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  • Commercial Bidding

    I am bidding on my first big commercial job. It's a state funded day care with a total of 32 properties. They all vary in size with some being small enough that they will only need trimming around playground equipment, etc. and others will probably take a 2 man crew 30 - 45 minutes or to mow, trim and clean up. My biggest concern is that the 32 properties are spread out over 8 counties with drive times between 30 minutes - almost 2 hours one way. Given the amount of locations I was thinking of meeting in the middle on pricing with an overall charge of say $40 each which would be a total of $37,800 for service 3 times a month over the 9 months they are requesting. Does this sound close or am I way off?

  • #2
    Multiply your hourly rate by the number of hours your expecting the entire route to take .Add in a little for B.S. as certainly your going to have to clean up toys and crap like that .Submit bid .

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    • #3
      Be careful with state contracts. You can be out of business real fast. Make sure you read the contract carefully, and then take it to a lawyer before signing. Remember state's don't pay on a timely fashion. Have friends that have gone out of business because state owed them 1.5 millon. Be real careful.
      Some states have no sue clauses

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      • #4
        The contract has a specific time for billing as well as a specific date that payment is due. And I was wrong. It's actually a federal program that is operated by the individual counties. I guess my biggest concern started when I looked at the total estimate of around $40k after being used to residential accounts of maybe $2k a year.

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        • #5
          Have you broken each property down and figured how much you would charge per property based on the sqft and amount of time it would take to perform each job?

          How much drive time are you looking at per week for all of them?

          How many of them would you take on if they had individually called you to bid based on their location?
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          • #6
            How much drive time are you looking at per week for all of them?

            How many of them would you take on if they had individually called you to bid based on their location?
            That seems to be the kicker with this bid. It seems like its all small accounts but spread out all over. I would make sure that gas and time is figured in the price because that could eat profits quick.
            Last edited by SECTLANDSCAPING; 02-01-2013, 02:00 PM.

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            • #7
              I don't want to discourage you, but of the few I have done, only a few have been real profitable. I have never lost money on any of them. Things to keep in mind. Most are prevailing wage of county they are in. Must keep detailed records( I mean detailed ) for 10 years. Hire someone to do your books. Everything must be OSHA and EPA compliant. Made us put chain guards on all discharge openings. Make sure all fuel is in proper colored cans.Got fined 1500.00 for that mistake. Federal goverment by law has to have all contracted money before contract is awarded. You will get paid within about 6 weeks at max.They sometimes drag their feet at the last payment. If I bid these I would figure labor at prevailing wage, what new equipment cost for that job, divide by lifetime hours of equipment ,then add 30-4o %. Also remember you will have to mow when no one is there. ( overtime? ).Good luck
              Last edited by RoughCut; 02-01-2013, 02:20 PM.

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              • #8
                Thanks for all the input!! Lots of good stuff!! With a few of these properties close to 90 miles one way I've grouped them together each day and it looks like just mileage alone will be around 600 miles per week. Figuring on 4 times each month (trying to average out for weather and the fact there are 5 weeks in some months) At .55 per mile gas alone will run around 10 grand for the 8 months they want service. At $45 per property (32 properties) per time that's $1440 a week or 5,760 a month without gas. So both of these for 8 months along with $2,000 figured in for misc. comes to right at $58,000 for the season. Sound about right?

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                • #9
                  From what you are telling us, I can follow along with what you are saying. That is a lot of driving and you will need to account for wear and tear on your vehicle too.

                  Keep us posted on how all this goes and what you decide to do.
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                  • #10
                    Will do. I submitted the bid today. Looks like there were 5 or 6 others from what I could tell. Should know something in a week or so.

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                    • #11
                      Make sure all fuel is in proper colored cans.Got fined 1500.00 for that mistake.
                      What's the back story to that? Yikes I can't imagine getting fined that much for something that seems so minor.
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                      • #12
                        wanting to know how that went? good luck, hope you got the job

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                        • #13
                          I am bidding on my first big commercial job. It's a state funded day care with a total of 32 properties. They all vary in size with some being small enough that they will only need trimming around playground equipment, etc. and others will probably take a 2 man crew 30 - 45 minutes or to mow, trim and clean up. My biggest concern is that the 32 properties are spread out over 8 counties with drive times between 30 minutes - almost 2 hours one way. Given the amount of locations I was thinking of meeting in the middle on pricing with an overall charge of say $40 each which would be a total of $37,800 for service 3 times a month over the 9 months they are requesting. Does this sound close or am I way off?

                          ask when they pay their invoices because most states are 60 to 90 days and i have done work for my state in the past and it took 120 days to get paid.

                          if you are established and you you can cover expenses and wait for the money and have other work to do that keeps you afloat then go for it.
                          if you are a small guy thinking this is the break you been waiting for it will most likely be is your demise.

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                          • #14
                            oops, i guess i should have looked at the date of the original post. sorry.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for all the input. I did not win the bid. I was told that they awarded it to the company who had it last year and the guy actually said he doesn't know how the company is making any money. I figured gas, time, payroll, etc. and am not interested in working for free so it's all good.

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