We all tend to learn best by example so here is a commercial lawn care bid example that was posted on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. If you haven’t gotten into creating lawn care bids for commercial properties, this will at least shed some light on the process.
A member wrote “I tried searching the forums to see if a situation like mine has occured here I didn’t find one so maybe someone has an idea of what I can do.
The scenario is this. I was working as a groundskeeper of a condominium association with a monthly base pay of $550. This included cutting, edging, trimming and pruning. It takes me a bit of time to cut due to the layout of the property but not a major issue.
At the beginning of the month the property manager informs me that the property owner’s association is sending out the grounds keeping to bid and he gave me the list of what would be required to which I have attached.
Here is what they want included in the property maintenance bid.
Subcontractor Grounds Maintenance Duties
- Mow and trim all common grounds areas including the backyards of townhomes.
- Pickup and cleanup (vacuum not blow) all common area grounds (including walkways, townhome backyards, swimming pool areas, etc.) four times per week during May through August and 2 to 3 times per week during the rest of the year.
- Empty wastebaskets at swimming pools and mail area.
- Weed or use Roundup herbicide as needed in all areas.
- Trim bushes and plants as needed. (Does not include the Palms but does include the Sagos)
- Check and test irrigation once per weekâ€”advise maintenance of any problems.
- Report any needed repairs in a written list.
- All equipment, gasoline and chemicals provided by subcontractor.
- Successful bidder must provide copy of liability insurance before commencement of work begins.
All bids must be submitted by March in a sealed envelope to the Homeowners Association either in person to the office or by mail. The bid will be awarded beginning of April for a one year period with renewals for one year periods possible with consent of both parties.
My question is really how much should I charge on this. If I got the contract I would have to use my equipment and furnish all materials. So I am assuming a definite price increase.
As far as time I would need to spend on a mowing day it takes me about three hours which is cutting, trimming, edging, and blowing of the drives. This is really because of the layout of the town home section which has 18 individual turf islands.
On a non-cut day takes me about two to three hours to complete my tasks. I tend to time those tasks out over the course of the week as the association required me to be there for the specified days. So regardless of whether or not I had zero work to be done, if I didn’t show up the property manger was calling me because an owners’ were on his case.
The way that the list for bidding is written, the contractor would be required to be there for four days per week during the summer and two to three times during the rest of the year. So the way I worked this was that I essentially had to find things to do because I did not want to drive 15 miles one way for 15 to 30 minutes of work. On the other hand there are some days that I may work 8 hours or more. So if I were able to show up and fulfill the tasks at hand and not return until the next cutting cycle, I would venture to say maybe 2 to three hours per week. Once again that is just if I did it like it should be done. However as I stated the property manager wants to see you because the owners’ nag if they don’t ’see’ me.
I also must add that during the winter months down here the beaches are generally quiet so I show up twice a week to do some cleaning up and viola I’m out in about an hour.
I figured it up at around 172 hours per year to do this job. That would be just going out and doing the job and leaving and not showing up just to show up.”
Well if you plan on 172. That is (172/12 months) = 14.3 hrs per month.
Say you times that by an average lawn care rate per hour of about $45.
(14.3 x $45) = $645 per month.
What do you think of billing them something like that?
“That is right around what my wife was talking and that makes a lot of sense. I appreciate and hopefully I will get the contract.”