Please help?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Terra Firma, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. Terra Firma

    Terra Firma LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    We have been in business for just under 5 years. We have predominately been a residential client based company. Not because we want to but because no commercial company will accept our proposals. We haven't had too many to submitt but we strike out each and everytime. Even when I feel I am low balling I still don't get my proposal accepted. I'm thinking maybe I don't know what the specs. a commercial oriented person is looking for. Our there any comercial gurus out there that can shed some light on this subject?
  2. AlleganyLawnCare

    AlleganyLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180


    I know this may not help you out any but, hopefully it does. I just started into the commercial sector last year. At first, I too, wasn't the greatest at bidding, especially when a commercial size property that is about the same as a residential size goes for like 2 to 3 times (if not more) the normal res. price. I am not sure why, but I was either over bidding, or under cutting myself badly. I think after several (SEVERAL) unsuccessful bids, I finally locked into how I am able to get commercial jobs now - it is who you know. Everyone of my commercial jobs I got (some are for residential group homes for an organization for developmentally disabled, one is for a big-box retailer, and some for doctors and so forth), I either knew the person responsible for making the decision, or I knew someone that was able to tell me exactly when to go ask (ASK and you might receive) for the job. I am not saying that that is a fair way of doing business, but unfotunately that is how most things do get done.

    Join an organization if you don't know anyone that can help you either get a commercial account or knows of someone that can indirectly help. Make contacts there. Join more if need be - make more contacts. I am a cubmaster for a local cubscout pack. I get a lot of contacts - government and provate sector alike, and I also get contacts with other members of the pack that own their own tree cutting service. They work with me when they need help and vice versa. I plan on rejoing the AMVETS and American Legion to (hate to say it, but it is true) make more contacts. The Lions Club in my area runs alot of things, and they are perfect group to make contact within. Contacts are extremely important. I am sure that you heard of the old saying, "Its not what you know, but who you know." It is really true in this business.

    I hope that helps you out some. Let me know.

  3. Good advice Chris. Though I see nothing wrong with socializing to expand the number of people you meet. Some organizationg even have that goal in their charter. The Jaycees, Lions club, and the Masonic lodge.
    I'm still surviving on contacts I made in the Jaycees several years ago.
    The only thing I might add to what you wrote would be to try to make it personal. Try to find the ONE person in an organization who is responsible for the maintenance of the landscape. Some will have boards or comities or want to pass your proposal along....HU-uh! Locate the person who ultimately makes the decision on who to hire then ask them what they expect. It'll range from low price, to full service. But they all seem to want dependable people who can handle the task.
  4. Terra Firma

    Terra Firma LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Thank you for your advice. It seems like that would make sense. I'm still concern with the actual pricing is there a rule of thumb when it comes to pricing it out. Maybe a formula that has worked with little or know fail.
  5. No

    There's no formula. Even if I had the perfect way to calculate price it would be worthless to you.

    It's not about the price anyway. What do you think? A company's board of directors sit around a big table and one of them says, "We just completed remodeling this place and all the landscaping's in place. So lets see how cheaply we can get somebody out here to kill it all off!"

    Quit running around throwing out unscolicited lowball bids. They're going to do you no good, and it casts suspicion on their current LCO.

    Get inside, talk to them about their expectations, Then with them work out a price. If they work out with you what they expect and what they're willing to pay they almost can't say no. You're in! You've got the job!
    Don't just shove what you hope is the lowest price ever under their nose. It kind of gives away your level of incompetence.
  6. Terra Firma

    Terra Firma LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Very interesting. Thank you.

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