How to get commercial accounts?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ky-lawn-guy, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. ky-lawn-guy

    ky-lawn-guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    I currently have about 60+ residential lawns that i am taking care of but i will be graduating college in May and want to expand to more commercial accounts. Whats the best way to go about getting these type of accounts (Churches, office buildings, restaurants, apartments, etc.) How do you get the opportunity to bid them...do you just find a manager and ask? or is there a way these bids are anounced?
     
  2. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    IMO, its who you know not what you know. You need to somehow get your foot into the door on one and then in time word of mouth will spread and you will start landing more.
     
  3. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    How did you get the residential??
     
  4. ky-lawn-guy

    ky-lawn-guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    Most all of my residential have come by word of mouth and a few from just seeing my work or seeing me out working and coming up to me and asking. I have never used flyers or any other advertising.
     
  5. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Posts: 0

    My personal opinion is too many LCO's are chasing commercial accounts and those accounts are usually based on lowest bid. They are also a pain the the butt because you're not only mowing but your fertilizing, weeding, re-barking, pruning the bushes, picking up trash and fixing the sprinkling system, all at rock bottom prices.

    I'm not sure why so many companies chase commercial accounts like their the cash cow of the industry. In my personal opinion the best place to make the most money is in trailer parks with SMALL lots. The complete opposite place of where everyone else is chasing work and if you get enough work where you can spend a whole day in a trailer park you'll do really well and they are easily done by a solo operator. The trick is getting enough clients in a trailer park to where you can spend a full day there.

    Here's some quick math:

    Trailer Parks (solo)
    small yard 10 min. to mow, trim, blow. = $15.00
    6 yards per hour. (6 X $15 = $90 per/hr)
    8 hr work day (6 yards/hr x 8 hr/day = 48 yards/day x $15 = 720 per/day).

    Residential (solo)
    medium size yard 25 min to mow, trim, blow = $30.00
    2.5 yards per hour (2.5 x $30 = $75 per/hr)
    8 hr work day (2.5 yards/hr x 8 hr/day = 20 yards/day x $30 = 600 per/day).

    Commercial (2 man crew)
    Large commercial building 1.0 hr to mow, trim, blow, check sprinklers, pick up trash, spray weeds, etc. = $80.00
    1 commercial yard per hour (1 yard x $80 = $80)
    8 hr work day (1 yards/hr x 8 hr/day = 8 yards/day x $80 = 640 per/day divided by 2 guys = 320/per day)
     
  6. ky-lawn-guy

    ky-lawn-guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    I agree with the fact that i can probably make more per day in the residentials, especiall because all of my 60 yard are in no more than a 4 mile area...I just thought that it might be better to have a good mix of both...since most of the commercial stuuf is under contract and i would have a little better guaratee in times of drought and stuuf like that. Thanks for the advice
     
  7. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    It works for commercial too. But Wells is right about the money. Most all my commercial stuff is bid around $35 per hour. The nice thing is being at one place all day and not moving trucks. I can get 40 hours from 4 guys in one day
    I only get about 6 hours a man in residential.
     
  8. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    I agree about the math with the residential vs the commercial.

    I have approx. 25-30 trailer park lawns at 15 minutes on average @$20.00 per lawn. On my Ferris 52inch zero turn I can cut 20 of these or more on a good day, by going from yard to yard, with the exception of those that are fenced.

    The others have driving time involved etc. Plus I also do not want to worry about the lowest bid winning stuff.

    I do want higher paying lawns, but that has to be per hour or it makes no sense.

    Tim
     

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