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Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job
If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.

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Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job

If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.
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  #1  
Old 06-25-2012, 07:16 PM
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Matther777 Matther777 is offline
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Question Bids

Well hello I am new here I have been curious on how to really bid?
If I am able to go out and do the free estimate do i just look at the yard and say "hmm yea about 35" or measure the yard itself to be exact on size and figure price from that. I hope this makes sense please let me know if I need to clarify this more.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:54 PM
Apex Lawn & Landscape Apex Lawn & Landscape is offline
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Have you come up with an hrly rate? Do you work alone? Google how to come up with square footage, buy a measuring wheel and figure out yourself a rate per lot size..How long is it gonna take? Are there dogs/Pool/Fences/Trampolines? Flat? Safe area to unload your equipment? Is the Potential customer a Cheap A** / A real F*ing pita? Whats your drive time to this yard? Whats the going rate in your area? Bi weekly or weekly? Do you know how thick the grass gets over 2 weeks? Fortunately youve come to the right place! all your answers lie in this website. Best Of Luck
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:08 PM
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Trial and error, baby. Trial and error.

Once you screw yourself on a few bids, you'll start to figure it out.
It takes some time to "eyeball" it accurately. It's easy if you work in an area with cookie cutter lawns, but when you deal with varying sizes, shapes, and incomes, it can be tricky.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:48 PM
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Without the 'legal' expenses which can be annoying to figure out for each individual, you will need income to afford a lot of things that you might not even know about.

Every single thing it takes for you to run your business must be broken down and accounted for, or else you could end up broke not knowing what happened!

I suggest for you to save all of your receipts for a year, and then you'll have an idea of what you are spending and how much money you'll need to make.

Hope this helps!
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
If I am able to go out and do the free estimate do i just look at the yard and say "hmm yea about 35" or measure the yard itself to be exact on size and figure price from that.
I think most of the time, new lawn care business owners get a basic idea of what the going rate is in their area for a standard sized lawn and then go out and bid within that range regardless of any other factors.

Now since they do this, there is a high failure rate because they work a week, month, or season, then look in their bank account and find there is nothing. No profit from their work is left. Why? Because they didn't take into account what their expenses are.

If you want to improve your chances of success, you need to know your costs so you can figure out what you need to charge to cover them and then make a profit on top of all that.

If you want to explore this further. Create a list of what your expenses are to operate.

How much are you spending on gas per week? Insurance? How much are you saving to replace equipment? Salary? etc etc..

Most new lawn care business owner don't want to explore this because it can get complicated and scary to know what you need to make in order to be profitable but the more you explore it, the better your chances will of finding success.
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:36 PM
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Thanks guys I will do some more research. I was thinking of getting a cheap measuring wheel and use that for the estimate. It sounds like once I get out there I will learn from experience. To add to that note I have experience with this type of job I am just tried of working for somebody and would rather do this on my own.
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matther777 View Post
Thanks guys I will do some more research. I was thinking of getting a cheap measuring wheel and use that for the estimate. It sounds like once I get out there I will learn from experience. To add to that note I have experience with this type of job I am just tried of working for somebody and would rather do this on my own.

Then you have an advantage over someone starting from scratch. At least you have some idea how long "this lawn" will take to complete.
When I started, I knew how long it took to cut MY lawn, but when I looked at a much larger property that had obstacles, hills, trees, etc, I had no idea.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:45 PM
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Why measuring the size of a property is useless.

There are so many variables to consider when pricing, or even accepting a job. It is my mission to explain each of these variables to you.

When I approach a lawn, thousands of questions come to mind like;

Are there any hills? Hills can be difficult to work with. Not only are they dangerous, wear and tear on your lawn mowers tires will actually increase. You might even be required to trim a hill if it is too steep to mow with your lawn mower having to trim a hill can be very taxing on your body, and a complete waste of your valuable time.

Are there any obstacles within the lawn itself, such as trees? The problem with obstacles, is that in order to provide the best quality cut, you must spend a little more time than you normally would on a lawn without obstacles. For example, if you want to make straight lines with your mower but a childrens playset is in your way, you may have to circle around the obstacle several times making sure that your stripes match up correctly on each side.

Not only do obstacles make mowing tedious, but the more obstacles on a lawn, the more trimming is required.

Backyard Entrances. When you are just starting out with a regular 21 lawn mower, back yard entrances are the last thing on your mind. However, if you grow over the next couple of years and decide to purchase a tractor with a wider deck to speed up the time it takes you to cut each lawn you may find that lawns with small backyard entrances become less appealing when you are focused on being productive.

(it's not easy to let a client go when they've been happily with you for a year)

How fast does this clients lawn grow, and can I keep up with it? A really healthy lawn is fantastic, but it can also be your worst nightmare. You have to remember that once you grow your business, you wont have the time to double cut each lawn, or make two visits per week for every client with a healthy lawn unless they are willing to pay the price, which most wont. Mulching longer grass will leave a visible mess behind which may not decompose properly the best thing to do in this scenario, would be to remove the grass clippings from the lawn and once again, you have wasted more time.

Fertilizing and over-seeding may be great up-sells, but only if you can keep up with the lawn later on when it becomes time to mow.

Client Priority. When you are expecting rain, you may be more interested in completing a large amount of lawns versus completing one individual lawn which will require more of your time. This means that the longer a job takes, this lawn will usually be saved for last more often when racing against expected rainfall heaven forbid that it rains often in your area as this could sabotage your reputation with this client.

Parking. When you arrive to a property with your truck and trailer, you will want to park near the lawn you plan on cutting. If there is a lot of traffic, and you are unable to park directly in front of your clients lawn, parking anywhere else is a danger to not only your equipment, but yourself and anyone working with you who must cross the road.

Socializing. Having a client who enjoys your company may sound like a good thing, but as you grow this can become detrimental to the success of your business. Not only can you lose a lot of time without accomplishing anything, but depending on your character, your client may be able to take advantage of you. Your client may pressure you into doing free favors for them because you have let yourself become their friend.

The last thing you want, is for a client to expect more from you than what they are paying you for, just because you have been friendly with them. When the time comes, and you cannot live up to their expectations of doing something for free or going out of your way for them, you can expect your client to be easily offended. You will now have to live with a feeling of guilt, even if you did nothing wrong.

All it takes is for just one client to take the feeling of being in control away from you, and that could cause you to suffer the effects of anxiety, depression, and so forth.

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Old 06-27-2012, 10:56 PM
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Ah thanks again these are great tips. Well one advantage is it doesnt rain often here and as you may of heard on the news in Colorado we are in a bit of DRY weather.
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