How did you land your first commercial account?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by RonWin, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. RonWin

    RonWin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 689

    Seems like breaking into the first commercial account is the toughest -What do they expect from a lco? How much have they been paying the other lco? Are they even interested in hearing my proposal? Is my proposal good enough ? How much are they willing to pay?

    This has been going through my head and I was wondering if it was the same for you guys on your "first dance" with the commercial account. I have already read about people saying that "commercials are not all they are cracked up to be" but this isn't the type of responses im looking for. So if you would like to share your first commercial property you landed please do, along with any advice you may have with landing one.
  2. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    For me it was pestering a business owner every chance i could. He knew when he saw my name on the phone i was calling about the property maintenance. He went through 3 LCOs that did a crappy job before he gave me a chance. That was 3 years ago. Still a loyal customer.
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  3. Wiedmann

    Wiedmann LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Got my first commercial accounts from a real estate president who was my friend. from there it has been a snowball effect. been doing it for 2 years now. last year he sent me tons of other business owners to me that he does work with and it continues. easy to say my friend made my business what it is today and thats truly something I won't ever be able to pay back. It comes down to the saying "it's who you know"
  4. nightshutter

    nightshutter LawnSite Senior Member
    from UT
    Messages: 513

    Got a call. I bid it. Got the contract. I dont really chase commercial because everyone else is busting their chops. All the commercial accounts I have called me and have been with me since. Not trying to come across arrogant.
  5. neblawncare23

    neblawncare23 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Neb
    Messages: 343

    I went around talking to different businesses in town, and asking them if they took bids. If they said yes, I had a bid on their desk by the next day. Seemed to work good for me so far. Last year was my first year and I landed 6 of the 7 businesses that I bid on. After I turned in the bid, I called them a few more times asking if they had made a decision yet. This showed them that I was really interested and wanted the work.
  6. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,266

    I did my first commercial mowing job with a push mower and a hdwe store trimmer, no joke.
  7. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,348

    i've never "bid" on commercial properties but i have 3 of them. i don't like the idea of "bidding" on properties where you can be underbid the next year and lose the job. residentials are far more loyal and don't take a lower bid just to save a few bucks as long as you do a good job for them.

    my first is a place where i worked part time for a few months to help them out.
    one is an empty commerical lot and one is an empty building that is owned by one of my residential customers.
  8. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    My first commercial account was handed to me. They called me, I simply asked what they were paying and she told me. I did some number crunching and sure enough, I was going to make very good money. I told her I could make the transition smooth and easy by matching the existing price and she jumped at the offer! The season will be my 4th season with them. I do everything now where the other company only cut the grass. The place has made a huge turn to the good as far as appearance goes. They are always telling me how nice the place looks now. I also serviced the owner of the companies home doing a very large hedge trimming job and mulching. Matter of fact, he wants me to thatch his entire 2 acre lawn at home and start cutting it this season. Which reminds me, I need to call him today.

    I don't chase after nothing when it comes to business. If they want me to do it, fine, if not, keep making calls.
  9. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    All my first commercial accounts came my way from two factors. 1) Reputation, 2) I was doing something different than my competition.
  10. J & D Greens

    J & D Greens LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 765

    My first commercial account was handed to me also. I was already doing his residential property, when I retired from my full time gig. He wanted to know if I was interested and that if I had the liability insurance that was required. It is one of my better paying jobs, (Along with his home).

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