first bid and grass is 8"+ DID I BID TO LOW??

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by johnjw77, May 10, 2013.

  1. johnjw77

    johnjw77 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Ok so this is my first year at it and I just recieved my first call from a CL posting. The guy said he has neglected his yard due to a new 12 hour+ work schedule and he wanted a quote for an initial cut and then weekly thereafter.

    His lot is 12k square feet. I had preivously decided to start at $35 a yard as a minimum since all my equiptment is paid for and im a single man operation. I blind quoted him (I don't plan to always do this but its about 25 minute drive) the $35 a week as long as there are no surprises and $50 for the initial mow. He said he is comfortable paying whatever I think I need when I see it in the condition it is and $35 a week sound fair thereafter.

    I know the drive is a bit further than I want but its a nice neighborhood and hopefully I can gain more clients there in the future.

    Here is my big question. Is $50 to low for an cut on 8" grass? Also we had a big rain last night and its overcast with chance of rain today. I'm a little worried about cutting such high grass wet. Should I give it a day to dry?

    Sorry if these are stupid questions, but I would rather know what im walking into from experienced guys than find out my mistake half way through it :laugh:
  2. crevinalandscapingllc

    crevinalandscapingllc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    I would charge a little more for the first cut depending on how the landscape is laid out, also take into mind can your equipment handle that high of grass? If you need to use a 21 or 22 in on any parts of the lawn you most likely wont be able to get through it unless changing your cutting heights.
  3. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,646

    Just go cut it, you may have to double cut it but its not the end of the world. If you have some and have time pass out some fliers in the neighbood while your there. Its possible no one is servicing that subdivision, and you could own it.

    Good Luck, you will be ok Im sure.
  4. pineymountain

    pineymountain LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    I would think if you mis-bid the initial cut its no biggie. Just make sure you bid correctly on the weekly service so you dont leave real money on the table.
  5. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 6,309

    Not sure what equipment you have but 8" of grass means just a double cut for my equipment. You may be a little low on price but you really won't know till you cut it regularly
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. Greg78

    Greg78 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,010

    Exactly. Double cut with our's as well and it would look great with no signs of clippings. I routinely mow grass over 12" tall and never think twice about it.
  7. johnjw77

    johnjw77 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    ok guys thanks for all the help..

    I bought a 36" MTD pro as my first mower and I currently have it set at 4". I figured I would need to pass is twice so thats why I bumped up the cost to $50.

    I was mainly worried about the grass being so wet, I have cut my fathers lawn when damp and it did fine but I was also running the sulky and my turns would tear the ground up occassionally. I have since installed new gator blades and haven't cut anything since. From what I have read here previously im guessing I should walk the mower since its wet.
  8. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,746

    8" is a single cut for me. the clippings will be minimal and not a big deal.

    sure there will be a few clippings left on the lawn but that's to be expected since the yard is so "out of shape".

    the next time you mow it on a regular schedule everything will look better.

    i think $50 on a $35 yard you are lucky if they are willing to pay that much extra for the first cut.

    since the yard is so out of shape you need to wait until it is dry to mow it or the mess will be even worse if you cut it wet.
  9. johnjw77

    johnjw77 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I actually just spoke with the guy about cutting it Monday. I explained to him that in my opinion letting it dry out a little before cutting such high grass would be the best option, he was fine with it. I also want to book my schedule on monday and then add days as needed and I didn't want him to have to wait basically 10 days for round 2. It is on and off raining today and calls for rain tomorrow but clear Sunday and Monday so that should be dry enough to hit it then.

    I priced him at $50 then remembered my 10% off first service so I will be recieving $45 for the first service :hammerhead:. That's ok, I'm really excited for my first "account" and im sure the fiance is ready to start seeing my purchases be put to use.
  10. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,746

    it's fine. you learn more the more you do this. you will never stop learning. it's an ongoing thing.

    i've worked for other companies in the past and have been doing it owning my own business for 3 years now and i still don't know it all.

    it's an ongoing process. you can learn a ton of stuff on lawnsite over time.

    there's many big lawn businesses around that think they "know it all" since they've been doing it for 20 years. they stopped learning a long time ago when they figured they had it all figured out. i see their work sometimes and it's just average or even horrible in some cases.

    a good example is a company where i live that's been in business for about 25 years. they don't even edge curbs or sidewalks. i'm just dumfounded as to why they don't do this. i think their name just gets around town and people just assume they do the best job because they are a big company. they get complacent and sloppy over time because they get too comfortable i guess. they don't need new customers really so they start cutting corners any way they can to save a little money or time. quality suffers because of this.

    i bet 95% of the time a solo operation will do a much better job than a huge lawn company.

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