Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Lawn Care, Landscaping, and Property Management Forums > Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job

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.

Im Going Broke Bidding


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.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 03-15-2011, 10:45 PM
boog boog is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 82
Rep Power: 4
boog is on a distinguished road
Exclamation Im Going Broke Bidding

im the new guy to the to the biz & im running into a problem there are 2 huge companies in my area they have 80% of all businesses around here it is hard to get any commercial work so when i get a chance to bid on a job i try to make money and to bid high enuf to where it is fair so im not low balling any 1. i have bid hotels and never heard any thing back from them i know the price was lower then the big companies why am i not getting the jobs ?

Yes i am licensed and insured
Yes i have uniforms / shirts, hats, hoodies with logo so i look like a pro


also how do you know where to bid or how to place a bid for places like stores, wall mart , kmart, dr offices any thing of that nature ? i have called and emailed and no one will tell me any thing " people dont like change around here" PLEASE HELP this is my 1st year in biz i dont want it to be the last

How do you get new clients if your starting from scratch i have flyered and emailed and had only a few calls is it to early to be tring to get clients


PLEASE HELP !!!!!!!!
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 03-16-2011, 12:23 AM
Simpkins's Avatar
Simpkins Simpkins is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Tri-State Area
Age: 33
Posts: 100
Rep Power: 4
Simpkins is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Quote:
Originally Posted by boog View Post
im the new guy to the to the biz & im running into a problem there are 2 huge companies in my area they have 80% of all businesses around here it is hard to get any commercial work so when i get a chance to bid on a job i try to make money and to bid high enuf to where it is fair so im not low balling any 1. i have bid hotels and never heard any thing back from them i know the price was lower then the big companies why am i not getting the jobs ?

Yes i am licensed and insured
Yes i have uniforms / shirts, hats, hoodies with logo so i look like a pro


also how do you know where to bid or how to place a bid for places like stores, wall mart , kmart, dr offices any thing of that nature ? i have called and emailed and no one will tell me any thing " people dont like change around here" PLEASE HELP this is my 1st year in biz i dont want it to be the last

How do you get new clients if your starting from scratch i have flyered and emailed and had only a few calls is it to early to be tring to get clients


PLEASE HELP !!!!!!!!

As far as it being too early, that depends on where you are in the country really. The advice I have to offer is this:
  • You know what you need to bid on a job to make a profit. Stick to this. Don't fall into the trap of wanting to land a large commercial account so bad that you loose money (or not make enough to make it worth your while)
  • Keep a positive attitude (and image) and keep hanging those doorhangers, fliers, etc. The calls will come.

What do your fliers look like? Could you post a copy for us to look at?

You are right that some people/companies don't like change. If the larger lawn care provider has been servicing them for years and are doing a good job, these properties will be hard to land. Instead of worrying about competing with the big guys, concentrate on the smaller accounts and build your reputation. I know there is more money involved with larger accounts but in the mean time, you can feed your family and keep your head above water doing more smaller accounts.

Do you have a website? You may consider using the strategy I suggest it.

What marketing efforts have you made so far? How many fliers/door hangers have you distributed? Sometimes I see people getting scared when they have handed out 100 fliers or so and haven't landed many accounts. This isn't a large enough sample size to really see a pattern.

I hope this helps. Keep the questions coming! The people around here are very knowledgeable and more than willing to help!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-16-2011, 02:35 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,164
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Great question.

First off, to learn more about getting commercial lawn care customers, read this link. I have a lot of articles in there that will really help you.

Second off, you can't go head to head with two well established and better funded businesses and expect to survive. You need to instead focus on what they are not doing or what they don't do. You need to let your smallness and newness be your asset. You need to play that up in your marketing.

Why go after commercial customers now when it appears they have the market locked up, when instead you could go after homeowners that want that personalized lawn care experience. Where they know they are dealing with an owner operator and that is what you have to offer!

What's your take on all that?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-16-2011, 07:30 AM
jymie's Avatar
jymie jymie is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Hamburg New York
Posts: 901
Rep Power: 6
jymie is on a distinguished road
Default

One angle you may want to try is offer a month long agreement to get to see how your work will look if they decide to go with you after the 4 weeks. Once you prove to them that your service will be top notch, may be enough to get a commitment for the rest of the year.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-16-2011, 07:36 AM
wellbiz wellbiz is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Livonia, Michigan
Posts: 129
Rep Power: 5
wellbiz is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by boog View Post
im the new guy to the to the biz & im running into a problem there are 2 huge companies in my area they have 80% of all businesses around here it is hard to get any commercial work so when i get a chance to bid on a job i try to make money and to bid high enuf to where it is fair so im not low balling any 1. i have bid hotels and never heard any thing back from them i know the price was lower then the big companies why am i not getting the jobs ?

Yes i am licensed and insured
Yes i have uniforms / shirts, hats, hoodies with logo so i look like a pro


also how do you know where to bid or how to place a bid for places like stores, wall mart , kmart, dr offices any thing of that nature ? i have called and emailed and no one will tell me any thing " people dont like change around here" PLEASE HELP this is my 1st year in biz i dont want it to be the last

How do you get new clients if your starting from scratch i have flyered and emailed and had only a few calls is it to early to be tring to get clients


PLEASE HELP !!!!!!!!
Few observations.

Like the others have said you cant compete with the big guys yet. They have stability, name and price working to their advantage. Commercial accounts in my area aren't even worth bidding for my company. The competition is so fierce that prices have dropped through the floor. I stick with residential. If I get a call for a bid on commercial, I will submit one, but I dont market to them.

Have you followed up with these companies on your bids. What did you include in your bid package? You are probably not getting the jobs for a few reasons. One could be a incomplete bid package, or they are happy with the company they have and are just accepting bids to pressure them lower. It could also be your bid was to high or low... A good property manager knows the time and money it will take to maintain his property. As a new company they may be worried about your reliablity. They may wonder if you will show up in mid-August when it is 100 degrees out. Also they may be looking for a company to provide complete property maintenance and you may not offer the services that they need. These are just a few possiblities.

I would start by following up. Call your contacts and find out. In addition you have to sell your work. You dont just want to send a email with a few word docs and call it good.

I would start with residential, the money is better, there is less competition and you have a better chance of getting the work. It is still going to take work and time, but it isnt unreasonable to get 15-20 residential accounts your first year. However it typically takes the season to amass this and depending on your marketing tactics say @$2000-$2500 in marketing costs. These are just ball park figures. I have seen guys start on a shoe string and get more clients and we have all seen the posts from guys who spent twice as much and were out of business before the end of the season.

Let us know what you find.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-16-2011, 07:56 AM
shadrach's Avatar
shadrach shadrach is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 256
Rep Power: 5
shadrach is on a distinguished road
Default

Target the smaller businesses. Word of mouth and being seen will get you into the larger stuff over time.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-16-2011, 09:31 AM
boog boog is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 82
Rep Power: 4
boog is on a distinguished road
Default Bid package ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by wellbiz View Post
Few observations.

Like the others have said you cant compete with the big guys yet. They have stability, name and price working to their advantage. Commercial accounts in my area aren't even worth bidding for my company. The competition is so fierce that prices have dropped through the floor. I stick with residential. If I get a call for a bid on commercial, I will submit one, but I dont market to them.

Have you followed up with these companies on your bids. What did you include in your bid package? You are probably not getting the jobs for a few reasons. One could be a incomplete bid package, or they are happy with the company they have and are just accepting bids to pressure them lower. It could also be your bid was to high or low... A good property manager knows the time and money it will take to maintain his property. As a new company they may be worried about your reliablity. They may wonder if you will show up in mid-August when it is 100 degrees out. Also they may be looking for a company to provide complete property maintenance and you may not offer the services that they need. These are just a few possiblities.

I would start by following up. Call your contacts and find out. In addition you have to sell your work. You dont just want to send a email with a few word docs and call it good.

I would start with residential, the money is better, there is less competition and you have a better chance of getting the work. It is still going to take work and time, but it isnt unreasonable to get 15-20 residential accounts your first year. However it typically takes the season to amass this and depending on your marketing tactics say @$2000-$2500 in marketing costs. These are just ball park figures. I have seen guys start on a shoe string and get more clients and we have all seen the posts from guys who spent twice as much and were out of business before the end of the season.

Let us know what you find.


Im not sure what you mean by a "Bid package" i got a job estimate off here modifide to and made it look nice i all so included biz cards and a coupon or two other that is what i am submiting i will post a estimate if you guys see any thing wrong with it please let me know

THANKS TO ALL THAT REPLY
Attached Files
File Type: doc best west bid mowing 2.doc (40.0 KB, 54 views)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-16-2011, 10:32 AM
bruces bruces is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 828
Rep Power: 0
bruces is on a distinguished road
Default

as a new guy,stick to residential untill you learn the business .Screwing up a residential bid is nothing compared to screwing up a huge comercial bid .The larger work will come in time .
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-16-2011, 12:17 PM
devuono311 devuono311 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 74
Rep Power: 6
devuono311 is on a distinguished road
Default

Few points:

Did you ask them if they wanted weekly or bi-weekly services? Can you find out what they have been receiving prior to this season as far as weekly or bi-weekly?

I submitted a very similar bid package last year and the response I got was "your bid was incomplete" come to find out they wanted a monthly cost figured out as well as a seasonal total.

Dont expect to land your first few commercial bids, think of them more as learning experiences. For example, I submitted a bid package for a local school district, I doubt I will land the contract, however, I WILL be at the bid opening meeting tomorrow afternoon, by doing this I will get a chance to hear other bids, compare prices, costs, and services. Also, I will attend the meeting at which the school board will decide which bid to accept and which company they will be going with. I am expecting to learn from thjis process more than I expect to land the contract, dont get me wrong I'm optimistic, however, I must also be realistic. This is my second year (on my own) and competing with other local companies is tough.

Keep your chin up, and GOOD LUCK!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-16-2011, 12:22 PM
wellbiz wellbiz is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Livonia, Michigan
Posts: 129
Rep Power: 5
wellbiz is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by boog View Post
Im not sure what you mean by a "Bid package" i got a job estimate off here modifide to and made it look nice i all so included biz cards and a coupon or two other that is what i am submiting i will post a estimate if you guys see any thing wrong with it please let me know

THANKS TO ALL THAT REPLY
Boog,

What I mean is what did you include with the bid when you submitted it?

Typical bid package of mine might include a color folder, inside the folder would be my bid/estimate, a letter to the property manager/contact, probably a copy of my contract, brochure, basic information on my business, business cards, copy of my insurance and any licensing documents and a copy of my satisfaction guarantee.

I dont give coupons to commercial bids. I may offer a discount wording in the bid, but coupons are reserved for residentials.

I looked at your bid sheet. I noticed at the top you have your name and city but no address, logo or other contact information. I would add that. I would also have someone proof-read your document. I think I noticed a few typos. You can get free logos on this site and others or find one online for a few bucks. I spent $50 for mine and it works great for me. I wont comment on the wording of the bid. Talk with your business advisors/attorney about those questions.

I might also suggest if you are emailing this document that you turn it into a PDF before you send it. That way the wording cant be easily changed by the recipient. Not to say they would, but you never know.

However I would probably start marketing to residentials by either making or having made some flyers or door hangers and start handing them out to subdivisions around where you live. I would highly recommend a website and online advertising. I have pretty good luck with adwords and my google local listing making the phone ring.

Some guys have had success with craigslist and other free online sites. I am not a fan. You can also check out servicemagic. I started with them this year and have been happy with the leads I am getting thus far... Direct mail for me has been hit or miss. Really depends on the offer and when you send it not to mention the list. Personally I am going to target new home buyers this year with some post cards and letters. Trial and error.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
bidding help, broke, low balling, new business

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Broke the law today swstout General Talk 12 06-15-2010 11:14 AM
I broke my phone CHEESE2009 General Talk 8 12-26-2009 08:22 AM
Broke my own rules and paid swstout General Business Discussions 11 10-30-2009 08:40 PM
Broke Down Again kdexpd Outdoor Power Equipment Discussion, Repairs, Buy or Sell 10 08-18-2009 04:47 AM
One flat broke!! amfine1996 HardcoreUnemployable.com 4 11-24-2008 03:18 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
My First Apartment...
SSLCtn
05-26-2014 10:17 PM
Today 06:20 AM
by Jbss861
9 721
Hello Everyone! Newbie...
SLKlawn
07-17-2014 06:22 PM
Today 05:48 AM
by SLKlawn
5 174
new to me box truck
jrayb39667
03-06-2014 10:20 PM
Yesterday 11:10 PM
by jrayb39667
11 1,228
Scag new "Eliminator"......
ExtremeLawncareServices
07-20-2014 10:45 AM
Yesterday 10:21 PM
by Just for Cuts
5 126
Need help determining...
Jbss861
07-20-2014 02:33 PM
Yesterday 06:42 PM
by Jbss861
6 156
Got my first lawn job...
SGL1
06-11-2014 09:19 PM
Yesterday 05:31 PM
by SGL1
23 1,033
Overspray?
stevef1201
Yesterday 04:20 PM
Yesterday 04:20 PM
by stevef1201
0 42
Proper height for lawn
rob lederhilger
05-26-2014 08:01 AM
Yesterday 02:53 PM
by LawnDoctor
9 586
need professional advice...
Fiddlers_green
07-20-2014 07:21 PM
Yesterday 02:29 PM
by Steve
1 93
Lawn Service back in...
LawnCareMan280
07-18-2014 09:00 PM
Yesterday 01:50 PM
by Steve
2 124
Blade sharpener
Just for Cuts
07-04-2014 12:31 PM
Yesterday 01:48 PM
by Steve
9 413
What's my business worth?
Chaz
07-16-2014 01:35 PM
Yesterday 01:45 PM
by Steve
4 193
Single tree, mow customer
WesleySnips
06-27-2014 10:12 AM
Yesterday 01:04 PM
by Steve
12 480
1.5 Acre Jungle
WesleySnips
07-15-2014 05:57 PM
07-20-2014 11:31 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
21 489
Selling lawns like...
eastsidelandcare
07-17-2014 03:51 PM
07-20-2014 08:03 AM
by kslawn
1 134
Crop Rotation Techniques...
eastsidelandcare
07-17-2014 03:47 PM
07-19-2014 05:40 PM
by kslawn
1 97
Gopher schedule software
Ray
07-18-2014 04:13 PM
07-18-2014 04:13 PM
by Ray
0 105
2006 Chevy fuel pump...
KevinsLawns
07-17-2014 08:39 PM
07-18-2014 11:51 AM
by Steve
1 102
Halfway point of year!
Steve
07-01-2014 12:08 PM
07-18-2014 11:38 AM
by Steve
14 639
I got told to leave and...
gwilson98
06-16-2014 02:07 PM
07-17-2014 11:43 AM
by Steve
16 940
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
07-16-2014 08:38 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
73 4,202
Hey guys this is the...
prmenter@gmail.com
07-07-2014 08:23 PM
07-16-2014 08:10 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
28 676
Mowing the hills
prmenter@gmail.com
07-08-2014 12:22 PM
07-16-2014 05:00 PM
by Just for Cuts
18 610
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
07-15-2014 05:38 PM
by icon2000
1,184 318,117
need some help geting...
dalvan0
07-13-2014 09:28 PM
07-15-2014 11:56 AM
by Steve
5 207
new trailer help
mattthelawnguy
07-11-2014 08:21 PM
07-15-2014 11:42 AM
by Steve
9 303
Classified Ad Template...
bcfb
06-05-2013 02:40 AM
07-15-2014 11:16 AM
by Steve
15 3,634
Husqvarna pz 60
CDLAWNCARE
07-06-2014 06:50 PM
07-15-2014 08:53 AM
by kslawn
10 372
Lowballers
Chaz
07-11-2014 03:55 PM
07-14-2014 12:27 PM
by Steve
5 308
My new side job
Sprinkler Buddy
05-10-2014 05:23 AM
07-14-2014 12:15 PM
by Steve
10 768
Illegal spraying
GoGreenerKS
07-04-2014 09:11 AM
07-13-2014 10:36 PM
by GoGreenerKS
10 480
New Mower and Trailer
Chaz
06-25-2014 12:04 PM
07-13-2014 06:25 PM
by SGL1
7 489
What Fertilizer to Use?
acrajchel
04-07-2014 01:56 PM
07-12-2014 07:36 PM
by SGL1
21 1,805
Fuel and fuel additives
SGL1
07-06-2014 10:23 AM
07-11-2014 07:53 PM
by SGL1
15 480
Questions for a patchy...
jumcgee
07-09-2014 08:42 AM
07-11-2014 12:34 PM
by Steve
1 165
toro proline blades wont...
boog
06-25-2014 06:26 PM
07-11-2014 05:28 AM
by kslawn
18 595
Contents of Marketing to...
prmenter@gmail.com
07-09-2014 05:25 PM
07-10-2014 03:23 PM
by Steve
3 246
Shindaiwa
CLB454
05-13-2014 09:04 PM
07-10-2014 03:04 PM
by Steve
14 725
Starting New in FL
mmcuttrim
08-06-2010 09:22 AM
07-10-2014 02:44 PM
by Steve
48 11,166
Bid help 45 on acre...
Priggan
06-26-2014 12:56 PM
07-09-2014 08:38 AM
by kslawn
7 467
need help bidding fence...
veteranslawncaresystems
07-03-2014 10:33 AM
07-08-2014 12:00 PM
by Steve
5 335
Trimmer or Knife?
gwilson98
07-04-2014 09:56 PM
07-07-2014 02:41 PM
by Steve
6 299
Started a New Solar Lawn...
Solar Lawn Care
06-08-2013 01:40 AM
07-07-2014 01:55 PM
by Steve
37 7,352
New Canadian Member
coppervalley
07-04-2014 02:15 PM
07-07-2014 01:12 PM
by Steve
1 197
Happy Independance...
stevef1201
07-04-2014 07:05 AM
07-07-2014 01:01 PM
by Steve
2 197
Echo PE 266 edger
stevef1201
07-01-2014 01:28 PM
07-07-2014 12:47 PM
by Steve
4 285
30 Inch Push Mowers Pros...
Billy Goat
06-27-2013 08:07 PM
07-06-2014 01:50 PM
by SGL1
21 5,155
Poulan Pro trimmers
SGL1
06-30-2014 11:16 PM
07-05-2014 09:32 PM
by SGL1
20 474
Timber!
Clays Landscape
11-28-2011 09:48 PM
07-05-2014 07:31 PM
by jhinton
22 5,706
2003 Exmark Lazer Z 52"...
toddfather
06-01-2014 07:23 AM
07-04-2014 04:45 PM
by jbungard1856
19 852
» Popular Tags
2wd 4x4 34'' ads birdscaping blades charge christmas christmas light hanging commercial craigslist customers ditches employee problems exmark fall ferris financing franchise gopherhaul grass gravely growing a lawn care business health holiday how much to charge installation invoice labor cost late lawn lawn care business podcast lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care seo lawn care website lawn care website seo leaf cleanup lesco lighting brass outdoor lights marketing mechanic mowing new and restored landscapes new buisness new business podcast promotion riding mower running a business savannah scag seo social media starting a business steep lawns stihl sulky theft of services tips top dresser toro tree care truck new used landscape upsell walk behind walker won't return
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:30 PM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:30 PM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy