need some help

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Kends, Mar 17, 2001.

  1. Kends

    Kends LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I'm a newby. I have a chance to bid on a big job. It's a retention area in my subdivision. I've been doing really well bidding on residential work using formulas I found on this site. Sq. ft. x .002 = price for job. Basically, $2.00 per 1000 sq. foot. In some areas I go as high as $2.50 to $3.00 per 1000 sq. foot.

    On to my job. It's 120,000 sq. foot. My neighpor is the treasure to our home howners association. She showed me the contract from last season and the guy is doing it for $130.00 per cut. It's a weekly cut job. No obsitcales. It's an easy cut. So, I use my formula, I come up with $240.00 per cut.

    There's no way I'll get the job. This is my first year in the business (full time). Should I bid it a the $130.00? Am I doing something wrong with the $2.00 per 1000 sq. foot?

  2. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    ok,kends here's my formula if i don't make about a dollar a minute i can't do the job, because of overhead. just to help us guys out tell us what kind of equipment you are planning on running and we could help you on your bidding and how many man crew you have or if you are solo. also, how big is the building on that property. 120,000sq - building size and thats the amount of grass you will be cutting. some more info, and all the guys on here can give you helping hand.
  3. skyphoto

    skyphoto LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221


    I think it is not an easy? to answer....Do you really need the work? Is there fringe benefits to having this account such as refrences or other prospective clients nearby....Since ya know the bid from last year at least this gives you the hand up in the decision of how bad do ya want it.....

    Just my .02

    Good luck!!!!
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Take it! If it's all wide open and no obstacles, I'm sure you can make money at it no matter WHAT you're cutting with. It still comes out to $47/acre.

    [Edited by Runner on 03-17-2001 at 10:09 PM]
  5. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    Fairly smooth and free of obstructions, about an hour to cut and whatever trimming is involved, $130 is a good estimate if you are using a 60"+ ZTR.

  6. Kends

    Kends LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Thanks so far! To answer a couple of the questions.

    Cutting with a 48" Exmark.

    No It's a retention area.

    And, right now, I'm solo.

    Thanks in advance for the help!
  7. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    no reason why you couldn't bid the property at $120 to $130, after you get used to the machine you will be able to ride in 4th gear and get it done alot faster. i say go for it but don't lowball. you do have to make some kinda profit and not pi$s off guys in your area. good luck
  8. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    First off, take the formula you got here and throw it in the crapper.It isn't going to work, obviously. Each job needs to be bid accordingly based on obstacles, ease of cutting area, access to the property, trimming, blowing and so on. Also you will only get what the market in your area will pay. You will have to find that out also. Look at pricing your jobs at the time it will take you to do them and then you should already have an idea of what your overhead is per hour so you can figure what you need to make to pay bills and be happy. That's your homework that should be done before you do any bidding. You are going to learn by trial and error. Jobs you bid and don't get, ask why so you know if you are pricing correctly for your region you cut in. It all comes down to figuring this stuff out with a business plan. If you don't lay something out on paper you are most likely destined to fail. This site is great but don't think it is going to be your cheat sheet in life. It has helped me greatly on many things, even "HOW" to go about pricing, but the actual numbers have to come from you, and only you. You need to know your overhead and anticipated profit margin. Good luck! You'll figure it out, it just takes time. :)
  9. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    I wish that were here! I could take the 72" Chopper and cut that in 45 minutes or less and make good money! Man, I guess I need to move.
  10. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    Your formula might work on small lawns, but a bigger one you can do cheaper since it is much bigger. It's like doing 12 - 1/4 acre lawns without any trimming, so this forula will not work for these lawns. I know a 60" Chopper would mow that in an hour or less, so a 48" should mow it in an hour and a half. Even if it took you 2 hours, your at the $65 an hour range which isn't to bad, plus there is no trimming. I feel you can make good money bidding it at $130, but that is just my opinion.

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