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Am I unreasonably EXPENSIVE???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, Mar 13, 2004.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    OK guys, I need some honesty here.

    It seems I take a beating every time I submit a competition bid on a property. I know a lot of times a scrub comes along and chops me down right at the ground. But that's not all of it. I know I could lower my rates some. But frankly I don't want to.

    Last year I did pretty lousy as well and those were jobs I was invited to bid on. Now this year, as many of you know from another thread, I am actually out SEEKING work for the first time. I'm trying to build some tight routes. So I'm having to go after commercial bids along routes.

    So far I'm not doing real well.

    I'll give you all a detailed example and you let me know if you think my rates are too high for western NC. This is way smaller than what I usually take and honestly loosing this small of account has shaken me more than the big stuff.

    Turf = 10,000 Sq Ft (in broken sections)
    Trim/Edge = 1,000 Ft (400 bed/600 concrete)
    Beds = 3,000 Sq Ft
    Shrubbery = 107 small bushes and trees

    (should I post my bid?)

    I just want an honest answer. I will be delivering a bid next week on a property with very similar #'s but with a bit less desirable layout. I need help here because I need the some of the locations coming up to attain the tighter routes I need.
  2. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    by your equipment list I assume you work solo or with a helper. So, can you work cheaper than an immigrant hired by a competitor? Commercial work means employees, and that means cheaper costs for labor. On mowing you can compete by being faster and smarter and using better equipment. But for shrubs and beds it's harder to cut time by hustling because it just tires you out quicker. So the guy with employees will probably be able to beat your price. Especially if it's what I'm imagining it is, more beds and parking lot and shrubs than lawn.
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I think the shrubs and trees is where you are probably getting killed with in regards to price...I am only guessing, but that is where they are beating you.
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    A couple of good points made already. What about the bid? You two taking a stab? What about the rest? Should I post my bid? I know many will differ, but I still think I can make an OK decision about where my rates stand though.

    I would say I would send a PM of my bid to each person that adds their bid so my numbers wouldn't hold influence. But I guess after the first price posted might hold influence. I don't mind to tell my price at all. I just want some honest replies. What do yall think I should do there?
  5. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    For mowing trimming only, I dont think I'd be less than $40.
    Can't even give you a swag on the plant trim or bed work..too many variables.
  6. dfor

    dfor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    $55. Its the 107 small bushes and trees that adds alot of time. But its hard to say without seeing it.
  7. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 5,900

    I personally can't even begin to compete in the commercial schrub work arena. I can not take a hedge trimmer to every bush in a complex, make a ball and walk away. Kinda of frustrating isn't it. So how can you compete if you spend more time on your work, not because your slower or ill equipted, but because your conscience won't allow you to butcher plants. Good luck!
  8. Creative Lawn Care

    Creative Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 271

    Envy I am from the High Point NC area. I would assume our market prices would be about the same. I am also a solo operator and have had quite a bit of trouble the last two years on gaining new work due to being underbid. Its not very easy to give you an estimate without actually seeing the property but I am thinking in the 50.00 per mow with bushes and mulch being extra or if its a twelve month contract including mowing, pruning, mulch and fert/seed then I think in the 275-300 a month range. Again I am not great at doing this without seeing the property so dont go solely on my opinion
  9. BLC3

    BLC3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    300 to 350 a month?
  10. dfor

    dfor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    To clarify. My estimate was mowing only. I can't imagine trimming 107 bushes. I'd figure that at about $400 each time they were trimmed. You did say they were small.

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