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Bidding projects

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by MAGLIGHTING, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    What a testimony to the power of the internet. Mike, I have to ask a question....how did you initially find the blog article being discussed? And Keith, how did you find this thread on lawnsite? Did you just do a search for your site or something?

    Just to weigh in, I think your article was great Keith. I also think the blog is an incredible marketing tool, and you have inspired me. I have never given it serious consideration until now, but I can see the value in many ways. I may have some questions about it if you don't mind.

    Welcome to lawnsite.

  2. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    I just wanted to comment on the practice of getting someone else to submit a detailed bid and then having someone else try to beat the price.

    I know I have been on both sides of that... unknowingly in the case of bidding someone against else's estimate and a while ago... basically made the prospective client look bad (to me) and made me not want to do business with him... he had carefully photocopied parts of a plan, masking the name of the design/ build contractor who drew it, and as I recall, he told me I was within $600 of the other bid and asked if i could do any better than that.

    In another case, I bid an LA's irrigation plan two ways, one by the specs for about $15K and the other using a more water efficient approach, and slightly downgraded equipment (changing 1806 SAMs to plain 1806 where there was no slope for instance) and got it down to around $12K...meanwhile she had some unlicensed, "undocumented" guy who probably couldn't read the plan accurately bid it for $9K. I knew my materials costs alone were nearly $6K... anyway, he got the job.

    Basically I see the practice of simply trying to beat someone else's bid as lazy, and it wouldn't inspire my confidence if I were the homeowner... I'd expect them to be cutting corners, ya know?

    MAGLIGHTING LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Mike, I have to ask a question....how did you initially find the blog article being discussed?

    I found it linked to a construction marketing blog that I was reading and clicked on it. I thought it was interesting as it has direct parallels to our industry.
  4. thefencepost

    thefencepost LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I found about this forum because someone linked to my article from here. When using Wordpress as a blog platform on a website, it automatically lets you know when someone links to you, and where the traffic comes from (I noticed several hits to my site from this thread).

    I absolutely love my blog site, I have built a second, and plan to build 2 more so I can use those to highlight micro-niches of fence (wood, aluminum, vinyl etc..).

    A couple of things I really like about it is that my customers seem to appreciate it, and the added bonus of climbing the searches for targeted keywords was unbelievable (made it to front page of Google in 3 months for 6 terms I track).

    I would be more than happy to help anyone that is interested in blogging (as long as you are not my competition! LOL ) and can refer my designer for a professional build as well (very reasonable and easy to work with).

    Thanks for all the comments!
  5. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    Thanks Keith. I can really see the keyword boost as a huge bonus of the blog. Thanks for the offer for help and I will check out wordpress also. That is a cool feature that it allows you to see when others link to your blog.
  6. M&N Maintenance

    M&N Maintenance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    I have had that happen to me as well. I do a design for a brick patio and leave them the qoute. The next thing I know someone else is doing my design for that home. Now I just leave the qoute not the drawing anymore. Great post Maglighting.

    MAGLIGHTING LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Thanks M&N
  8. thefencepost

    thefencepost LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Just an update:

    I have gotten 2 calls from customers of this other contractor telling me horrible stories of lawsuits (both against the contractor and against the customer for refusing to pay because his fences were falling down) and harassment from this contractor such as putting nails under the tires of peoples cars he was suing. One customer told me when she went to court with this guy last year he had 4 other cases going on at the same time as hers.

    He changed his company name a year ago and made his wife the owner of it and he is just an employee.

    This guy won't last long, he will hang himself!
  9. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    I too have had similar things happen. I have also been on the other side, with potential clients offering, showing the drawings, bid, and asking if I can do it for less. extremely tempting, and curiosity if nothing else will cause you to take a look at how your competitor bid. Once you have seen it, It will change your perception of the job- scope, price, design. putting yourself back in your frame of business is much more difficult once you have seen others bids. Bear in mind it is not just contractors out there that will take your bid and undercut and use your design.

    From many customers point of view, sharing information in this way gets them a lower price. for many, a lower price is more valuable than a good design or quality materials.

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