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  • New Member from SW British Columbia, Canada

    After 30 years of working in a heavy duty truck drivetrain business I sold out took a few years off then earlier this year I decided I needed another change.

    I am an outdoor nut so figured I needed a job in the great outdoors and being self employed for most of my life I did not want a boss so earlier this year I started a part time pressure washing yard and lawn care company.

    I have never done this kind of job profesionally before but I have done tons of this kind of work to my own home and the homes of many of my friends.

    I have a lot of the equipment but definitely need a better riding mower and a aerator...

    Anyway I found this site and had to join what I need to know is how to quote townhouse complexes/old folks homes/apartment building etc what is the best way to advertise?

    So hopefully I'll find what I need here...

  • #2
    Welcome to our forum!

    After 30 years of working in a heavy duty truck drivetrain business I sold out took a few years off then earlier this year I decided I needed another change.
    That sounds very interesting! Could you tell us a little how you got involved in that kind of business and what you thought of it? Are there business lessons you learned from it that you find yourself applying to your new business now?

    I need to know is how to quote townhouse complexes/old folks homes/apartment building etc what is the best way to advertise?
    I'd suggest starting with residential customers first. Learn how much time it takes you to perform jobs on residential sized properties. Then it will be easier for you to scale your bidding up to work on larger properties.

    Check out my blog here on getting commercial lawn care customers. There are a lot of articles that cover the topic you are interested in.

    Also, experiment with the lawn care calculators on the forum here and see how they can help you create your bid price.
    - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
    Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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    • #3
      Welcome from the east coast of Canada.
      Where in BC are you ??

      Comment


      • #4
        Welcome from the east coast of Canada.
        Where in BC are you ??
        East of Vancouver

        Comment


        • #5
          Main thing that I can take from my old business is to be honest and trustworthy my clients/customers knew that the job would be done professionally and that we stood behind everything that we did.

          My experiences have taught me how to sell a job I'm an excellent saleman just don;t know the pricing yet...

          Don't know if I am going to take you advise on sticking with residential sounds like I am going to be quoting on a 24 townhouse complex next week got the contact thru net working with a fellow I know he does residential yard care and does not want to take on employee's whereas I already have a hard working and believe it or not trustworthy young fellow looking for full time employment and having so many years hiring/working with my employee's I don't have an issue/fear of hiring someone to work with me.

          I'm also quoting on a small retaining wall/path way for a lady that lives in a 50 unit townhouse complex while I was there this morning she told me she sits on the strata council and that they are going to be looking for a new grounds maintance company to take over when the fellow retires this coming year.

          I asked if I could get a copy of the exisiting contract so I could see what they are paying him she said she thinks she can pull that off ahh for all I know she is saying it so that I give her a better deal on her brick work...

          Also going Monday morning to quote on another yard maintance job oh well maybe some of these contacts will actually turn into jobs soon.

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          • #6
            That is fantastic news! I am sure you will be busy in no time. You really are on top of your networking! Keep us posted on how all these jobs go!

            I don't have an issue/fear of hiring someone to work with me.
            What about hiring staff do you feel is something newer lawn care business owners seem to have such a tough time with? Can you explain what that issue/fear is and what would be the best way to get over it and why they should get over it?
            - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
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            • #7
              Networking is the easy part its the quoting that has my head spinning I know one day it will come easily but now... Oh my...

              On the townhouse complex I have a fellow that used to have a lawn care business and is hoping that I will buy his trailer/equipment stopping by to check the complex out and give me an idea of what he would quote.

              This TH complex is only a few blocks from my old house my old neighbour there that I got a long with fairly well is also a landscaper I am planning on stopping by to say hi and see if he will help me on a price as well I may have to bribe him with a new local area I found to blacktail deer hunt with his son.

              I stopped at a huge local church yesterday that needs a lot of hedging/pressure washing only person I was able to find was the janitor she told me that no one is doing the grounds since the pastor left so she will give my card to the board of directors.

              About employees I think the main fear is the expense = paying wages/benefits especailly when your just starting out and just making ends meet.

              I do not plan on hiring an employee but I will be sub-contracting I will pay their wage and Worksafe BC insurance but they will have to cover looking after paying their own taxes, Canadian pension plan costs etc.

              Second fear is finding someone that I can trust so far I am lucky I had a couple of guys that I totally trust lined up for when I need them.

              I had a guy ask me if I would hire him yesterday fortunately or is that unfortunately I do not have enough work to even think of hiring any one right now especially with the season now winding down.

              After talking with him for appr 10 minutes my spidie senses where sounding off = I knew that there would be issues with this guy that he would be more costly in the long run I saw it would be better to pass up a job now because I don't have a helper than to have to pay back a Worksafe BC insurance claim or something else this guy would do.

              Comment


              • #8
                Bonus just happened I haven't had this opportunity happen before I get to quote a job against another company and the client gave me the other companies quote to beat.

                Turns out I was underpricing my hourly rate by $15.00/hour I was asking $40/hour this well established local company is asking $55/hour.

                So I'm quoting $50.00/hour from now on = well for this kind of job anyway...

                Comment


                • #9
                  That is fantastic! Isn't it amazing how much money you could have been leaving on the table without knowing what the local competition is charging?

                  Did the customer give you the price break down per service or just their hourly rate?

                  Is there anything you could show us as an example?
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                  Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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                  • #10
                    Yes the quote had a price break down for hours and all extras it worked very well for me.

                    I have also now due to a connection from back in 1989 been given the best contractors price list for gravel - mulch etc = it pays to be personable to people.

                    Here is a copy of my quote I removed mine and the customers info.

                    My company name/info etc Date

                    Customers name/address

                    Job Description:

                    Remove gravel, weed cloth,
                    Install upgraded weed cloth and replace gravel
                    5.5 hours $50.00/hour $275.00

                    1 yard additional gravel $39.00

                    20 year weed cloth 4 X 70 $105.00

                    HST 12% $50.28

                    _________________________________________
                    Total: $469.28


                    We recommend a wood retaining wall be installed to retain gravel from spilling over into neighbours yard.

                    5 2 X 10 X 8 used planks $40.00

                    Install 1 hour $50.00

                    HST $10.80
                    ________________________________________
                    Total: $100.80

                    Combined Total $570.08
                    Last edited by Moki; 10-28-2011, 07:15 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Oh nice! Take some before and after pictures when you get the job! I'd love to see this.
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                      • #12
                        The fellow called me today saying that he is still waiting to hear if the strata is going to cover the costs.

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                        • #13
                          if the strata is going to cover the costs
                          What's the strata? I think I missed something.
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                          Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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                          • #14
                            Up here they have what is called strata councils this is a group/board of people that run/make decisions on expenses for their a townhouse/trailer court complexs.

                            Each townhouse/trailer pays monthly fees to the strata to cover the costs of taking care of the grounds.

                            The grounds around a townhouse/trailer are called common ground any costs for work on these areas has to be approved by and is paid for by the strata.

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                            • #15
                              Ah ok, they sound like they would be similar to home owner associations down here.

                              Has anyone heard back from them yet to see if this was a go?
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