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Help on bidding for 24 acre cemetery.


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Old 01-05-2010, 02:01 PM
steelheadmaster
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Question Help on bidding for 24 acre cemetery.

This is a new one for me, and would appreciate some advice. I'm bidding on a cemetery with 4 different locations for complete lawn maintenance services and snow removal. I'm located in Wisconsin, and planing on this taking 40hrs per week, with a 3 man crew for 35 cuts. My idea is to charge $36.00 per hr for the first man and zero turn, which comes out to $50,400/ $1440 per week x 35. I don't know what to charge for the other 1 to 2 employees. I'm trying to be somewhat creative with this contract. They own a truck & plow which my company can use to plow their roads and lots saving on wear and tear on my equipment. My normal charge for plowing is $80.00 per hr, but with the use of their equipment, my idea is to charge my standard man with shovel fee of $40.00 per hr and they would only pay when it snowed. Any overtime, fertilizer, plantings, etc, would be billed accordingly to the customer. Am I off base with my idea? What do I charge for the extra employees? Am I low-balling/high-balling this estimate? Any advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated! This is a cemetery and the work must be done A1, which I pride myself on doing anyhow! Thanks in advance to all that respond!! AJ...
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Old 01-05-2010, 05:15 PM
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My idea is to charge $36.00 per hr for the first man and zero turn, which comes out to $50,400/ $1440 per week x 35. I don't know what to charge for the other 1 to 2 employees.
How do you normally charge for the extra employees when you are mowing residential customers?
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by steelheadmaster View Post
This is a new one for me, and would appreciate some advice. I'm bidding on a cemetery with 4 different locations for complete lawn maintenance services and snow removal. I'm located in Wisconsin, and planing on this taking 40hrs per week, with a 3 man crew for 35 cuts. My idea is to charge $36.00 per hr for the first man and zero turn, which comes out to $50,400/ $1440 per week x 35.
Im from the Appleton area and we have a couple large cemeteries here and we do $80 per man and that includes the use of our equipment. $36 is just to low by the time you pay someone, pay s.s., unemployment, workers comp, etc, etc. Don't go this low unless you don't want to make any money!!

Just my thought on it and hope it helps!!
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:29 AM
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How do you normally charge for the extra employees when you are mowing residential customers?
Thanks Steve, I've been doing lawn maintenance for 20yrs on the side, as a sole proprietor, and for the last two years as an LLC. I've usually relied on independent contractors when I needed help. Our business is rapidly expanding, and now I'm looking to hire some employees. My past charge was $36.00 per man hr when doing spring/fall clean-ups. Commercial account's would be charged $72.00 per hr with me and my 66", 31hp zero-turn! I can really turn and burn with this unit! I won't pull the trailer for less than $35.00 per hr for anyone. As stated, this is a 24 acre cemetery, with one main, and three other smaller lots. We are planning this on 35 cuts, with trimming every other week. Include is: Spring clean-up, Fall clean-up, which can be mulched, daily garbage pick-up, planting of flowers in spring, one broad leaf weed control application and fertilizer application, coordination of burials including: grave marking, digging (they own the back hoe), open, closing, seeding of the grave, installation of foundation, installing memorial trees and markers as needed, repair of lawn damage, Snow plowing/salting (they own the truck, plow and salter which is fine with me) of roads, parking lots and sidewalks, installing snow fence and plow markers. Their current contractor does a good job, but their looking for a better price like the rest of the world. The current crew consists of the owner and two employees! Now, if the contract is lucrative enough, I don't mind being there myself on a daily basis, but on the other hand, I have other lucrative contracts and $400 a month invested in two different county's yellow pages! This is why I would like to hire three employees to invest their time simply on the cemetery if feasible with wages in the range of $10.00-14.00 per hr, with the $10 guy being the "scrub" trimmer guy and the $14.00 guy being a competent foreman zero turn operator that makes sure things get done to our standards and on time! I've really been racking my brain on this one Steve, due to the unique nature coming up with various figures and numbers! Especially figuring in workers comp and unemployment insurance. I've never had a problem making a bid! The contract will state that all extra charges will be billed on top of the flat rate, including plantings, seeding and things we want to keep to a minimum like overtime, etc! The other side of the coin is that this is a very large diocese and could lead to many other cemetery maintenance jobs in the future, which could really change the dynamics of our business!! Thanks a lot for your help Steve! AJ....
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:40 AM
steelheadmaster
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Thanks SRT42! I might add Steve, that when I said 40 hrs a week, I mean 40hrs per week times 3 = 120hrs for at least the 35 weeks. I relize that their will be some down time, unemployment during the winter months waiting for the snow to fly!
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Im from the Appleton area and we have a couple large cemeteries here and we do $80 per man and that includes the use of our equipment. $36 is just to low by the time you pay someone, pay s.s., unemployment, workers comp, etc, etc. Don't go this low unless you don't want to make any money!!

Just my thought on it and hope it helps!!
Do you have any advice as to working on cemeteries? When you first started working on them, was there anything that stood out that you didn't plan for? How does working on them differ from other commercial or residential jobs you might have?

Also, can you give us some advice on why $80 per man hour is what you shoot for? Can you give us a rough break down of where that money goes?
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