Commercial Estimates

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by jsr2741, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. jsr2741

    jsr2741 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    Do any of you who do Commercial cutting specify how long the estimate given is good for or do you just submit and wait till they notify you.
  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I make it good for that calendar year.
  3. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    Ive always written that the estimate(s) are valid for 30 days and thereafter prices may be subject to change.

    This way if you have quoted a specific price for an item such as mulch and the distributor raises their prices youve got some leeway(sp) if needed to adjust the price if they call you up after 60 or 90 days.

    The other thing that a stipulated timeframe does is place a small urgency on the need for their decision making process. Usually if Im not awarded a bid and they call back later to inquire about the original proposal, I tell them it remains as previously submitted.

    On a side note, sometimes we find out other valuable information about a property that we either overlooked or werent factoring into the proposal, and by having a time alloted for the bid it gives you the option of re-submitting if they have gone past the 30 day mark without having to penalize your company for the oversight.
  4. jsr2741

    jsr2741 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    Hey thanks. I believe this company won't award the bid till February, so thats why I was inquiring.
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    CNY to CFL? Orlando area bud? Just curious btw...
  6. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    Im in South Brevard County now

    Cutting Lawns in SunTree - Melbourne - Palm Bay - Malabar - Indialantic - Valkeria &
    Beachside from Satellite Beach almost down to Sebastian Inlet area.
  7. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

    Hi JSR,

    Here is a great and insightful quote from Jodi about using expiration dates on estimates from this post.

    "I think we all at one point made a bad estimate.

    It happened to us our very FIRST call. At the time, we had jumped right in and we were winging it. Lawnsite wasn't around to help us out or we would have done things differently.

    Anyway, our first call was from a guy who wanted us to fix his half-falling down sandstone wall. We didn't even
    advertise this service, but we went to look at it anyway.
    This guy beat our ear for at least an hour. We finally
    gave our estimate which we bid LOW because we wanted the

    Well the guy never called. As the season progressed, and
    we saw how much work we had, we would laugh as we passed
    that guy's house and comment that we were glad he never

    SIX months later, in September, his wife calls and says that
    she wants us to come out and do the work.
    Matt politely told her that our schedule was now booked and we wouldn't be able to do the work. After he hangs up, she
    calls back 5 minutes later, SCREAMING at him, saying she is
    tired of this always happening to her. She proceeds to say that every time she calls someone to get work done, they give the esimate, then when the she calls them to do the work, they say that they can't. No wonder!! she waits 6 months to call!

    We now learned from that estimate. All estimates (other than mowings) now have an expiration date for when the work will be completed at that price.

    We all learn from our mistakes. You sound like a very honest person with good morals. With your positive attitude, you have a good chance that your business will succeed.

  8. jsr2741

    jsr2741 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    Thanks TG, thats good info from Jodi.

    I believe I'll put an expiration date on my estimate.

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