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Are they really worth it?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Pilgrims' Pride, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. Pilgrims' Pride

    Pilgrims' Pride LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA.
    Messages: 481

    Hey folks,

    I have a question.

    I have been recently blessed (or cursed) with the opportunity to bid lawn and tree & shrub care on a number of very large properties. None of them is smaller than 3 acres and some are over 20 acres.

    I have bid on places like this before. Sometimes you win, sometimes they don't call at all.

    Anyway, after I price materials, labor and so forth, the price is quite high and often I get blown out of the water by professional scrubs like trugreen/chemlawn.


    How do you win places like these and do well?

    Sometimes I just don't know.
  2. J&R

    J&R LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    I get under bid 80% of the time. Don't worry about it because when you win the 20% you bid on you know you will make good money.
  3. Rtom45

    Rtom45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    Try to sell the service and expertise angles. In my opinion, the marketing companies cannot compete in these areas.
  4. AA Arborist

    AA Arborist LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I also sell on service and expertise. trugreen chemlawn is my best advertisment after a year with them most customers are looking for someone who cares.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    if the lawns r in good shape it is not to hard to matain them but is they r crap bid high
  6. cemars

    cemars LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    One reason larger companies like TG/CL can offer a low price on large properties is they have the equipment (i.e. wide app. tractors) to do them very efficiently. If you are interested in this type of work, something like a PG Ultra or a Z-Spray will help make you more efficient. I regularly knock out 10-12 acre jobs in a day with a PG and clear close to a grand in profit. Tree and shrub is also very profitable, cemicals generally cost less than 10% of job, the trick is to know what to spray and what not to. T&S takes a lot more knowledge than turf, but if you take the time to learn the money is sweet. We profitably price 1 acre plus jobs at between $130 and $165 an acre depending on materials, size, and difficultly and get plenty of old TG/CL jobs.
  7. ChickensDoo

    ChickensDoo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    Figure out what you need to make on the large properties, price accordingly, and stick to your guns. Its not worth cutting your price to get the job, if you're not going to profit from it.
  8. Rob Spread & Spray

    Rob Spread & Spray LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    Well I'll tell ya Pilgrim.

    Do you have a ride on machine like the ones from Permagreen?

    That will help a great deal with the larger properties.

    If youlose it this year, monitor the property and keep the property

    Mgr informed throughout the season if things dont look good.
  9. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 707

    appreciate your John Wayne imatation, Rob

    we dont do very much in the 'big' catagory. when you have to work at low profit margins just to get the work...then next season somebody works for even smaller profit margins to take the work away from you.
    Thats why we like residentials. The people can be a pain, but its more profitable for us.

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