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Help with landing commercial accounts.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JayD, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. JayD

    JayD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,060

    OK, here is my question guys.
    I'm in my first year in this mowing mostly, and would like some tips on landing a handful of commercial mowing accounts. I bought a new 52" eXmark WB at the beginning of this season and would like to buy a zero turn this winter but would like some comm.acct.'s to justify buying it. Yes, I'm solo with an helper sometimes. I'm not trying to take over the market, as I am a electrician full time. I'm just looking to earn some extra cash for savings for when times are bad in the electrical work. Don't get me wrong, I love doing it and in it for the long haul. No different than firemen doing it for part time work. The question is, at the beginning of this season, commercial properties would not even give a bid. Some one told me it's because those kinds of accounts are bid the year before like in August. Is this true? You have to bid near the end of one season for the next ?
    Thanks for all your input.
  2. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    You might want to get into plumbing instead.

    Back to your ?

    You will find that theya re always more work than you think.

    If they tell you it took the last people 4 hours to complete with 2 guys, it probably took 8 hours with 4 guys.

    Try to get at least half of the accounts on levelized billing, and the other half on summer monthly billing.

    If the properties are large, a couple of ZTR's are a must.

    More specific questions might get you better response than mine.

  3. fargoboy

    fargoboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    you mean plumbers make more than electricians?
  4. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    No, but they are not dependant upon the weather.

    Also, you can plumb year around.

  5. Lohse's Lawn Service

    Lohse's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    from US
    Posts: 213

    Jay D, do you specifically need commercial accounts to buy a new ztr? It sounds like it may be easier to get residential accounts, especially if you are mowing part-time. Most commercial accounts probably don't want to hire someone that isn't mowing/landscaping full-time. Just my way of thinking. I could be wrong. But in the future it would probably be a lot easier to drop a residential account in the middle of the mowing season, rather than dropping a commercial account mid-season. That probably wouldn't fly well with them! Good luck.
  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,203

    Good commericial accounts need full time guys and the prices are lower than residential so why go for commericial. In commericial you got the large companies to contend with....but lots of extra stuff on commericial but yuo have to do it when they want it done.

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,566

    He is right full time is what it takes,most do contracts and you will get into a ton of work and itz very competitive so the price might not be what you think.
  8. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,067

    I was mowing for a business owner. If he is like the rest then no thx. He lied , connived, and was slow to pay. I fired him.
  9. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    One ? that wasnt brought up, but needs to be... You say you're part time, etc., are you FULLY insured? ALL of my commercial accounts need proof of my liab. insurance, and two of my accounts wouldn't let me on the property if I didn't have workers comp. on myself and my employee.
    Just like getting residential accounts, commercial accounts come by knocking doors, running bids and more than not, just being in the right place at the right time. Keep your eyes open to the local papers where they post 'bid proposals'. Talk to people you know that may have contacts at the factories, stores, banks, etc. where they are employed.
    Just a few ideas.
  10. JayD

    JayD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,060

    Yes, I am fully insured. I always do everything the right way. I never take stupid chances or like looking over my shoulder for the tax man.
    But thanks for the info.

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