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When should I start bidding on those commercial accounts?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TheKingNJ, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. TheKingNJ

    TheKingNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 781

    Hey guys,
    I'm really looking to expand my business a whole lot next season. I really want to get into commercial. So when should i start gettin my bids in on commercial accouts. I live in Northern New jersey our season usally runs from april till the end of oct.

    Also what do you guys accually do with bidding, just write up a contract put a nice cover letter to the managment on it, drop it off, and hope they sign it?

  2. bettergrass

    bettergrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 242

    i have a portfolio that i keep that has a lot of pics in it and a portfolio that i include in all of my bids. and if they call me back to discuss it i show them the more en depth one

    as far as when....call the property manager or whoever does this for the company and ask them when they are accepting bids. most ive noticed start to accept in january or early febuary in my area.
  3. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,502

    Most start looking in the new year, ie) Jan'05.. I have a meeting wioth one of the biggest property management in Janurary, if I get in with these guys I will expand to 4 trucks immediately..
  4. AEW

    AEW LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    What I have been doing is simply walking in and talking with whoever handles grounds management. Talk to them and sell yourself basically...services offered and equipment etc.. I wont tell them a price upfront until after I ask them to let me look around first. Then I give my quote after taking that time to do so. Or at least if I do already have a price in mind I still take the time to look around first.

    I think this approach is more personal and easier to get the job by doing so. Of course I am professional at all times. I tell them a quote then if they want one in handwriting or typed I will do that as well. Some places even send the quotes to a regional manager.

    With timing...the way I have been doing it is talk to these companies you may be interested in sometime late fall or even early winter. Usually they don't really want to deal with their yard again until a few weeks before mowing season begins again. So mid to late January I see them again and try and get things going. I then show them my contract and let them decide...and hardly ever do I change my price. That will kill you sometimes.
  5. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,502

    What do you guys bring with you when you have a meeting with the property managers? DO you guys bring your commercial bid sheet, workers comp sheet, insurance papers, services offered and other stuff to entice them?
  6. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,439

    does anyone have a sample of a commercial bid sheet they could share with us? thanks

  7. TheKingNJ

    TheKingNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 781

    How do you guys accually meet the property managers? What do you do with smaller companies who i'm sure do not have property managers? I don't really feel like i would be taken seriously only being 20.
    Sorry for so many questions guys i will be olnly starting my 3rd season next year and i'm eager to learn how to get into the commercial business.
  8. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,502

    Call the property manager and ask them directly, when you can meet with them..

    Its okay, you're in your 3rd season but I am in my 2nd season..
  9. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 997

    Before you can bid you must know what these people expect. Most of the time they have Bid Specifications available that can be photo copied and given to you. Take that home, work up a proposal, and come back. This can even be done over the phone and faxed to you. If they won’t do it over the phone, they are tight with their present LCO and it would be a waste of your time to go any further.

    If they don’t have Bid Specifications, I just ask for a copy of their last contract. Sometimes they give the whole thing to me, and sometimes they white-out the price. Either way you need to know what is expected of you so you can bid apples to apples.

    I also like to ask if they had any thing they really liked about their present LCO, and anything they really didn’t like. If the present LCO is charging less than what you propose but they are not happy with some aspect of their service, you know what to talk about. You have to know what the issues are so you can concentrate on them when you come back and make your proposal.

    P.S. If you are rejected when you come back with your proposal, ask in a nice way if they wouldn't mind telling you exactly why they rejected my bid... was my price too high?... do you need more referrals? I usually do this as I am walking out the door so it doesn't look like I'm trying to turn it around. I say, "Just so I can learn from my mistakes, and if you don't mind, can you please tell me where I went wrong? This way I can do better with the next prospect." What I'm really doing is probing and attempting to close once again, only in a subtle way.
  10. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,502

    yes and walk through the property with them..

    IF they dont have a bid sheet for you, make one up yourself or find one on this site and then you can tailior it to your needs.

    Tell them a bit about yourself and the company, ie) schooling, how long you been doing this, other commercial accounts you have,etc..

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