Take a hit for the intangible value? First huge commercial job!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dhunterd08, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. dhunterd08

    dhunterd08 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    ok everyone picked up a nice commercial shopping center this year. yay right? Not exactly, whoever mowed it last year left it a complete mess. The place is only a year old and i dont think edges have ever existed, trash EVERYWHERE, and the beds were about 75% covered in a mix of kee tall weeds and ground cover. So, it came time for the landscaping job. Me and my helper have about 30 hrs in trimming about 900 shrubs/monkey grass, weeding the beds, and essentialy creating beds. Made good money for that. Then it was time for mulch....Owner said to just go ahead and start doing it(gave me certain priorities) and he would keep watch and see how far he wanted to go. So i said ok, spead 14 yards at 70 a yard in about 8 hours with my guy, excellent money for me anyway. He said that was good enough, which i understand(the bill for this month was not pretty). The front beds are still mostly ground cover and not done yet(approx 8-10 yards) And there are some beds where the restaurants are that will be about 2-3 yards. So i have been seriously going the extra mile on this place and it is finally cutting nicely,edges looking good, trash picked up, etc. It is basically on the main road of my area. Everyone sees it.... So should i just offer to do it for like 10hr plus materials, stick a sign out front, and hope the calls start rolling in? or just keep it looking the best I can. I mean it is not like a half done mulching. What is left it still looks logical and front beds are mostly ground cover and does not look that bad, but mulch would make the place look unbelievable. The owner has sent a lot of business my way over the years and i really did cut him a huge deal on the things I have already done. value wise. Needless to say, I am taking quite a pay cut:cry:
  2. SchnabelLawnCare

    SchnabelLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 709

    NONONO! Charge what you would normally. MAYBE a 10% discount, or a reward system for the owner based on how many are referred by him, but don't just give away your services!
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Unfortunately, it boils down to how bad one needs the work.

    What happens is, you either get too busy to do it, or you don't...
    But $70 a c.y. of mulch is real good for my neck of the woods, like gold standard.

    Because in my book you made out good on the 70x14, and I realize the money
    doesn't go but so far but dang, that's a chunk on top of a nice profit.

    So maybe it's a matter of win some, lose some?
  4. dhunterd08

    dhunterd08 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    I just think that is the only way it would get done. Althoug I have contemplated talking to restaurant owners/shop renters/etc. I just hate to go over anyones head
  5. dhunterd08

    dhunterd08 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    That is what I am thinking. I dont know where everyone on here buys mulch. I usually charge 90-100 a yard, but keep in mind i got it for 32(a discounted price i might add) a yard after calling everywhere the driving distance didn't eat the savings.

    TJLANDS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,668

    Just be careful with a commercial property that looked like crap.
    9 times out of 10 it was the owners fault($). Not the landscaper. Many new landscapers will jump at a commercial property to clean it up etc for a cheap price, happens all the time. You will feel good, but owner of the property will be laughing all the way to to he bank as he just hooked another sucker.
    Not to be mean just a fact of the business.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    What TJLANDS just said makes a lot of sense, too.

    I guess you're at a crossroads of a break even point?

    Something else to consider, and it hurts...
    But I used to spend THOUSANDS on advertising.
    I TRY to keep this in mind when I'm taking the shaft, it doesn't always work but I
    have to realize that right now my advertising budget is almost nothing.

    Not sure what to tell you ...
    But I think you could go so far as to ask the owner if you can put a small sign
    with your company's name and number on the property, assuming he says yes
    I think that would help regardless of where it goes.

    Can't hurt to ask, worst he can do is say no.
  8. dhunterd08

    dhunterd08 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    Both of you make a lot of sense, but depending on how well he takes the bill for this month i just sent him, which hurt my eyes to look at. I think I will go ahead and offer it to him as long as he lets me put up a sign and agrees to yell my name out anytime anyone he knows mentions the words mow,mulch,sod,trim,landscape, etc lol. Heres the deal. I am out of school and only have enough work for 30-35 hrs a week cutting, and I have about 3 or 4 more small landscapeing jobs lined up. So, I guess I would rather work extra for cheap then only 35 hrs a week. I dont think it would take me over 10 hours anyway. I can pull up right beside most beds. Thanks guys I appreciate it. Here is the thing had a concert outside that area tonight. If there was a sign right there would I have gotten some calls? maybe maybe not but who knows.

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