Do you ask...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by procut, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,852

    When bidding a commercial property do you inquire about who has been doing the work? I never have, but the owner of one of the larger companies around town tells me that he does. So, do you ask this / do you think it is appropriate to ask?
  2. dekalb lawn man

    dekalb lawn man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    Hell yes, that is the easiest way to find out what they were not happy with, so you can make sure you dont make the same mistakes the company that is no longer there did.
  3. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    we always ask who is doing the work and why they are bidding it out. If they put it out to bid every year then we will pass on the contract. we are not interested in getting a contract for less than they are currently paying. Why would we want to do the same work for less money????

    Also if a property bids every year then that tells me that they have no interest in building a relationship with a contractor. They are interested only in price. IMO not the kind of property you should be going after.

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,568

    Yardpro good post we are cutting a hoa that gets bid out every season this will make 5 years cutting but you know in the spring are you cutting or not with bids.
  5. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 952

    it always helps to ask, that way you know if you are bidding against Joe Smow mowing or if you are bidding against real LCO who's service is comparable to yours. I agree if they bid it out every year why waste the time?
  6. Matt k

    Matt k LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    We always ask, however there are a couple of our large commercial accounts that get bid out every year. In many organizations, the managers have to get different numbers every year, however it does not necessarily mean that they are looking for the cheapest price. The last two years we have been the highest price and were still awarded the contract. Reason being, managers hate to retrain a vendor to the needs of the site. It might be worth a couple of grand to keep the existing vendor, 9 times out of ten they are just trying to make sure your numbers are remotly close.

    We dictate the bid times, we tell the customer that we need to have the contract awarded by January 1st, due to scheduling and sales. Most of the customers appreciated this and respect the fact that you are in control. If a current customer tells you that they will not bid when you want, then you know that you are doing something wrong and/or they do not value your service. If this is the case you are better off without them.

    If the customer gos along with your terms then you have the upper hand in the award. Always ask as detailed questions as you can, that is the only way you are truly going to know your market. After the award of a contract, I go as far as asking for the competitors prices. I don't always get them, but I have gotten some and it helps to know what you are going up against.

    I know my numbers and what I need for the maintaing of the site I am bidding on. If I am high bid and can't negotiate a deal, then I move on to the next one. I will never turn down a Job because they bid it out every year, I will only turn down the jobs that do not fit our business model. As tight as the market is with all the saturation of lawn and landscape companies, you have to be up on all of your numbers and how are you going to know if you are if you don't loose a few and learn from that. Sorry for the Rant! JMO

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