Submitting bids without request for one

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by stevenf, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    I have read on this site about some people suggesting ways to start bidding commercial accounts. A few guys said to just submit a bid that is good for one year.
    I have a big list of commercials that I would like to maintain. Question is, what services do I bid? Should I just bid bush trimming, mulching, mowing, fert? Should I assume that they want all of these services or start with minimal services and mention that services can be added upon request?
  2. shade tree landscaping

    shade tree landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 915

    would you use a painter who just droped off an estimate/bid in your mailbox? How about a plumber who does the same, and so on. Personally I never have and never will just bid w/o speaking to anyone. Stop in, call the property you want to bid. Find out what they are looking for, if they are un happy with current company and so on. Also keep in mind that you are going to need proper insurance(s) in order to do 99.9% of commercials.
  3. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    It's hard to talk to the right people in this industry. If you do get to speak with them, odds are they won't give you the time of day.
    The purpose of submitting a bid is to put my name and logo out on the market. Let people know I am a serious company that is submitting a bid that is comparable to bigger companies. Once the bid is typed, I plan to try and deliver it personally . If not, fax will be second option.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. patrick24601

    patrick24601 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Contact the company that has put out the bid request first. Ask to get on their list to get notified in the future. But I'd avoid just submitting the blind bid. You may not have all of information about it. And I'd definitely never do one for an entire year. Your expenses may change over that year which would may put you in the red on the project before it even starts.
  5. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,807

    i think its a great idea, dont listen to the debbie downers. id start with the minimal services though they may actually being paying alot more for service and dont realize it. your quote may get them thinking about jumping ship, especially if they aren't happy. everyones trying to save money and if you think management companies are any different your wrong. and if i were a manager id be like wow, this guy took a couple hours out of his day to drive through here and put together this quote, he must really care.. im sure the bulk of them may go in the garbage but if you got the free time i think its worth it!
  6. OrganicsMaine

    OrganicsMaine LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    I am personally on the fence about this. On one hand, by doing this, you will get your company noticed, but not sure how it would be received. If you do submit a bid, you better have a real strong cover letter that you submit with it. Take a good amount of time to walk these properties so that if you do get a call, you can talk specifically about the properties. Especially if you find some problems with the existing conditions, you will be able to talk with some knowledge.

    On the other hand, a property manager may take one look at it and toss it.

    In the end, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I say go for it, and then follow up with a phone call. Which reminds me, you should at least find out who the prop. mgr. is so that you can address the cover letter directly to him/her.

    Good luck!
  7. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,232

    Here we go again with the term "commercial accounts." I would like to hear what the OP considers commercial. Local businesses, franchises, apartment or codominium complexes, corporate headquarters, doctor or dentist offices,????????
    The approach would differ from one to another.
  8. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    I plan to target apartment complexes.
    My plans were to type a bid, call to find out the managers name and fax number. Cold call to explain who I am and that I am submitting a bid. Submit the bid.
  9. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,232

    OK. In this case, I would not submit a bid yet. (And I would NEVER submit a bid by fax unless I was told to do it. You never know who might see the fax first. e.g. secretary whose friend has the contract now?)

    I would visit the property to acquaint myself noting what has been done, well and not so well. I would then put together a good letter telling about me:
    your experience, equipment if it's particularly good, copy of insurance coverage, copies of any licenses you have that are pertinent, and then some comments about what you have observed on the property. Tell the manager you will be calling and would like to schedule an appointment to talk about the possibility of your submitting a bid. Assuming you get an appointment, you can ask the manager to do a walk-around with you. The manager will also tell you at that time what to include in you bid.
  10. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Messages: 1,956

    I am apt to believe that submitting bids unannounced is a bit like delivering direct mail, only that each piece is custom-made. I have done this before, and had no bites. I delivered over 500 pieces, and anyone who has done a direct mail campaign knows that anything under 5000 is not worth doing. I think you would be better served doing a direct mail campaign using a well-designed postcard or door hanger.

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