It pays to keep your overhead as low as possible and keep your customers happy. Here is a great example of why from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. A lawn care business owner was looking to bid on a new client. This client was a home owner’s association who had previously hired a large commercial lawn care operation to handle all of their park areas and walkways. The work they did was shoddy and most of the homeowners weren’t too happy with the amount of money they were paying for the service they were getting. All of this left the door open for a new lawn care business owner to come in and swoop up the work.
This lawn care business owner wrote “I am bidding on a job for lawn care and property maintenance of an upscale subdivision home owner’s association. This job involves taking care of approximately 8 acres of outlots and walking trails. The trails will need to be cut once a year in addition to the regular mowing/maintenance of 6 acres.
The contract will be for 24 weeks of mowing: Duration from April 15 thru Nov.30th. There is no winter work involved. Beyond mowing, the contract includes, trimming, 3 fertilization applications and cutting the outlots 2 times per season. Any tree or shrub trimming or mulching will be an additional charge. This work will be for all the common grounds, picnic areas, playground area etc. I’m hoping to also get some of the 99 homes in this home owner’s association as clients. There is huge potential there.
I am not quite sure yet as to how long it will take to do the field cutting, but I think this job on average would add another 5 or so hours a week to my mowing schedule. I don’t have all the equipment needed to do the job yet. I do however have a John Deere tractor. So I think my best option for the field and brush cutting is to purchase a pull behind flail mower or brush cutter. The fields are primarily over grown grass and weeds. The flail mower should make very light and quick work of it. The fields growth look to be about 2 ft tall.
I kind of feel like I have an inside track on this job though. The company that did it this season was contracted for $14,000. Knowing that helps my bidding on this job. I know I can beat that price because of my low overhead. From what I heard, the people of the neighborhood are not happy with their work especially for the $14,000. My bid should be about $12,700.
I feel I will be cheaper than the previous company because I run a tighter ship and keep my overhead expenses low. I also know who the previous company is and can compare my operation to theirs.
- I have 4 employees not 50.
- I have much less equipment to buy and maintain. 2 trucks and not 20.
- I have no rent since my shop is at my home.
- All of this enables me to bid this job cheaper and I’m at looking at about $70.00 an hour for this one.
I met with the treasurer of the home owner’s association and we took a walk through the property prior to me submitting my bid. I felt him out and I think we hit it off pretty good. He mentioned to me that there are quite a few homeowners who would have the bid winner, service their property as well. This could be huge for my lawn care business if we get this account. There are 99 homes ranging from 1.5 acres to 7 acre lots. I would say the homes range from $500,000 to $1,000,000 in value.
My plan, if I get this lawn care account will be to start by doing outstanding work on the common grounds. I will then take every opportunity to talk to people who live in the subdivision and mention all of our services. I may go door to door and introduce myself as the new lawn care business owner taking care of the common grounds. All of this should help me land a lot more lawn care customers in one area. Which will really add to my bottom line.”