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Just lost my first big bid

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by tamo, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 631

    Thats a loss youll look back on and be glad it happened,that was way to low even for down here in FLA. "thats bad". Bidding takes time to learn and unfortunately practice :cry: you have to lose to learn to win.
  2. greatlawns

    greatlawns LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 34

    I have a feeling that the "well respected" company may have given a better price, but perhaps didn't include everything that you were including. I've run into that many times where I give what I think is a good bid and then the customer tells me that they got a cheaper price, only to find out at the end that the other company didn't include mulch delivery, or bed edging, or some other such thing. Once all the charges are figured, they actually end up paying more.

    It's probably better that you didn't get it anyway. I've run into a couple times where I underbid and regretted getting the job and not making much, if any, money. If it is not making you any money, it's just not worth it.

    It always seems that the customers that beat you up on price will never be happy with the final job anyway. The ones that accept what you propose without an issue are always the ones that think you did a great job, as long as you do the job the way you say you will. From your bid, I think you were too low and probably would have regretted getting that job anyway. The big jobs will come, don't sell yourself short.
  3. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 578

    Your pricing was already at the low end.

    Like the other poster said, only you know how much you want the job.

    It seems there was a time limit---had to be done by...

    So she's got a boundary on time.....send her a note and say that your pricing is based on her time limit and that you have another job waiting. Tell her she needs to decide by tomorrow at noon or you won't have time.

    If she's haggling she will shut up and hire you.

    If company #2 actually exists, she will have to say no.

    If you cut your price, there's a very high probability that she's bluffing...hence you will feel like crap for lowering your already very fair price.

    Put the ball in her court.

    WALKER LANDSCAPE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    Look at as one of the many lessons you will learn in this career. Bid what you think is fair and that you come out ahead. We are not here take make friends with customers we are here to make money.
  5. ale

    ale LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    I wouldn't even worry about it. Stick to your guns. You're in business for yourself to make a living, not for fun. You and only you know what the fair price is for the situation, which makes you the expert between yourself and the customer. There's plenty of work out there.
  6. tamo

    tamo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    thanks for all of the input, as always this place is a mountain of advice.

    Eventhough I didn't get this good I'm happy with the experience because I got to bid my first larger size job and think I did a very professional job in the process. I only bid as low as I did because its slow right now and I can use the money, and it would've been good experience. If I took this job come May at this price I'd definitely be kicking myself.

    Now I am interested in how the proprety turns out. Like I said the place was wrecked and I doubt she'll get very detailed work for what she's apparently offering. It's close by so I'll have to swing by soon and check it out.
  7. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 916

    Let us know what it looks like, and if its a big company or a couple chumps. And laugh at them as you go by for working for peanuts.:waving:
  8. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Tag to see how this turns out...
  9. capetan

    capetan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    thats a super low bid..... you better be glad she said no
    i love going on to this site and hearing everyones experiences with goofy customers, i just started landscaping this year, my prices are good but not the lowest, i advertise a little on craigslist, hand out flyers and cards every once in a while......and what impresses me the most is most people dont even get landscaping done after receiving estimates, i give a fair estimate and punctual service, customer says its to high, and then i follow up and ask really(in a shocked manner :) ) ? what other estimates have you recieved, customer : oh your the first estimate, but last year i had i guy landscape my whole yard for half that price, then i agree with the customer, i would definately give that guy a call back sounds like a really good deal, thanks for allowing me to come out and give you an estimate.......the end
    ..........drive by the house a few months later no landscaping is done and its more weeded and over grown before ....... you just have to laugh....... being out bid is definitely a big discouragement for landscapers, and for new landscaper you dont know what to think..... alot of landscapers are great at landscaping but suck as sales people, from experience and asking the right question you will find out if someone is serious or not, have a competitive price not to high and not at the bottom, and sell yourself on your service and quality of work.... ******side note*** before i started landscaping this year i used to sell used cars for the past 4 years, i have no history in landscaping just an eye for detail, and common sense and this landscaping forum :), most of my customers i dont even talk about landscaping or give estimates, to find out if there serious or not ..... sorry to rank and rave, just trying to help, but you did a good job, if you give a customer a seriously low price and and they say your to high, someone is not being serious :) keep up the good work ....... buy a few sales books and do some studying over the down season
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Me thinks she needs to find the next fool, and you got lucky this one said no :laugh:

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