Need help on commercial bid

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mindset063, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. mindset063

    mindset063 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    Tomorrow I'm going to make my first commercial bid for a small community school system. I will not ask you how price it, but I will take any help you can give about bidding on commercial accounts. Thanks!
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Here's what finally dawned on me after several years, but I never bid on a commercial prop. until my 5th year and it is highly recommended you do not bid on one until after at least your 2nd year due to the experience factor.

    That having been said, bid the job according to what you need to get. Plainly put, the commercial account is meant to go to the company with the equipment closest suited for the job: The right equipment always gets the job done fastest, so while it is about lowest bidder winning, it is not about anybody trying to be the lowest, it is about he who can do it the most efficiently wins the bid.

    So... If the going rate is 50 dollars / hour and it would take you 100 hours / month for the sake of argument, then your bid is 5k / month x 10 = 50k / 12 = 12 monthly payments of ~4k+ = 50k
    Meanwhile, if another company can do the job in 50 hours and their hourly rate is the same, then their bid would be 25k / year and blablabla... As you can see, it's not about low-balling to get the job, it is about bidding according to how long it will take and hope for the best. Bit of a crapshoot, but well worth it this way.

    Not to provide a downer, but bidding it any other way (translation: low-balling) can mean the end of a business: grossly underestimating a one-time 2-day residential job is bad enough, doing the same to a one-year contract spells disaster. It may be worthwhile taking along someone with experience, if you know anybody in this business in your area would be willing to help (a prior friendship would help).

    Far as the actual bid, I add up all the props or the areas I have to do and figure my hours. Then I figure how many times a month I will have to come out, add this up and come up with a per month figure. Take this figure and multiply it by 10 months (figuring you will likely do nothing to the property for about 2 months out of the year) and that gives me my annual cost: This last you can then divide into 12 monthly payments thou I actually did one with 10 monthly payments and that works as well.

    Hope that was helpful... ?
  3. mindset063

    mindset063 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    Very helpful... I do have a friend in the business, and will give him a call in the morning. Hopefully he's not too busy. I'm sure I have the equiment for the job. I should not have to spend more than a day at any one school.
  4. rfed32

    rfed32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Hatboro
    Messages: 680

    dont underbid it to where ur not makin any money..thats what i have to say

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