I have been asked to bid grounds maintenance on a 750,000 sq ft commercial property. This would be my first commercial property and I need to make one pricing issue pass the common sense test before I attempt to make a bid. I have performed a reasonable number of searches on this site and read literally thousands of posts on the subject of pricing and bidding. There is alot of outstanding advice from some very smart and experienced people, but there is still something that isn't passing the common sense test for me. Allow me to explain..... I know the average price per hour locally for commercial work is in the range of $45 to $55 per hour. I also know that a simple sq ft measurement won't always be an accurate way to figure pricing because each site has differences that might slow down your productivity. Many of the posts on this site talk about pricing by the hour OR by the sq ft. For me either method leaves some unanswered questions. My common sense tells me that the customer in this case pretty much knows what the maximum price he is willing to pay for grounds maintenance services. It also tells me that my pricing has to be just low enough to beat out the competition - or I won't get the work. The third factor here is that I need to take home as close to $42 per hour after expenses as I can get to replace my current income (maybe this is an impossible figure in this business, I don't know). So, how do I make this happen? As I see it, the variable that I have to work with is to have more productive equipment and processes than the competition to reduce the time spent actually doing the work (same winning bid price, more productive per time spent, my take home pay goes up) - easy enough to understand that one. What I don't understand though is how to apply this concept to a calculation that I can use to give competitive bids while maximizing my take home pay. To explain my question another way (and simplifying to just mowing for purposes of discussion): If you have two LCO's - one with a mower that will do 3 acres per hour and another that will do 6 acres per hour on the same property, it stands to reason that the 6 aph LCO would make more money per time spent. The issue for me is that the posts on this site explain the hourly pricing calculations from the angle of "I want to make $XX per hour" to figure what you should bid. To me that method might answer the question of how competitive I can be - but it doesn't answer the question of how to pocket the difference that my extra productivity gives me while still giving a competitive bid. In other words how do I convert my extra productivity into a competitive pricing strategy?