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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ginesii, Jun 19, 2004.

  1. ginesii

    ginesii LawnSite Member
    from Seattle
    Messages: 1

    We are mainly residential business. Recently we had a call from the management company to give them a bid on the commercial property.

    It is a pretty big property. So I have some questions:

    1. How do I estimate without underbidding
    2. DO I ask for the downpayment?
    3. Is there estimation tool I can use?

    Answers will be greatly appreciated

  2. allstar

    allstar LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    I'm new to this business as well and am sure I will encounter the same situation eventually.Some people will probably disagree but I'll tell you what I would do.I would give them a one-time fee as best I could but tell them I couldn't give a firm estimate until doing the job one time.If you underbid a big job like that you could really lose your a#*.I know a few successful LCOs who still do this successfully on big,complicated jobs.Good luck.
  3. roadhawg3

    roadhawg3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    Yes, Allstar, not a bad idea! Also, If you can "guesstimate" the time it would take you, you could go by about $50. to $75. per hour, and not get hurt.
  4. divi

    divi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I would not recommend using any estimate tools. Just try to calculate the square footage, then multiple the effort by an hourly rate. There is a book called the "Landscape Means Estimate" book that will provide you with the estimate output per man hour for maintanance and so forth.

    You don't have to ask for a down payment but you can break the estimate into monthly payments over the course of the season. Odds are the management company will only evaluate the total price for the season, so you can load the front of the estimate and make the price higher for things like mulching and spring cleanup so you collect more in the front, and reduce the price on the back end for work in the fall.
  5. jccordes2

    jccordes2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124


    where can I find that book?

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