First Commercial Bid, Need Advice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOturkey, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    I have an opportunity to bid on a commercial property. New convenience store and restaurant. Here are the specs, and I'll wait for some replies before I say what I'm thinking of bidding just to see how far off I am.

    Grass runs along the rear and one side of the property, approximately one acre in total area, about 130 yards on a side. Approximately 75 percent is a substantial slope. If I were guessing, probably 30 degreees, or close to it. Pretty rough, with some pretty good ruts from the huge rain we got a couple of days ago. The area at the bottom of the slope is gravelled along the paved parking lot, but there is going to be plenty of grass growing on this area unless a herbicide is used because of seed and silt washing off the hillside. This area is probably 140 yards long, and three yards wide, and will be difficult, if not impossible, to mow unless he gets some heavy equipment back in there to level it out. Don't know about that, but let's assume it will stay the way it is.

    Also, there is approximately 10,000 sq.ft. of ditch in the front, which is probably not practical for the Z. Some can be push mowed, but at least a fourth is trimmer stuff only. Curbing runs around this area, so would entail about 200 yards of edging the curb, if the owner wants me to. I'm supposed to walk the property with him next week, and will find out some particulars then, but for the sake of this bid, lets say he wants it edged.
    The rest of the trimming is primarily along a board privacy fence along one property line of approximately 160 yards in length.

    I'd like to get this job as it would give me a lot of exposure (this place will be busy), but don't want to work my tail off for nothing. He has a, quote "kid" that was going to do it, but that isn't a done deal. I think perhaps he is leaning toward me, if I'm reasonable, because he knows me as a routeman, and knows I'll do the job right.

    Anyway, any help you could give would be most appreciated.
  2. workaholic

    workaholic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 260

    I would stay as far away as possible from that property as you described above you dont want to work your tail off. It sounds like a pita to me, but thats just my 2 cents. if you do bid it, bid it high and make it worth your while....
  3. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    I agree with Workaholic...after about 4 cuts, you'll be kicking yourself for taking this

    I also have one nightmare of a property that is on the busiest intersection corner in our area. Only reason I took it was the same reason as you...."to be noticed"

    Well after 3 years of busting up me and the equipment, I have yet to receive ONE new job from doing that property. I keep it only because they spend a chunk of money on landscape/flower work every year.

    Had I known what I know now, I would not have taken it. Be very careful of taking on "problem properties". THe "thrill" of landing that acount, will fade...very quickly

    Sorry but I cant cant even give you a swag on the bid without a picture
  4. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    Neil ...I forgot one thing. If you've never had a headache property, you could sign on to do it as it will give you invaluable experience in evaluating a new prospect property in the future. We can all sit here and tell you not to take it, but until you ;ve had a hassle account for at least a year, you might not accept what we are telling you. So you could take it and look at it as a learning experience...but one thing is for sure...make damn sure you get an adequate fee for this property. THis is NOT one you want to sign up at a low price
  5. bastalker

    bastalker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    He got a quote from a kid?? That in itself should tell you what kind of person you are dealing with.

    TRASH....TRASH.......AN MORE TRASH.....

    Sounds like a PITA. I wouldn't bid on it personally, sounds like more trouble than its worth.

    Like Garpa said go ahead an bid on it, an let us know how it is going in a few months...
  6. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    good point Bastalker you make about the guy even mentioning the "kid"

    One good thing I learned about my nightmare property is the limitations of equipment/hand helds etc as I'm always trying to shave a few minutes off this account and I've been able to do that every year by trying different approaches. Without this account, I would not have learned these invaluable lessons

    whenever I get myself into a bad situation on an account, or underbid a job because of stupidity, I make the most of a bad situation and learn from it....the more stupid things I do, the less likely I will make the same stupid mistake if you have the open time in your schedule, go for it...but go into it with your eyes wide open
  7. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    Wow! You guys sure busted my bubble.:D Unfortunately, you are probably 100% correct, on all counts. The "kid" is, as I understand, an offspring of one of the men who built the building, and is storing his equipment in a storage building on the property?????

    I said, going into this, that I could afford to be selective on the accounts I take on as I'm not depending upon this for my livelihood. Perhaps I should listen to myself. :confused:

    Thanks for the advice. I'll probably have to give the guy a bid, as I will be seeing him twice a week, but think I'll bid absurdly high hoping he lets this kid do it. Neill

Share This Page