Need Opinions on a HUGE bid!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by BlueShieldLawnCare, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. BlueShieldLawnCare

    BlueShieldLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Hi! I'm pretty new to the site, but we've been in business for 2 years. Do decently, have about 8 regular customers on weekly/ bi weekly schedules, and a few other bids that we're working on. I do this on the side, as I'm a cop, and that takes a lot of time! My wife and I started this as a side business, and so I have something to do when I retire. ANYWAY, here's the deal: A residential treatment center contacted us and asked us to do 2 bids. 1: to clear the property and put out pinestraw. And 2. on how much we would charge to maintain the property. We'll deal with the first bid to begin with. This property is about 2 1/2 - 3 acres, and it has not been maintained at ALL. Multiple flower beds over run with weeds, trees that have to be trimmed, a ton of bushes that need to be cut back and shaped, leaves from last fall that we need to clear out, ect. So I decided we should do it in 3 stages. Stage 1 would be cutting back and shaping the bushes, trimming the trees, and weedeating/ clearing out the flower beds. We figure that will be 1 8-hour day, with 4 people working. Stage 2 would be mowing, blowing, edging, ect. Pretty much cleaning up the rest of the property. Which we figure would also be an 8 hour day with 4 people. That might be high, but we figure we can finish up stage 1 if that runs over a little. Stage 3 would be putting out the pinestraw. That's where it gets REALLY complicated. There are several buildings on this property, and flowerbeds running on each side of them, as well as random flowerbeds throughout the property. Also, we will have to put pinestraw around almost all of the trees, and I'd say there's close to 80 of them. We are estimating 2 days of 8 hours each for this stage. So, we are estimating 400, yes, that's 400 bales of pinestraw. We can get them at $3.75 a bale, but we always charge $5 per bale. So, just for the pinestraw, we're talking $2000. Adding in the labor, which is a total of 32 hours (we charge $50 per hour for commercial property, then $10 per hour for each additional employee, for a total at this job of $70 per hour), is another $2240. So the total for all this work, over 4 days, including the pinestraw would be $4240. Is that too much? We've never bid on a job this big, so to us it seems high, but then again, we're in this to MAKE money, not LOSE it. I'd really appreciate your opinions!

    As for the maintenance bid, we are figuring it would take us about 4 hours to maintain it each visit. So we came up with $160 either weekly or biweekly. Is that reasonable, too high, too low? Like I said, this is bigger then anything else we've done. We mostly have residential business, but REALLY want to get this job, as it will give us great credibility. Not to mention it's one of those properties you're just DYING to get your hands in bc you know it will look incredible once you're done with it! I'd really appreciate anything ya'll could give us in the way of advice! THANK YOU!
  2. fargoboy

    fargoboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    hard to do from here but I'll give you a start.
    I tried to follow your logic and I came up with 128 man hours to do your initial Phase 1 times 40.00 per hr equals $5,120.00. You haven't even charged them for your truck or equipement yet.

    You need to figure out your labor rate first. You told us 50.00 per hour plus 10.00 for each additional person right. Okay thats 80.00per hour divided by 4 people translate to 20.00 per hour per person. A little on the low side.

    Try this:
    Take your 1040 tax return and divide the total amount by the amount of hours that you worked to get it(why would you want to work for anything less)
    Lets assume Policeman gets $20,000 for 2,000 hrs
    Do the math and you get 10.00 per hour
    Okay now add your social security to it(15% self-employment). Do the math and you are now at 11.50
    Okay now add your state and federal unemployement tax which will vary state to state but for our purposes we will estimate at 8%. So do the math, we are at 12.30 per hour.
    Now the fun part you gotta add insurance both liability and workmen's compensation. Depending on your state and insurance carrier this figure is based on sales and wages paid. This figure is also based upon industry codes, coverage class's, and customer experience. Talk to your insurance man for figures. Sometimes they sell you a beginners policy for say 350.00 per year and you think that is what it costs. Wrong, a year or two goes by and a insurance auditor calls you up and asks for sales and wage figures and low and behold they come up an additional figure(read the fine print page 6 line7 paragraph c-1)that you owe for mandatory insurance. Well, use my figure of 12.87 per hour for exercise purposes. Do the math and you are now at 25.17 per hour and this is still only your basic costs. We still have to work overhead into this(your wife isn't cheap). I don't want to discourage you but this requires more work and I'm not sure how much space I'm allowed to expound upon.

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