Commercial Accounts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Doug Perrone, Dec 31, 2000.

  1. Doug Perrone

    Doug Perrone LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I have owned my lawn care business for 3 yrs now and I was wondering how i can get commercial accounts i have about 35 Residential accounts but I would like to get some commercial account. Are they better than Residential?? Should I send out a letter to companies or just wait until someone asks me. I would really like help on this because some day i would like to do this full time and i feel that commercial accounts are needed to do this. Thank you very much on the input.
  2. accuratelawn

    accuratelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 922

    You will need to knock on doors. Get face to face with the people that make the decisions for lawn and landscape purchases.Project a professional image!
  3. cclllc

    cclllc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 903

    I did this one year during christmas .I drove around all day looking at potential properties and made a list of the ones I thought I wanted.Went home and found all of their phone numbers.Ask them who is in charge of such things and try to speak with them or go by and chat with them.I was surprised how many people responded.Find out when they take bids,what they require,and what they want.You'll probably get more than you want.I also have an ad in the yellow pages in case they want to check up on you.Have plenty of business cards with you.Good luck.
  4. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    You asked if commercial accounts are better than residential. I don't know. In a lot of ways, I think residential is where it's at. They have a lot of good advantages.

    We have about 135 residential clients and maybe 5 commercial accounts. The commercial accounts we have, however, are the exception. They pay well, keep us around every year, are not very demanding, etc.

    Last year we started running some pretty good sized Yellow Pages ads and as a result I get a lot more calls for commercial work nowadays. But I usually can't compete because I can't warrant the loss in profit versus residentail accounts.

    For instance, I was bidding on a the maintenance of a large apparment complex this summer. They told me the previous company had a crew of 2-3 guys there every week for an entire day. That helped me make my bid. I was glad they shrared that with me. I always try to get as much info as they'll let me have. In this case, they also told me what price I'd have to beat to win the bid. They said there lowest quote so far was for $1200. There was no way in heck I could beat that price. The labor alone, including taxes and workers comp, is almost that. Furthermore, those same two guys could do 20 or more residential lawns in the same time frame. And we'd make $2000+ per month from that. So there's no way I could compete.

    I experienced this time and time again this year. Many times the company would actually show me a copy of their existing contract, prices and all. The majority of the time, I could make more money doing residentail work. So I always ended up bidding way more than the other companies.

    Don't get me wrong. There must be some big advantages to doing commercial accounts. A lot of the hugs landscape companies do ONLY commercial work. So there must be a reason there. But for me, I just can't justify the loss in income as opposed to residential work.

    There are also a lot of disadvantages to Commercial work. Such as the fact that they often can you after a year or two, you often have hundreds of potential complainers (e.g appartment complexes), etc.

    My advice is to stay with the smaller commercial stuff. And most of that just comes to you from existing clients.
  6. Green Finger

    Green Finger LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 839

    You have to know your niche. Know how your business works. Don't make the mistake I made and get commercial properties just to be bragging.

    You have to bid so that you can make some money.

    Find your niche.

Share This Page