There are going to be many times you will be confronted with a job to bid on where it seems just too big for you and is outside your level of comfort to bid. When this happens, you may not want to be so quick to pass on a job that could help push your lawn care business to the next level. Instead, why not consider this bidding option as explained in the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
One lawn care business owner wrote “I have a friend at the county’s water department and he called and needs a bid on a job that is just way too big for me. It involves clearing all the brush within five feet of their fence surrounding the property. They said they will provide a dumpster container to put all the brush in and the tools for the job. It’s kinda funny but without even giving a price he told me this job would cost them several thousand dollars and it will be a year round thing. But they still need a bid to put in their budget to get the job done.
The facility is about an hours drive from my home. I am finding it very hard to even give a bid because I am a one man show, yet gaining this job could be a huge boost for my bottom line.
I am told there are several 40+ foot trees within this clear out area and all will need to come down. I was told the county would provide any equipment I need to get it done, who knows if they will. The property also contains a lot of blackberry bushes, poison oak and trees that need to come out. If I do the job I am thinking I should be able to cut down the trees down, chop them up and haul them out to sell to a local fire wood place.
I am just not sure what a reasonable price would be or how to even bid this. They want an hourly price as well as a price for the whole job. I have never had to do anything on this level before. Thus far all my bids have just been kinda guessing but I would hate to lose it for bidding too high or lose money by bidding too low.”
A second lawn care business owner suggested “hauling the brush off in any kind of dumpster would be a waste of time and money. Instead I would use a chipper. It would be expensive for you but I would suggest you rent a chipper and something small, with four wheel drive, to pull it with. I use an ATV to move my chipper around on jobsites. For brush clearing jobs, such a combination can’t be beat. Then use a walk behind trimmer for brush removal of up to the size of your small finger.
For the trees, chip everything 4″ and under. Then find a spot to haul the larger wood to and sell it. We do this all the time and it’s a great way to make more money from the job. I even have a spot on my property I cleared where I can store about 40 cords, then as I have time, I will split, stack and sell it. I advertise the wood for sale pick up only as we do not deliver firewood. I will probably sell 80 cords of wood a year. To me, that money is just gravy.
I can’t tell you what final price to bid the brush clearing job as I would have to see it, but I would suggest to bid it by the hour only. To pull off the sale this way explain to them why you are bidding like this. I tell my customers what experience and equipment I would use to perform the job and why. I supply references and here is the key selling point, put a clause in the contract that it can be dissolved at any time should the client feel that the cost is not equating to the amount of work being performed. I have never had a customer cancel a job on me for this as as such it’s a great selling feature. It puts the feeling of control into the customer’s hands. Trust me it works and I do this on a regular basis, especially with tree or clearing work.
When in doubt, don’t put yourself or the customer at risk, do it the easy way and bid the job by the hour.”
Learn to improve your bidding with these lawn care and snow plow estimators for your Android phone.