How to bid commercial accounts for real

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by PROCUT1, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Excellent post.... One catch, and this comes with experience, at times it's tough to know(accurately enough anyhow) how long any job will take in man hours.

    Material/fuel/overhead costs are easy because the numbers are in black and white, labor numbers not so much. I screw up the manhours at times and end up either profiting less than I thought or being lucky and breaking even. But I guess that's something that gets down to a science, the more you do it.

    I realize that you can use mower productivity numbers, feet of trimming, etc... but in the end it can be tough to get a precise number.

    I oftentimes will use this as an explanation to someone who asks why my prices are so "high" compared to someone else.... that $ isn't going in my pocket but is covering my costs which are higher than the guy down the street who runs junk equipment and spends more time fixing it than actually working on your property...
  2. cwby_ram

    cwby_ram LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    Wow, great read! Thanks for putting that up there, good reminder that I'll come back and reference.
  3. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Messages: 4,891

    Absolutely. Its not an exact science.

    And my point overall is thats the type of questions that the newbies should be asking on here.

    Not "How much do I charge" and then have guys come back with prices that vary from 10k to 100k.

    But by all means, post an aerial pic of the property and get some opinions of "how long it should take"
    Im all for helping like that......Giving tips and tricks to get it done faster....
    Helping someone with their numbers AFTER they think they have it figured out.

    But they need to do the work themselves first.

    I come across as a jerk on the pricing threads because its my pet peeve.

    The same guy that doesnt want to learn how to price, and just wants a price given to him, will be on here 2 years later complaining about lowballers ruining the industry.

    Ill be happy to help anyone bid a property. Post on here what you were thinking of bidding, and HOW you came up with that number.....And myself, and many of the other experienced guys would surely help.
  4. SDelPrete

    SDelPrete LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    great post and thread..well done
  5. weed wacker 2

    weed wacker 2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    Proturf for President!
  6. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,230

    ProCut: I hope you realize you just lost a big consulting fee by giving away that information. I remember (name??????) consultant from Colorado who gives a whole seminar on this subject of how to bid. He gets a good fee for putting on workshops.

    The one thing he added was a percentage add-on for unforeseen problems on a given project. He was talking about larger projects not $30 mowings.

    (Can anybody remember this guy's name?)
  7. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,076

    Thanks for the "rant" ProCut. All I can say is that you are right on. If anyone reading this thinks, ya,ya that would be nice to know all those numbers but who really does that. The answer is those of us who get the jobs and make money when we get them. Every time. I have never done a job and not made money. Except when the invoice was not paid. Great post!
  8. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I think I'll be saving this thread in a good place.

    Awesome read ProCut.

    What was the killer in your mowing biz though?
  9. Mike's Lawn Care

    Mike's Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    That is all true. When I first started I was the low bidder on most jobs and I soon learned that I was losing a lot of money. Now I track all of my expenses and have a accountant do most of the accounting work. It does cost a lot on the accounting fees, however I would be rather running the crews and bidding the jobs...... I just don't have the time for both....
  10. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    I just saved that on my desktop...they were things i have thought of in my head..but never really wrote out. Awesome post...i should be a must read. I will refer everyone to this thread

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