Seeking bidding and pay increase advice for commercial properties

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Big 12 Lawns, May 23, 2002.

  1. Big 12 Lawns

    Big 12 Lawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Hey Guys,

    I need some advice. I have about 10 Apartment complexes owned by the same person. He started out small and I mowed by the hour for him. As he grew, I bought my own equipment and began mowing with it for him and for other people as well. He is my biggest customer, but the reason I still mow his lawns is because my prices are low (but I do a great job). He pays me by the mow, no contract, so there are times when he says "Don't mow this week. It didn't grow enough." The next week usually takes me longer.

    Now I am beginning to get employees and I'm learning to run the business the right way (i.e. having to get insurance, workmans comp, good advertising, invested $13,000 in new equipment last month, and so fourth). I am pretty sure that I should be making a lot more money, but I know that he will never go for a massive increase. What would you all do in this situation? How do you make make your bids on Apartments and other commercial properties?

    This is an example of one of my properties that has about 100 units and pays $180:

    1 hr 15 min mowing with a 60" exmark
    1 hour 30 weed eating
    1 hr edging
    30 min. blowing

    What do you guys think. Is that on the low end. I am trying to learn how to be very professional and even trying to learn how to get into the landscaping and chemical spraying side of things, but I don't have any sort of model to learn from. Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. higherpower

    higherpower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    My friend, it's all about time. It does not matter whether it is 2 units or 100 units. What matters is time. Based on your figures of $180 per visit, and taking you 4 and 1/4 hour your are making
    $42.35 per hour. It seems to me you are right on point on the national average. If you make at least $40 per hour you should be O.K. anything over is bonus. It seems to me your investment is paying off. Good Luck!
     

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