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Why can't I win a bid???!!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by burge19, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. burge19

    burge19 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    Ok I live in michgan and like everyone else on this website i am not going to work for free. I can not seem to win a bid. I am pretty sure my prices are not to high. I just submitted a bid to 60 for a little over an acre. it would have taken me about an hour. Then i bid 300 for leaves. Am i really to high? Cause yesterday i went by and seen another company doing the property. What am i doing wrong??? Do you think because i am young they think i can't do the work right? I am 19 and have been doing this for 2 years now. i have pictures that look awesome from some of my work. I dont know what to do. Can anyone help??
  2. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,444

    That very likely was the reason. I've gotten jobs that I know for a fact I was underbid on because the homeowner told me she had "better prices" but she didn't want some kid messing up her lawn or disappearing in a month or two.

    And I have no idea of what your professional "image" is. Makes a difference to many folks.
  3. You've got to sell yourself. Not just on price. Determine what your strengths are and market those.
    For instance, if you have to drive an old ratty truck, promote "low overhead".
    Make yourself stand out. Be persistent as you can without being an irritation.
    You have to be able to promote yourself. If you're going to survive.
    It's the part of this business I like the least.
  4. Sweet Tater

    Sweet Tater LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,123

    Well, this is just my opinion on what might be happening, please dont take offence.
    yes it is possible it could that your age is affecting perception of your ability. Maybe you are a bit too high in cost, in some areas you can get more than others, the $1 a min rule that is repeated on here so much is a nice base line, and I do my best to achieve it, however not every area will support those prices, my area is borde line in that being a bit high priced. Are you insured and lic? that could also be a factor. these are just some Ideas of some things that could be a factor, its difficult for someone else to evaluate your situation but maybe these suggestions well help you think it out
  5. ambersLawnmowing

    ambersLawnmowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    Maybe it is because you got there late in the season,or Didnt SELL it or because you only think your prices arent too high. Either way it sounds like you need to sit down and do some research. Find out what everyone is charging, Market yourself diff. Just because your 19 doesnt mean much, It is hard out there and many people are taking extreme measures to ensure that they have work. They are lowering prices and offering more then the little guys can. I notice this also, but in the estimates i include a free service, or diff. billing then most can offer. Now you said you have pictures of work, are they just pictures or did you spend alittle time with it and print a flyer with your pictures of work and services offered. I would look at pictures as a selling point, If they truely look good then words dont even have to be said to get the account.
  6. grasschopperofchicago

    grasschopperofchicago LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    I am in no way going to state that you are too young to be doing this, I was doing it at that age 23 years ago...however! I think that it could be possible that you will lose work because of it. I would suggest you have polos on with your company name, and have your truck/trailer lettered if you can. I think you have to work harder at a professional appearance than say a 30+ old. Keep hitting it, and you will find it comes easier...It's not you, it's just society and their views!---Stinks...but grind it out!---
  7. GracesLandscaping

    GracesLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    Im not sure about thecost of living in your area but that would be a little high in my area if it would take an hour maybe less. In my area noone hardly ever gets over 50.00 an hour. and no im not trying to bash you at all. as far as the leaves i have not seen the property but on an average lawn here (not one full off 50' tall trees) a rule of thumb is double the cost of cutting so imo the price on leaves was way high. the only jobs doing leaf removal you will get 300 out of here would take you basically all day long to do. Also I guess it could have something to do with your age although i havent had much trouble picking up accounts and im 22 and 6 yrs in business BUT most of my clients were word of mouth. One suggestion you could do is give a customer a reference sheet, or show them pictures of some of your work to prove to them your not just some teenager trying to get some beer money for the weekend and will stop showing up in a few months. Because im sure you know as well as i do, that there are plenty of "younger" people trying to get in this business that dont give a crap what the yard looks like when they are finished. Hope this could help you, it did myself a few times ive had a customer sound kinda skeptical about accepting my bids when i was a little younger, I would just say and if you want some references of lawn ive maintained over the years i would be glad to give you some phone numbers, or if you would like to see some pictures of landscaping work ive done i would be glad to show you. none of them accepted it, but i think it gave them a sense of comfort i guess you could say and they let me take care of their lawn and have used me ever since.
  8. newtostone

    newtostone LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 681

    Letter your truck and trailer, talk to people let them get to know you, let them feel as if you know what your doing. And grow some facial hair
  9. Mimowerman

    Mimowerman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    An acre should take about 20 min.... and goes for about 40.00 around here or less sometimes.... you just have to sell yourself! Building a company takes time ... I've been at it for 10 years and just now are seeing some good numbers. You can't get 60.00 and hour for a 21" mower , that 20 min I have a couple z's going, and then balls to the wall weedwacking, edge, and blow after. Don't get disapointed , its a learning curve as well .
  10. grasschopperofchicago

    grasschopperofchicago LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    hehe! on the facial hair!
    I would do as New & I stated, provide a professional image...most important. I would also consider a website, you can do one through godaddy for next to nothing and they will host it...what I would do is get it up and going and consider posting as many images of your work and a little background about your company, but sound professional...use "We" instead of "I" on site ...and get customer quotes from current clientle posted. I would put on your bid or flier "SEE YOUR SITE FOR SAVINGS!!" or more like...."Visit us on the web @ www.example.com for additional savings" It may be a simple 10% off coupon however it drives them to a place to see what you are all about and view your work, versus carrying a portfolio around.
    Keep in mind, the impact of the site will say a lot about you, as far as ease of navigation and setup, their templates are pretty easy however...just an idea!---as stated earlier....just pump away at em...they fall eventually!

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