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Commercial Bid based on 12 months

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ztrguy, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. ztrguy

    ztrguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE FL
    Messages: 466

    I have a commercial account that's wanting me to mow "as needed"

    I hate when they say mow it as needed. I just figure mow it every week and not waste time monitoring it to see if it needs mowed. Of course you can tell that in places it won't need mowed weekly. It's not thick grass and very thin in places. So it's not like it's going to get grown up.

    So we mow around 24-29 times per year. I figure $200/mow at 24 cuts/year. So, we're looking at $4800. They want the bid broke up into payments for 12 months. So, lets say $400/month.

    So, do I make the bid for $400/month and plan on cutting it every week? Or do I say hey, it probably won't grow too much and probably only need cut every 10 days or 2 weeks at times. And then cut the monthly payment down to say 18 cuts per year at $200/mow. Then charge $300/month.

    I hate when they want a yearly contract and want it mowed as needed. When you don't even know how much it's going to need to be cut. That's the dumbest thing I've heard. They should just say hey...how much will you charge per cut? And then mow it as needed. And when you mow send me the bill. But they want me to tell them before the season starts how much it will costs per month for 12 months. What do you all do? Act as if you're mowing it weekly? Or how do you go about doing it?
  2. Carolina Cuts

    Carolina Cuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,152

    Don't like that either....
    Customer saying "As needed" is equal to "We're cheap, so go easy on us" OR "Come cut the grass when we lose our kids in the backyard"

    I used the word approximate on one particular 12 month contract. Told them I'd cut the property bi-weekly for nine months and once a month for Dec, Jan, Feb. (which is basically a clean up)
    $500.00/cut based on approx. 21 cuts.
  3. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Sounds like a bit of a pita. Yea they want to know how much it will run them so they can work it into the budget, so just go with 24-28 weeks and call it a quote
  4. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    "i will mow as needed and the as needed will be determined by me"

    thats the only way your pricing will ever work,,,,,a contract cannot be that open ended!
  5. ztrguy

    ztrguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE FL
    Messages: 466

    Exactly what I'm thinking. I don't have a problem mowing "as needed" when determined by me and charge them accordingly throughout the season. But I have a problem trying to figure out how much I'm going to mow (as needed) for 6 months and charge them before the season even starts. That's crazy! How do I know how much I'm going to mow before the season starts?
  6. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    you dont know,,,,,you will have to pick something and price it according to the last 3 year average growth!

    a person that wants that way of pricing isnt interested in you earning a living,,,,,so keep that in mind when doing your proposal! all good companys/homeowners know that for you to service them propperly you will need to earn a reasonable profit! an open ended contract can not be profitable,,,,,,,,unless you slack on the services!
  7. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    my suggestion. figure out how you need to mow it to be profitable. Driving out to not mow isn't profitable.

    My cutting season is 38-42 cuts per year. Some time in April to late Oct - early November it needs weekly service.
    the rest of the year needs EOW service.

    I run all my bids on a 42 cut assumption. In my contract it states approximately 42 cuts April - Nov weekly Nov - April EOW

    I then take all services to be provided and divide by 12 for the monthly rate.

    I decide when to switch to EOW. I decide if in Late feb it can be skipped or if it just needs a spot mow. No discount, no price adjustment no hassles. They pay me so they don't have to get involved. I do my job, they pay me. I will never be a beck and call company. 10 day cut cycle forget that.

    in the growing season you get cut weekly, otherwise I determine when you get cut or don't and since I get paid the same regardless, they should be happy if I cut when they wouldn't have called.

    If you think they are trying to be cheap-o's, don't list out how often you will cut. Just give them a price for yearly maintenance and tell them you will cut when you determine it needs it, never to be less often than once a month or whatever is appropriate. Then set up your schedule as you need to make it comfortable.
  8. justinslawncare

    justinslawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    sounds like they really dont care how the property looks to much. go with cutting it once a week for the growing season and then divide that by 12. see what that does. if they want u when its needed then u decide and tell them that this is what u do for a living so u should know what ur doing. then just cut it every week.
  9. 2menandamower

    2menandamower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 247

    I have all of my customers set up on 6-10 day mowings dependent on weather and grass growth. I base it on 36 mows per year. I tell them that I may only mow it 30 times and that is my gain but if it gets mowed 40 times it is their gain. Have not had a problem with that statement as of yet. I have one condo complex that I bid and the amount to be bid was based on 28 mowings a year and anything over that was paid at an additional amount above and beyond the contract price, and if it mowed less then an aomunt of the contract was to be refunded or a credit given to the HOA. Just some different ways to go about it. Good Luck


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