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Commercial account - Some questions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lawn-Scapes, Jun 19, 2001.

  1. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    Hi all,

    I think I'm going to bid on my first commercial account... I'm not sure if this is a good thing or...

    Anyway, I have a couple of questions -

    This place was just built and everything is fresh and new, so there was no previous service. It's well into the season now... should I put a 'price per cut' (billing monthly) into the contract or try to figure up a monthly price?

    They want all services including lawn care, bed maintenance, mulch, annuals, fertilizer, tree trimming, snow removal and whatever else I'm leaving out. I am going to give a lawn care package which includes cutting, edging, weedeating, weeding, shrub prunning, blowing and irrigation check for the weekly/monthly fee. Bill everything else seperately. Is this the right way to go? Should I include leaf clean up into this package?

    Snow Removal... This will be my first time. Tell me all you can... I believe the going rate is $75 per hour. The director I spoke with said he wants priorty service. This is an assisted living facility so they need the areas clean. I guess I would get there as soon as the first snow flake hits. Do you spread salt immediately?

    Late fees... How much and when can I imply it. My invoice will state 'Due On Receipt'.

    That's all for now...

    Thanks in advance!
  2. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    Let them know within your proposal that a certificate of liability insurance can be faxed to them so they know how much you are actually covered (I figure they will reguire you to have insurance). Just call up your insurance agent and have them fax over a copy with the address of the corporate offices of whom owns the facility. Just suggesting this to them will let them know that you are a serious business.
  3. Shawn Burns

    Shawn Burns LawnSite Member
    from N.C.
    Messages: 181

    i would not add leaf removal into the monthly bill. i have done that in the past and lost. let the customer know your hourly rate and about how long you think it will take every week during "leaf season", and that they will see that price reflected in their bill.
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    this sounds like alot to bite off-are you prepared to do all these services? monthly is the way we go on commercial properties, but it's your gig. good luck. dave g
  5. lawnboy82

    lawnboy82 Banned
    Messages: 957

    ok, well here goes. one of my good friends here. he owns a business. probably his biggest maintenance contract is a very large nursing home. he, as well as other people who he knows call the place "prison" always something that has to be done. whether it is weeding, or spraying, trimming hedges, doing the mulch every year, 250 yards i think it is. cutting the lawn, which takes all day. small lawn too. he will do whatever the guy wants because they pay well. however he wont touch the snow plowing there. the place is big, and i dont know how big your place is. however. figure on this place needing about double the service of a gas station. gas station needing about every hour. because as soon as it starts snowing you have to be there with a truck, sander, and a couple of guys to do the walkways. it has to stay clean all the time. and the guy who runs this place likes everything perfect, that is another reason. however think about that. you basically have to have a truck with crew to leave there when it snows for the whole storm. not unless you got a couple of other places in the immediate area. i dont think that i would ever consider plowing at a nursing home now for many years to come. as for everything else, if he wants all that stuff you say he wants, and the place is big enough. plan on pricing it for a whole crew to be there about 2 or 3 days a week minimum. good luck.
  6. P&J Lawncare

    P&J Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    I take care of a property just like the one you are about to bid on and if I was you I would bid it per cut for the first year because you dont know how many times per month your are going to have to cut the property. You will regret the day that you included weeding and shrub prunning in your bid. You should bid that out per man hour as a seperate charge or you will become every residents slave. Remember that you are going to be taking care of elderly people that have probably just moved from their own houses to this new facility they will be calling on you constantly because they will want their new home to look perfect and believe me every resident in the place will consider it their home. Never include something in your bid that you don't know how much time or labor is involved if you add a seperate charge to these services than the residents wont be able to stop you every ten minutes asking for you to do something for them they will have to ask management first and management will then decide if it is o.k. for you to do the work. Make everything a management decision or you will be working for more hours than you can ever believe. As for the leaves just cut every week in the fall until they ask for leaf pick-up and then bill them per hour for that. As for salt price it seperatly or you will be adding more salt than you make and add a seperate charge for calcium chloride for the walks. Most importantly make sure your contracts has every surcharged in it or they will have you running in circles and you won't make a dollar doing it
  7. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    Apartment complexes have a budget, i would definatly go with a monthly price. and have a date due, i send mine out about 10-14 days before they are due. Send a bill early to them if you get it, they usually take a while to pay.
  8. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    Thanks for the replies everyone...

    I'd like some more input..

    Specifically on the late fee. When can I apply it and how much?

    Also, $75/hr plus materials for snow. Is this low, high or average?

    I am figuring this place will take 8 hours (give or take an hour) with two men (me and another) plus 1 hour round trip. It's a lot of little sections of turf that will need a 21" (no sections to use my fairly new Lazer on) . Alot of edging and weedeating. I am thinking along the lines of $550 per cut... Sound about right? I would like to give a monthly price. There are 18 weeks from July 1st - October 31st. What do I figure for November? Do I say in the contract 20 cuts? Approximately 20 cuts?

  9. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    Okay... How does this look?

    Contract Page:

    This is a contract for general lawn maintenance from July 1, 2001 thru November 30, 2001. TSG Property Maintenance Co. agrees to perform the services listed in the Terms of Lawn Maintenance provided to you in this packet. The cost for these services will be billed on the 15th day of each month. All invoices will be marked due on receipt and the accepting party of this contract agrees to pay the amount due no later than 15 days after receipt. By signing this contract you have agreed to the terms and conditions presented to you and constitute the contract between us. This contract can be terminated with a 30 day advance written notice by either party involved.

    Monthly Price: $2,200

    Thomas S. Garvey

    Accepting Signature

    Other services are available to you upon request and will be contracted and billed seperately from the lawn maintenance agreement. They include: snow removal, leaf removal, mulch, fertilizer, annuals, aeration, seeding and planting.

    Next Page

    Terms of Lawn Maintenance:

    1. MOWING & TRIMMING: Property will be mowed on a weekly basis starting July 1st through October 31st and as needed through November 30th. Approximately 20 cuts. Property (around trees, buildings and fence line, etc.) will be trimmed to give a manicured, finished look each visit.

    2. EDGING: Sidewalks, curbs and plant beds will be edged every visit.

    3. HEDGES & SHRUBS: Hedges and shrubs will be pruned as needed to keep them looking neat and attractive at all times.

    4. PLANTING BEDS: All beds will be inspected and maintained for weed control.

    5. CLEAN-UP: Walk-ways, patios, and parking areas will be blown free of grass clippings after each visit.

    6. IRRIGATION: A system check will be performed at the end of each visit to assure proper working order. Any damage that may occur from routine work of TSG Property Maintenance Co. will be repaired by and at the expense of TSG Property Maintenance Co.

    7. BILLING: TSG Property Maintenance Co. will bill on a monthly basis. Invoices will be sent out on the 15th day of each month. Last invoice will be November 15th.
  10. lawnboy82

    lawnboy82 Banned
    Messages: 957

    from what i can see, they can hold you to breaking the contract in several ways. read through this again and think carefully. if you have to keep gardens free of weeds, and there are many gardens. all they have to do is find one weed, and you have broken the contract. the trash, are there any woods there? cause they could say that you didnt pick up the garbage in the woods, or something flies out of a car as you are leaving. i would say bid it at what you know you can accomplish and go from there. i would keep it to, cutting, fertilizing (with a disease clause of some form) aeration, and mulch. anything else i would say to leave as a side job which you can bill however you want. but like that, or at least the way you have it stated you are leaving yourself open to being there every day of the week.

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