First commercial bid please help.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by radracer, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. radracer

    radracer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    Thank you in advance for reading this post, any and all help is welcome and appreciated. I have only been in business (full service lawn care without chemicals) for a few months most of my jobs so far have been yard cleanups tree work etc... I have been given the opportunity to bid for the lawn service contract at a medical center near Tampa, and I need help pricing a job of this size. It is not solid grass all the way around it is broke up and segregated with curbs in the parking lot sidewalk etc... There is also a retention pond and I will probably have to trim some of that. The area that I would have to trim is about 900' long. But I think that my 36" WB Husq will be able to do most of it. Here are the figures.

    27,249 sq feet of turf to be mowed
    1,295 feet to edge
    And of course it has to be trimmed and blown off.

    There is a total of 2,576 sq feet of existing pine bark mulch beds that they want me to keep full throughout the year

    There is about 120" of shrubs that need to be pruned throughout the year they are small shrubs like medium sized boxwoods. I estimate that it will take about three hours to prune them and clean up the mess.

    They also have 40 small (about 10')ornamental trees around the property and would like a seperate quote for pruning the trees throughout the year.

    How much would you charge for these services? I don't have very many customers yet so I would really like to get this job. But I don't want to underbid and be a lowballer.

    Thanks for any and all replies
  2. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I would politely tell them that without experience that you would like to pass on this job right now.

    I know it's a big job and you think you're looking at big numbers, but no one here is going to be able to give you a perfect price.

    With that being said....

    It looks like, with your measurements, that you have 1/2 acre of grass to mow, trim and edge.

    We need to know what you're going to be doing this with?

    If you're going to be purchasing equipment, get a mulching mower, unless you're able to mow without blowing grass anywhere and everywhere, then you're able to cut down on your blowing time.

    As for the pine bark, figure out how many bags it would take from the local hardware store and how much. Then find somewhere you can get it in bulk, unless you don't have a trailer or dump truck to haul it in bulk, but charge the hardware store price, +$50. Now if you can't haul it in bulk, then you're not going to be able to compete with the people that can.

    As for the " 120" " of bushes to be trimmed, if you think it can be done in 3 hours, how much do you want to make for that 3 hours? Trimming bushes for 3 hours isn't as easy as riding a mower for 3 hours, so remember that factor.

    As for the trees, if they've been kept up already, it shouldn't be that big of a deal to trim them throughout the year, just buy yourself a decent polesaw if they're only 10' tall.

    All in all, I'd say for a price......

    You're going to have to figure out your own numbers, what you may need to buy to do this one job, and will the costs be greater than what you're going to profit.

    Now if you're just starting out in lawn care, it's a little different, since some of the things that you may need to purchase, you may need to land other jobs as well, but that's a different thread all together.

    The retention pond deal, you're going to want to know pretty quick, not "probably" if you're going to have to do that as well. If you do, make sure you walk all the way around it, because some of them wash out, some do not. If it's washed out around the edges, that's just that much more area that you're going to have to do with a trimmer, instead of just gliding around with the mower.

    Without seeing it, I'd be at about $5k for the year, or $500 / month for 10 months.
  3. radracer

    radracer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    Thanks for your eeply. Here is what I currently have for equipment: 6.5' x 12' open trailer a 36" WB Husq w/velkie an Echo PE230 stick edger an Echo SRM230 string trimmer an Echo PB620 backpack blower along with various hand tools and pruning equipment. They want it serviced every week, so would you charge them $6,000 a year?
  4. wacamaster

    wacamaster LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 198

    It's not that big of a job and the only way to get experience is to try and get it.
  5. radracer

    radracer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    So if I bid $6,000.00 for the year would that be including the hedges and the trees or would that just be for a mow, trim, edge and blow? And as far as the mulch goes they say they want me to keep them up throughout the year. What would be a safe number (in inches)to guess as far as how much would be needed to keep them up for athe year. I mean should I figure that I would use about 4" a year or what?
  6. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    I probly shouldn't give too much input here since I have not had a good year on bidding. but what i would do is give the mow, trim edge & blow price.(approx. 5000) then I would Itemize the rest, give a price for installing new mulch 4 times and give a price for 2 times installing and 2 times turning the existing mulch in the bed, that gives a cut on the cost option that may make a good bid more appetizing, bid the hedges separate & the pruning separate, I seeing more and more where the bid is being determined by what the month cost is. Keep that in reason and let the extras be considered separately.
    JMO :D
  7. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Bid Just the mow and blow. They only want the mulch to look fresh so you can "turn it a few times before retopping it. So your price should be for an hourly rate for the turning/freshning of the mulch and then you will need to get a bulk price for 1-2 inches per yr. The pruning will take twice as long as you think it will so double your 3 hrs for prune & clean up.
  8. radracer

    radracer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    Thanks for the help.


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