Bidding on Lawn Care can be a Simple Doable task, as long as you are Prepared.
Bidding on Lawn Care can be a simple doable task as long as you are prepared.
If you aren’t prepared then it can be time consuming and tedious. So what questions do you need to ask of the property owner or contact person? What do you need to know about your abilities to fulfill the needs of the property being quoted?
All right let’s go through the process together, Bidding on Lawn Care doesn’t have to be brain surgery, as long as you have answers to basic questions for each contract you are bidding on.
So what questions should be asked?
Well if it were me bidding on a Lawn Care tender the first thing I need to know is were is it located? Is it close by an existing route of mine?
This is of importance because you need to consider drive time from your closest lawn customer to this possible lawn and drive time is down or lost time that needs to be made up in the cost of the bid.
If it is only five minutes then it may not affect the price very much. Although if it was fifteen minutes one way, then fifteen back again that’s a half hour and it adds up (especially when you consider that you may make that return trip 20 plus times in season.
Lawn size is obviously one of the bigger factors when bidding on a lawn…
The next question that needs answering when Bidding on Lawn Care is what is the size of the lawn that is being bid on?
Obviously if the lawn you are bidding on is an acre (which is an average size for those not specializing in small lawns of a 1/3 of an acre or less) the size is within your acceptable bidding size. (you would move on to how often the property needs to be mowed)
If this same property was 10 acres (a fairly large property for most) there are a sub-set of questions that you need to ask yourself before you spend a lot of time on the bid.
You would need to look at the equipment that you currently have. Do you have more than one large mower deck of 50+ “ because otherwise this bid may take up the better part of a day if you are a one man show.
Do you have that kind of time? Do you already have 4+ days of work, would it fill out the week or put you under extra pressure? Or are you just starting the biz with a wide open schedule?
All these questions affect whether or not to continue spending time on the bid or to move on to quoting smaller bids.
If your answer was a one man show with one mower and an almost full week of work I would think about moving on the next quote.
If you have 2 men, 2 large mowers and 10 acres is within your size/schedule capabilities then there are more questions to be asked.
How often does the property need to mowed, weekly or as needed? Is the bid based on seasonal price or on a per mowing price? As this affects the total cost when bidding on lawn care because if the mowing season in your area is 24 weeks then that means you will base it on 24 cuts.
If the tender asks for an “as needed basis” then I would base it on mowing a maximum of 1 cut per week. If “as needed basis” is the case then ask yourself during the whole season how many weeks will it not need mowing and still look acceptable to the customer?
Remember that this will greatly affect your means of basing your seasonal bid price, if you think you can get away with only 20 cuts then this may make your bid lower than other bidders.
Have the summers been dry, wet or normal in precipitation? A dry summer means less mowing and wet means more, this is all part of the guessing game in the bidding process.
Another thing that needs to be looked at when bidding on lawn care is the property hilly, flat or a combination of the two? If its’ hilly then you will have to add extra time to the bid because you can’t go full speed on hilly terrain.
This Next Tips is the MOST important when Bidding on Lawn Care
Never under price a bid just to get it and lose money, you won’t be in business very long going around mowing for below profit prices.
If you feel that 21 cuts would be acceptable as a number of cuts then stick to your gut feeling or recent weather trends and use that number.
So you’ve got your number of cuts, do you know if trimming is needed or is to be included in the price? If it is then you need to look at how many trees and other obstacles there are to trim around. Will this add 20 minutes to an acre property or an hour or more to 10 acres? It all adds up.
O.k., trimming is included and the extra time has been allotted. Did you think to ask if the property is irrigated or will be fertilized regularly? Both of these circumstances will greatly add to the chances of the lawn staying healthy and green all season and therefore you may need to cut every week any ways.
This leads us to the area of extras. Did the tender form ask to include fertilization of the property during the duration of the bid? What about taking care of flowerbeds or pruning bushes on the property? (do you even offer these services?)
Make sure you have all the accurate information in front of you when Bidding on Lawn Care.
Here are some items that will need looking into, is there flexibility on what day the mowing is to be done? Everyone out there wants to be done on Friday but if the end of the week is already full are you willing to upset existing customers for the sake of this new one?Do you have the proper minimum insurance coverage requested in the bidding documents? If not then this will be an added cost that should go into the bid price or you should walk away from this to bid to less complicated tenders and possibly more profitable ones.
I know that this may seem like a lot of questions but the more exact information you have the more accurate and profitable a bid will be therefore you will feel much better if you get a call that your bid has been accepted.A simple saying to remember team is that “there are no stupid questions”.
As Bidding on Lawn Care will change from tender document to tender document so some of these questions may not be necessary and other questions may need to be added. Don’t be afraid to try and don’t low ball your prices.When figuring out your price per cut it is assumed that you already have your hourly base rate for mowing and other services. If you don’ have general idea you can’t start the bidding process. Stop now and go figure out your hourly rate.
A quick way to figure this out is add up all your monthly expenses, add to that number of what you think your time per hour is worth and multiply it by the number of hours you expect to work.Then divide that number by the number of average hours you expect to work in a month.
This figure will give you an average hourly rate to charge for your service per hour and greatly aid you as your preform your bidding on lawn care. (remember accuracy counts here)
Take the time to produce accurate Lawn Care Bids to ensure Your Working for a Profit.
When putting together Lawn Care Bids there are certain pieces of information necessary to provide the most accurate quote for yourself as well as the potential lawn care customer.
The first step is how you found out about the call for bids (tenders). Did you find out about it through a friend, listed on a website or through your local newspaper? Is this Lawn Care Bid for a residential property of is it commercial?
Do you have all the important information in front of you? What info. Exactly?
If you answered residential then going and talking to the owner and viewing the property should make this a much easier process.
On the other hand if this is a large commercial opportunity then the following information is of greater importance in giving the best Lawn Care Bids you can.
Well is there a deadline in which the bids need to be returned by? If so do you still have enough time to organise the bid properly and still get it to the possible customer by the closing date?
Is there a minimum amount of liability insurance involved to get the bid? Do you have enough? If you don’t what is the cost to you for additional insurance?
Are there restrictions on when you can perform your work on the job site? If so this should be given some consideration. Are you just starting out with little or no customers or are a veteran just looking to top up your lawn care schedule? If you can accommodate their time frames great. Remember if you live in an area that receives many rain days that this situation could become a problem.
Are you Prepared to win your Lawn Care Bids?
Do you have the manpower/equipment to do the job properly as well as profitably? If you need to add either of these it should effect how you price the bid.
Are lawn care companies extremely competitive and cut throat in the area in which you work? If this is the case how do you measure up? Are you the middle of the road, on the high side or are you the guy that goes in low just to get the job?
If the tender is an open one for large areas such as schools, waste treatment plants or park lands then the lowest bidder usually gets the job. If you aren’t willing to perform the job for a very low profit then ask yourself is it even worth bidding.
Are you better off pursuing residential contracts in high end subdivisions that offer more profit?
When preparing Lawn Care Bids you should already know your hourly rate or cost per acre which in most cases should make figuring out the cost relatively easy. You need to inspect the property being bid on. As you are performing the inspection keep an eye out for problems such as water mains, metal property markers or rocks that are above ground level and could damage your equipment.
Use Your ZTR as much as possible…
Can you do every square inch of the job on your ZTR or are there a lot of steep hills that will require more push mower work?
Next was trimming to be included in the bid? If so as you are reviewing the property keep track the amount of sidewalk, trees, telephone/light poles as well as buildings that will need attention.
Keep in mind are you doing this job by yourself or will you have a co-worker with you doing the trimming/push mower work while you are on the ZTR? This could double the amount of time or cut the time in half. Are you to cut and trim weekly or as needed?
When you are looking at the property try to break it down into sections (if your are talking acres) and ask yourself what current properties do I look after that are approximately the same size and how long does it take to do that customer.
Once you have priced the sections add them together to get an approximate price. We then need to consider one last thing, is this property close to any existing customers you have or is this bid a distance away? Travel time to and from a job should also be included as a final piece to ensure you are giving accurate Lawn Care Bids.
Will it add ½ an hour to the cost? Can you plan to cut it on a day when you regular lawn care schedule brings you close to this property or will you have to totally rearrange your routes to accommodate this client?
Now that you have a price per cut are you quoting on a seasonal price or on a per cut price? If the answer was seasonally do you know how many cuts on average you do seasonally? If you don’ know you’ll have to take into consideration the amount of rain you get on average in your area as well as how cold/warm the winters in your area? Obviously there is going to be a longer growing season in Miami, Florida than in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Once you have your approximate number of cuts per season, just multiply your cost per cut by the number of cuts per season and you should have a price for any Lawn Care Bids you may need to do.
“Keep It Simple to Succeed” lets get out there and make our lawns healthy and green!
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