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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by williams lcm, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. williams lcm

    williams lcm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,046

    The guy that got the bid for McDonalds does excellent work. He also does a bunch of other commercial propertys in town and they are kept up very nice.
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  2. RonWin

    RonWin LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 674

    Must be just me but everytime I bid a place im higher than everyone. I still end up getting the job 90% of the time. I think I do good work and most of my new clients are refferals. Last account I picked up a large lco company was doing for 100$ a cut and I came in at $130 and landed It. Didnt take too many quotes my first year to learn from those mistakes this year, guess im on the high side but when they see my work and attention to detail they give in to my price.
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  3. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,775

    Mcdonalds by me. 15 minutes top. I hate bidding but every year the new guys or the newer crowd (5 years and less) are knocking on doors all the time. I do two large properties - lets just say each one is over 35 acres of mowing - I heard the other day that a nephew of a guy here in town is starting a lawn care biz and his first account he is going after is one of my large accounts - it is public info on this account and therefore easy to see what we are charging so therefore he is going to lower his bid, hire a guy and this one account will pay them both and keep them busy all week. Where as I come in with 2 WAMS, 5 riders and from there everyone starts there own trimming/blowing an where they mowed. I am in and out in 7-8 hours. Short day for us really. Yes I do ok on the bid. Thing is upsell of everything else we do for them outside the contract....spray, landscape, plant trees, etc.
  4. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,924

    I'm always skeptical when guys say they get jobs with high bids. Most corporations have standing rules to go with the lowest bid that meets the specs. Typical bean counter mentality.
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  5. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,855

    I work for a school district at nights as a custodian, and I have to let all the sub contractors into the building, provide them with tools (cuz they never have their own :hammerhead:), and have to deal with their BS. Let me tell you, small time school district bid winners are the scrubbiest of scrubs. These guys don't know their ass from their elbow most of the time. All you need is insurance and an LLC and you can bid as low as you want for these jobs.

    But these prices, are insane. They must be El Dumbo Landscaping, because these scrubs are working for peanuts.
  6. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,855

    Yup, you're on the high side probably, and laughing all the way to the bank. You take pride in what you do, so the people that are willing to pay for that level of detail, will pay for it. :weightlifter:
  7. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,355

    I picked up a daycare this season. $2500 a year. I'm in and out in 45 minutes solo or 30 with my employee. Plus we did a 2400 mulch job this season
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  8. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,855

    That's a great pick up
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  9. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,757

    If I am reading those school bids correctly, there is absolutely no possible way the guy is doing anything but losing money, and, the way I figure things, quite a bit of money.

    That said, I'm just a little guy, relatively speaking, but I honestly don't understand why smaller operators are so fixated on getting into commercial work. I currently have a half dozen or so "commercial" accounts. I have serviced each of them for as long as 10 years. None of them ask for yearly bids, and most have accepted reasonable price raises over time with no complaints.

    I also, in the past, have had a few that insisted on yearly bids. I no longer service any of these properties, and after losing the last one over $5, I decided I would no longer bid on any job that is going to require annual bidding. Thanks, but no thanks. I feel that if you are reasonable in your pricing, dependable, and do good work, you should be able to keep the account without having to worry someone undercutting you with an insanely low bid. If LCO's would quit playing the game with these people, things could be much more profitable.

    I do understand larger companies vying for commercial work. They have payroll to meet, and employees to keep busy, so year 'round, contracted accounts with multiple locations make more sense for them.
  10. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,855

    I think the big companies are the ones with the most to lose from these kinds of accounts. The investment of increasing employee numbers, buying new equipment, only to lose out next year to some idiot who can't handle it and doesn't know how to bid. I plan on leaving that work for them, and focus only on quality customers. None of us need the headaches.

    And yeah, the bids on the school district are insane. I can't imagine that even covering gas.
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