Newbie needing some help.....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jon99, Oct 24, 2002.

  1. Jon99

    Jon99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I worked for a company in their finance department, due to cutbacks they let me go.. The lady in charge of purchasing knows I am starting a lawn care company and asked me to bid on the property.. I kept an eye on the current company that mows the place and it took 2 guys 3 hours to mow it with two 61" Deere ZTR's and maybe 10 minutes of trimming, since I have a 48" Tiger Cub I figured it would take me closer to 8 hours.....They are currently paying $525 for it to be mowed even though the going rate around here is close to $40 per hour, partly because the current company has mowed it for 13 years because of a friendship with the ex plant manager..

    Considering I am a new solo guy that currently has 3 residential accounts, any suggestions what I should bid?? Or is something like this too large for my situation/equipment???
  2. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    If you want it I'd say bid it at the current rate @ 8 hours that's a little more than $65 per hr. Not shabby pay. Get a contract.

    Never badmouth another company to get a job. Simply point out your strong points. You're a young biz, you're hungry for work which translates into doing the best possible job you can each time you show up. You have the time to show up on time the same day every week, and do a fine job.

    With the $$ you get on this job you can buy a 60" size ZTR in record time. Prices are really good right now and the financing deals are awesome. I can get a Toro Z-Master 62" deck 25 Hp Kohler for $6500 and no payments till May 2003!

    Did I say get a contract?

  3. gravedigger5

    gravedigger5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    real good price, I paid right at $8000 for a 62" toro w/25kaw and that was the best deal on any brand that size in this area.

    I would bid that about $425 to $450 not already knowing the last lco's price. Probably alittle higher knowing that they were.

    Jon99 where in Illinois are you?
  4. Jon99

    Jon99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    Kankakee/Joliet area....

    You don't think I would be better off to bid a little lower, perhaps $450 or around $55/hour to get the job???? My thinking is I need to offer them something that the current company company can't offer or why else would they switch???? Even with the lower bid I am still making at the top end of the commercial rate in this area...
  5. Heller Landscaping

    Heller Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 204

    One thing to remember is that eight hours of straight mowing is hard on you and your mower. A 48" mower will take you forever.
    I think it would advantageous for you to invest in a z or a 60" w\b hydro with a velke. If this is going to be your source of income you can't afford a burnt out mower. Just my .02 . Hope it helps.:blob4:
  6. Jon99

    Jon99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    Well my Tiger Cub is brand new, for $5800 seemed like a good deal considering its flexible and I love the mower.. I was not planning on mowing anything larger than a few acres when I bought it, but this possible oppurtunity makes spending 8 hours on a mower worth the time.. One option I do have, if I could land this account, is to buy my parents 52" Grasshopper with about 500 hours on it, she even mentioned giving it to me with the deal that I mow their 2 acre yard, and hire a person to help me on that day...
  7. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    Sounds like a great opportunity. As was mentioned earlier - get a contract. The other thought I had was don't be too quick to grow your business around your equipment. If you can land the account it is a different (and welcomed) pressure to get the needed equipment. The not so fun pressure is shelling out big money for equipment that may sit more than it runs. Just a of luck landing that client.
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    This lady, does she know anything about the contract, or is just in charge of the purchasing? Does she communicate enough with those who are responsible that she might know of other problems or pitfalls with this other co., or is it just the financial aspects of it? If she does, maybe SHE can tell you some of the weaknesses of this other company. It doesn't hurt to ask. YOU, sir, have to understand that you are giving them PERSONALIZED service. You can use THIS as one of your strong points. And don't be afraid to tell them, that you want not just their commercial property, but you want their (and others they know) PERSonal properties as well. This tells them that you want to do a great enough job to SELL this. THIS will help convince them! Good luck with it! ;)
  9. The Lawn Choupique

    The Lawn Choupique Banned
    Messages: 199

    That is the best way to get commercial accounts. You allready know the person in charge. If you are friends just have them fire the people currently doing the job and give you the account at the same price. That is how I ended up with an $100 per week commercial account. I knew the manager and just asked her if she would go ahead and let the company currently doing the lawn know that their services would no longer be needed. Since we were friends there was no question as to the out come. It has turned out to be one of my better accounts.
  10. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    If your mower cant take 8 straight hours of mowing, you bought the wrong mower to be in this biz.

    8 straight on a velke and w/b would be hard if you were constantly making turns, but I dont think this property is small if you're gonna be mowing for 8 hours.

    I would LOVE to get a contract like this where I could get $65 an hour to just mow for 8 straight hours. I'd go buy that 62" Toro Z tomorrow! I could do it in like 2.5 - 3 hrs. with my 52" and a 62". Shoot I might even splurge for the 72". We have pretty flat ground around here though. If you have alot of hills a 62" is about as big as you want to go.


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