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Commercial Bids

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Firefighter Dave, Jul 7, 2002.

  1. Firefighter Dave

    Firefighter Dave LawnSite Member
    Messages: 166

    Hello all! I was wondering if anyone would share templates for bid proposals. What has worked for you, when do you bid and do you bid even if a customer is not advertising bids? I am really interested in idea's for bid proposals.


    :blob2: :blob2: :blob2:
  2. yardboyltd

    yardboyltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    One thing works for sure: Don't state ur hourly charge! Most people wouldn't want to see that...
  3. It's going to sound like I'm picking on you, but I don't really mean it that way.

    First of all I don't think the template idea is a good one. You need a proposal that stresses your strengths, while downplaying your weaknesses.
    For instance if you're a solo operation: "Sized to be competitive" or "Personal response to your problem." works pretty well.
    I bid against giant nurseries with a fleet of trucks that could provide virtually any service a customer may want. So what? It just drives up their overhead to where they can't be competitive on mowing the lawn. So I sell on price, and kind of skip the lack of services part.

    For the second part of your question, I always solicit companies who are not advertising for bids. I figure if they get down to advertising, they're desperate. Maybe some other department ripped off their maintenance budget, and they're trying to get some schmoe to mow the lawn for nothing.
    The only worthwhile advertised bid would be a new building or a new business.
    These plant managers, maintenance dept. heads and building supervisors spend their day dealing with sales reps, jobbers and distributors who come to them. It's how they do business.

    This may or may not be the type of response you were looking for. But it works pretty good for my little business.

    (another) Dave
  4. Firefighter Dave

    Firefighter Dave LawnSite Member
    Messages: 166

    Yes this is the info I was looking for. All info about bidding is helpful. I didn't think you picked on me at all Dave. I also understand were you are comming from with useing Templates. I think your saying I should start a bid fresh from scratch. Is a bid then just more like a written letter to the owner?


    :blob2: <------ I don't know what it is, but I really like this guy!
  5. More like your bid should be fresh from scratch. Not to be using say my bid form because it wouldn't be emphasizing your particular strong points.

    Sure I have a brochure I pass out to prospective clients. They're all the same. I even have a form letter in the computer I modify slightly to send to people who want quotes. And you can bet that they're both promoting my version of how a lawn should be cared for.

    Like someone said, there must be 20 different ways to properly care for a lawn. Your job would be to make them want it done your way.

    One thing I dread is to be offered the opportunity to bid a job, then be handed a list of criteria to be met.

    You'll see things on there like "weed eat fence every week". And they'll have 3/4 mile of chain link! That's when I go back to them for a re-write. I'll ask, "how about keep fence clear of growth in lieu of weed eat?" If they OK it, I figure I'll spray it.

    Most of those lists are to keep the guy they had last year from screwing up like he did before. If I'm going to be reprimanded for screw ups, they should at least be my screw ups, and not someone elses!

    So make yourself a list: Do you mow weekly, or cut as needed? Do you have them sign a contract or simply have maintenance agreements? Do you bag, mulch or discharge clippings? Do you provide full service like bed maintenance and fertilizer or just mow? The list goes on and on.

    Write down what you're capable of providing. Make it sound as palatable as possible, and advertise those features. When someone chooses you, the job will fit you like a glove. ;)

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