Commercial Bids

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by bigkyle, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    Go out to every business you want to put a bid at, go in the door, ask whoever you see (receptionist, manager, etc.) who to contact regarding lawncare, landscaping, snow removal, whatever it is you want to bid. Once you have a contact person, contact them to find out the details.
    It can be rather intimidating, b/c once you've made a few contacts and find out the details, you still have to put in a bid, wait, and MAYBE hear back from them. My experience (Only one yr so far) has been they will NOT call you back unless they are going to hire you. I always put in my bid (mailed), followed by a thank you letter I mail 1 week after submitting the bid, then I follow up with a phone call every so often until they tell me their decision.
    This is how I've been doing it, and it seems to work OK, I have 4 commercial mowing accounts and 8 commercial snow plowing accounts in my first full year. Hope this helps.
    Another approach to this is to seek info. from everyone you know. If your mom works at the grocery store, ask her who the contact person is for the store, If dad works at the factory, same question.... Find out who to contact at all of these places and just start making visits or setting up appointments to visit with them.
  2. AlleganyLawnCare

    AlleganyLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    I just signed a renewal contract and mailed it off this morning. It is for a big-box retailer. I had the property last year, but I had under bidded. Not that at the time did I screw anyone else. They had no other company intersted in the property. I found out about the property through the maintenance worker that they needed somebody badly. In my haste, I left some money on the table. I did not know at that point how much they were previously paying. Well after I found out, I promised myself I would raise the price to a more acceptable level for me the following year. About a month ago, I got a call from the corporate office asking me if I was still interested in the property for the 2007 season. I said I was, but I have to raise the price. The facility manager told me to fax over my new price with reasons why, and she would take them to her boss for approval. Well, I didn't hear anything for awhile (about a week - seemed like a lifetime to me). When I finally got the phone call and approval for the price increase I was estatic! Plus they gave me the opportunity to add a little more money to the invoice if the time goes over my estimated time, where last year I was not able to without prior approval. This years' estimated hours was based on my average for last years'. I was happy to see both things on the contract.

    I get alot of my commercial accounts through the people I know (associates, friends, family members, family friends, Lions Club, and so forth). If your initially afraid to ask a business for their business, don't worry toomuch. It will come with ease with a little practice. Get this, by asking your co-horts (i.e., like the ones I listed above) if they know of anything coming up in their little space of the universe. If they say yes, see if they can get as much details about it upfront. Then see if they are willing to make first contact for you, by setting up an informal appointment with the person in charge of the business. To be honest, I have yet to lose a commercial contract through this method. Personally, I prefer it than cold-calling. You already know who needs you, and you already got some if not alot of the needed inside information as to what they want done, and you get to meet the person in charge (maybe not the same as the person deciding the final outcome of the bid) on a more friendly basis, plus you have a person on the inside already pushing you and your business.

    Rule of Business #1: Never underestimate yourself, but at the same time never overestimate yourself either.
  3. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    just look at his equipment list......sez it all...... you have 0 years in will not get commercial accounts, you have no experience or reputation......

    get some jobs, get some experience, references, and professional equipment..... and get legal, you are not .... simple searce of your states registered business names..... tells if your legal or not.....

    most commercial properties want an experienced outfit....

    are you even 18 yet, if not you cant sign the contract anyway
  4. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    How did you check him out with without knowing the name of his business? Does your equipment list and being an online bully make your peepee feel bigger Dave.........I see your point but you just ripped me about a legitimate trailer question. A simple NO would've check me out I'm legal:
  5. haybaler

    haybaler LawnSite Senior Member
    from ma
    Messages: 511

    being in business less then one month doesn't say much
  6. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I was being a smart a**. I know
  7. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    and then a couple of hagglers enter the thread and it becomes an attack when it doesn't have to*trucewhiteflag*
  8. CoreyD

    CoreyD LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    Im 20 years old.... i have no reputation.... i am expereinced tho ive done this since i was 12 and been helping my buddy with his business for years.... i dont expect to get a commercial job anytime soon i just wanted to know this for the future :)
  9. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    thats what does it around here, just get out there and get your face in the public.... they will come to you, really they will.... but remember, commercials can be more cut throat then residentials can..... really does go to the lowest bidder......:)

Share This Page