First Large Commercial Bid

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Fubba, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. Fubba

    Fubba LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 360

    I talked to the Secretary/Treasurer of an Apartment Complex Saturday. I'm supposed to meet with her and the President tomorrow. They said they needed someone to take over the yard work there, because the other guy's equipment was too heavy. I've seen the guy cut it and he used a 60" Exmark. I've got an HP model, so I'm hoping mine will be okay. They have a pond and the ground is fairly damp where the pond is, and I think the other company was tearing up the grass. I believe I can do it without messing anything up. How do you usually go about making a bid? She acted like as long as I was interested, then I could have the job. We'll see tomorrow though. Should I try to figure how many hours it would take me? Or is there some way to figure according to lots? I believe she said 18 different lots. Will be trimming hedges and all that as well. The President also owns another Complex and needs someone there too. Hopefully, I'll make a good impression tomorrow. Any other tips from you more experienced people?
  2. SOMM

    SOMM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    it's all about time, degree-of-difficulty and your amount of overhead, Fubba.

    more power to ya.
  3. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    figure out your expenses per man hour (fixed and variable). Then add in your salary and desired profit and oops factor, and you have price per hour.
    4 hours at $55 per hour = $220 per cut. or $880 monthly or whatever

    do not tell that to the client.

    tell them $220 per cut or $880 per month or however you are gonna run the contract.

    Personally I have a mowing hourly, a weed control hourly, a hedgetrimming hourly and so on. hedge trimming starts at $100 hourly. AGAIN don't tell them that, just show a complete price per month.

    also avoid coming to a figure then reducing down. come to a figure and figure out where you forgot things now how to reduce price. You really don't want the job unless you are making money.
  4. skurkp

    skurkp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    If you don't know what it will cost you to do the job and you are not sure of what you want to charge the customer, tell them that you want to walk the property and discuss what is expected. Then explain that you will give them a written quote to be signed upon acceptance.this will give you time to consider what the costs will be. Be sure to put everything that is expected of you in the contract and be sure to explain what the extras are going to be.
    Good Luck!!
  5. Fubba

    Fubba LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 360

    Okay, talked to them this morning. Turned out the lady I talked to lives in the apartment complex. Also talked to a couple of other people as well who live there. Turns out, it's mainly elderly people. There are about 18 lots. Good bit of edging and some hedge trimming. It's really wet too. They have a small creek running into a pond. The people I talked to kept complaining about how the company before kept using these huge zero-turn exmarks on the grass and tore up where it was wet. Looks like I'll either have to Weed Eat this or use a push mower. I told them I would turn in an estimate by the end of the week. They did say that they were interested in me as long as I'm interested in it. It's going to take quite a few hours to do, but we'll see.
  6. Remsen1

    Remsen1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    After you figure out the price that you would normally maintain it for, then multiply that x5 cause it sounds like a major PITA. Your going to have 18 sets of eyeballs on you and your work, and those seniors have nothing better to do.
  7. skurkp

    skurkp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    My concern would be why is the property so wet. Is there something that can be done to prevent the problem. Explain to your customer that the cost for line trimming that wet area is going to cost more due to the extra man hours. If you can help the issue by doing something to dry this area then you will save your self a lot of headache. This can be an extra charge and the property owner or manager will think that you know what is going on and not have an issue with later events that come up and you need to charge extra for.
  8. Fubba

    Fubba LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 360

    The price will definitely be higher. I think they understand that. There is only a small section that cannot be done with the Exmark. I could see where the other company was tearing up the grass. I think mainly it was because they were in so big of a hurry. It will def. be a PITA. I knew that from the beginning. I'll hit 'em good. :laugh:
  9. skurkp

    skurkp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    I have some pita customers and really they spend more than anyone else because as they complain I explain that what they are complaining about is not a part of the standard service and that it is an extra. Usually I make them feel like they know it all and if I have to educate them on something I do that with out belittling them. We usually both walk away smiling. They think they have gotten something that others don't get on the norm and I get paid. One of my larger accounts is a common area for a home owners association.
    Good Luck
  10. deereman

    deereman LawnSite Senior Member
    from USA
    Messages: 518

    Why is it you are bidding on property this late in a southern region like yours? I could maybe see it in the northern regions now, but they to are about done with the biddings for the year.At least around me. Confused ????

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