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Bidding and Business Proposals

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cuttinfirefighter, Mar 8, 2003.

  1. cuttinfirefighter

    cuttinfirefighter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    :confused: hello i am going into my second season independantly,i have bought some bigger equiptment in hopes of expanding my services, i have a few business and churches that i want to give bids to, but thats my problem i have never bidded before. i dont want to under or over bid my service is there any site or service i can contact that will help me out? thanks in advance..:blush:
  2. Kingspointe

    Kingspointe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    You could try sending these places some formal letters. You can make up a letter head on your computer and introduce yourself and your business. Or you can give a business a phone call to see where they stand with maintenance. Once you have recieved response, you could meet with them and propose a detailed bid with all included prices. If you offer fertilization or other services, try to sell that, but introducing yourself is the best way. Good luck
  3. cuttinfirefighter

    cuttinfirefighter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    :confused: thanks for answering my post..... the information that you gave is very much apprieciated.... but i would like to know how to bid.... ie a ball park on how much i should charge per acre or half acre, how much for mulch jobs, how to price hedge trimming all of that sort of stuff..... and i am sorry if i wasnt detailed enough in my first post............. thanks again and in advance:D
  4. Kingspointe

    Kingspointe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    Hello again!

    Well what you have to look at is first your market. Possibly try to find out what other companies are pricing standard lots in your area, for example, regular residential lots. You can incorporate that into your own estimates as well to be competitive if you know what the competition is charging.

    The way I use is an hourly rate. My hourly rate I want to make for myself is 60/hr, or 1 dollar/min. You need to also take your overhead into effect. Figure out what it would take you to do the job. Your main expense will be gas, or if you have an employee. (sorry i'm not goin into detail, its late and i'm tryin to get to bed!)
    For example, a 60 by 120 lot takes me about 15 minutes with a complete job to do with one employee. So I would charge 20 to 22 dollars, for in that approximate hour to do 3 lawns for the 60 dollars an hour. My way might sound strange but it works for me really well and its easy to give estimates.

    Now on larger commercial jobs, I get the exact sq footage of lawn and price per sq foot. That again includes all over head costs for the matter. A way that I read one guy does is by a equation, with how fast you would go, and he incorporated how much gas used at that speed. If you do a search you should find it out easily.

    Now the bid itself...
    After I've had contact with the possible account, I notify them when I go out to see the property, and submit a detailed bid within the next 2 or 3 days IN PERSON. Make sure you do this in person not in the mail. The success rate is much better. There are bid worksheets you can get at Nebs.com made for your, or just make up your own with a letter head and such. I've seen are pretty much a letter stating how much all the costs would be.
    Either way you do it, go along with your idea and be creative as possible but clearly defined. Thats it, I'm goin to bed! LOL
  5. cuttinfirefighter

    cuttinfirefighter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    :D thanks kings, you have been very helpful... i will take everything you said in consideration when i go after bids in my market area.......... take care

  6. Kingspointe

    Kingspointe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    No problem man! Is that the new mower? I like the way those are set up, whats the price tag on the walkers?
  7. ronslawncare

    ronslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    i try and get $3.00 ---$3.50per 1k sq ft. seinors $2.50 per 1k .this does not work all the time you need to really figure out your cost.good luck to you .
  8. wojo23323

    wojo23323 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 608

    According to the above example you are making $30 per MAN HOUR, not $60.
  9. Kingspointe

    Kingspointe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    Wojo, good observation, and again, I didnt feel like going into detail due to limited time. Thanks
  10. danboone

    danboone LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I know exactly what you mean, bidding can be tricky. I bid a large contract for one year and there was a communication error. Seems the level of service I bid on was not what the customers expected. I am not making quite as much as I thought I would but still make a little.

    First, I pray

    Then I call, drop off flyers and keep being a persistent and pleasant "nuisance". When I finally get to talk to the decision maker, I ask what they were paying the last guy and how they liked the service. If the price sounds too low, there is also usually a quality problem and I can see what they are now willing to pay for a GOOD job. Don't be put off when they want it cheap, the customer wants you to work for free whereas we want to be paid $1,000 an hour! :laugh:

    But after we all do a reality check we are usually willing to pay for what we get and work for what we get paid.

    Then I ask if I can do one month at the new price and if we are both happy at the end of the month, we sign a 1 year agreement. It's a win win all around. This way, if you really bolo the bid and wind up making nothing you can go back and re-negotiate. If you hit it right, do a supreme job and walk back in with a 12 month contract.

    I hope this helps! :waving:

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