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Just won a big one...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Herrick, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. z71tiger

    z71tiger LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    you asked so ill tell. i just landed a apartment complex that is 3/4 that size for 48 a year so i think you short changed yourself. in know prices are different in different areas but if the other bids came in at 45 and you came in at 30 i think you really under bid. payup
  2. NC Greenscaper

    NC Greenscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    Probadly to late but I will caution you to never base a decision on quiting your job with a account like this. These big accounts are good because they are steady cash flow. But they are a lot of work. What I have learned when estimating is never minimize what you might have to do. Always figure on worst case scenerio. Never believe that the customer when they say the last guy didn't want to do it anymore. Why? Most likely he underbid it. I hope you didn't. I can't imagine doing this property all by my self every week. Whatever happens. Good luck to you.
  3. Herrick

    Herrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    How many months out of the year are you cutting and what services are included for that price?
  4. z71tiger

    z71tiger LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    32 cuts, mow, trim, edge, blow. any landscaping is extra.
  5. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    Please dont take the following as an attack on you ok!
    These are approx obviously...
    $30000 / 30 cuts a year = $1000/cut
    $1000/30hrs= $33/hr.

    How are you halving the time when doing it solo? How do you figure that? Did I miss something?
    Last guy 55hrs with employees. You solo 30hrs?

    He was charging $33k last year. He put his price up because he WAS doing his azz on it.
    Clean up alone is going to take hours on the blower!
    I see what look like small areas that will need a 21" or something.
    Do you have the trim around every building? OMG
    What are the paths made of, concrete= edging!

    If 2 guys bid $45k, isnt that telling you something?
    Im sorry mate, honestly, but you low balled, by $15000.

    I wish you all the best on this account.
    Please let us know how you get on. Take some pics!
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    As a solo operator, you have so much of your work invested in one account. If something happens, and that one customer disappears, you will have a huge hole to fill. Without digging too deeply, this must about about 50% of your workload/income. That is a big chunk in one basket.

    I'm solo, and my biggest account is about 5% of my income. I would hate to loose that account, but I wouldn't hurt as badly as if I lost 50%.
  7. Herrick

    Herrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    My estimate is based on about 27 cuts a year. I didn't start cutting this year until the last week in April, and quit about 3 weeks ago, with the last month before that every other week for 80% of my accounts.

    I know I work faster than most employees... and do a better job. I have more at stake, and the faster I work, the more I make. Around here there are a lot of guys riding an old beat up Z around for $10/hr. I know I'm sure not going to bust my but for $10/hr.

    There is no way this should take 55 hours to mow... most of the yards are fairly small, and set up to be able to mauver a big mower through (years ago they did it themselves, main mower was a F935 72"). I see it as 70, 1/3 acre lots... I can do those at 20 min each all day long, including unloading and loading... that's only 24 hours...

    I guess you have to see it from my persepective also... right now I make 39k/yr at my full time job. After I pay my insurance premiums, retirement, and taxes, I'm luck to see 28k of that a year. Even if I'm working my butt off, I'll be making more money, and working 7 months out of the year... I'm excited about it, and think it's going to be a really good year for me next year.
  8. davis45

    davis45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 985

    Congrats, but you bid way too low. I would have been around $45-$48k from the info I have.

    This season i got 26 cuts. You said there are 70 duplex's and 2 other locations? Figure your doing 72 residences' at $16 a cut. Thats $1152/wk times 26 weeks and your at $29,952. So your basically cutting each one for $16. Assuming it's mow only, if there is other work your cutting for even less.

    BUT, if it covers your costs and you make money, good for you.
  9. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 2,548

    Ouch, good luck with that.
  10. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    Like everyone else said best of luck. Are they really ok with it taking you 4 days to get all the mowing done? Every bid I've had the job needed to be done at one time. I bid 2 complexes earlier this season. Both were smaller then yours but were also full service. Just the mowing bid for each was way more. Not trimming every week? You will get fired. This company hired you cause you're a professional, so do professional work. When it comes to money, yes your gross will go up quite a bit, but its all about what you net. A $30K gig after taxes, and expenses I doubt you'll clear half that. If your happy, then I'm happy for you, but like others have stated, you don't want one account to be 50% of your income, if that one account goes away, guess what else does?

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