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I just lost my first bid...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Isenberg94, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. Isenberg94

    Isenberg94 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I was on my way home from my full time job when my cell rings. It's my first response from the ad I placed in the newspaper. The lady wants to get her husband a nice birthday gift and asks how much I charge. I told her I couldn't bid on it until I had a chance to see it in person. (Thanks Lawnsite!). She asks if I can come over now and look at it. I went to her house and she told me she owns 3 acres. The property is basically square in shape with the house and pool in the center. It's gently rolling without any steep hills or slopes. There are approx. 20-30 trees (flowering and fruit) on the property, a satellite dish, septic clean out, out building and two driveways. It's in pretty bad shape and it doesn't look like the weed whacker has been run in about a month. The lawn is polluted with broadleaf plantain and it is all sending up the shoots right now. I walk the whole property with her and figure on a MINIMUM of 1/2 hour trimming and probably 90 minutes to 2 hours mowing. Then 10 minutes of blow time. I explained all that to her. I thought about it and said "It will be $125.00 per cut." She said "That much?!" and thanked me for my time. I left with a smile and thanked her for thinking of us and to call if she needed anything else or changed her mind.

    I'm happy with the bid, but wanted some feedback. Too high?, Too Low? or about right?
  2. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    not seeing it, i'd say you were pretty close for a solo operator. if you have a helper(s), maybe a little low depending on how many people there are. i'm sure my market is different than yours though.
  3. BBN

    BBN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    It could be worse. I know a guy that mows a large property for $120 and it takes him 6 hours.:dizzy: Not to mention he drives 25 minutes to get to the site. Stupid I know but down there where everyone is poor that's the most anyone pays for any lawn. I told him if I were him I'd rather find 4-5 lawns in his town and he could earn that same money in 1/3 of the time. I couldn't imagine blocking off one full day dedicated to one, $120 job. Not when I have another full time job.
  4. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,282

    Oh well, as long as you left knowing that you bid it correctly, you cant worry about it.

    Better to not get it then underbid it, and 2 hours into it your pi$$ing and moaning that you cannot believe that you told her you would do it for $60-75 bucks.

    On big jobs like that, you have to price them a little high when your by yourself. That or just avoid them.
  5. Ric3077

    Ric3077 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,113

    $160 at least...you don't want her anyway she sounds real cheap. I have a feeling if you said $90 she would have been shocked as well...
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    What I'm saying, too... For real, $125 was a good deal! You were doing her a favor and she was too uninformed to realize what a good deal she was getting, you might've just got lucky she said no... Because I've done things like this and quoted a nice price and they said yes, and 2-3 hours into it I'm about to blow a fuse as it dawns on me I'm going to be 4-5 hours before it's all said and done (been there more than once, more than a few times...).

    Don't know where you're from but I'm in VA and my standard price for a normal 3 acre lot is 140, thou 125 ain't bad, she should'a jumped on it with the temps outside what they are and as a one-time gift anyway, I don't understand the problem other than your bids are on target, keep doing that.
  7. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    The lady may still be getting quotes, some times the last people that quote get the job, as the customer shows a written quote and says" can you beat that?" if they cant beat it but only match it they still get the job as they are fresh in the customers minds and there now.

    If i am the first to quote i rarely hear from them again.
  8. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Don't feel bad, I think you slightly underbid it if anything.

    In the beginning, I used to think I'd blurt out any number that sounded good to get the business. I don't think that way now. I'm in it to be profitable, and if the customer doesn't want to pay, they can have someone else do it and let that LCO lose their rear.

    I think there's something to be said for getting LESS accounts(which are more profitable and take less total time) than having a large number of low paying(and time-consuming) ones.
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Maybe a new car wash hose wand will be a more suitable gift for this year...
  10. Isenberg94

    Isenberg94 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks everyone for the input!

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