1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice


Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Kends, Mar 22, 2001.

  1. Kends

    Kends LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    I have an opportunity to bid on a Big K. I'm a one man show for now. Do any of you do K's? They have a standard contract, you just fill in the blanks.

    Also, it's an overall maintenance contract. They don't want any fertilizer or weed control. They just ask to pull the weeds as necessary, or spot spray. Keep up the grass and trimming.

    A couple of problems. This is my first year full time at this. (I don't want to be too desperate). It's about a 35 min. drive from the shop. The total sq. ft. for grass is 57,000. I know last year they paid $630.00 per month. That's just to keep up the lawn, and pulling the weeds in the islands that don't have grass. Anything else you do is an extra and has to be agreed upon b/4 the work is done. (mulch, fert., and repair). I have to be insured and bonded for 1 or 2 million (I need to have the insurance guy take a look at that part of it..I don't understand the wording). I have a meeting with the ins. guy to give me prices on that. No idea$$.

    Basically looking for input. I think I can do it for (w/profit) for $570.00/month. I'll bid it at the $630.00 and will probably get it...my neighbor runs the Big K.

    what do ya think?

  2. Kends

    Kends LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    Every other time I've posted a question here for help I've either been slammed or have gotten help within the first 10 minutes.....NOTHING????

    Come on guys, is it that dumb of a question????
  3. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Are we talking like the super kmarts?

    Do you need to bid less than the last guy to get the job? Is he still involved in the bidding process?
  4. Kends

    Kends LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    yes, super k. I'm pretty sure if I bid the same price as last year ($630.00/month) I'll get it. And he's still invloved in the bid. But, I think the way that K's do it is that it goes out to bid every year no matter what. I know they had a few bids on thier desk, but could not read them.

  5. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I know the guy that does all the kmarts in my area. He makes a LOT of money off them. Because of parking lot areas, he doesn't have very much to cut.

    Do you want your price to go down next year? What about the year after that? Cost of doing business goes up every year. Not down. If you do it for the same as the other guy did last year, you aren't making as much as he did. I would not go less than his, and I personnally would consider going up just a little and try real hard to sell myself. Sell quality for your business and theirs. That is up to you. Just don't go lowballing to get the job, remember next year it will be up again. You don't want someone lowballing you next year. Of course k would love that. Eventually they will not even be paying. :)
  6. jjfehr

    jjfehr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    first off, I don't think that you are calculating your expenses properly. You are only showing $60/ month for expenses and you have 4 hours and 40 min. Time is money, and you sure as he!! are not making money sitting in your truck! Plus you need a new policy from the insurace man, how much gas will you need in your truck to drive the 4hr.40min.on and on and on..... My point is that you have to much non productive time involved, to far from your location to make any money and still be competative is my opinion. It is better to be driving your equipment than your truck, I'll bet you that it is also alot more profitable to be driving your equipment. Now if the Big K is next to 2-3 comercials that you can win the bids on so you could make a day of it, I would change my thinking a little and say go for it. Lets say the Big K job takes you 2 hrs to do and you drive for an hour(round trip)that means that you have to pay yourself for 3hrs. out of a 2hr. job Wich also means your bid should come in around 33.3%... higher than the other bidders to pay your business properly. If you bid the same as the last guy you will not be a lowballer per say, however you will be lowballing yourself
  7. skyphoto

    skyphoto LawnSite Member
    Posts: 221


    This is not the answer you will get from most here on this forum but I would say do it for what you know you can do it for(just be sure to figure all your exspenses) and if you can do it for 570.00 then do it for that....then you are almost for sure to get it. Then after a year you can adjust your prices to reflect your overhead which will prob. be more but use caution because in all businesses there will be another just like you next year that has less overhead and can and will do it for what you did it for last year. This is the name of the game.....but after a yr you have expierence that the new guy does not have that you can use along with a good reference (Super K)to get jobs that require more expierence and are not only based on low bid.....These are what I call my quality accountsYou have to get a foot in the door and as long as you have given all your exspenses & overhead cosideration (and this is a subject with a zillionand 1 post to study) then go with that figure and build on it. But never bid what someone else is bidding just because someone else says that is the only way to make money! Let your prices reflect your expierences & exspenses not your competitors!

  8. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 993

    There is also a lot of possibility for free advertising there. I would make sure I had some large signs with my company name and phone number on them.
  9. lawnboy53

    lawnboy53 LawnSite Member
    from Neb
    Posts: 69

    What about trash? Who is responsible for picking it up? I'll bet you are, that has to take ahour a week minimum. I hate doing properties with alot of traffic in them, traffic creates trash. One kleenex or smokes package turns into 100 little pieces if you miss when picking up. Just something to consider.
  10. Kends

    Kends LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    I read the service agreement a couple of times. Nothing about picking up trash.

    Anyhow, once again you guys gave me more to think about. And again, I thank you!

    take care,


Share This Page