whats your method for getting commercial

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ACutAboveKevin, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. ACutAboveKevin

    ACutAboveKevin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    im wanting many more commercial accounts this season, do you just walk in and say you'd like to submit a proposal for their property? or how do you go about it?
  2. Chop Stuff Up

    Chop Stuff Up LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    Walk in or mail a letter requesting a bid notification.
  3. Ga.GrassCutter

    Ga.GrassCutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    Do you guys bid commercial jobs at the same price you would a residential ?
  4. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    How to get commercial work is best discribed as NETWORK NETWORK. Cold calls have a low sucess rate.

    Charges are all diferent. I have one Commecial acount thats $1300 a month. If I lost this account I would have to replace it with say 10 to 12 residentials to gain back my $1300. Say 10 yard takes me 12 or 13 hours (including travel time) per week.
    But the commercial acount takes me 7 or 8 hours per week. So really commecial for me anyway pays better.

    But remenber you will pay taxes on commecial acounts, you will need usually 1 millinos in liability ins. in most cases. Many time you have to wate for your pay longer. But I feel the big acounts come with biger responsbilitys. You mes up and forget to mow or not trim just like the home owner wanted and loose the acount for what ever reason. Your sadened but going to make it throuh the end of the month, and ist no big deal. If anything slips up on a commercila acount and you loose it. Your talking about not making you monthey payments or payroll. And thats what I call a big deal.

    So all in all you can make more money on a commercial acount, but some here say charge the same as residentials. It up to you. But hers some of my justification and expernce for how I look at commecials.
  5. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    Commercial mowing is generally mowing for a business and the people who pay you most likely will be property management(Pm) companies.

    You can charge 3 to 4 times what residential will get you and more depending on if the job has- absentee owners, management having discretionary spending budget, availability of lco's at that time, emergency work etc...

    Much more factors come into bidding commercial than residential.

    Residential mostly want you to be so cheap that you'll pay them to mow...;)
    They want you to bleed and do it for nothing cause it's their hard earned money you're getting.

    Commercial is very different. Know the situation before you bid or you could be shortchanging yourself out of a lot of money.

    Example: I did a snow hauling project for a Pm and some of the snow was dumped on the grass. The hauling truck told his bobcat not to go on the frozen grass because he may damage it. They called me, I went there a few days later with my bobcat, removed it after talking to the board member of the condo. Spoke to Pm, then I moved the snow on the street for the truck to come back and pick it up. Went ok. Final charges- My 2 hours there with one helper on the shovel cost them $600(didn't charge by the hour there), a surcharge of $250 to come back in spring to resod small area(got them to pay in advance) and $400 the trucker charged to come back. They didn't argue the bill, paid in 4 days and Pm issued many more Purchase orders since.
    It does help that I've got lots of equipment to meet the Pm's needs, but if you run a good business, the profits roll in when doing commercial.

    Most successful and very profitable lco's/contractors work for commercial. Not to say that there aren't pitfalls and low paying work, but if you avoid the usual cheap work, you can do good.

    Hope this helps...:canadaflag:
  6. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    Sometimes I wonder if advice given reaches it's target?? No replies??

    I've got to stop talking to myself like this ;)
  7. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,850

    No your prices! We lost one major account for this year - 33 acres. the new guy went in, asked to be put on th ebid list which was being renewed for 07 - 08 and the nice manager guy took me aside and asked if we could do it for this amount (I seen the other guys bid ) I said NO - but thanks for this and that and keep us in mind in case........... New guys bid was 48% less than our bid/price. He is going to die! He has no idea - so moral - no what your bidding - don't just ask and think a 60" Z will tackel any mowing jojb out there.
  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I cold call all of my accounts.

    I look for new properties being built in an area that I'm already servicing and target those, they're not already being serviced, and unless they're tied in with another location fairly close by, probably don't have any real leads on who to hire.

    I'm also in the position with my company, solo op for 18 full years, 2007 will be year 19, where I don't need many more, just one or two, to increase my rates and drop one or two that I don't care to service anymore.

    I've always cold called though, even when I had 140 accounts with 6 guys working.

    Anyways, I charge more for residential than I do for commercial, for the fact that the owners AREN'T around on commercial properties so you can cut corners if you need to, there's ways to make money.

    I'm in no way saying I'm doing commercial properties for $125 / month, my cheapest now is $300 / month for roughly 1 acre of turf.

    I DO have some government work (schools / parks) that I do for a lesser acreage amount, but they're not irrigated either, so a dry summer like last, I can get 5-6-7 weeks of skipped work, where I get paid for, without doing any work.
  9. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,850

    I think there are advantage's of where your located as well. I am rural area - about a town of 3 - 5K every 10 - 15 miles apart. I drive to different towns - my commerical vs res is about the same amount cuz here the other LCO lowballers will kill ya on the commercial account. Although after their on the property and can't service the irrigation, trim/prune bushes trees without costing a load cuz they have to rent all this equipment, or get behind cuz of rain delays sooner or later these commercial accounts will call again. IT amazes me that every year ones I lost 2-3 yrs ago are back to calling us again. Bad thing I lost there rev. the 1st time around, now to jump the price back up and get everyone on the same page take some work.
  10. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Lwn glad you have good luck with cold calls. I did not say it could not be done, May people dont mind doing them. It's just my preference. With 35 years in sales of some type I reserch each one. And my sucess rate is high. You may not check into them as much as I do so you spend less time on each prospect than I do. I have tryed it both ways and just have better luck gettin the better jons by "Networking" to get the work.

    meets1 Im in a small rual comunity as well. It hard to deal with lowballers. I have found that the lowballers will cut me by as much as half in price. But I have found that when I loose the account I tell them when the Lowballer raises his price back up to all me again. Over time I get that call and regain the acount.

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