Commercial Mowing Bid, Acre or Hour?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by burnsyscapes, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. burnsyscapes

    burnsyscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    Title is kind of self explanatory. im new and im going to start bidding her soon and dont know wether to bid per acre or per man hour.

    im friends with someone that works for a major landscape company makes round 25million a year and he says they bid per acre. but everyone i talk to says bid per hour

    Any help or input would be nice!

    dont post if you going to bash me, keep your comments like that to yourself

    Thank you.
  2. h2oskier

    h2oskier LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 601

    If that guy makes 25 MILL a year i think id be asking him.:eek::eek:
  3. rain man

    rain man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,794

  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Bid by the amount of work, the price is what it is.
  5. burnsyscapes

    burnsyscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    haha, Yeah but he's just one of their designers. not the business owners, i know him from taking a class with him at a local community college. but they have also been in business for 20 years or something

    rain man - looked at that but why spend money if i can get opinions from you all for free

    TJLANDS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,668

    I do not know anybody that bids large contracts per acre, unless of course each acre is the same . (field mowing). Or Fertilization.
    Some places will have walks, some will have beds, some will have many trees some will have none, some will have large amounts of weedwacking. Some will have easy access etc. etc.

    Try to figure out how long it will take and bid accordingly.
  7. CLS LLC

    CLS LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 487

    Well all of your variable costs are in terms of hours, atleast more so hours than acres. Equipment depreciation should be figured in based on hours, equipment maintenance costs is based on hours, labor costs are based on hours. Everything is based on hours so why would YOU choose to do it based on acreage?

    A large company is in a very different position, all 10-20 of sales man can't be expected to know how long a job should take, and even if they did all the sales man would come up with different prices for the same job. This would cause serious inconsistencies in your bidding and property managers would begin to question a company who bids completely different numbers year after year because a different sales man is now assigned to that area or the last 3 sales man were no longer with the company. The point is for a larger company it just makes things easier and much more consistent if they are figured in acreage. A large company has enough data to figure out what their cost to mow an acre is. Also when you have a large company they can disperse their risk (of a bad bid) over millions of dollars. You on the other hand could be completely bankrupt because of one bad bid. Furthermore, I'd be willing to bet that the 25 million dollar company doesn't only measure the acreage, but also measures the area of the concrete to be blown off, and the number of liner feet that need trimmed and edged.

    You should bid in hours, but only after you have figured out the exact amount it costs you to operate for one hour. If you don't know that stay out of the commercial bidding world. Because if you don't know your numbers you will either bid too high and waste your time because you won't get the job or bid too low and take a loss for an entire year.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010

Share This Page