Lawn Care Forum banner
1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am all set yesterday to bid 2 new commercials. I have my hot little bids all typed out ready to go, when we get a little info on the down-low about the current rates of these accounts. I'm floored to find out that on one I'm $75.00 over the current weekly rate and on the other $20.00 over the current. I bid at $30.00/man hour. That's about all you'll get here.

Both these accounts are serviced by Professional, insured LCO's. The one I'm $75.00 over on would take about 2 1/2 hours. The current LCO is doing them at $20.00/ man hour or less depending on their time.

It's to the point that every LCO around here is doing this (excet us), and they are driving down the whole market considerably. So I guess the only option is to strive for the residential accounts which around here will bring a better rate.

I can't use the "you get what you pay for" or the "I am fully insured" arguments, becuase some of these LCO's do great jobs, and all are insured. I heard that one big commercial account in our area was mowed for $500.00/mow 4 years ago, now it's been bid down to $385/mow by these guys trying to low-ball each other.

Any ideas on what to do (besides work for free)?

Thanks for letting me complain a little, it's been a rough bidding week here.

:blob2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,194 Posts
Maple, not really certain I'm understanding your pricing structure either.

Regardless,
Bid the way you need to for your business's financial success, some you'll get, some not.
Let your competition work cheap, what comes around . . . .etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,929 Posts
See, that's how it is around here too! I used to try to get Commercial jobs several years back and EVERY FRIGGIN TIME it was like that. I got so frustrated I finally just decided screw it. I can make a real good hourly rate doing residentials. I'll just keep doing that.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,647 Posts
This will also depend on what the commercial property actualy is and the visibility profile of the site and what image they want to project. There's all kinds of commercial, some that settle for industrial standards.

The lowballers never make it. Not with commercial, I don't care what anyone says. Unless they are a large company breaking into new areas and have money backing them. Even then it's all that wise.

Property owners will not stand for shabby work. The lowballers will only provide marginal work and when confronted they do a song and dance. Those properties usualy go up for bid again.

They can't price to low on commercial when $2mil liability and workmans comp insurance is required. They can't survive, and the owners will not tolerate poor work for any extended length of time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,488 Posts
It's typical. It happens ALL the time around here. I can go to commercials that I did 10 -15 years ago, and they are paying now what they paid me 10 years ago. Sometimes, even less. It's a joke. I've had lco's come and bid for just over half of what I was getting to do a multi-prop. account. Ridiculous. Yes, their work reflected it, but now, after I've talked to them and told them about what I was getting, I believe they raised their rates. The work still is shabby, though. It's a joke. Then, - the owner calls me up and wants me to do all the shrubbery. Last year I did it, and hit him hard for it. I just didn't care, after they ousted me. This year, he didn't even call, and I bet if I go by there, the shrubbery STILL isn't done. These guys are just a "hack and whack" outfit, and their work shows it. I don't even know how this guy makes any money, - everytime I see them, there are always guys standing around the truck doing nothing while others are out working.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Consider the source of your "down low" information. What is their motivation for telling you? Were they put up to it, trying to get you to lower your bid? Have you seen with your own two eyes what this customer was paying before?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I guess I phrased my ranting badly.

Let's say my bid was for 275.00. The current LCO is doing it at 200.00. That's what I meant. I figure that the current LCO is doing it for $15-$20/man hour depending on their time. There is no way I'm working for that low of a price.

Doing some other poking around, I've figured out that they are bidding very high on residentials, making it up there.

I know how much we all like to get a decent commercial account, but the way people are driving down the prices on them, there won't be any good paying commercials here soon.

What really surprises me is that one the account I really want, it's a really nice non-industrial commercial account. High profile kind of place. The quality of the current mowing is poor. No stripes, no mow pattern at all, lots of missed trimming. I don't know if the account has money problems or why they are settling for such poor quality work. I'm still going to submit a bid, at my own standards. I think I'll include pictures of our work.

Thanks for letting me get this frustration out!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,203 Posts
Hmmm.... and all this talk about scrubs ruining the industry.
It aint the people out to make beer money that I'm worried about.They are NOT my competition! They have no relevance.
Condo's,apartment complexes,comercials,They are all the lowest common denominator(price) around here.Thats why we don't do them.There is plenty of work for all around here but the attitude is still the same from lco's,Who the hell is this scrub scumbucket moving in on MY turf,When in reality they are cutting each others throats every day for no reason. Sad but true.I personally find it amusing because we WILL survive.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,160 Posts
maple, i feel yur pain sister. what kills me is, as u said, these lowballers ARE proffesional companies, they do a great job, and they are STILL dirt cheap. i just got back 10 min ago, a lady called for lawnservice, i went right over. she moaned and groaned about every little thing on the property, personally, i thought the place looked great. i defended thier current guy, telling her he is doing a nice job. he is legitimate too. licensed for pests, charges sales tax, etc. she pointed to one broadleaf, and said, " SEE, now what is that doing there? that shouldnt be there." i said, "only one? on your whole property, man, that guy is good, now WHY is it again that u want to get rid of him?" i mean, there wasnt as much as a clover on this entire property. finally she says, well, i just dont like him, are u interested? i said yup, $35 a week for mowing, ill take the measurements for the chemicals. she says, " WHAT!!!!!" my current guy charges $22. i laughed, 22 beans and hes doin a great job. man at those prices, im better off collecting welfare. do u ever wonder HOW on earth they do it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,379 Posts
The cause of all of the lowball bidding going on is the economy. Commercial accounts as well as residentials are looking for ways to cut costs and lawn maintenance is just one area of expense to them. Most of the business owners I know are well aware of the intense competition in the lawncare industry and are taking advantage of it.

With people losing jobs at record rates the service sector of the economy is being saturated with new start-up companies and these new start-ups is what drives down the lawn maintenance rates. I seen this happen in the early 1980's and again in the early 1990's. As long as the economy remains weak and people lose jobs, industries like ours will suffer from oversaturation and low pricing. It's an economic reality that we have to ride out until the economic situation improves. Then hopefully most of the new start-up LCO's will fade away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
917 Posts
Same bull sh+# up here! This past spring I lost a high profile shopping center, about a 3 acre property. I drove by there in late june and there was a guy cutting the place with a 21" push mower, and the bushes were overgrown. I almost went off the road laughing. Mid-July the property owner calls me and asks me to take it over, so I jacked up some prices and will end up getting almost as much as if I had mowed it the entire season. As long as property owners will try to save a buck, and hire scrubs for a few bucks less there will always be lowballers. And yes I think anyone who tries to mow 3 acres with a 21" push mower is a scrub.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,203 Posts
It's all relative to the number of jobs that exist.Percentages are what counts,Not numbers.If you have 20 million jobs and lose 10% you lose 2 million,If you have 28 million jobs and lose 10%
you have 2.8 million.No difference in the economy just larger numbers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,379 Posts
Tell it to the people who are out of work. In august 92,000 jobs were lost in the U.S. In July 49,000. That's 141,000 more people looking for work. Currently 6.1 % of the U.S. workforce is unemployed. There are 138 million people in the workforce. That's 8.4 million people trying to figure out how to feed themselves and their families. Many of them are now cutting grass, painting houses, or cleaning swimming pools in an effort to survive. Those are the people that are entering the service sector of the economy. The same ones that you and I have to compete with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,845 Posts
How about I bid a 6 acre property for $110,
How about if I am solo,
How about if I have one mower at a cost of $13,000 new,
How about if I can trim, blow and mow the 6 acre property in 1 and 1/2 hrs. including load and unload
Am I a lowballer?
Is $72 per hr. lowballing?

The bid is only $18.33 per acre - is it lowballed? - Is $72 per hr with one mower operation bad?

You all tell me.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,647 Posts
No Flex not at all


I said something similar in another thread somewhere

where a 21" machine doing a residence for $30 an hour. Buying a 36" walk behind can now bid out same size lots for $25 and do more in the hour and make much more money.
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top