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  • #31
    The problem is I am not a salesperson whatsoever, and I don't have much experience bidding jobs. This is why I'm wanting to subcontract for someone. The problem I'm having is finding someone to sub for since I don't have a ton of experience. Any one have any good ideas on selling the hard working dependable guy to some of these guys. I'm really interested in commercial properties due to scheduling and sometimes the 52inch exmark is hard to wiggle into residential areas. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Why not develop those skills? Ultimately as a business owner, you really need to be your chief salesman. It's really important. You can do it if you set your mind to it.

    Why hand over a large % of your income to someone else when you can do it yourself?

    What is your view on that?
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    • #32
      subcontracting

      Hey Steve, thanks for the reply. I definitely agree with the fact that I need to be the chief salesman. I guess my problem isnt really talking to people its more finding good prospects cold calling. I feel sub contracting would work well to get a decent income coming in fairly steady while building a good source of verifiable references and experience. I am in no way looking to steal away other peoples contracts through subbing, I have no prob signing a no compete clause or whatever. I'm just really tying to get my feet on the ground and running before the season kicks in here in Iowa. Last season it seemed like I got a late start towards the end of april and was limited to only a few accounts. I guess I could always go the door hanger route and try to build residential references in order to help the commercial side. Sometimes I wonder if I am beating on the wrong door aiming mainly at commercial. It seems residential customers are a tad more loyal. Anyway excuse the long post, let me know what you think.

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      • #33
        Sometimes I wonder if I am beating on the wrong door aiming mainly at commercial. It seems residential customers are a tad more loyal. Anyway excuse the long post, let me know what you think.
        It is always so much more easier, selling to people you know. So, with that being said, why not sell to those you know? Work you immediate social network. Could any of your family or friends hire you? Could they suggest you some referrals? Do any of their friends or family members need lawn care help? Are you talking to these people and handing them business cards?
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        • #34
          you know for you if you can find someone to subcontract for it might be the best thing. I am against the idea of subcontracting your work out as a business model however when I did commercial mowing that is how I did it. For my situation I did not want to compete with my customers for yards so I just took what was give me by my customers. I cut grass all threw college this way and never once bid a yard. But I had a reason not to want to be bidding for jobs, and I did a lot of commercial work.
          I am the owner of www.AllOutdoorParts.com an online mower parts distributor. I am also a Briggs Master Service Technician and Expert Certified Mechanic for Kohler. If my posts helps you please like my facebook page at www.facebook.com/alloutdoorparts

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          • #35
            What is your view on why that option worked better for you than going out and signing up your own residential or commercial customers? Also, how did they work out pay? Did they base it on an hourly fee or a % of the job bid?
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            • #36
              help bidding a job

              Thanks again for the comments. I have been chasing some commercial work of my own and have hit some difficulty bidding a job. I'm bidding on a 22 acre cemetary. Now I know from past experience that I can cover about 2.5 acres per hour, but 22 acres of headstones to go around is not going to happen in 8 hours including trimming. I have never done a cemetary before but I am guessing around 12 hours for the mowing(much of it will have to be done with the 36" walk behind) and 5 hours for trimming. They are looking for this to be done weekly so I would definitely love to get the contract but I'm not wanting to blow them out of the water with a ridiculously high bid. I usually like to aim for 40.00 per hour for commercial bids. Anyone ever mowed cemetaries before that has any ideas on this? Thanks in advance

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              • #37
                What is your view on why that option worked better for you than going out and signing up your own residential or commercial customers? Also, how did they work out pay? Did they base it on an hourly fee or a % of the job bid?
                It worked out well because my father owned a mower dealership that I now own part of. I did not want to directly compete with the same guys I was selling parts and equipment to. However I was in college and my dad did not pay me anything to work for him, one day a couple of commercial cutters came up with this idea to sub me work for the 2 years I wanted it then one of them could retire from his union job and work full time with a full route. I took him up on it bought a used mower that was traded in and a new trimmer edger and blower and went to work.

                I was lucky as the guy bidding the jobs wanted them when I was done and saw me as helping him, he paid me 100% of the money for the jobs and just took them over when I graduated. For us it was a WIN WIN. I did not compete with any customers, and got a good paying job, he got to load up on accounts and prep for quitting his day job.
                I am the owner of www.AllOutdoorParts.com an online mower parts distributor. I am also a Briggs Master Service Technician and Expert Certified Mechanic for Kohler. If my posts helps you please like my facebook page at www.facebook.com/alloutdoorparts

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                • #38
                  Anyone ever mowed cemetaries before that has any ideas on this?
                  There are a couple of posts on here about cemetery bids and after reading them, it may want to make you change your mind. Let us know though.



                  I was lucky as the guy bidding the jobs wanted them when I was done and saw me as helping him, he paid me 100% of the money for the jobs and just took them over when I graduated.
                  That is fantastic! How did he handle managing this? Would he drive by and review your work or did he just leave it all up to you and your best judgment?
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                  • #39
                    Cemetary bids

                    WoW that got me laughin at myself. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the past cemetary posts. BIG awakening! To think I was actually trying to find a way to cram that much work into 17 hours. I still want the contract though, mainly because the other part of the deal is a 20 acre softball and soccer complex( gravy mowing). So I'm gonna have to go over and walk around a bit more and try to get a better feel for it. By the way the softball/soccer complex is on the same property but separate bid. I have experience with the wide open areas like that and figure I can do it in around 8 hours with striping, But that cemetary I have no idea about. Thanks again for the input

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                    • #40
                      Keep us posted on the ball field area.

                      How much time do you think it will take to mow that 20 acre complex?

                      Have you measured out how much sq ft of lawn is actually there, I am guessing it's not 20 acres of all lawn?
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                      • #41
                        cemetery bid

                        Well I have mowed little league fields before and they usually took about 40 minutes give or take. Theres 5 fields here plus a soccer field. The nice part about the fields is they are brand new and have a lime border on both sides of the fence in 6 inches, so that should greatly reduce trimming time. I am headin towards 250.00 per trip for all the fields, still working on the cemetery bid, lol

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                        • #42
                          And you are saying it will take you 40 minutes to mow each of them x 5 fields = about 3 and 1/2 hours.

                          You are looking at $250 per visit ?

                          So would that be $250 / 3.5hrs = around $71 per hour? Or am I missing something else?
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                          • #43
                            cemetery and ball fields

                            Hey sorry bout the delayed response, been pretty busy. I guess I forgot to mention that there are about 4 acres surrounding the ball fields thats added into that. I'm figuring 3.5 hours for the fields and 2.25 for the area around the outside of the fields, around 43 bucks an hour.

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                            • #44
                              Ok that fills in the blanks for me.

                              Do you have an overhead image of the property? I'd love to see it.

                              Keep us posted on how the bid goes!
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