commercial accounts! Am i crazy?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Eric's Lawnservice, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Eric's Lawnservice

    Eric's Lawnservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    I always thought it was exaggerated about how commercial properties were frugal to say the least. Well I had my first go round with a property that still has me dumbfounded. Mabye its just me hopefully you guys can tell me if this sounds normal. I have a residential account that I just picked up in June. The homeowners like my work so they asked if I could give them a bid on their commercial property. They want a price for weekly and one for bi-weekly mowing (108,000sf turf) trimming (roughly 45 min worth) edging (3200) linear feet) blowing off parking lot (4800sf), color change two times a year with routine bed maintenance (900sf total bed area), 11 yards of mulch one time per year, they also wanted turf grass weed control and fertilizer program for (13,000sf) in the front of the business. As well as trimming 12 small shrubs as needed and pruning 6 medium sized crepe myrtles. Well I submitted my estimate, waited about 10 days then I sent a follow up email. I received a reply stating my price shocked them and they found someone to do it for 250.00 a month. My price was about 850.00 more per month for bi-weekly. Which I'm assuming this price of 250 is for. I figured I was a little high but not that much. Am I crazy? Or can a company do all that for that price? I forgot to mention the turf was not perfectly flat. It has multiple obstacles to mow and trim around. Along with a fenced in area that will require a smaller mower to be used. I just had to laugh at this one!
  2. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD/NC
    Messages: 3,043

    Wow, by the looks of that price, you'll be getting a call next year (or maybe in a few months!!!) when their guy stops showing up!!

    When they call you back, feel free to raise the price. Then remind them they get what they pay for!
  3. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    Agreed. I always have marveled at the sense of humor some customers have when they are of the opinion that they deserve a better price or deal since you already have work under contract with them!.
    easy-lift guy
  4. Eric's Lawnservice

    Eric's Lawnservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    I am thinking the same thing.

    GOATMAN GEORGE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    A guy with a mower can do it for $250. A real company likely would be , losing money.
  6. Eric's Lawnservice

    Eric's Lawnservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    Their email read as if I had offended them. I'm kind of waiting for the ol we found someone cheaper for the residential property too.
  7. Caddyshack Lawn Care

    Caddyshack Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 748

    I wouldn't do the mowing and trimming for $250/mo., much less the other stuff.
  8. Vecchio Lawn Care

    Vecchio Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 905

    Well they liked your work so tell them you know what you are getting from my price and with the lower price there quality is most likely much lower
  9. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    I know the other guys price is super low. But just look at the basic lawn work for a 45 min mow, bi monthly for $125 each time he mows.

    You wanted $225 for the same basic work. Sure this is plenty of trim and blowing and bed work to make this job sound difficult. If you really want to learn about commercial accounts spends some time and go see just how long this Mr el-cheepo is taking to do the account. This will surprise us all. With the right equipment 2 guys staggering some of the shrubs and bed work it is not unreasonable to expect him or you with experience, one hour and 30 mins or less per visit/mow. That's works out to be $1.40 per min, you want $2.50 per min.

    Commercial account are not automatic dollar signs. There automatic consistent income. The big guys doing commercial account don't sit at home a wish they had more work they stay busy. Mean while you sit and hope to make better money for the same amount of work. I am not disrespect you or you bid at all. The majority of the large commercial account know how the game is played and they play it well. It is kind like going fishing, are you going to fish or just talk about fishing?

    I am not criticizing anyone, I hope to give another view of the business and hope to encourage others is all. For me personally $1.40 per min is OK money. Not great but if I was needing the work I would bid again next year at $1.50 per min and hope for the best. Play ball with the el-cheepo's and find out quickly you definitely will go under if you sit in the shop NOT getting the bids. Or you go out and mow but not set the world on fire doing it. The customer will get what they are paying for. If and when you find you have under bid a job. Hang in there and find ways to reduce your time and cost on the job, a underbid job is NOT a life long commitment. But never substitute poor service. You won't go under with one or even two underbid accounts unless you are looking for a excuse to.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  10. Eric's Lawnservice

    Eric's Lawnservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    I appreciate your reply, very sound advice. Although I believe you may have misread my original post. The mowing is 109,000sf about 2.5 acres. The line trimming would take approximately 45 minutes to complete.

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