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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by enviouslawns, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. enviouslawns

    enviouslawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 188

    This is my third year in the green industry, and have 3 commercial accounts all from calls from the trailer or knwing somone. But i want to bid bigger things this year such as hospitals and fast food chains and hotels. I know how to do the pricing but how do i actually submit the bid???? any help would be great
  2. dwayne.whaley

    dwayne.whaley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    Go up to the hotel, etc. and ask to see the manager. Ask them if they are taking bids this month or any time soon. I'm in the process right now to bid on a hotel that will be taking bids in April to start in May. This is the first year that the manager is taken bids. I sent my son over to do all the measurements; adding (shrubs, flower beds etc.). Even if I have to bid a little lower than I like to, at less I will have it this year and if we do a great job I can Keep it for a few years, and go up just a little each year. Git-R-Done!!!
  3. All Season Lawn Care

    All Season Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    This is what I also Do, just dont under bid to much...why leave money on the table
  4. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,775

    You guys look as if your new to the biz or at least the site?

    Getting commercial is not what it always seems to be.

    Getting more accounts has been hammered on this site for along time. Do a search! Furthermore - your first post states you get called from a trailer(?) or knowing someone. Well - now you have to start pounded the pavement. Talk to people, real estate agency, PR work, advertise, go directly to places you want to bid and ask them about it.

    We all talk about the "lowballer" on this site. We all talk about new guys coming in, lowering the price to have a shot, after a few years and no money, costing you money to operate etc your gone and the "oldtimers" now need to get the price level back to where it was, not where it should be.

    So if you want to bid this - have you or your company been in biz for a long time that your not one of the above guys. To say you lower your price in hopes of keep this property for a few years and then increase prices accordingly over the next 3-4 years is not a sound business practise.

    Do you know what your insurance cost our? Or better yet - do you have enough insurance to be looked at by these commercial accounts? Rate of depriciation on your mower, handheld, cost / hour run, the truck, trailer, dumping time, gas, man hour charge, and many other factors to consider to be able to determine your charge / hour.

    Is this something you need to do to provide for the family or is this simple beer change for the guys.

    I realize competition is good, we all need it, but we don't see the local gas station selling gas for $2/ gallon when the other 3 stations are selling gas for $3/ gallon? I guess thats how I view competition, price structure, and being able to offer your service. In order to win a bid - you need to differentiate yourself from all others - how - that is up to you to be unquie to the industry. Heck sometime I am the high bidder - but guess what - often times our work speaks volumes to potential customers and they end up going with us anyhow.

    Best of luck!
  5. dwayne.whaley

    dwayne.whaley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    if i put food on the table, i've done my job and help my son put food on his table for two grandsons i've done my job.
  6. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    we managed to get a few commercial accounts last year and those will continue this year as well. Based on our experiences there, we decided get aggressive this year bidding commercial. It takes a lot of time and with not much experience to base our estimates on we rely on a method a friend of mine uses successfully.

    Almost everything revolves around the man hours to mow an trim. Other variables exists but mainly from mow/trim hours you can price your fertilization, weed control and rye overseed. I plug this into a spread sheet and calculate the monthly payments adding any specific costs such as mulch, bed maintenance, seasonal color.

    So far I'm comming in low I believe based on the reactions I get to the bids. That doesnt mean I get the bid. That means that the persons who look at our numbers say things like, "yeah thats a good price"

    Obviously I'll have to tweek the numbers but that will only happen with time.
  7. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,775

    Alright - not to get in a p*ss ing match here but when you say you put food on your table, your son's table and therefore also feeding your grandson's - let me get this straight - your providing for 2 families b/c???? therefore your doing your job - exactly what is your job then??
  8. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,552


  9. dwayne.whaley

    dwayne.whaley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    Owner and Operator

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