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To Bid Or Not To Bid.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Buddy Buds, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Buddy Buds

    Buddy Buds LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    I have a friend who does my church. In a business meeting one of our ladies made a motion to put the job up for bid. She felt her lawn co. could do it cheaper. They put it up for bid and I placed a bid a good bit cheaper because it's my church. I was out recouping from a cold the day of the business meeting. I'm there all the time doing things around the church anyway and getting ready to plant 60 Knockout Roses, not as part of my company. I told my friend about them putting it up for bid and told him that I had told the grounds committee that his price was very much in line. He didn't like it much. Should I have placed a bid or not? My friend is a member of another church. The lady,s co. gave a higher bid.
  2. fazzy815-66

    fazzy815-66 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 303

    Thats a tough one! I have a friend who use to do our church but, he also attended the church. I would never bid against him (I did,but much higher then his price was. just because the church asked me to). If he is a good friend I probably would not bid lower than him.
  3. Perfect Image TLM

    Perfect Image TLM LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 267

    Have to agree hear. I hate having to be in situations like this.
  4. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,444

    Business is business. If I thought I could do as good a job and make money while saving the client money, I'd have bid it.

    Around here very few churches pay for lawn care.... it's usually done by member volunteers. The really big churches (lots of them here too) usually have a maintenance staff that does it on their own or a LCO member than "donates" the service.

    Cemetaries here are the same way. Most of them have the same guys that are digging the graves running lawn equipment.

    School board cuts their own grass. They have a large central maintenance facility that dispatches everything from carpenters to landscape workers to wherever they're needed.

    Mowing for the school system used to be highly competitive but not very profitable. When most guys quit bidding it and they "de-certified" the ones that continued to bid it (low ballers who did terrible work) the bid prices went way back up and they decided to do it in house... Now they're stuck with it... and their costs have skyrocketed! They're spending almost twice what the highest bid would have been a fewyears ago.
  5. fazzy815-66

    fazzy815-66 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 303

    I respect what your saying (business is business) but sorry I wouldn't do that to a friend. I have a friend who does fertilizing and I do as well. He has done it longer and does some of my mowing customers (fertilizing) I probably could easily take those customers from him. But I wont cause I care and respect him.There is something called loyalty and friendship (to me) is more important that money.
  6. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,444

    And I respect that.

    but for me, business IS business. It's how I feed my family, pay my employees and provide for my retirement.

    It's also why I never discuss MY business with friends when it comes to how much money I make, what I'm charging who etc.

    I have "friends" that frequently ask for quotes.... mistakenly believing that they'll get some special price. If they're your friend why would they want you to NOT make money??? If they're expecting you to do something at "cost" or just over cost are they really your friend or are they looking to take advantage of that friendship?

    They're also the same friends that will tell their other friends or acquaintences "what a deal" they're getting... who then want the same "deal".

    I went down that road years ago and lost potential customers just for that reason.... they'd go with someone else (at the same price I quoted them) because they were "pissed" that I wouldn't give them the same "deal" as I gave my "buddy".

    A "friend" wouldn't want you to take food off your table. And I do a lot of business with friends, both ways... If I like their product/service and the price I use them. If I don't then I go elsewhere. No hard feelings, they're still my friend.

    Now in your case... IF I had a company that I was subbing too or with, would I poach their customers (that I gained knowledge of through this professional relationship) NO, that would be unethical.

    But to refuse to bid on a job that's up for bids just because I knew the guy that was doing it now? No way, If I wanted the job I'd bid it.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Pretty much, I'd bid on anything if asked. What makes this sticky for you is you know what your friend charges apparently.

    I'm surprised at how many guys here seem to know what others charge...the local guys I network with never talk $$ except in general terms. I never say "I'm charging this particular property $xxx" It opens you up to being undercut.
  8. fazzy815-66

    fazzy815-66 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 303

    well when you put it that way ...I would have to agree...my situation is different.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    No, conflict of interest.
  10. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,254

    Too bad there aren't more guys like you on here. I feel the same way. But everyone else is so cut-throat.

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