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Opportunity Knocks need your opinions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by pokemon, Jul 19, 2003.

  1. pokemon

    pokemon LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    I have been reading the posts on this forum for over a month now and tried many suggestions. I need your input good or bad.

    First, I am new at operating my solo Lawn Care Business. as far as equipment I have ZTR Kubota Diesel ZD28 Pro deck with 60" cut , Echo SRM260 Trimmer, PB650 b/p Blower , HCA260 Hedge Trimmer, also Echo SRM260 telescoping power pruner, Stihl b/p BR400 bought used off EBAY Auctions never again, Poulan 2285 Chain saw and numerous other bits and pieces of tools. Oh I haul the equipment around in a 2002 Isuzu NQR 18ft Box Truck air, automatic, GVW 17,985 LBS with a pay load of 10,000 + LBS of cargo. The Box is lettered and wash weekly the inside of box has not been retro fit as yet to carry Lawn equipment only Plants/shrubs. The inside box roof is translucent just like the UPS vans.

    Second, I was passing out flyers within in a certain zip code and got a call from a local apartment building with 248 units and after meeting with manager she mention they were taking bids because of numerous written letters to current LCO about work not completed. So she wants a written estimate from my company. I ask and she told me they are currently paying 3300/ month.

    Third, I have total 3 residential accounts and ads in local paper.
    I currently have experience in applying pesticide in a small nursery with knowledge of plants landscaping, irrigation,
    My Business is licensed as a sub-chapter S and insured for one million per incident we also have federal tax #, bla, bla ,bla

    Last, I need your input and wisdon as to weather or not to compete for this contract . I think they like my clean cut appearance, clean truck, and image down to our brochure .

    If i bid on this account which i really want. It means hiring 2 locals the only ones interested are Hispanics i already check they have correct paper to work legally in the US.

    What would you charge for services, I do not want to low ball actually I was thinking upping my price to about 4250per month
    the manager want 42 cuts per year min 1 time in seven days during the growing season and not less than once during the winter ( Tavares, Florida 32778, Zone 9 ) . I will try to up load some pics
  2. pokemon

    pokemon LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    another pic of retention pond
  3. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Posts: 1,647

    Wish I could help you

    Unfortunately I can't. I have no idea what the property looks like. The shape it is in now. Or all the particulars of exactly they want. ex; shrub trimming, how many times in a year. The amount of turf, bed areas, paved areas. Do they want the paved areas vegetation free, and so on.

    I look at all the work we do this way.

    I am not like other companies. I will not be compared with. I am the one responsible for the work and the appearance of the property. It is my companies reputation on the line. I will manage the landscape, not maintain it (there is a difference) I have complete control. That is what I bid on. Not what the last guy did or did not do. If I can do a job for less than they paid, fine I will tell them that. If they got what they paid for. I will tell them that as well.

    Thank them for their time, they can sign the contract right then and there or fax it to me. And I am on my way to the next appointment.
  4. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,194

    Before you bid anything, can't you put together a business plan for a job of this size?
    What is it actually going to cost, TOTAL overhead for this job. That would tell me how much I was interested in the contract.
    Keep some contingency plans in mind, what happens when 'x' doesn't show up for 4 days and complex was due to be serviced 2 days ago. Have to be flexible enough to handle 'situations' when they come up.
    Is your operation big enough to be flexible enough?
  5. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    yup, I agree. Are you sure that you can handle an account like this? Is it going to drag down your time and your reputation if you can't handle it? Really think it through before you jump into big time
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Going from $3300 a month to $4250 is quite a jump. But then again, I might look at it and tell you $4250 isn't enough either. Hard to really help ya when we have no idea of the size of the property.
  7. pokemon

    pokemon LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    This property is about 40- 60 acres + the entrance is about 1/4 to 1/2 mile long . I tried to up load some pictures but not successful as yet. will try again.
  8. lawnworker

    lawnworker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 899

    Thats a pretty big chunk of land. I don't know what to tell you . I myself just do residential and small commercial. My uneducated guess would be the current price is way low, but what do I know. I work on small places. Sorry I am not much help.
  9. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,473

    What do you have to loose if you take this account and it goes bad? I would go from there.
  10. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Posts: 1,053

    Ok first of all 42 cuts is too many for your area and zone. I live further south than you and everyone gets around 36-38. Every week starting last week of April till the end of Oct. The every two weeks Nov. Dec. --- every three weeks Jan. Feb. March. depending on weather. You can work around this by stating "mow turf 38 times per year, or as many additional times as needed to create a professional appearance." That is a CYA statement.

    Now how many buildings are there? Hills? Retention areas and degree of difficulty in mowing. How often to fertilize? In order to spray Round Up or any shrubs you must have a Limited Pest Control Applicators License. I fyou do not then you can't do the work I don't care where you have worked in the past.

    By units do you meaning buildings? If not and let"s say that there are eight units to a building then there are about 30 buildings. Knowing that I doubt if ther is 60 acres of mowing. More than likely you are closer to 25, 30 max. Remember builders make money slamming those units in tight areas.

    Knowing the price always helps. Now ask yourself these questions. Is the current LMO not doing his job because he isn't making money at that price? Or is he just a bum?

    Finally, remember you are putting all your eggs in one basket hiring a couple of helpers. I think that you would only need one.

    Bottom line, you can use this to jump start your business. Don't make as much on this job but make it look better than anything out there. Then you can get anything out there. Not seeing it I am reluctant to give you a price. Having said that I would think that you could do the job in the $3,500.00 range. A little more but not enough to put you out of the running.

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