commercial accounts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by iamthelawnman, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. iamthelawnman

    iamthelawnman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    for those of you who have big commercial account, like 100 town homes, or a big community. how do you find out about them, so as to place a bid?
    i what to go commercial and need to know what to do thanks.
     
  2. mjealey

    mjealey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 475

    I have one Home Owners Association that I mow for. I have an Aunt that lives in the neighberhood and the president of the Homwowners Association lives across the street from my Aunt. Recently, the president sent out a newsletter that told the homeowners where all the homeowner fees were being spent on. On the newsletter it listed lawncare at $10,500 per year. I have met the guy that is the president of the homeowners a few times but really don't know him that well. Told my aunt to say something about me wanting to mow their neighberhod. She said something to him and he was open to me submitting a bid. I knew what they were paying so I told him I would do it for $9,600 per year to make sure I got it. He gladly accepted and have just recently started mowing the areas. Takes me about 3 hours every Sat. morning. This is the one commercial/HOA accout that I got.
     
  3. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Posts: 4,909

    Yep

    And this is exactly why lawncare prices are lower now than they were 10 years ago.

    People getting into the business and going after big boy work when they dont have the slightest clue.
     
  4. howierd3866

    howierd3866 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 348

    I agree next year they be complainting someone came in and uncut me....I don't want a customer like that..We do only large areas.... bid on this airpark subdivsion last year 2 so call company plus my bid all within a $1000. total. Doing all 3 interview at the same time at there board meeting they wanted someone to be able to mow yard only if needed (all mowing is done on the runway and taxi way plus rightaway and com. area) plus any box blade work slopemowing tree trimming and so on not your adv. lawn services company work but we can..any how I was the only who bid from an unknown budject other 2 knew how much to bid..Well ran into the 2nd place company (last year) this week and he complainting how he unbid the year before company by $100. and he was loving it....Well I'd made his day..way till next year when it get done to you...I don't like working for a company if they don't work with the last year company if it not over alot of money....
     
  5. wrtenterprises

    wrtenterprises LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    I have seen this exact scenario play out here in Central Pa. for years now. As a matter of fact, I lost the largest commercial property in the area to a much lower bidder. We had this contract for almost (5) years until money became the number one issue. I know for a fact that most large commercial tracts are being mowed cheaper now than (5) years ago! Most of the LCO's I'm familiar with seem to run on cash flow, not profit. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand this is a 2-5 year failure plan......
     
  6. iamthelawnman

    iamthelawnman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    where i live their is a comp. name top hat. and they start up their lawn care service and pick up all the big place for the hotels to the sub. divisions. and they under cut everyone to pick them up. and yes it all about cash flow not profit. and it has been about five years now and they are wanting to sell out. this makes it hard to go in their and place a bid for a profit.
     
  7. howierd3866

    howierd3866 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 348

    what these company are doing is building their list up then sell the company to a big investor group then they slip it up and sell it off...Truegreen landcare...Valleycrest the investor dont care about the customer its just number to them and if they lose it just a write off.
     
  8. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,121

    Why does everyone say that? They don't care if they lose money because its just a write off? Trust me, they are in business to make money!
     
  9. howierd3866

    howierd3866 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 348

    but when they are ready to sell they cuts cost and corner so the profit looks better than they unload them because its looks good on paper where they got alot of new accounts and contract and the paper work look good...this is how it is down here no forsure
     
  10. mjealey

    mjealey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 475

    Now now, let me explain something something to everybodu out there. I am in this business because I love doing it. I work 40 hrs. a week at a bank and my wife has a very good job as a doctor. We are not strapped for cash, and as I mentioned I really do it because I truly enjoy it.

    I am able to charge less because I have no expenses. My truck, trailer, walk behind, ZTR, trimmer, blower, edger, and sub-compact tractor are completely paid for. By the way, I am completely legal with my license and insurance and a CPA does all of my taxes every year so I know I am not cheating uncle sam.

    I have seen the work the crew before me were doing. While it wasn't bad, they did not do the kind of job that they could have been doing. I think every time they unloaded they tried seeing if they could beat last weeks record for time it takes to complete. Sometimes, not blowing all the grass off of the street and skipping some small areas when they were mowing.

    When I show up I make sure that my equipment, trailer, and truck are clean. I also goes as far as trying to look nice by wearing nice khaki shorts and a polo. Some people could care less, but these people like the clean appearance and have stopped to complement me on it.

    Because of my attention to detail, I have picked up 2 more yards since I have been doing the Homeowner's area and I am definetely not undercutting anybody by charging these 2 people $70 per 1/2 acre yard.

    People get mad because people undercut them, but sometimes other people have less expenses and are able to make a good profit charging less. After taxes and expenses I am stilll pocketing around $600.00 per month for about 12-14 hours of work. Not bad if you ask me.
     

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