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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

Commercial contract bidding


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:52 PM
forestpowder9 forestpowder9 is offline
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Default Commercial contract bidding

I am currently mowing a few residential properties and I would like to get into smaller commercial lawn care. Is it alright to ask a business owner how much they currently pay for mowing and what kind of services are provided to them? How do I bid so that I make a decent profit, but that I beat the competition?
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forestpowder9 View Post
I am currently mowing a few residential properties and I would like to get into smaller commercial lawn care. Is it alright to ask a business owner how much they currently pay for mowing and what kind of services are provided to them? How do I bid so that I make a decent profit, but that I beat the competition?
You think a wise business owner would tell the truth? If you asked me I would tell you a $100 a month for everything.

Second not knowing how to bid the property makes you look like you dont know what your doing. This could lead to losses that will either put you out of business or severely damage your reputation.

Third competing on price is a downward spiral that can't be reversed. You would be far better off saying those hedges look terrible does the maintenance man do them? Then sell them on quality service.

Every commercial property I have ever bid contacted me. Property managers have a way to find people that are qualified to do the work.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:40 PM
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Welcome to our forum.

Quote:
Is it alright to ask a business owner how much they currently pay for mowing and what kind of services are provided to them?
It doesn't hurt to ask but as was previously stated, the response you get may not be truthful. With that being said, if the figure can help you compare to what you would want to charge, then go for it and see what they say.

Quote:
How do I bid so that I make a decent profit, but that I beat the competition?
How do you feel your bidding skills are and your profit level for the work you are doing now? Have you been keeping track of the size of the properties you have been working on?

If so, you could simply scale that up to the size of the commercial properties you want to work on.

So as a simple example, if you want to work on a commercial property that is twice the size of the average property you are currently working on, you could bid it at twice the price.

Now you may run into problems if you try to take on too big of a property with mowing equipment that is too small to service it.

But I'd say experiment with this and see what you come up with.

Does this help?
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:41 PM
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just as in the last post, take inventory of the equipment you have before you bid. Dont take a butter knife to a tank fight. I made this mistake last season. Took on a 12 Acre plot with a 48" mower and a trimmer. Is it impossible, No. Is it fun, No. Not only will you spend forever and another day there, but how many small yards can you knock out in the time you would spend there? Where is there more money in your area? Dont take on something where you will get frustrated everytime you unload the trailer there. It makes work not fun, therefore there is a higher chance of giving up. Alot of it will just come with experience. Your gonna make some great bids, your gonna make some horrible bids and get burnt. I never up the price during season once ive started.....dont feel its right, but next season just explain that gas prices have gone up, equipment maintenence, and just tell them that in your honest opinion you underbid it anyway last year but didnt feel it was right to change the given price during the season. This shows that you care about growing your business and trying to be as fair as possible.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forestpowder9 View Post
I am currently mowing a few residential properties and I would like to get into smaller commercial lawn care. Is it alright to ask a business owner how much they currently pay for mowing and what kind of services are provided to them? How do I bid so that I make a decent profit, but that I beat the competition?


From my experience, my average time to mow an acre is an hour.
What is your hourly rate?
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:43 AM
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From my experience, my average time to mow an acre is an hour.
With what kind/size equipment?
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:21 PM
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with What Kind/size Equipment?
A 54" Ztr.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forestpowder9 View Post
I am currently mowing a few residential properties and I would like to get into smaller commercial lawn care. Is it alright to ask a business owner how much they currently pay for mowing and what kind of services are provided to them? How do I bid so that I make a decent profit, but that I beat the competition?
I was a little hesitant at first to ask people what they had paid in the past but surprisingly have had nothing but positive feedback. I found out it's not what you ask but how you ask it. It really helps if you can have a price in mind and then see how close or far off the two of you are. Of course there are some that won't be honest with you but if the price they give you sounds to low then you dont want it anyway. I simly say "I do have a question if it's ok. If not then I understand but would it be possible for me to find out what you were paying, who did the work and what issues did you have?"
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