Need some help on first bid.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Patriots, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Patriots

    Patriots LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    Ok y'all need a little help from the commerical guys - I am 100% residential but have been looking for a commerical opportunity to hit, and it just did. Landscaper from out of town saw my truck today and called about taking care of a commerical (strip mall) property he just finished - and claims he has many more waiting to be completed. Property has small grass area, 6 to 7 trees small bushes and mulch .... what is a LOW bid per square foot on a year maintenance contact - I need this but dont want to lose money. The property is in Texas (live here now) and would require year round up-keep. Any help is much appreciated ....... THANKS.
  2. LLandscaping

    LLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,016

    Every area of the country the pricing is different and without seeing the property or being in your area I dont have a clue on pricing. But you should figure out what it cost you to run your business: overhead, employees, etc. and base you price on your situation. Remember that commercial properties often have a lot of trash to be picked up and dealing with large companies if often takes a while to get paid. Make sure that you have business insurance and workman's comp if you have employees.
  3. Branchland

    Branchland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    I don't go by a square foot price. I figure it by how long I think it will take. Don't forget you'll need insurance. Make sure of everything he wants done like pruning, mulch, snow etc..
  4. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    Time needed mulitiplied by hourly rate. It really is that simple.

    wanting to bid it low is a very bad sign.

    There is no advantage to losing money on a commercial property vs residentials. Bid what you need and move on.

    His suggestion that he has many more is a classic method of getting you to low ball inorder to get more business. Doubt he has them and even if he did why give them to you, isn't someone else already doing them. Sure, but if he can get you in at a low ball price he will fire the other guys. Just like he did before. So you lowball to get it then get undercut next year by the next over eager person.
  5. Patriots

    Patriots LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    Yes fully insured. And yeah I see what you mean about low balling - the properties are all new, just built, no one is maintaning them at the time. The landscaper is based about 200 miles away and said he does not see the point in sending a crew out to do them. The way it sounded was that he was goining to sub the work out to a local guy. We all have seen strip malls on an average what do y'all charge, if you charge per square foot.

    Thanks for the advice.
  6. ashs inc

    ashs inc LawnSite Senior Member
    from alabama
    Messages: 601


    Measure the turf area
    measure the parking lot that you will have to blow off
    measrue the edging
    approx time it will take you to trim
    approx time it will take you to prune
    measure bed area so you will know how much mulch it will take

    THEN COME UP WITH total and divide by 12 to have a monthly payment!!!!
  7. Turf Dancer

    Turf Dancer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    You are way to vague on this! Measurements or pictures would be much better. Asking how much on a commercial property is like asking "how much for a new car" Things that need to be known what kind of car, what trim package, what wheels, what stereo, extended warrenty?
    Too many variables that need to be known before giving a bid on this commercial . Are you with me here ?
  8. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    On average I charge enough to be declined by 40-60% of the people I bid for.

    Does that help? No of course not. It means nothing.

    That is what everyone is talking about by vague. We will help, but without some real information, we are not helping, just guessing.

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