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First big break.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jtrice11, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. jtrice11

    jtrice11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    Yesterday I was asked to bid on 8 large commercial complexes in the Twin Cities.They range from SuperTargets to large office buildings. They would be really nice accounts. Only summer work, snow plowing is a seperate contract. Now I just gotta figure out how to bid the damn things.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Don't make this your first big mistake, If you have to ask how to bid them maybe this is too big right now. A $30.00 a week house off by 20% is only $6.00 but a $5000.00 contract off by just 10% is $500.00

    Target with a lot of parking islands and beds can eat a lot of time ---be careful
  3. jtrice11

    jtrice11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    I might have to use some buddies that work for large outfits for some tips on what the best approach is. I definately won't go in "blind".
  4. jtrice11

    jtrice11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    Anyone have any other input to my original post? I currently have a large townhouse complex, about a dozen high end residential homes but no office buildings or shopping centers. Would estimate the job by the time it takes to service or square footage?
  5. OMG

    OMG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 275


    I have some shopping centers with islands.

    I have one that only has 1 1/2 acres of grass (but many islands with trees that make them almost impossible to mow).

    For what should take about an hour or so, takes 5 man hours.

    Moving from island to island, jumping curbs, etc. take time.

    Plus, the islands, landscaping, etc. make alot of it inaccessible to mow (in other words, there is ALOT more weedeating than it appears). :realmad:

    Take that into consideration when you bid.
  6. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    This guy hit the nail in the head. I do a hospital that faces some of the similar issues. Here are a few more things that we have to deal with. We usually mow on weekend due to a parking shortage. Even on the weekend there are numerous cars and people to work around. Lots of islands that we usually have to bag for adequate results which means lugging around garbage pails and chasing the dump truck around the yard to empty the grass. Also, lots of curb trimming etc. I wouldn't discourage you from placing a bid but, to re-emphasize what omg said, what should be accomplished in an hour or two usually takes at least double that time. Also with the close quarters areas and proximaty to cars, people, usually creates a nessesity to bag and dispose of clippings.
  7. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,460

    Often they seek bids to leverage the landscaper who normally gets the maintenance job. But let's assume this is legit. Measure the area of grass and put it in three buckets: 1. Grass to be mowed with 21" 2. Grass to be mowed with 36" WB 3. Grass to be mowed with bigger mower. Then calculate time for each area based on your experience or use manufactures numbers. Next double the time number to take care of trimming. Then add something for minimal clean-up, don't assume you are to blow off the entire parking lot. Then add up the time and calculate the charge using your labor and burden rate(Normally $20/hr in our area). Usually they want to know what mulch will cost them per bag, and irrigation repair rate. Normally the super big companies like TG get these in our area and the rest of us only get one when we know somebody, that is in charge of management company.
  8. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    We had last season several shopping plazas where we went island hopping for what would take 1/2 tops if it where a regular lawn took us well over an hour with 3 guys (weeding included). A major pain in the A*@!!!!. It looked good on a resume but in the end by far not worth what we were getting! I figured we could have made $100.00 in that hour and a half that we wasted at these stupid shopping plaza's. I bid plaza's like these fairly high so if I get them great but if not, oh well. payup
  9. bushtrimmer

    bushtrimmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 351

    that's no big break, take my word for it
    sounds like US Maintenance
    do a search for here for them and see what they are all about.
    been there done that never again
    actually they keep calling me to bid on things for them, I say ok fax me specs, then they call me back to see when I'm sending in bid, I tell them when they send the money they owe me from 3 years ago
    talk about a PITA
  10. jtrice11

    jtrice11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    Wow, sounds like I could be getting into a major headache and its only worth it if there is some decent dough in the equation. I'm guessing I would have to bag at least 1/2 of the property. And yes, there are a half dozen islands that need to be mowed. large areas of mulch and beutifully manicured bushes etc....

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