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Sample of my bid I put in this morning?

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  • #31
    There is something to do. I can walk around, make sure loose branches are off the lawn, and at the very least I can blow off the walkways, driveway, etc.

    I noticed some branches poking through a fence from a neighbors bush, so I trimmed those. Some blackberries were starting to grow, so I cut them back.

    I would rather wast a few bucks in gas doing nothing, then sitting at home and have the customer cancel because they don't think the lawn needs it.

    It's about perception. I've arrived on holidays and days where the grass has frosted over. Now granted, I live in an area where there is now snow, and very little frost.

    I just feel that with the money they are giving me, even in the winter months, I would rather them think I was busy, then not show up and loose the account.

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    • #32
      I think that is brilliant!

      When you are visiting the customer's property every month through out the year, does it make it a lot easier to get them to resign with you the following year? How do you normally handle getting customers to renew their contract?
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      • #33
        I haven't really been on the board lately, but I saw this and just had to reply. Forgive me, but it's going to be long

        Obviously you are going to make mistakes starting off, especially with underbidding yourself. You will get better.

        I managed to get a measuring wheel from a customer who was moving, and he traded me a bunch of lawn equipment for the last 2 weeks of service (including the wheel). I have used that a lot!

        My first thought about your bids was why are you only mowing every other week? I have customers that I visit weekly, even in the winter. I have in our agreement that during the winter service is only every other week, but I still show up anyways. I figure if I was paying someone what they pay me, I want them to at least show up.

        My second thought, your price is way too low. But you also say (in the fine print) that any products are going to cost more. As a business owner, and consumer, I don't want hidden costs.

        I give my customer 1 rate, and that includes everything (mowing, blowing, fertilizer, weed spraying, etc). It's a hassle for a customer to budget in $85 a month for lawn service to be hit with an extra $30 for fertilizer, and $100 for mulch. Screw that, just give me one price.

        Going back to something you said before about other companies not doing as good of a job. I feel I do a good job, and sure, some days I slack a little. But I have had customer ask me about their lawn, because "there is some moss over here that they aren't taking care of...". I tell them that they should contact the company and just express their concerns about the moss. They might not have noticed it, or they are waiting till a certain time to deal with all of it at once. I don't steal customers. I consider other companies as associates, not competition, and certainly not someone to steal from.

        I've handed jobs to other companies, either because it's out of my area, or over my head.

        Also, about price, why did you bid a clean-up at only $35?! You said you expected it to only take 2 hours...$17.5 an hour for a company is nothing. If your company is making that much per man hour, you are paying yourself less then $6/hr.

        I think I will stop at all that...
        Well after I read this it is very embarrassing. This was my first bid I had ever put in and only my 3rd time visiting a customer. I was VERY new at this and after I read over everything and knowing what I know only less than a month later I would have completely changed it. I now only quote prices that include everything and don't separate prices from the actual products. Plus I way underestimated my services for all the packages. Plus $35 for the clean-up was ridiculous. Especially, when it took me longer than 2 hours. I would have charged at least $100 if I were to do it all over again.

        My ultimate plan is to only offer weekly services. Unfortunately, at this time I'm really taking everything unless it is a cheap price. I will not mow a lawn under $30 no matter how small. I do QUALITY work and I deserve to be paid. I take great pride in what I do and go over and beyond what the mow and go peeps do. Once I get more customers I will start dropping the customers that want once every 3 weeks, 2 weeks, etc... and only keep the customers that want weekly service.

        I really appreciate the feedback!

        Matt

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        • #34
          I wouldn't be embarrassed. You are starting a business. That, in and off itself, is an accomplishment many envy.

          I used to tell people, in a hush, that I mow lawns. Then recently a friend of mine told someone "Oh, he is self-employed. He's a landscaper". And I thought, you know what, I am self-employed!

          I don't clock in, I don't report for work. I am my own boss. So what, I mow lawns, I work for me.

          So don't be embarrassed because you didn't know. You are doing something, you're becoming your own boss. I used to buy my stuff from The Home Depot, then I found a local supply store that sells better product for HALF the price. It's just a learning curve.

          So ya, I mow lawns. But I mow 'em damn good! :-)

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          • #35
            I think i have some good points here maybe, i have not read all replies yet though i am sure i will have time to edit them, as i wanted like steve say's to: Act when The Time is Upon Us!


            Ok first of all with his proposals, he could have a seperate copy, for on site work, with instead of prices set in ink, ________: a blank to the emmediate right of page, or to the right most index. This way you can sub total and total at the rightmost index also.
            These were her questions and
            my thoughts
            on your responses below:

            ___________________________

            In case we need to have more mowing needed during growing season(April to September?), how much extra cost for the service?

            Additional mowing services are $25. This includes mowing, trimming and blowing. For example, if you chose the Premium Package and needed an extra lawn mowing in between regular services, then I would invoice you the $85 standard charge, plus $25 for each additional mowing.

            My thoughts on this are what about like an automobile guy trys to sell you extended warranty? We could sell, like an extended "insert appropriate term here" Warranty?! What do you guys think?

            - How much approximate cost for mulch and compost for the material?

            Natures Lawn is my thought here, as they have sprayable liquid, and a liquid fertilizer with the "flood tips" is the best way of covering area i believe.

            How ever, the products are a bit more expensive, check them out at www.natureslawn.com


            Also, here with my trailer i can get 3ish yards with a large single axe 7x12, and i just charge fuel and frieght like the companys do, but my rate for fuel and frieght is less if not its Going to have to be frieghted.., and we can do a 100 sq foot bed 3 inches thick with 1 yard of with 1 yrd of mulch always remember +10% for fluxuation of loss/waste/unevenspots..etc.

            Compost would be approximately $100 for one application plus the $70 delivery charge from Natural Gardener. We would apply approximately 1/3 - 1/2 of an inch of compost throughout your whole lawn.

            - What about aeration? How much for that?

            Cost would be $25 for aeration. It's good to aerate the lawn at least a day before compost is applied.

            I dont know how you are aerating for 25$ but maybe its a medifore. If not please, inform me, lol


            _______________________

            Any feedback would be appreciated. By the way she just emailed me and wanted me to go out and do the fall clean-up. She didn't say anything about the bid though. I'm afraid I might not get it, but either way I learned alot.

            I wasn't able to help with all subjects atm, but maybe somone can drop me some literature on the subject of "composting yards" I saw the cool podcast/or video of some guys doing it but im not familiar with its process to completion, or points of sell.

            Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
            Last edited by LawnMoore; 02-13-2011, 10:29 PM.
            (352)682-3094 Suwannee River, Florida 32680

            Visit my site, http://www.lawnmoore.com, Thanks!

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            • #36
              Well after I read this it is very embarrassing. This was my first bid I had ever put in and only my 3rd time visiting a customer. I was VERY new at this and after I read over everything and knowing what I know only less than a month later I would have completely changed it.
              As newer members are reading this, could you tell us a little more about how you would have completely changed it?
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              • #37
                As newer members are reading this, could you tell us a little more about how you would have completely changed it?
                These are the things I would have changed:
                • Charged more for fall clean-up
                  • Charged more for aeration
                    • Wouldn't have given better price for extra mowings
                      • Would have included price for all the services and products


                Matt

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