will break things up and wont make him feel like your slave. Sounds loke you need a walk behind also. Maybe two intsead of a rider. God I feel better about my plan now thank you sir.

    Jason "Proweedeater" schwinny
    travis pastranas nitro circus video series
    Town and country lawn service, inc
     
  6. mmonte4

    mmonte4 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19


    I would appreciate an actual response, and not a "dont even try, bad idea, etc." It can be done and it will be done.
     
  7. Go for it and don't look back,
     
  8. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,073


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  9. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Are you 100% sure beyond the shadow of a doubt that whoever is in charge of the HOA's property management is going to accept your bid?

    Have you even talked to the person in charge of signing the contract? Or are you just assuming because you live in the subdivision and will undercut the previous guy that you will get it?
     
  10. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,108

    I maybe should have said nothing, good point, but it's my stupid way of doing the guy a favor (I believe, could be wrong). Really, he's asking for trouble IMHO and like I said, there's a lot more to this business than he thinks, especially with what I perceived to be an arrogant or at least misguided comment that it's not 'brain surgery'. I could have been polite sure, but I wasn't. He's a grown man, he can take the opinions of others. I'll try to be less harsh though. However, if he attempts his plan and fails and loses money I'd have done him a service. Now, if he goes ahead and succeeds then it's great for him and he can post about how wrong I was and I'll issue a formal apology. Really though, I smell trouble, but I wish him luck. He said 'weed wedging' which also suggests to me he has no clue, although again, I could be wrong and that could be what it's called down where lives. Anyone else from the south say that? If so, bad me, but I've never seen that phrase posted here before or heard it or seen it written otherwise. Maybe he means prying up weeds with a hand tool? Who knows.
     
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