Is this getting in over my head??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jon99, Jul 22, 2002.

  1. Jon99

    Jon99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    As I have mentioned, I lost my job with a company here in Illinois when they made cut backs... They have a plant on a 20 acre lot, about 14 of it is a wide open and flat lawn..I saw my old boss the other day, we talked and I told him that I was opening up a lawn care company and he ended up asking me if I would make a bid for the property... Since I was in accounting I know the guy that currently mows it gets $575 for each cut... With my 48" Tiger Cub I am guessing it would take me 10-12 hours to mow the place, and only about 15 minutes of weed eating... Would I be foolish to throw a $400-$450 bid out there????
  2. Why not $575?

    At 12 hours that's about $40 an hour not too bad could be a bit more.
  3. Jon99

    Jon99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    The guy that is currently doing it has been doing it for 13 years and basically charged him what he wanted because his friend was the plant manager.. Now they have a different plant manager and they are cutting back.. I know other guys that have tried to get the job with no success, me working there might be my way in, but at a cheaper price..
  4. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    12 straight hours of mowing ....that'd be tough. I'd count on two days being shot, basically, including drive time and rest breaks. To me, anything less than $300/day would be lower than I make doing small/med residentials. So $575 sounds about right for this property if your time estimate is right.

    Personally, I start to go crazy after about 2 hours on a mower in one place.
  5. At $550 you have the connection now and should make out very well.

    The other guy does not know him like you do.

    I would consider a larger mower like bruce said that is some long hours at once place.
  6. steve122

    steve122 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    If your out of a job and just starting a business and have nothing else to do for 12-14 hours, $450 is pretty good money. You've got something coming in the door while you look for better jobs. Get a few more jobs, buy a more efficient mower, cut your time to 8-9 hours and then suddenly the job you've had looks pretty good. I know this sounds like the words of wisdom someone else is using for a signature "I'm loosing money on every job so I'm trying to make it up with volume", but, like I said, what else are you doing with your time right now, that is bring in money. If you've got a mower already, let it make you some money.
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Its pretty bad when your basically trying to underbid YOURSELF. You know the numbers and still consider leaving $125 to $175 on the table. :confused:
  8. wolfpacklawn

    wolfpacklawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    $550 is a little low but not bad, I bet you can get it at that price and it would be a good account for your situation. Don't do it for much less or you will be selling yourself way short.
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    I agree. I think $400-$450 is a tad too low. Depending on how desperate you are to make money, I might bid it at $500 - $550. I suppose I may bid it at $500 and then raise rates to $550 in a year. Then you'd be sure to land it and you'd still get the $ in the long run.

    Reminds me of when I just started. My first week, I get a call from a lady to bid this property she manages. I look at the place and was trying to come up with a bid in my head. I was thinking $150 or so (all lawns are small around where I live) and then she just got tired of me thinking and said, "Tell you what; I gotta leave. We pay the current guy $300 a month, year-round. If you can do it for that, we have a deal." I have been doing it ever since. It's been one of our best accounts since day one.
  10. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    if u lost your job , mans just got to make do. if u got a pretty full plate now ,id make a lot more than that on 20 acres.
    so it just depends on your situation.
    good luck

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