Whats the best way to get a big account?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ubirajara83, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. ubirajara83

    ubirajara83 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 172

    Hello im looking to get a community to cut, can anyone help or give me some advice. Also looking for a better proposal if n e one can help out would appreciate it.
  2. grassmanak

    grassmanak LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 792

    if your new to the business dont go after big accounts. Generally big accounts wants one of 2 things. Either a reputable company or a low bid. You need to build yourself of, then when its time present lots of bids at the right rate. Ive been doing this for 2 years now and still have not done a commercial job bigger than $50.00 a week. Next year im planning on bidding some apartment complexes and such to start it out.
  3. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    Price, Price, Price.

    Bidding the right price to JUST GET the account is also the easiest way to lose your shirt.

  4. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,964

    Think twice about big accounts. A big account really hurts when you lose it.
    One $1500 account versus 15 $100 accounts? I'd take the 15 anyday.
  5. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    Brand new to the industry? Leave it alone, get some freakin experience for God sakes. I've been doing this on my own since 2002 and had 5yrs of experience before that and we're just getting those "big" accounts and some have been good, some have been just ok, and the rest SUCKED! Test the water with a "piggy toe" before jumping both feet first. Most commercial accounts = penny pinching bean counter's,= lowest bidder, = no money for a lot of work!
  6. mojob

    mojob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 515

    How's WPB these days? I spent the first forty years of my life there. I moved to Colorado seven years ago and I must say I don't miss south florida one bit. Anyway, to answer your question, what you can try is sending out letters to all the property management companies in your area and ask them if they're accepting bids on any of their properties. Keep what has been said in other posts in mind though, be careful what you wish for. You'll need the equipment and the manpower not to mention the experience. If you think you have all that, don't let anyone get in your way.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    The guys are right, you really need several years experience.

    Like yourself, I was excited my first year too, but I did wait these years as someone I know gave me similar advice.

    This, my 5th year, I took on a SMALL commercial account in spring.
    Mind you, it was 4 acres total with around an acre of turf, you'd think it wouldn't take that long, since most was pavement or building.
    But there were islands and sidewalks and curbs and bushes and mulch beds and rock beds and cute little flowery areas, and all this was around 100 or 200 offices.
    Oh, and in a community, each member agreed to the contract, and they voted yay or nay.
    You can thus expect some of them will want to be your boss.
    Just to cut the stupid acre of turf used to take 3-4 hours!
    Most of the time was spent curb-mounting the mower, trimming and weed control... omg...

    And yes I underbid, accidentally.
    So it took me for a bit of a ride, I lost a few grand.

    Good thing I had 4 years under my belt, thou.
    Because without that experience, I would've REALLY underbid!
    I thought my bid was too high as it was LOL.
    And without that experience, I would not have known when to cut tail and run (which may not sound real couth, but I had to do what I had to do before I righteously lost my shirt).
    I lasted 3 months, and I can still feel the arse rashing.
    But at least I'm still around to talk about it.
    I can even laugh about it a little now, too.
  8. JJLandscapes

    JJLandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    im about to finish year 3 and have alot of residentials and im not even thinking about commercial for a few more years except maybe the old country club i use to work at in the summer.. They keep asking i keep declining
  9. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    I would also say skip a LARGE commercial. If you even have to ask how to acquire the account, it'd be my guess you're not ready to perform the services that they'll want/need.

    I think grasmanak hit it on the head. Around here, what you see on a large commercial:

    A well-known landscape maintenance contractor, or

    Some company you have no clue who they are(so it's probably based on price).

    That may not be the complete truth in all cases, but it seems safe to assume this for a good majority of accounts like these.

    Try some small condo or apartment complexes first if you're set on acquiring commercial accounts.
  10. LemkeLawns

    LemkeLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    Any opinions on what kind of equitment a person would need to mow a job of 100 acres-70 turf? Most of it is wide open. Few beds one hour max weekly to control weeds. Any thoughts on prices?

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