Learning to say "No"

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Classified, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. Classified

    Classified LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    This is sort of a vent but I recently got the oppertunity to bid lawn/property maintenance on a very large property and very high profile. The work is to be top notch and performed quickly and quietly. I can accept all of those responsibilities but I was also lucky enough to find out where I need to be price wise per month to get the job. I have tried every which way to make it work and there is just no way. In fact I have no freaking clue how anyone could make it work.

    I AM NOT POSTING THE ACTUAL NUMBERS but here is some numbers that show a representaion of what I am talking about. Keep in mind I have VERY low overhead as well. The fake target # I was told to come in at was $2,000 per month and I am coming in at 2.5 times HIGHER than that #!? Maybe I am doing something wrong but with Thousands of feet of landscape bed edging to be done BY SPADE SHOVEL 4 times during the seaons, thats expensive! not mention all the other requirements. I really want to bid this and I am having a real hard time passing on it but there is just no way it is worth my time to try and get all the paper work together since I know it will just hit the can as soon as they look at the #s.

    This industry is getting beaten to death and with a property as large as this and companies like countryside and brickman bidding for as long as they have the price is stupid low. I dont know, just frustrated is all.

    Anyone else been in this situation? I know I cant be alone!
  2. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,128

    I think you have already spent too much time and brainpower on this particular bid. Once you realized you wouldn't be in the ballpark, you should have made the decision to pass on submitting a bid and moved on to work on something else.
  3. Classified

    Classified LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    You are correct but when you want something bad enough you try to make it work. Just cant in this case. Ahh well.
  4. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    I once walked over $ 5.00. and to answer your Q. YES I have been there too.
    the reason I walked, was because I read a post about underbidding. " cant remember where it was" it stated if you under bid by 5.00, it can cost you thousands.

    real world numbers. underbid by 5.00 on every job. "Lets say 10 a day"
    that's 50.00 daily, x 5 days = 250.00 a week 1,000 a month.
    times 10 months = Well you get the picture.

    sometimes you Just cant make people happy.

    Best of luck to you
  5. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,801

    10% of people you will never make happy, another 10% you will never make $ off of. Run like hell from both.
  6. jblawns123

    jblawns123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 340

    If a customer asks if I can do something cheaper, I usually have about 5% to work down, sometimes 10%. Depends on the work load at the time. After that I say yes, I can do this for $$ you requested, but then I have to take away something from the service or install. Usually when you start with that they get the hint.

    I know this isn't directly related to what you are talking about... but I figured I would add it any how.
  7. Max23

    Max23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Unfortunately Ive seen it too. This is the first year that Im putting as many bids out but. There is a company in my area that Is cheap like that and they just lowered a job i bid on by 8500 per year. Fortunatley people who are in control of it this year see that that company doesnt do half of the work that they put in their bs bid. Edging, Fert, and trimming was skipped pretty much totally. However thats how they get by undercutting so much they just dont do the work and when people are in charge that dont know the difference they get away with it unfortunatley. Now when you or I actually put in the bid to do the job the right way then thats Y its higher and hopefully some bids I put in will see it that way.

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