How to Get into Commercial Contracts.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bigchap, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. bigchap

    bigchap LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Hi, I have been cutting lawns for a while now, but this year I am going to get liscensed and insured the right way and become a "real" business. I have all residential customers now, but I am interested in picking up commerical contracts. Is there a method or route to take that anyone can suggest that has worked for them? Also do you bid the same way you would on a residential ? Thanks.
    Frank Butler likes this.
  2. bigchap

    bigchap LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    :help: up for anyone
  3. scaglawnsnj

    scaglawnsnj LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 435

    Believe it or Not...Residentals pay more than commercial...The only good part of commercial lawn contrats, Is you could cut very early with-out any troubles... commercials go with the cheapest bids(in most cases). So you have to worry all the time about guy pulling up and out bidding you.(if your not tight with owners) Guys try too take my commercials all the time, I'm sure. I'll trade you so commercials for residentals..yea right
  4. amar

    amar LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    Resies. do pay more than commercial accounts. Get them as close as possible. Plus your putting alot of hours on equipment and alot of abuse on your body on large commercial accounts.
    You go and do a realy good job and next year you get canned because their is a new scrub on the block. Last year you where the scrub. Sadly most commercial accounts go for the cheepest wh**e on the market.
  5. mastercare

    mastercare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    I would agree that residential accounts make more $/min. But, sometimes commercial can be good too. You have less drive time, less load/unload time, and the mowers keep moving on the lawns, not the trailers.

    Here's how to pick up a few:

    1. By far the best way is to contact people you know. Do any of your friends/family own a small machine shop? A retail outlet? Gas station? Anything? Start with poeple you know. IF that doesn't work for you, then you need to talk to your family and firrneds and ask about where they work. Are they good friends with the owner? Can they ask the boss if its okay for you to submit a bid? Use every personal contact you can think of. Just make sure you do quality work, becuase nobody wants to "help a guy out" and have his boss mad at the job done. I've picked up 4 commercial accounts this way. None of them are huge, and all take less than an hour. A great way to start in commercial is small. Get lawns that are equal to a large home, and you won't be in over your head. Who cuts the lawn at your dentist? Gas station? Dr.'s office? Attorney? Accountant? Veterinarian? You must know somebody who has the ability to hire a contractor. Use these people first....its the basis of networking.

    2. If this doesn't work, pick an industrial complex of small businsses. Send a letter telling them you'll be cutting in the area, and will be calling within a few days to find out if they'll accept a bid. Make the phone call. Probably 2 out of 3 will be willing to at least LOOK at another bid. You could get a few this way. Just don't underprice yourself. Better to lose a bid than to get stuck with a time (money) wasting account. Rememeber that the lowest bidder usually wins in these scenarios.

    3. Once you've tried these, you hsould have a few accounts. Even business owners/neighbors/other companies will see you out there. Make sure you park your truck where your number can be seen, and you'll pick up work. Next year, walk into the shop next door and tell them "I've been cutting next door, and just wanted to see if it'd be okay to bid your property too while I'm here.

    Good luck. Remember don't underpice the commercials. You can make a good living on commercials, becuase most companies have larger checkbooks than homes! But, the best way to start is wth people you know. Those will be accounts based on your credibility and quality, more than price. Those are the ones you want.
  6. johnsonlandscaping

    johnsonlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Your dead on
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah, I would also just put the word out in ways of mentioning it throughout conversation with the regulars,
    that really is the best way and that way you can hopefully somewhat gauge the incoming...

    Keep in mind it's not for everybody, some folks are better with residentials, others prefer commercial, some still are a bit of both
    but something to keep in mind, you may or may not like it, thought I'd mention as much.

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