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Steve
06-28-2008, 07:06 AM
Joe wrote me I just am starting my own business in landscaping and lawn care and I was just wondering if you had any information on how you bid on jobs? What's the best way to do it, do you try and beat another persons price and their offerings, or do you stay solid in what you believe the price should be for what you provide?

You had a lot of good points in the video on your main page, it really helped me out. Also, another question I had was, when you start your business do you buy insurance for your whole crew or just for yourself and then do the people working for you have their own insurance? How does that work?

Hi Joe,

To learn how to bid jobs, I would say check out the bid job section and read some of the post. There is a lot of information in there and then if you have further questions, please ask.

As far as insurance goes, you would want to buy it for your company which would cover your employees.

Check out this post
16 most common insurance questions answered
http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=53

Does that help so far?

Also, can you tell us a little about what got you to start your lawn care business?

Totally Green
06-30-2008, 12:22 PM
Hey Joe,
I'm probably as new at lawn care as you are but I do have some years of business experience, so here's my 2 cents on bidding jobs. Except for gauging our local market, we pay very little attention to what others charge and we find that most of our clients do the same. In my opinion, trying to undercut your competition will get you broke. Trying to match the "big boys" will do the same. The first thing we did was to set a minimum of $40.00 for a basic mow, trim, edge and blow (this was $5 higher than the going rate). We only have 2 out of 30 properties that are less. These are $35.00 and we edge and trim only. Most people will not shop around if your price is reasonable and people who already have an LCO will rarely change only because you're offering a lower price. Here is my philosophy. When starting out, your price should be: 1) competitive in your local market; 2) fair to the customer and; 3) profitable for your company. Combine these with excellent service and you will get and keep customers. Hope this helps and best of luck.

Steve
06-30-2008, 12:31 PM
Gary,

Thanks for the insight! What % of bids would you suggest a lawn care operator try to land?

Where is the sweet spot so they know they are not charging too much or too little?

Totally Green
06-30-2008, 01:44 PM
Good Morning Steve,
Well, for me, the target is 100%. Of course that will never happen but why not set your sites high. Since we started in May we have landed all except three of the calls we received. I'm not totally sure why we've done so well. Part of the reason may be that other LCO's can't take new customers. If I were to suddenly stop getting new customers after bidding, the first thing I would have to ask myself is whether or not I was bidding too high. We try to bid in the $60 to $70 per hour range. We also usually bid the first service high to cover the extra time spent to get the lawn to our standards. I say don't build your company on price. Build it on providing superior work and customer service.

Steve
06-30-2008, 01:51 PM
It's a fascinating topic. I wish more member would jump in here but if you get 100% of the jobs you bid on, is it possible you could be charging more and not know it?

Totally Green
06-30-2008, 03:05 PM
Wow. That's a great question. I'll have to think about that one a little. My son-in-law wants to bid more than the normal "$1 a minute" rule of thumb but I've been reluctant to do that. The way I see it, if we're getting near 100% of our bids, we're either doing something right or we're bidding low. From our research in the area, we are right on or slightly above par. We only have 2 properties that we know were slightly under bid. More often than not, we are making more than $60 per hour (actual work time). I really don't know if we want to push for more until we have reached some of our goals and better established our reputation. I can see asking a premium price once we get in a position where it's not so important that we take on new customers. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Little's
07-01-2008, 01:49 AM
I dont try to beat other peoples bids. I would rather NOT know what someone else is bidding, cause it just screws me up trying to figure out what to charge, especially on the larger jobs. I bid based on what I would like to get paid to do it, and if I underbid (because of someone elses lower bid) then I end up making less than I want and it just creates problems for me.

Hope that makes sense.

Just bid what you feel comfortable, and you'll be fine (usually). :)

Steve
07-01-2008, 02:44 AM
Brandon,

Is there a sweet spot you try to hit where you get X% of jobs you bid on?

I really don't know if we want to push for more until we have reached some of our goals and better established our reputation. I can see asking a premium price once we get in a position where it's not so important that we take on new customers. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I agree with you on this. Fill up your schedule and then you can replace customers with better paying customers as you go.

Totally Green
07-01-2008, 08:47 AM
I was just curious. Where's Joe? His question started this discussion but we haven't heard from him.