What's the best way to bid a Commercial Lawn?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fasttrack1851, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. fasttrack1851

    fasttrack1851 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    My brother and I are rather new to the lawn care business. We are in the process of submitting bids and can't agree on what rating system to use. My brother says that we need to submit both an hourly rate and a flat rate for each time we cut, trim, etc. I think that we should just put the flat rate for each time we cut. Also, is it better to mail the bids or hand deliver them to the receptionists at the business?
  2. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    You need to estimate how long it will take from start to finish, then charge what you want an hour. Your rate should be fixed. It should not vary from week to week. The customer will never go for this hourly rate you are suggesting. If you and your brother are hungover or feel lazy one week (just an example, it could be that you have a cast on your arm), why should the customer pay for the added time that you spend? Just try and be as accurate as you can when bidding.

    Good luck
  3. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    at the risk of being rude, learn the business before you go out and ruin a few commercial properties.
  4. TotalCareSolutions

    TotalCareSolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 518

    1) Do not mail a bid. (unless otherwise specified by the client)
    2) Do not hand it to the receptionist. (unless otherwise specified by the client)

    More Planning = Less Work
    Less Planning = More Work

    Search "commercial bids" etc
  5. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    A Good bribe, don't Be cheap!!
  6. IBGreen

    IBGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 726

    Hand deliver it and if he/she is not too buisy try to make a big drawn out conversation.
  7. greenacres001

    greenacres001 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    People want to know that you know what you are doing and if you dont know about how long it would take your either going to be high and not get the job or so low you cant make money.
  8. Turf Dancer

    Turf Dancer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    Here are a few rules I came up with and since I started using them my commercial business has gone from 0 to 2 accounts and growing fast!

    1. Always hand deliver the Proposal the person in charge, usually the person you have spoken with before you made the proposal.

    2. Always itemize everything you plan to do.

    3. Never bad mouth the competition in front of the Manager or Administrator of the proposed account it will only make you look like you are an ***! You want to look like you are the professional and If you go on about all the great things you can do and the services you can provide and tehn follow that up with some stupid comment about how the previous contractor was an idiot and didn't do squat it will make everything you have done worthless. Because now you look like the idiot!

    4. Figure out what you want out of your business and price accordingly.

    5. Come up with a bidding template or form of some type that helps you do commercial bids more efficient !

    Hope this helps
  9. RMDoyon

    RMDoyon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230

    Someone here once posted a response to a similar question.

    His advice: Estimate it like a residential property and then cut the price in half.
    Unfortunately, that has been my experience and that's why I don't pursue commercials.
    Plus I hate picking up cigarette butts, dirty diapers, beer bottles and getting blasted by the wake of semi trucks passing by as I mow.

    Give me a nice quiet residential street and friendly homeowner anyday.
  10. MDMowing

    MDMowing LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 58

    Figure out your costs. Like payroll, insurance, Gas/Oil, Time. etc..
    don't under bid it just to beat a competitor. If you under bid it, then you loose money. If the compitition thinks he can do it cheaper, then let him have it.

    If you mail your bid send it registered, with a return receipt. That way your sure the party to whom you sent the bid to, received the bid.

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