The Bidding Process

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by The Rocket, Feb 3, 2001.

  1. The Rocket

    The Rocket LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Hi folks,

    I was recently reading an article in an industry publication which discussed bidding practices and actual bids for a few different companies. I was wondering if I could get some of you to take a minute and share as best you can what you would charge for this generic property. I am interested in seeing how much pricing differs. I realize it is hard to bid something you can't see but try your best.
    The property is approximately 100,000 sq ft (a little more than 2 acres), level elevation, all area can be done with a 60 or 72" deck, trimming around trees and one building, also 25 large trees.
    1. What would you charge per week for mowing?
    2. What would you charge for a fertilizer application?
    3. What would you cahrge for a spring cleanup?
    4. What would you cahrge for a fall cleanup?
    Thank you guys for your time, I look forward to seeing the results.
  2. The Rocket

    The Rocket LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Wow look at all of these responses!

  3. zimm4

    zimm4 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    I think with any job. You have to see it first.
    If someone called on your business phone. Wanting A bid on the phone. Would you give them A price without seeing it?
  4. Eric Green

    Eric Green LawnSite Member
    Posts: 40

    Goood Point!! Hey dude,nobody wants to get stung by giving a price without taking a peek first. Is this a property that you will enjoy maintaining? Is it profitable? Can you satisfy the customer with minimal dificulty? If you can answer yes to those, then I would say "charge what you're worth"!!
  5. Greenman2ooo

    Greenman2ooo Banned
    Posts: 176

    Since nobody else wants to jump right in, here I go.

    I say a little more than two acres, assuming we are talking upscale, fairly easy mowing shall fetch $90 per mowing. (I would not charge per cut, but I do try to figure how many mowings will be necessary for the season and multiply by $90. I'd say in my area I would mow 22-28 times, depending on if it is irrigated, customer expectations, etc. For arguments sake, lets say it needs to be mowed weekly, times 28 weeks=$2520 for season.

    A real quick price on any app would be $200 per application ($100 per acre), times five in my case. Price: $1,000 per season.

    Spring and Fall cleanups can be difficult to estimate, even seeing the "large trees" you see. Let me take a stab in the dark, I warn that you must be very careful to make sure you take the best educated guess you can. Imagine the leaves falling from the trees in fall and what will remain in spring.

    I'd bid the cleanups at $45 per man hour. Spring cleanup, safely I'd guess 6 man hours to pickup winter trash, clean minor refuse from any small landscape bed areas, remove any trash from parking lot areas, and minor edging that was maintained last season. If you need to do a lot of edging or break a first time edge, turn mulch, or install mulch, that would be additional time and materials. That's $270 for spring cleanup, assuming last fall they and the neighboring properties were cleaned up properly and don't have last falls leaves in every corner the wind could blow them to.

    Fall cleanup, I'd say will take twice as long minimum. Your work method will dictate time more than anything. Got a $2-$3,000 leaf loader? Time will be cut down considerably if you blow the leaves and vacuum them with a loader. Also, dump time is greatly reduced since you have a 12 to 1 reduction of leaf material using a loader.

    A wild guess would be 14 man hours time $45 equals $630. Twenty five trees could be MUCH longer than this, you have to make the call. Also, you could mulch leaves as they fall, therefore, reducing the final cleanup time that would be necessary at the end of the season.

    Totaling the seperate elements of the bid we come up with a seasonal price of $4,420 for the season. I would divide that by either seven or twelve months and bill either year round or April thru october in my region, depending on cutomer needs and your preference.

    Good luck, and remember this is a blind bid, but it should give you a basic idea how some others figure things. <b>If there are other factors you have thought of since, post them and I will adjust my bid accordingly.</b> The most important thing to remember is this- time is money. If you are doing things right, no matter what you decide to charge hourly, you must accurately determine how long ANY JOB will take.

    You don't have to tell anyone how much you are charging on an hourly basis, but you need to know how much you need to make hourly to make your business profitable. The lowest rate I have ever intentionally charged was $35 per hour and that is for an operator and $300 piece of equipment. My wide area mowers must make no less than $50/ hr gross.

    Your overhead may be less than mine, but if you are going to grow your business, overhead will grow to the point you will need to charge more than when you started. Start charging for it now, and you will have the cash to put out for the bigger, more productive equipment when you decide to grow your business.


  6. The Rocket

    The Rocket LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Greenman 2ooo,

    Thank you for the time you took to respond. I realize you can't give an actual job a price without seeing it. I was just wondering what the variation of prices would be throughout the industry on a generic property. Anybody who would like to submit their ballpark figure it would be much appreciated!

    The ROcket
  7. Paradise Landscapes

    Paradise Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    Another Question, Let's say al lawn cut, 10,000sqft. @30.00 per cut.
    Would it be weekly or would you double it to be 60.00 for biweekly?

    A lawn I'm bidding on is 33,601 SqFt. @ $100.80 Weekly or
    $201.60 for biweekly???

    I will greatly any appreciate the input!

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