Bidding on a 130 home subdivision

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mmonte4, Mar 6, 2007.

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  1. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,169

    please. go low-ball the bid. hire some people, spend 75K on equipment. be in way over your head, have to come here asking for help, and then when they fire you, you'll have a plce to sell all your stuff.
  2. Mr.Mow-It-All

    Mr.Mow-It-All LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    I know you think these guys are being hard you, but I can promise you it is for your own good. I have two guys working for me and I still have to trim (as little as possible though), and you are correct, this is not "brainsugery", however there is a lot more involved than just buying a mower and "riding" all day. Specially if the front lots are only 15x15, you can ride that with a 48" mower in about an 1-2 hours, so there must a ton of edging and trimming if it took a crew of 4 11 hours.

    So good luck if you do this, but I would have to agree with everyone else in saying that I think you would be in over your head.
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    I have absolutely no problem encouraging anyone, if the situation warrants encouragement.
    It's like saying you are going skiing up in the moutains, but then telling us you never skiied before, you have no skis, and you'll be skiing in shorts and a tank top. Sure, you'll be able to rent your skis, and freeze in your shorts all the way down the slope, but before too long you'll pack it in and head for your warm car. My point is, you'll be in way over your head if you jump into lawncare like this.
    good luck,
  4. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    My 7 year old can fill out the paperwork to have "business".

    Are we being bet. But the key is we are also being very upfront and honest with you...

    you are getting ready to drop probably $10,000 -15,000 in equipement and other such necessities for a commercial lawn care business. Or at the very least finance that amount and put yourself in debt either way. Thisis not something that should be taken lightly...

    Let say you get the contract and you and your partner hire two guys to help out....ok they work for one day. what are you going to pay them for the other 4 days of the week? Or are you just going to hire day laborers each week. You will not find any goo dhelp that is willingto work one day a week. Sorry... Brutal but honest.

    I guess if I only had to ride one day each week my ass would not hurt either. But sometime the priveldges of being the boss wanting to only ride take second place to the fact the you need to keep your employee's happy and they meants givvingt hem a break form time to time andletting them have the easy jobs. Once you are done ridding then you'll have edge, trim or strap on the backback blower. Lanw care is Manual Labor....Better get used it. Brutal but Honest....

    You have no portfolio of jobs, not even some residential clients that you currently maintain to show the HOA that you are capabable and competent... Id be surprised if they even give your the time of day let alone the chance to bid on their property. Brutal but honest....

    How do yo propose to take care of the incidental stuff that goes on....Weeding, shrub trimming, irrigation repair, fert...Got any good subs lined up?

    You do realize that they are currenlty paying 1770 for about 48 hours of work..., that only $37 an hour gross.... the HOA wants to pay less for more cuts. More cuts won't fly in your area, the climate dictates this... So even if you somehow find some good help at $10 an hour for half of those hours you are down to $27 an hour gross, and that is before WC, and payroll taxes, and other fun stuff.... And you want to throw 5 people onthe job instead of four.... you are setting yourself up for a nose dive around summer time...Brutal but honest....

    Very few people havc every done the "buy equipment" and be successfull right away....and the fact they you want to get the contract and start hiring people and buying equipment shows us that you really have no clue. Not being mean or hateful just being honest.

    Are you that lazy(for lack of better term) that string trimming or edging is beneath you...Heck its just walking...not even hard like diggingholes or shoveling....You have an oppurtuning here to BID on a contract, and based on the way you want to do it, you will not make any money on it if you operate a legitamate business. Which an HOA will require you to do.

    now if you hire guys under teh table and 1099 em and don't get Lic and Insurance just hook that 5x10 trailer from HD up to your 4x4 and have at it...You'll still be lucky to make a descent wage. and you will end up doing much of the work yourself an employee's will not hang around long in those conditions. Brutal but honest.

    I have nothing to gain/lose if you suceed or fail... but take some of the advice/critisims you are hearing. These are from people who have been in the business and are still in the business and have been through the tough times and survived and learned. If its so easy to do do, then take a look at the classified for the past 6 many setups are being sold and people going out of business...

    If all this is easy as you say it is, then why are you here asking for help/advice???? You have already talked to the crew memebers of the people currently doing the job. take a look at their equipment, what are they using? Start kicking tires and talking to dealers...

    whatever you do, don't quit your day job, take a leave of absence for a few months that way when you do tank around midseason you'll at least have a job to fall back on...I know it sounds hateful, but yo have to prepare yourself for this kind of thing since you are setting yourself up for it.
  5. haybaler

    haybaler LawnSite Senior Member
    from ma
    Messages: 511

    Another thing you don't realize that I discovered when I worked for a big company that did big complexes is that you have to deal with the people that live in those houses. you'll go to start mowing at 7am and get ladies in there hair curlers running out screaming at you saying it's to early. then there's the one's that watch you out there window all day and report all kinds of ludicrous things to the building manager. There's so many aspects you haven't thought of I could go on all day!!
  6. hess

    hess LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    What are you going to do if it rains for 2 days and your workers don't show up for the day of service. You better a have a lot of trash bags!!
  7. lawnguyland

    lawnguyland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,108

    Listen man, plumbing isn't brain surgery, but I wouldn't pretend to be a plumber and start a plumbing business. There is a LOT to learn in this industry, contrary to your foolish beliefs. Like I said before, good luck. Sucka.
  8. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,075

    This thread is why I read LawnSite. You guys (and gals) make my day! And by the way if you think that these guys are hard, just wait till you start you own lawn care service. PR
  9. garrettlawn

    garrettlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Being the BOSS you must be willing to do what any employee you have does for you. I dont mind the hard jobs one bit it. I look at it as a challange. I dont mind letting an employee mow or blow while I trim or edge or rake or w/e. That is how to get respect from employees. Work harder than they work. And if they see you will work hard they will to. And if not fire them.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Sir, my advice is please concentrate on obtaining single lot residential homes for services during your first 4-5 years, and service these one yard, and one day at a time for this will help you gain the experience needed to run a business such as this, which in any case has to be your first priority, but also so you can glean at least some of the implications you speak of first hand.

    On a side note, I wouldn't dream of approaching yet another 'we want a LOT more for a whole lot less' super-size job such as which you describe until at least my 8th year, but after what happened to me in last year's fiasco with an association-related contract, it is almost as likely I will never deal with a lowest-bidder group controlled scenario ever again, but that's just me and I'm a spoiled brat so it's cool lol.

    But yeah, I wouldn't touch that mess if I were you, please don't get into commercial props for at least 4 but really 5 or 6 years.

    Guaranteed :laugh:
    At least once!
    Maybe closer to a dozen times per season, or more.

    Believe it or not, it's not as easy as it looks.

    Agreed, it does appear that way, but no.
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