Commercial ?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GreenGrassman, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. GreenGrassman

    GreenGrassman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Was wondering what's the best way pickup Commercial Lawn Maintentence Jobs? We are mainly a small residential Lawn Care Company. When is the best time to approach Companies for jobs at the end of the season or the begining?
     
  2. GreenGrassman

    GreenGrassman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Wondering if perhaps you guys could help me.The main stay of my Bussiness is residential. I would like to get a little more Commercial. I was wondering the best ways to get business? As well as the best time of year to approach prespective customers. Thank you Brian
     
  3. Stinky

    Stinky LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    my advise is do not do commercial!!!!
     
  4. Commander

    Commander Banned
    Posts: 116

    GreenGrassMan, how many residentials do you mow currently? Do any of your residentials have businesses? Maybe one or two are contractors? Possibly one or two have retail stores or something similar. Check into those. Also check into places that you frequently go to, places where they know you. I was at the auto-parts store the other night and was talking with the owner of the building. My shop is right down the road from there and the guy knows me. I handed him a card and told him if he ever needed anything to give me a call. I might actually stop back there tomorow and talk with him, because he asked me if I mow lawns.... Lots of work there to get the landscape in shape.
     
  5. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 738

    We are mostly residential, and I've remained purposely so over th years. However, I realize that since I want my snow plowing business to grow, I won't be able to do that on residential. Besides, 1 ton dumps don't squeeze well into tight spaces. Therefore we're marketing snow removal to commercial customers, and then we'll take on the landscaping if needed or required.

    Last year I lost a $5 K snow contract on a town house unit, so I'll bid the $15 K landscape because I want the snow since they're now a package deal. Will I make money on the landscape... sure, if we get it. But I'm only doing it because the relationship is right and the association wants someone who will tackle the landscape from a sound horticultural approach - not just mow and go.

    We will take on more commercial if we have to due to snow and if the relationship is right. Otherwise, I'll try and stick with residential landscaping and more commercial snow.

    How to go after commercial specifically? I would identify the properties you want to target. Find out who the property/business manager that makes the contract decisions - get on their mailing list for bids. Ask if they're accepting bids. As for a meeting with the person. Interview them. Are they happy with who they have? If you're happy, then why will you take a price from me if you're not going to switch? Sell quality, not price to get the job. A manager that will dump their current relationship for a small % will do the same to you when someone else comes along. Once you make the contact, keep in touch with them. Call them, write them, remind them you're there. Mass mailings? I wouldn't - I would just target the properties you want.
     
  6. Krimick

    Krimick LawnSite Member
    Posts: 86

    I'm almost all commercial, I have 20 residential. My experience is that residential is more profitable. Homeowners are often willing to pay cash

    Like lawnlad said, it's the property managers who you want to get in contact with. Their the ones who let you know when bids are coming up.

    As far as a good time to approach customers, March and April is a good time to check the classifieds in your local paper. If your looking to get into places like schools, parks and churchyards, thats when they advertise that they are accepting bids for the upcoming season.
     
  7. GreenGrassman

    GreenGrassman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Wondering if perhaps you guys could help me.The main stay of my Bussiness is residential. I would like to get a little more Commercial. I was wondering the best ways to get business? As well as the best time of year to approach prespective customers. Thank you Brian
     
  8. AGG Lawn Maintenance

    AGG Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Senior Member
    from Elberon
    Posts: 422

    For Apartment complexs go to the manger and find out the deal. If he doesn't do the maintenance find out who the owner is. Send out a letter and a bid. Yes a bid!!! The best time for me is in December. Than send them out another letter and bid the end of Feb- Early March. In your bid price out trimming the bushes, Cutting etc. If you see something such as a bank that doesn't look like someone has been maintaining it talk to the manger/or owner and give them a price. Sell your self. Don't be too pushy just drop them a quick estimate. You might not get every person you talk to but just keep on selling yourself.;)
    Travis
     
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Here's how I do commercials. They are basically done by cold call. First, scout around for the areas that you want to target, and the businesses within them. Get the info on the businesses, such as name, address, and phone number, (you can even carry a phone book with you for this) and record it on a sheet. Contact the business either by phone, or by walking in, introduce yourself, explain that you interested in submitting a proposal for a maintenance program for the grounds,and inquire about who the contact person or owner would be. Usually, they are MORE than happy to accomodate you. At this point, you can leave on a positive, cheery term, go out and survey the property, and leave to go to the next. You draw up a nice letter, (mine is already done - just fill in the name(s)) and type your proposal, and mail it out. They can also be submitted by hand, this gives more of a personal touch and willingness connotation. Then, you just sit back and wait. This is called HUSTLING WORK! And there is nothing wrong with that! The one with the ambition and hustle is the one who gets it. One good hint though... stay away from the jobs that already look good. If there is a place that has professional service already, there is no sense in even inquiring, because if they're happy with the work, chances are, it isn't worth the risk for them to even switch services. (I have loyal commercial customers that recieve bids every year, and they still stay with me - many of the bids much lower) Also, if you are treading on someone elses well maintained property, you can build a resentment against you from those servicing lco's. This is not to mention being known as a cutthroat. Nope, go for the places that need the help; that's where the market is. This was the best advice that was given to me when I broke off on MY own. Now, there is a slight variable there, because if the place looks like it needs help, many of times it's that way for a reason. This is because they are just unwilling to put any money into it. This isn't that often, though. It depends on the demographics of it. Anyway, I've "rambled on" enough, and done enough damage to corrupt your mind.:p Good luck with it, and while it's getting a little late, it's also just the right time, as many people don't put alot of effort into this subject until the weather really starts to break. Then, they all get the fever. (see the post about the late replys to bids. This is a prime example.) ;)
     
  10. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    Brian,
    I merged your two threads together.
    Please only post one thread on the same topic. Just wait for the replies on one thread. That way we don't have exact duplicate threads running. Thanks.
     

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