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commercial account question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by stevenf, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    How do you guys land the big commercial accounts? Im not talking about going door to door on small business owners. Im talking about an apartment complex, chain stores, food chains, entire gated communities, parks, organizations.
    I am trying to get together a business plan and start targeting bigger commercial accounts now for 2009. Next year will make or break me. If I can land one good account for year round income, I will be 98% closer to making this my career.
  2. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    Most parks are handled buy the city/township or are bid out by the city. So you start by calling your city hall and asking them. As far as larger commercials, pay them a visit and ask to speak with the person incharge of the grounds. And for gated communities and apartment complexes, you need to talk to the home owners association or the owner of the complex.
  3. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    The person in charge of the the grounds sounds more of a janitor to me then someone I need to talk to. Do you visit everyone or do you call and ask when bids are being accepted then you visit when you present your bid?
  4. davis45

    davis45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 985

    As far as large apartment complex's. I'm talking 10-30 acres and 15 buldings, most of them have an office with someone working there fulltime. Call in and ask, they usually all take bids every winter.

    BUT, this is where those companies with 40-50 employee's come into play. They bid them dirt cheap so they can have 'filler' time. For example I bid one at $640 and I was praying I didn't get a call saying I was the winning bid, because I would hardly break even. I called and asked,they were friendly and said the winning bid was $475.
  5. MileHigh

    MileHigh LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,466

    If you have a business name, aggregate liability insurance 2mil at least, and pay for workmans comp..It's all about bidding the right numbers to get the jobs.
  6. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    I would like a few more inputs on hwo you get them.
    But when you say break even, do you mean fuel/supply cost or what you owe on overhead for equipment?
    All of my equipment will be paid off so im just wondeirng if that comes into play alot with you guys.
  7. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    I have all of this minus the workmans comp. I dont have employees.
  8. davis45

    davis45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 985

    The equipment you have listed will not be able to get these jobs done in a timely manner. Most of these larger commercial properties will require Workers Comp even if your solo.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    You can not, as a business, rely on one account for most of your income,
    the account holder will see right through this and they will eat your lunch.

    In other words you need to be diversified enough to where any one account can not
    make or break you, failure to do this will leave you unable to walk away from it.

    That is in case things go south, and wonder "but gee what in the world could ever go wrong"
    in a potential predicament such as this the simple answer is everything will.

    That too, most commercial accounts spell out their requirements on their terms,
    we don't get to pick and choose how we want it, they tell us how it is.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
  10. MileHigh

    MileHigh LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,466

    you'll need employees if you get any large commercial jobs.

    Some places want you to have workmans comp for yourself as well...yes the owner. Also for if you injur someone else on the site that doesn't work there.

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