Include Your Profit Margins
Your profit margin is what makes sure you earn money from each job and that you make enough to cover costs. If you forget to account for your profit margin, you risk:
- Undercutting yourself and paying out of pocket to finish a job
- Having to increase your pricing for the next job
- Not making enough to cover your expenses or to pay yourself
Including your profit margin in your estimate ensures that you are making a profit from each job.
Add it to the total cost of a service after your expenses, like overhead, labor, and materials.
What Is A Bid Sheet For Estate Landscaping
Estates Landscaping Bid Sheet This bid sheet is a contract that has been taken for a part of the season that shows the total estimate of the maintenance work the bidder has to carry out and the cost of each service of an estate landscaping job and the additional services that will be provided by him. 8.
Separate Different Services Into Different Estimates
For example, fertilizer estimates need to include extra costs for products that can vary for each job, whereas mowing does not.
As Jason Creel explains,
The main thing Im concerned with when doing a fertilizing job is how big the actual yard is, and the actual amount of turf that Im going to be applying the fertilizer or herbicide to.
The bigger the yard, the more of the product Im using.
I need to get an accurate measurement of the square footage of the lawn so that I know how to price it.
Then I use a pricing chart that shows square footage from 2,000 square feet all the way up to 30,000 square feet. I can look at my pricing chart and estimate a price quickly.
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Associations Groups And Networking Events
Homeowners Associations and similar real estate groups, Building Owners and Managers Associations, Chamber of Commerce meetings and other networking-type events can get you in front of the right people. You might be able to make deals at the events themselves, or at the least will have a reference point when you follow up later on.
Getting to know government officials can give you a huge leg up when it comes to winning new accounts. Government officials know what big projects are coming up and also have a network of other corporations in the community that will have commercial landscaping needs. Especially if you live in an area with a high amount of commercial properties, you will want to have a network of people who can let you know when a big account might be looking for a new vendor or taking bids.
A Word About Keiths Tractor Mowing
There is no job too large for Keiths Tractor Mowing, from farm lot mowing to airport mowing to pipeline mowing, weve been there, done that, and continually deliver to Fort Worth businesses what they expect at a fair price. Call us for a price quote. The name is Keiths Tractor Mowing. Excellence is the only tagline we need.
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Heres The Dark Side Of Commercial Lawn Care
The commercial world is focused on the bottom line. They will try to skim you. Businesses only care about the price unless you can sell them on better service. Your goal is to differentiate yourself. Look better than the other lawn care companies bidding on the property.
Here are other strategies you can use to win a commercial contract:
- Show them the values of a great-looking property. Be visual with descriptions: What if your lawns were emerald green, and your sidewalks sparkled in the sun? Would this make your customers more likely to buy here?
- Please work with your clients, not for them. Get them to collaborate on landscape design. Ask them what they think a perfect yard looks like.
- Listen to your client. Listen to their problems and their expectations. They will tell you what they want.
- Teach them about the pitfalls of bad landscaping. Unskilled labor, lousy work, and dead lawns will make anyone think twice. Explain why they should never allow uninsured workers near their land.
- Walk-in with a professional proposal. If you hand a business owner a clean, well-formatted step-by-step proposal, you will make a great first impression.
To win Commercial lawn care Contracts, you will need a good deal of salesmanship. Books, YouTube, and other B2B sales resources will help you nail the sale.
Making Adjustments To Limit Mistakes
As Ive mentioned before and will again youre going to make some mistakes, especially in the beginning. But there are ways to limit the number of mistakes you make and ways to learn from them so that you tighten down your bidding system.
Its one thing to screw up a bid or two, but its another to lose money on an ongoing and regular basis. The first and best way to figure out if this is happening is to do a day in review. When you get home after a long day of mowing, look back on that days activities and do some quick math.
For example let’s suppose that its 6pm and you just finished up a long 10 hour day.
Based on the man hour figure we came up with, you should’ve earned $520 for that day
But what if you didn’t?
Suppose you grossed only $480.
On the surface of it, you might say, oh well, close enough. But not acknowledging this factor and not figuring out where the leak is the #1 cause of the utter failure of many lawn care businesses.
As you review your day, you realize that you spent an hour and a half at Mr. Squinchmeyer’s house but in your bid, you quoted him $39, or about 45 minutes.
What’s more.. It turns out that you screwed the pooch here and way under bid this job. Sure, one job once per week isn’t going to kill you, but think of it this way
If you waste $40 once per week every week that comes out to over $2,000 that you’re simply pissing away!
Doesn’t seem so small now, does it?
And what if you have 3 or 4 Mr. Squinchmeyers?
Will he stick with you?
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Legal Issues In Lawn Mowing Contracts
Lawn mowing contracts are binding legal agreements between your lawn mowing business and a client. These contracts should include well-written terms and specific deliverables to avoid legal issues and protect your business. You should always get professional legal advice when drawing up or signing a contract.
Simply put, it doesnt matter what industry you are in some things just dont go as planned. It could be non-payment or late payment for services, or the client could take an issue with the quality or scope of the work youve done.
To protect your business, a contract for lawn mowing services should include all relevant information, avoiding legal issues later down the track. This includes things like: Services to be performed
Warranties and guarantees Liability and insurance arrangements
Payment terms are one of the most important features of any lawn care contract after all, you want to ensure youre benefiting from the reliable income commercial contracts promise.
It should be clear whether the client is paying weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. Exact prices for each specific service to be performed should be laid out. Other important details include what happens if a check bounces or a payment is missed.
We all know how unpredictable Australian weather can be, which is why its a good idea to add a clause for weather conditions. How much notice you would need to cancel or reschedule a regular mowing service could also be placed in this section.
How To Bid Commercial Lawn Care
Commercial lawn care means earning good profit or big money. But it can also be a big headache if you do it wrong: The charge is too much, and you may lose the contracts. Under the bid, you could lose money. The goal is to achieve commercial lawn care and make a PROFIT, right?
In this guide, I will show you the right way how to bid commercial lawn care than you can handle.
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Finally Keep Up With Market Changes
Every year, or even every quarter, look into how much other companies charge for similar services. Once you build your client base, you can also ask how they feel about your services. Youll want to know if they think your prices are fair and reasonable, and how much theyre willing to pay.
If a few customers decide to leave you, ask them why. Take note if its because your prices are too high. You may want to make a change. Alternatively, you can also offer a seasonal deal or package.
When it comes to how to price your lawn care, do what you can to serve your clients, offer them great quality, and stay profitable. And above all, remember prices can change. Keep up with the market and youâll keep your business going strong.
*Monthly payment calculations do not include initial premium down payment and may vary by state, insurance provider, and nature of your business. Averages based on January â December 2020 data of 10% of our total policies sold.
I earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison . After realizing my first job might involve carrying a police scanner at 2 am in pursuit of newsworthy crimes, I decided I was better suited for freelance blogging and marketing writing. Since 2010, Ive owned my freelance writing business, EST Creative. When Im not penning, doodling ideas, or chatting with clients, youll find me hiking with my husband, baby boy, and 2 mischievous mutts.
Determine Your Desired Profit
How much do you want to make from your business each year personally? Run the numbers to see what you need to cover your living expenses. You can download an Excel budget spreadsheet at My F.I.R.E. Facts to help you plan your expenses.
If that number comes to $50,000, you need to earn more than a $50,000 profit this year. Remember, you have to pay taxes on your total profits. Talk to a tax professional to find out what you can expect to pay in taxes in your state.
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How To Give Lawn Care Estimates From Anywhere
Lawn care estimates can be a pain because you have to:
- Schedule the appointment
- Drive out to the clients property
- Take time to measure the property
Then, after all of that, you might not even win the bid. What a wasteâ¦
However, theres a faster way and better way using the best lawn care software.
Get precise property measurements to find the gross, net, or turf square footage. Create estimates with the utmost accuracy â without ever leaving the comfort of your desk.
Give estimates while youâre on the phone with a clients to improve your closing rate and capture clients more quickly with timely estimates.
Plus, you can utilize Service Autopilotâs rapid route optimization to increase your route density â instantly saving you money and increasing your profits.
Heres How Ed Prices His Commercial Jobs:
After a walk around, I might decide that a property will take an hour and a half with three people. I will need one truck and one trailer, so Ill build out the quote like that. So three people on the site means Ill bill them out at $45 an hour, $45 per employee. There are three employees, so thats $135 for the job to start.
Then I consider what equipment Ill have on site. I charge two times the hourly rate of labor just to have the staff on the site. About $5 of my price ends up going to my equipment overhead.If you have little experience with pricing commercial contracts, take Eds advice and follow the same approach you would with residential clients:
Figure out how much time it will take you to do a commercial job, and then think about much money youd make on a residential job. Say its an hour and a half. If you normally do three residential jobs and bill them at $50 per job, you should be making $150 an hour to do that commercial job, or very close to that.
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Protect Your Lawn Care Business From Potential Liability
Since the best clients care about lawn care businesses being licensed, bonded, and insured, theyâre willing to pay more for your lawn care services.
Plus, mistakes happen and just one lawsuit can break your business.
In other words, you have zero excuses to avoid it, and you NEED to get your lawn care business licensed, bonded, and insured BEFORE you service another property.
Plus, if youâre licensed, bonded, and insured, you can easily charge more for your lawn care service.
After all, the best clients donât want to hire a lawn care business that doesnât protect itself.
To find out more about protecting your lawn care business, read our complete guide.
How To Write A Commercial Lawn Care Bid
Many of those new to the lawn care business have plenty of experience in and knowledge of the physical work involved but are less familiar with the administrative side of the business. To secure jobs, a business owner must be able to write a commercial lawn care bid.
Create a header and title for your bid. Use Microsoft Word or a similar word-processing program to do this. The heading should have your company name, address and contact information presented in a clean, professional-looking manner.
Add the customer’s name and contact information below the company heading. Next, include the date of the bid and a disclaimer stating the period of time during which it will be honored. For example, “Information is valid for 30 days from the date of the bid.”
Write a complete description of the work that is to be performed as part of the contract. Detail the work and how often it will be done. List all tasks, even if they seem obvious or overly detailed to you. The item you leave off the bid could become a point of contention between the customer and you. Keep in mind that you may need a different list for each season.
Include a section that sets an hourly rate for work the customer requests that isn’t part of the bid.
Provide spaces for signatures of the representatives of each party, as well as the dates the agreement was signed.
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Nailing Your Pricing Strategy For High Margins With Less Mistakes
Youre just about ready to go out there and start growing a thriving new business!
However, this chapter is a critical key to making sure that you succeed. In fact, I can safely say that this is the most important chapter of this blueprint.
Whats that? Ive already said that a few times?
Youre right and thats because all of these chapters are the most important. I called this a blueprint for a reason. When a construction crew puts up a building, they base everything they do off of an engineers blueprint. Every single piece of that plan is required to make sure the building is solid.
Leave out an important support pylon on the ground floor and that 23rd floor will come crashing down.
Thats what these chapters are the support structures that go into making your lawn care company a solid structure thatll last for years to come.
The way that you price your services is absolutely critical to your success.
Price yourself too high and you wont be able to close enough new customer to sustain yourself. Price yourself too low and youll find that youre working your Mean Green off and not making any more than any old dead end job.
The bad news is that there really is no exact formula to figure this out. Even more bad news is that you will make some mistakes. The good news, though, is that this isnt a big deal. Youre going to get good at pricing your services by doing it.
Maybe youll go over or under but with a little experience, youll very quickly develop a feel for it.
How Do You Bid On A Mowing Contract
A commercial mowing client will first ask you to provide a bid for services. This bid should contain the list of landscaping services your business provides as well as the pricing. If you perform general gardening services like hedge trimming as well as mowing, clients can meet all their lawn care needs with the one contractor.
In the lawn care industry, the basic mowing and edging services will be about the same for all businesses, and its hard to differentiate based on anything but price. For that reason, its a great strategy to emphasise any additional or special services that your business can offer, helping your bid stand out from the rest.
When providing an estimate, be sure to visit the property yourself to inspect it. That way, you can visually gauge the amount of work required, and the client knows you are giving a quote specific to them, not a generic figure. This will also help you understand any unique needs the client has and how to win them over.
You may opt to add a section to your bid that contains references. If you have worked for a previous client who was pleased with the results, ask them if they are willing to take reference calls. This can give new clients confidence in your services, especially if youre relatively new to commercial work.
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