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HELP with a bid proposal for 3 large condo complexs

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by shade tree landscaping, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. shade tree landscaping

    shade tree landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 915

    I need a little help with a proposal for three large condo complexs. This is my first time bidding on these types of jobs so I figured I would ask the pros. I got a fax from the mgmnt company explaing what type of work and how ofton they want it done. My biggest question is how do I present the bid/proposal? Do I break it down mowing X amount of dollars, chemicals Y amount of dollars and so on; Or is it just a number for the year, that would cover all of the work? Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me out with this. If I could land these 3 propertys it would drastically change my company for the better!

    Also for snow removal, do you guys charge one flat fee for the winter or is it on a per storm (3in) basis that they are charged?
  2. shade tree landscaping

    shade tree landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 915

    no one has any help to offer with this? I must say I am very surprised/disapointed that no one has been able to help me regaurding this!
  3. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    Not to sound stupid, but what did the mgmt. company request? Did they ask for a per-service fee, or for a monthly/ seasonal/ yearly price?
    I usually ask my go-to person at each of my accounts what they are looking for, some request it broken down, some are looking for a monthly price (They usually have a budget, and if you are within that budget, and the lowest bidder, or best fit for their business, you are in the door:clapping: )
    Sometimes asking too many questions seems to you like you sound like a newbie, But to your customers, it shows you are paying attention to details.
    I prefer to present a seasonal or yearly (depending on if it is just mowing, or just snow removal, or both) price, broken down into monthly payments.
    It is often to your advantage to bill it the same each month, at least with mowing, based on the maximum # of mows per year in your area, as one month you may skip a few mows if it is dry, and you still get paid. Just make sure you state that you will mow weekly as needed, so they dont call you out to mow every 5 days. And dont lowball just to get the account, remember, you have to mow it every week, and it will be a reeeeaaaalllllyyy llllooooonnnngggggg year if you realize halfway into the year that you arent making any money, every single time you are there. (Sounds like I'm talking from experience, huh???:cry: :dizzy: )
    Hope my 2 cents helps
  4. shade tree landscaping

    shade tree landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 915

    Matt, thanks for the input, and yes it def does sound like you are speaking from experiance. As far as the proposal they asked for it doesnt say weather they want it broken down by month to month, yearly, or each service listed and priced. It will be a full year contract including mulch, flowers, trimming, grass cutting, fertilizer, snow removal and so on.

    I am still not sure though if like I said, if I just send them in a sheet listing the monthly price, or do I make it cheaper in the winter. Do I charge per vist as far as snow removal, or is it just a flat fee for the winter and hope it doesnt snow. Thanks for the insight, it is greatly appreicated!
  5. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    Dont EVER price something 'Hoping it doesn't snow'. You might as well go empty your pockets into the nearest toilet and flush it now.
    Know your costs, know what you want for profit, and price accordingly. If you price too cheap, you are the only one to suffer. If you price correctly, one of two things happen; 1. you dont get the job, but you know you wont beat yourself up for the next year just to say 'Hey, I got a great account, and I'm broke! or 2. You get the account and rake in the dough, and look forward to going to work each day.
    One other thing to remember: Make sure you have a backup plan for this large account if you're new to this type of work. You may become sick, or have equip. breakdown that requires you to have help or loaner/ rental equipment on short notice. Just cover your butt before you bid, b/c once you commit to the job........
  6. shade tree landscaping

    shade tree landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 915

    no one elese has any advice?

    Thanks matt, just 2 more quick question and then I will stop being a pain in a*s! When perparing the bid, do I do it for one flat fee for snow removal, or a fee for each indivual storm? Also when proposing the bid is it one number, or break it down so that they may see where that number is coming form.
  7. westwind

    westwind LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 444

    All of the townhome complexes I have bid, which is several over my time have been priced per unit/door. My suggestion would be to come up with every price breakdown you can. For example: per month, per season, per service , and per unit. The more information you can give a managment company the better. Snow removal, here in Minnesota, is based on an average of 16 snowfalls a season. Total price per plow time 16 equals your seasonal price. Divide thios numer by five and you haave you monthly. I would reccomend proposing the lawn and snow as seperate contracts as you summer services are taxable and your winter ones are not. Good luck, hope some of this info. was of some help.
  8. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Plowing you have a couple options:

    Charge a flat fee per month over the winter. Regardless of how much or how little it snows, this is what you get paid.

    Charge an hourly rate from the time your truck leaves the previous job to the time you leave the complex.

    Charge a per-push price, and plow it every 3" or so.

    For the maintenance and mowing, if this is full service, I'd say the best thing to do is itemize each item(IE mowing X number of times per year, mulch install total price once a year, number of chemical apps per year and a total price), give a grand total for the season and divide by 12 for a monthly cost. If you do this and do a flat fee for snow removal each winter, you can add the cost of the snow through the winter months. Alternatively, you can break down the maintenance over the warm season, how ever many months that will be in your area, then bill the snow over the winter months.

    There are a lot of ways to charge, best bet though is to see how the condo association would like to be charged.
  9. shade tree landscaping

    shade tree landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 915

    thanks for the input guys, its really appreacited! I;m surprised not many people have replyed to this post....thought there would have been alot of insight/help from the pros on here
  10. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    You better double check on that 'Snow removal is not taxed' topic. Here in NY, its still a service, therefore taxable.

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