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  • Bid assistance request!

    I have an opportunity to take on a commercial account. Here are the basics

    The area size of 24,000 Sq Ft, Mow, Trim, Blow.
    The contract is for 6 months at twice cut per week.
    In assuming this will be a half year I figure it will be 52 cuts.

    I have a file I created that gave me a bid price of $12,480 but for a signed contract I offer a discount of 5% bringing it to $11,856.

    Any suggestions on a way to prove this amount. I have not bid any larger than 600.00 contract so I am testing the water with this one.

    Also if this bid sounds resonable I am more than willing to share the calculation file. It got me a bid last week and I love it but want to get input before I offer availability.
    Last edited by bkstearns; 03-08-2011, 07:24 PM. Reason: spelling errors

  • #2
    Give us a break down of how you got to that figure.

    Show us each service, the amount of time, and the price for it. Then we will see how it all looks.
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    • #3
      I consider Mow, Trim and Blow as one service. I was asking if anyone would have any reservations about the amount based on their experience. It is a basic mow, trim, blow. No added difficulty. I figured the cost of $0.10 per sq ft. Type of mower is not a consideration since the bigger and better machine is the less time it take so I use the per sq ft calculator. Is it better to charge by the square foot or by the length of time to do the job.

      Again, does anyone have any ideas on how to bid this that might guarantee the bud better. I am new and asking for assistance.

      Thank you!

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      • #4
        At first glance it looks as if myself and one helper could have this job done in under a half hour. Totaling 26hrs that's about $454 per hour. Most likely though you will have more time in edging and trimming than mowing. Our lot is about double that footage. I would bid myself at $55 weekly based on two guys at about 25 minutes each to complete. If I figured it on square footage that puts me at about $.001145 or about 87 square feet for the dime.

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        • #5
          Well, I am guessing I need to learn a little more. You advise charging 55/wk and I am not understanding your figures. I do apologize but I am new and lost.

          Am I on the understanding that you charge a different amount for residential than you do for commercial, also do you lower the charge per foot the larger you go on property size. Please give me some clues on how to do this.

          I bid $50 a visit for 4800 sq ft mow, trim, blow. Roughly $0.01 per sq ft. This bid was accepted. if I use this same calculation it says to charge $240 a visit. I am not sure how much time it will take to complete the visit but I estimate 1.5 hours. The bid is commercial and is located on a military base. I need to submit my bid by 5pm 03/10. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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          • #6
            Well, I am guessing I need to learn a little more. You advise charging 55/wk and I am not understanding your figures. I do apologize but I am new and lost.

            Am I on the understanding that you charge a different amount for residential than you do for commercial, also do you lower the charge per foot the larger you go on property size. Please give me some clues on how to do this.

            I bid $50 a visit for 4800 sq ft mow, trim, blow. Roughly $0.01 per sq ft. This bid was accepted. if I use this same calculation it says to charge $240 a visit. I am not sure how much time it will take to complete the visit but I estimate 1.5 hours. The bid is commercial and is located on a military base. I need to submit my bid by 5pm 03/10. Any help is greatly appreciated.
            My guess is that you would do alright with a $75 - $100 per cut bid. 24000 sq ft is about 155 ft x 155 ft area (50 yards x 50 yards). Is there alot of trimming to do? Any obsticles that need to be mowed around making it take longer? Many variables go into a bid. Without really seeing an overhead shot of the property makes it hard to judge.
            http://www.lunchesruslawncare.com

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            • #7
              I consider Mow, Trim and Blow as one service.
              How long though are you estimating it will take you to perform each service though?
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              • #8
                I didn't mean to advise that your commercial job be $55 per cut. Yes I did give a residential comparison. This was just intended to show that at .10 per foot it would cost about $440 to mow one acre. Though everything is figured by the foot I don't have a set price per foot. I just have an Idea of how long it should take me to mow so many feet, and then you should know about how long it should take you to trim, blow, etc,. so many feet.

                If I have someone give a bid while I'm not there. (I keep measuring wheels in my trucks) I have them measure the square footage for mowing, linear foot for trimming and possible blowing. I then tell them to figure $15-20 for the time to load and unload. Then multiply our square footage by $.001125. Linear feet of edging and possible blowing by .02. Then figure in obstructions and other added difficulties, he have our price list for hedging and other jobs to refer back to.

                Commercial properties almost always have added difficulties and you're not mulching or are you if they have any mulched beds you would want to be sure to figure that in there. Like Jymie advised $100 looks good for the information you've provided. I recommend bidding on time until you find another pricing structure that scales up and down nicely without a lot of extra thought in how to adjust it. I use my footage prices mostly for the purpose of breaking down a bid for someone to see what I am charging them for instead of telling them I think it should take me .75 labor hours.
                Last edited by Fisher; 03-10-2011, 07:57 AM.

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                • #9
                  If I have someone give a bid while I'm not there. (I keep measuring wheels in my trucks) I have them measure the square footage for mowing, linear foot for trimming and possible blowing. I then tell them to figure $15-20 for the time to load and unload. Then multiply our square footage by $.001125. Linear feet of edging and possible blowing by .02. Then figure in obstructions and other added difficulties, he have our price list for hedging and other jobs to refer back to.
                  How have you found this process to work for you? Do you find you need to give your employees any additional training when it comes to bidding?

                  Have you had any disaster situations where they bid on something that was way low an you had to fix it? Have there been any big learning experiences so far as you have allowed others to bid for you?
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                  • #10
                    I had my partner/son go over this morning to get the measurements with the measuring wheel. I did bid the job at 0.01 per sq ft. The property is flat 25,090 sq ft. I bid $11,200 for six month payable at $1,870 per month. The land is flat, there is trimming on the sidewalks and drive but they are limited. I am also bidding in this a pressure washing job for $1,200.

                    I really appreciate the input and am hoping I get the bid. I also give a discount with signed contract.

                    I have only two mower currently that are 21 inch. If I get this contract I will be getting a better mower. (Rider or ZTR)

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                    • #11
                      Steve, there really is only one guy that I trust to even attempt a bid for me. I've went over my measuring methods with him a few times and he has watched me write up enough bids that I trust him as long as he sticks with the cheat sheet I have. I sometimes have to go by the prices I've written as well as there are some jobs that I would lose my consistency in pricing on if I didn't. I haven't ever had a problem with this process for me. On the other hand I have advised him to only give an approximate price and no actual bid If he had any doubts or concerns on whether something was right and even tell the homeowner a slightly higher price. (He's probably heard me mention a couple of times as well after the fact that I should have taken so and so into consideration) Then after he's passed all the info onto me I can go back and give an actual written bid If he hadn't already lower the price maybe $10 (he has yet to error with a price to low).

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                      • #12
                        Have you ever run into a situation where you had to talk to the customer and give them a price that was a little higher than what they were initially told? What is your thoughts on the best way to deal with that?
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                        • #13
                          I haven't ran into that problem just yet. If I ever do I'll just have to point out whatever what may have been overlooked whether it was an access issue or materials pricing or mix up (possibly pricing mulch when the customer wants pine straw).

                          I did give a quote yesterday where the homeowner was referred to me by their builder. Turned out I was 10% higher than the previous LSO. The builder for whatever reason had told the homeowner I would be able to match the other guys price. When the customer pointed the price difference out, I reminded him he was looking to replace the other guy for a reason and it wasn't the price.

                          I will be doing a stamped concrete patio and hopefully have a maintenance agreement signed by the time I'm finished with it next week.

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                          • #14
                            That is fantastic! Take pictures!

                            Did the customer tell you why they wanted the previous company replaced? How did that even come up?

                            That was a very good way to win your bid! Nice work!
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                            • #15
                              He didn't tell me why he wanted him replaced. It was brought up because of a driveway extension (pea gravel concrete) he had recently added and he wanted it sealed to match the rest of the drive. I told him that I couldn't match the rest of the drive as I hadn't done that bad of a sealing job in over eight years and then apologized for any offense if he had sealed it himself. He then told me that his landscaper had sealed the driveway. I told him I'd do the extension for $175 that's $.50 per square foot (i here some guys from other states can get $1.50 but here top dollar is about $.50) He then told me the last guy had done the whole driveway, sidewalk, patio, for only $500. (that was I figured no more than $.35 per sq ft) That's when I said I understand why he's replacing him now, ( though I don't think it had anything to do with the drive way) but if he really wanted it to match he may want to hire the previous guy to seal it for him..

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