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Where have all the bids gone?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by kklein, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. kklein

    kklein LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Hello Everyone,

    I am a new guy with a question about bids. I have sent out over 250 letters to companies I have targeted as potential customers. These letters are proposals to bid and are very professional and concise, and include a business card. Yet, I have yet to hear anything!

    Is it simply a little too early in the season? I have heard that a lot of companies wait until the last minute to make a decision and call.

    I have experience in the lawn care business. The is my 4th year in the business doing residential and commercial, but my first year to go solo. I want to concentrate on commercial - that's why I'm doing this "campaign"

    Any ideas? I am preparing to call each business, but I am waiting to read and heed any of your recommendations first.

    I need a good excuse to buy a 52" Hustler Mini-Z! (lololo)

    Thanks a lot!

    Ken Klein
    Have Mower Will Travel

    Snapper Commercial 21" Trim Mower
    Toro 21" Recycler
    Shindaiwa String Trimmer
    Stihl 65 Blower
    Sears Craftsman Blower
  2. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,116

    I think the problem is this...
    You are asking for permission to bid the job, while others are sending bids. They have stacks of bids on their desk already, why call for another one. We send a standard bid for lawn maintenance and if that figure catches the eye, then they will inquire for other services.
  3. ncls

    ncls LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    In our area, most large commercials pick their landscaper right after New Years.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    You don't want commercial contracts with less than 4 years experience, lowball one by mistake and you'll take a loss in the thousands, not even counting the fact that it's lowest bidder vs. some pretty lean competitors. It really would be best to wait a few years, or better yet wait for a small contract to come your way to get your feet wet, would be my advice.

    Go put out flyers and think more along the line of at least 2,500, that'll get the phone started but I'm not getting but a trickle right now, it's still about a week early, I think.

    I don't know, it says in your profile you have 4 years in, but the nature of the question and the section of the forum throws me off, I don't want to change this but if I am wrong then sorry.
  5. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    You need to send your letter and business card out every quarter to keep your name in front of them and if you sure about the property size send them an estimate for lawn care. Most commercial accounts choose a company either in the fall before the season ends or early in the year JAN or FEB so keeping your name in front of them all the time is a good way to make sure you don't miss out.
  6. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,512

    Most tend to go with the lower bidder and if they like the lco they will stick with them no matter how many companies send in bids or there cards
  7. kklein

    kklein LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for all the help. I think Metro Lawn hit the nail on the head in stating that I should have been giving estimates instead of asking to give estimates. At the time, I was driving past the properties and getting the addresses; but not venturing onto company property, understandably.

    I understand about putting in the contracts early; in fact, I have been working on these since winter of last year. But again, only as proposals for bid.

    But I do think that a lot of companies wait until the last minute, including the big name companies..........................

    However, things are starting to work out. As of today, two of the companies I sent information to have contacted me and I am placing bids. Additionally, as a means of damage control, I will call the other companies as an extra "ping" to try to get their business.

    I've been lucky in getting all my customers from last year, including a couple of nationally recognized food and auto store chains.

    Again, Thanks for all your assistance!

    Ken Klein
    Have Mower Will Travel
    21" Snapper Commercial Trim Mower
    21" Toro Recycler
    Shindawai String Trimmer
    Stihl BG 65 Blower
    Sears Craftsman Blower

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