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how to get your head in the commercial door?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by bobcatnj, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. bobcatnj

    bobcatnj LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

    i been doing landscaping for 7 years and im trying to get my head into commercial properties.how do you advertise, who do you talk to, how do you know when to bid on a property, etc...?????? i do about 120 residential a week, but im looking to make more money maintence wise with commerical lawn, mulch, weeding, shrubs trimming
  2. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    When I seen "head in the commercial door?" I thought ouch... Sorry I don't have a whole lot of knowledge here.
  3. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Messages: 866

    Look for small commercial along your routes that have subpar activity going on with them, stop in with your business card, write on the back of it, "this doesn't have to look like this" and leave it for the owner/manager. don't worry about going in with a big pitch the first time you walk in, just showing interest and initiative is enough to open the door for the dissatisfied. Play the numbers game and get these out to as many of the small accounts you can that make sense with what you have, where you have and your opportunity will come. Large accounts will be a different animal, with their own requirements for insurance and certifications, experience etc. Start with props similar in size and service to what you currently handle and build up your commercial references.
  4. Harley-D

    Harley-D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    The only reason i disagree is that if you consider the money you make(margin dollars) on commercial properties, in general, it pays to be on the larger jobs. I would consider small commercial mowing to be 3/4 to 1.5 acre. And you might only make enough to pay your guys if you spend the extra time to make the site look any different than all the rest.
    Also, i don't just drop off a card. It gets thrown away with all the rest. Actually ask to talk to the property owner/manager. A hand shake and a hello go alot further than an impersonal "you property looks bad and i can do better" written on a card.
    Don't become the mow and blow that so many already are. Do a quality job fast and efficiant and you'll get more work. Commercial or otherwise.
    Hate to bash you utah, but had to put my two cents in.:)
  5. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Messages: 866

    lol..no prob Harley d, but let's be realistic about he types of props he's currently servicing and what actually would work to fit in with what he's currently doing. Large properties require a different setup and different management than residentials to maximize efficiency. Since I did not see anything about a willingness to give up all that he is currently doing, the small props in line with his existing service routes make more sense and are more likley to lead to an actual profit with the setup he already has. Coming in cold to pitch an owner or manager is about as welcome as it is when it's done to you at your business, whether in person(phone book sales, security, cologne, whatever) or telemarketing. Respect their time, play a numbers game, meaning get yourself visible and expressing an interest to as many as you can, then follow up as requested. You can feel free to drop in cold on props that are attached to ones that you are already doing, they at least will know who you are and what you're doing there.
  6. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,076

    Bobcat, also do not forget networking. Talk to a green service provider that provides something you do not. Like irrigation. You tell him you will pass their irrigation service info out to your customers, if they will pass out your mowing/install service info out to theirs. If a commercial account is happy with the work the sprinkler guy does, and needs your service, you can bet they will call you first with their recommendation. Works well with us. I have a recommendation list of a irrigation guy, arborest, stump grinder, landscaper, lawn roller, ect. We do mowing, shrub maintenance, and fert and squirt.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Whatever you do, make sure you can afford to drop the account or be dropped at any time (should you get the bid, that is).
    Otherwise you will be unable to 'take it or leave it.'
  8. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    Around here the yellow pages is what gets you a good start in Commercial work, it's better when THEY CALL YOU, b/c they usually don't give a landscaper the time of day when you just walk in or cold call.
  9. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,807

    who says there is more money in commercial than residential. i think thats a big myth out there...


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