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Tell Me if I Bid Correctly!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by PastyWhite, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. PastyWhite

    PastyWhite LawnSite Member
    from Jax, FL
    Messages: 56

    Last night I did a site tour of the dot urban office in my city. It is a regional office that represents 19 counties in FL. The entire property is approximately 3 acres.

    There is a large fence surrounding the entire property that would have to be weedwacked, 3 retention ponds that would have to be weedwacked, about 20 parking islands with grass only that would have to be cut and edged, and the rest is all grass to be mowed with the exception of one small hedge. There will be no mulch or pesticides/ferilizers applied.

    The grass areas are spread out across the property and will probably be cut with 2 walk behinds with sulkys. I think it would take me and one other person 4 to 6 hours if we were running 2 mowers.

    I bid 400 per cut. 36 cuts per year. 1200 per month.

    Am I way off? I know pictures would help but I forgot my camera. I've only been in the business for 2 months and this is my first real commercial bid. I'm probably crazy for trying but this would be great for my company and I really think I can handle the job. It almost seems to easy since there are really no bushes or mulching involved. Just cutting grass on a larger scale than I'm used to. I just hope I didn't under bid or overbid. I definitely don't want to lowball anyone and I think that 400 a cut is the right bid for me to make money on this.
  2. BQLC

    BQLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 574

    I think you bid kinda low because 2 men would be 8 to 12 hours but i am not sure what your company needs per hour to be profitable
  3. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    Okay with out SEEING this property this is what I figured:
    Fence around 3 acres trimmed -45 min
    "3" retention ponds which if your talking average size and only 3-4 foot from the water min of 30 min each(ALSO HARD ON YOUR TRIMMERS)1 1/2 HRS MIN
    "20" islands can you get mower on them? I would think not in my experience with islands so more trimming 5 min each min and edging 2 hrs(ALSO HARD ON TRIMMER) 2 HRS MIN.
    Rest of mowing at-least 48" w/b"s 2 more hrs
    Blowing and clean-up 1 hr w/2 backpack blowers

    So with that and it being most done carrying a trimmer and wear and tear, LOW BID. "I" would have bid a min of 500$ per cut without seeing the property. If its what im imaging in my head probably 600$ and just because of all that trimming its going to be rough. So good luck hope this helps give a little more preceptive on the job.
  4. PastyWhite

    PastyWhite LawnSite Member
    from Jax, FL
    Messages: 56

    Thanks for the replies so far. I can get a w/b on all of the islands (using a small ramp) except for 1 and that 1 is really small and is more like a curb with about 6" of grass.

    I was really afraid of under bidding but 400.00 seemed about right to me. Would it be worth it to get a third person on the job to make it go faster? I could pay a buddy to help me out for 1 day a week.

    I don't have to accept the job even if I win and I definitley don't want to be in over my head so early in the game.

    Please keep the replies coming.
  5. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    I would do 500$ then with the islands you can mow. But if its a job YOU REALLY WANT and you think maybe more will come out of it GO FOR IT. Thats what tough about this industry only way to learn is to DO IT, BID AND LEARN. Bringing another person " I WOULDN'T" Id just work harder and faster get it done quick as pos. save that money cause your already borderline on it. JMO
  6. PastyWhite

    PastyWhite LawnSite Member
    from Jax, FL
    Messages: 56

    I agree with you martinfan06. I really want the job b/c I feel like it is somewhat prestigious. It is a state contract. I think that would be a huge selling point when bidding other commercial properties. As long as I'm not under bidding so bad that I am losing money I think it might be worth it and it will get faster and easier every time I do it.

    They only want weekly service through October so once November arrives I would be bringing in 1200 a month for the next 6 months for only 2 services. I think that is a plus b/c it will give me time to get more equipment and expand a little so that by the time May comes around and they need weekly service again I will be fully prepared.
  7. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    I say go for it then, your not that bad on the low side so you should be fine as far as not losing $.

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