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  • #16
    Quote[/b] ]I am not sure I would pass on this one. Opportunities like this don't come very often. Take a risk and go for it (or Gopher it&#33 You will never know if it is something that may make you a lot of money, or not. Say you pass, you will always wonder "what if I bidded and got that huge job?" But if you go for it, then at least you could say "it worked out awesome" or "it didn't work out, but I tried". The richest people are rich because they took those risks!
    I don't want to come out as if I am promoting go for broke when I say 'Gopher it.'

    I have had plenty of friends who shot for the moon on a single venture, went bankrupt and swore off business forever.

    That doesn't do any of us any good.

    Scaling up, building up infrastructure, step by step. Is a better way. You can catch even Donald Trump at times saying 'don't bet the ranch.' He says that because he has had friends that bit off more than they can chew and couldn't make payments on something because they didn't have the infrastructure to handle it.

    I want you all to be in business for a long long time. It is rough getting started the first few years but you can make it through that time with a lot of base hits. Step by step, build your business and scale it up. Allow yourself time to mess things up. To figure out what went wrong and survive that mess up to live another day and to grow another day.

    This thing we call business is a life time adventure, let's enjoy the journey.
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    • #17
      Why are you guys so sure it will fail? Can you be a little more negative?
      Think about this.
      Lets say the account would pay $10,000 per month. You make an agreement with the owner to pay 3 months up front with the remaining 9 months to be held by an escrow company to be released on a monthly basis for the remaining 9 months.
      She gets the $30,000 up front to pay for the necessary equipment, some employees (30-60 employees is not necessary), etc. And she is guaranteed to continue getting paid monthly for the next 9 months.
      Agreements like this are not unusual in situations such as this. I think it can be done if you use your head, a lot of common sense, and some positive support.
      Northern California

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      • #18
        $10,000 per month would not cover her expense. Lets do some simple math. Is $10,000 just number you threw out,why you say that? Just shot one out? Lets say she needs 12 workers. Now they get say 9 hr. x that by 8 day.that is 72.00. per day x that by 6 days week, that is 432. week per person. NOW thats not say CREW Leader get paid more. now x that by the 12 employs comes to 5,184 dollars week. X that x 4 weeks 20,736 month. Now you say why she need 12 people. Did you see size that place? Just keep up that would min she need. NOW on top all that 12 people pay roll taxs workmans comp.

        Shall I say anymore?

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        • #19
          Oh BTW not to forget, All the headaches that come with a major project like this, Home owners bitching , didnt do this did this wrong. Just will be one big pain in the ***.

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          • #20
            That wasn't my point. The point is she can make sure the money is there by using an escrow service to hold the money. You said- what if they dont pay, she'll go bankrupt-. There are ways to avoid that.
            Of course she would have to take a close look at the properties to get a clear picture of the work needed and employees needed. No one, including myself can bid a job like this accurately using google earth. 10,000 was just a number, just like you guessing 30-60 employees.
            Northern California

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            • #21
              Quote[/b] (Little's @ Oct. 26 2007,12:57)]That wasn't my point. The point is she can make sure the money is there by using an escrow service to hold the money. You said- what if they dont pay, she'll go bankrupt-. There are ways to avoid that.
              Of course she would have to take a close look at the properties to get a clear picture of the work needed and employees needed. No one, including myself can bid a job like this accurately using google earth. 10,000 was just a number, just like you guessing 30-60 employees.
              Did you read that post ? I never said 30 to 60 employe's


              I said """""I see a problem right off. One are you Financially stable enough to buy about 7 more mowers? Ready to hire about 10 to 12 more employs? Do you have the capital to operate for 30 to 60 days before you get paid? Some commercial accounts do not pay for 30 to 60 days.

              30 to 60 days to get paid

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              • #22
                I think it can be done. I have faith in her that she could do it.
                Have you ever heard of an escrow account before? Just curious.
                Oh yea, I am done.



                Northern California

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                • #23
                  Quote[/b] (Little's @ Oct. 26 2007,1:22)]I think it can be done. I have faith in her that she could do it.
                  Have you ever heard of an escrow account before? Just curious.
                  Oh yea, I am done.
                  Yes I am very aware of what a escrow account is.

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                  • #24
                    First, let me say that I don't think we need to be bashing each other here. I'm sensing a little hostility... let's calm down a bit, please?

                    I would have to say jump on it. *If you can do the whole thing yourself and not leave out any other clients that you already have, that is. *If you can see it in your power to do it and maintain your sanity, then by all means, GOPHER IT! *...of course, you may have to turn down a few new clients for a while, but I think it will be worth it in the long run. *Build your capital from this job. *Hire a couple of people to do the weed eating and the edging. *Then get a few more blowers so you can all blow... then a few more mowers... a couple more weed eaters and edgers... hire a few more people... if this is going to be a year-round contract that you can keep from year to year, then you'll grow your business FAST! *After you've gotten the routine down pat, you can leave your new "crews" to do the job while you focus on the office work and some more new clients. *Then, just repeat the process... hire a few more, buy a few more pieces of equipment. *Before you know it (and I think within a couple of years) you could have 5-6 crews and be making more money than you ever thought possible. *

                    STAY POSITIVE. *If you can find a way, by all means, do it. *Even if it means paying a sub-contractor for a few months to help until you can get some people hired.


                    ON THE OTHER HAND...

                    Steve is right, too.... this could be one of those contracts that you keep for a year, then they pull the plug. So be careful. I would say DEFINATELY sit down and talk with the "Project Manager" and see what their longterm goals are. Do they want to stay with one company, or will they go with the LOWBALLERS?

                    Be safe about it. Use your instincts, but don't just let this one go without giving it careful consideration.

                    Just my thoughts...



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                    • #25
                      I am happy to see that there is such a good debate on this topic. This has brought out a lot of good information to consider both ways.

                      The more information and view points we have on here, the more Teresa will have to help her formulate her opinion.

                      It's important to remember we can disagree on a topic and still keep it all friendly
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                      • #26
                        You have to go for somthing that big unless you plan on being just a small company. Take the risk I work in the nc area and you need to make the jump to large company or someone eles will

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                        • #27
                          Easy for you people to tell someone go out buy a bunch of equipment and go in debt. OVER one MAJOR account. That is not very good business sense. YES its ok to expand once you have the capital and your business already doing well. I tell from alot your comments you jump right off the bridge just get that blower that fell from railing, and kill your selfs. Its ok to grow, Im not saying not to. BUT look at the real picture, Has not been in business that many years, There is alot of things can happen with a account like that. There is reason WHY they want new LCO, There always 2 SIDES to a story. It just seems to much of a risk to me. NOT something a small company would want to try. Listen you have to crawl before you walk...


                          Rodman
                          PNP

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                          • #28
                            I've always been a big believer in controlled growth. *However, I have to say that I'm with Little's on this one. *

                            I've not even begun to put pencil to paper on this as far as calculating an estimate. *So, I won't even get into giving out random numbers. *

                            When you bid jobs this big you do it completely differently than with residential jobs or medium sized contracts. *You don't just give them a monthly rate then hope they pay. *

                            First off, you are completely within your rights to demand credit checks and a DNB on the company. *Have you ever bid jobs where you have to deposit a surety bond? *I've had plenty of bids where I had to bring 25% of the first year's expected receipts in the form of a cashier's check to the bid opening. * If I had quit the contract they would have kept the surety bond. *It takes guts to bid contracts like that but that's where the serious money is.

                            You can make your own rules before you bid. *Ask THEM (similar to Little's advice) to post a surety bond into an escrow account. *IF the company goes bankrupt, you have a buffer of money due you. *BUT, they won't go bankrupt because you are going to do hard credit checks before you bid.

                            Yes, they might try to opt-out half way through the contract. *You are within your rights to make sure they MUST have a good reason to fire you. *Have it written into the contract that they can only fire you for non performance related items. *And, before they fire you, they have to give you three written warnings. *What if they try to fire you anyway? *Write a maintenance lien warning into the contract to make sure there's no messing around on their part.

                            Have the contract completely spelled out. *Cover as many areas as you can:
                            How often to mow.
                            How high must the grass be cut to.
                            How high can the grass grow before they must call you back. (if there is rain, you don't want to show up and be expected to cut 10" tall grass)
                            Edging instructions
                            Trimming instructions
                            Blowing instructions
                            Chemical application instructions
                            Shrub trimming instructions
                            Mulching instructions
                            Insurance requirements
                            What are terms of the supervisor signing off on the work
                            ETC.

                            Get everything spelled out, leave nothing to chance.

                            Ask for a multiyear contract. *This will help spread your equipment costs over a longer period of time and allow you to not be left high and dry after only one year. *If you get the contract, quickly attempt to grow your business into your new capacity so you are not solely dependent upon this one customer. *This is a real danger that PNP has pointed out.

                            Yes, you might have to go into debt to purchase equipment. *However, there might be equipment financing available that is tied into such a large contract. *For example, if the job falls through, the finance company will take the equipment back. *I'm not an expert in this area but I have heard of financing deals such as this. *You'll pay a higher interest rate but it might be worth the extra cost if it helps you sleep at night.

                            Once you get all the above worked out, work on your bid. *Bid it for what YOU must have to do the job. *DO NOT bid it on what the previous company is doing it for. *DO NOT bid it on what you think your competitors will bid. *Bid it strictly on what it will take for your company to complete the work and make your necessary profit. *

                            For a job this big, you will be better off hiring employees and managing the work yourself. *You will have your hands full fixing broken weedeaters, dealing with property management, and dealing with resident concerns.

                            When you hand in your bid, don't look back or second guess yourself. *If your nearest competitor is $20,000 below you...so be it. *You don't want the job at his price. *If your nearest competitor is $20,000 higher, don't sweat it.

                            I definitely agree that jobs this large are chock full of inherent risks but life is full of risks, too.

                            All this is just my opinion so cover all your basis and bid it right.

                            Good luck with this:

                            Keith



                            Start a profitable lawn care business.

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                            • #29
                              Boy you guys really went at it after I went to bed last night. Look I did alot of thinking last night and today. As well as I went in the rain and walked around. There are ALOT of houses in there and ALOT of people to try and make happy. I spoke with the property manager today as well and asked if she ever thought of splitting it between several small lawn care companies to try and stay local with the little guys? She said no one person has always done it but they have always had complaints. I suggested splitting it into the three areas I did and she loved it. I get my choice of section. In looking at them I think the pic I have marked as "part3" will be the one I want. Now everyone settle down and help me with a bid. I usually get $40 for a duplex on a half acre. Just mulitply it out??? Give them a break??? BTW this company pays a month in advance.

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                              • #30
                                Keith great post,

                                Quote[/b] ]First off, you are completely within your rights to demand credit checks and a DNB on the company. Have you ever bid jobs where you have to deposit a surety bond? I've had plenty of bids where I had to bring 25% of the first year's expected receipts in the form of a cashier's check to the bid opening. If I had quit the contract they would have kept the surety bond. It takes guts to bid contracts like that but that's where the serious money is.

                                You can make your own rules before you bid. Ask THEM (similar to Little's advice) to post a surety bond into an escrow account. IF the company goes bankrupt, you have a buffer of money due you. BUT, they won't go bankrupt because you are going to do hard credit checks before you bid.
                                Can you explain more of what you would be searching for in your credit check. Where would you go to do this and what you would be looking for? Do you need permission from them to do such a search?
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                                Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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