First Commercial Bid - Help Needed.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by TheTurfTender, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. TheTurfTender

    TheTurfTender LawnSite Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 130

    Ok - I just got the opportunity to bid a commercial job, and I want to come in around what the other guys are charging. The Store Manager will hire me if it's close.

    So, the property is about 35000 sq ft of mowable grass with about 40 young trees (about 8 ft tall). Trimming and edging as well. The store does its own fert apps so really just weekly service.

    I understand you don't know what my overhead is, but I think it would take me 3 hours (1 guy) and it's about 15 min from my office (home). I am figuring $50/hr labor, $35 in materials, and a 20% margin.

    Am I nuts for thinking I can get about $300 a week out of them. Are these other guys going to come in at $150? I would do it for that, but I want to make some $ too!

    Ok - So I am open to being ripped open here - I just need some thoughts. Sarcastic dinks are welcome to respond!

    Thanks Gents!

  2. TheTurfTender

    TheTurfTender LawnSite Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 130

    Just want to add my mower deck is 52"
  3. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    just under an acre

    i think your time is a bit high... but i don't know how much trimming and edging you have
    your material looks high too
    and a 20% margin on what?

    you might be way high at 300

    give me a little more info...
  4. JayD

    JayD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

  5. TheTurfTender

    TheTurfTender LawnSite Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 130

    Labor, Equipment and Overhead. I thought it sounded a little high. Do you think something in the $225 range would work?
  6. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    Yes your nuts. $300 an acre (actually less then an acre) is not gonna happen. How do you figure 3 hours? From the sounds of it, the bids should be anywhere from $100-150.
  7. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    according to ferris at 4 mph at 80% efficency you can cut 1.73 acres an hour...

    so unless you have a very slow machine, alot of trimming, edging and obstructions...

    i would figure 1.5 hours

    what matireals are you talking of....
    gas is worked into your 50 an hour
    go high and at 60 an hour( the lawnsite gold standard lol) you have 90 dollars

    unless i'm missing something you will not only be underbid.... but almost too laughable margins

    i'm not being a dink.... i just can't figure it out
  8. NC Greenscaper

    NC Greenscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    $250-300 month tops
  9. advantage landscaping

    advantage landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 215

    Maybe he mows really slow........ When you are giving a bid for something like this you also have to consider that other lco's yes have different overhead, but they also have more workers and more eqiupment, potentially. That means if you think it is going to take you say 3 hrs at $50/hr, that's $150. (I am assuming your overhead is in there) Or, at 3 hours at $60/hour you would be at $180, whatever.

    Now say you have an lco with 3 mexicans who also bids it. Say his cost per hour is $120, which would be VERY high I feel for 3 mexicans. They work quick, and say it takes them an hour with several mowers, trimmers, etc... That's $120 or whatever he charges. Right there you're behind already.

    When bidding commercial you have to balance what it is going to cost you with how larger lco's are going to quote. Especially for solo opps your time cannot be too high... Your price/hour will be lower, but not if a larger crew can cut faster. That my friend is something that you have to figure out for your area because $120 in an arbitrary number. You have to figure it out and move on from there, and face it the first several commercial accounts you go for you will probably not get!
  10. TheTurfTender

    TheTurfTender LawnSite Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 130

    Yes, I forgot to mention that I will use a rotary mower!! Seriously though, thanks for all the feedback thus far.

    Ok- I am thinking of running with a Toro Zmaster 48". If I could do it in an hour and 1/2, that would be nice. Can I do that with the narrow strips and 40 trees?

    So now I am down to the $100-$120 range. Keep talking me down guys, I want to get the job.

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