What you forget when bidding a lawn in the cool weather.

Have you ever looked at the prices you give customers for lawn mowing and checked to see if you bid jobs higher on warmer days than cooler days? One entrepreneur shared with us his experience on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, on how the difficult jobs seem to become when they are done in the peak heat season versus when they may have initially been bid on. You must take such factors into consideration when bidding on a job that you are going to perform all year long. What may seem like a cake walk initially, can turn into a long drawn out battle as the year drags on.

One lawn care business owner wrote “one of the biggest lessons I learned in my first summer of bidding mowing jobs was, when you’re out there on a beautiful spring morning with a light breeze blowing, and the birds chirping, and the temperature is a comfy 72º with no humidity… TRY to IMAGINE what that same lawn will be like to mow in the dead of SUMMER when it’s 99º, excessively humid, and the smell of the neighbor’s dog poop is in the air.

That $35 quote you gave in the spring may not seem like such a good idea when that small hill becomes a MOUNTAIN in the summer heat.”

A second lawn care business owner added “that is so important to remember. Do not be afraid to bid what the job is worth and do not be nervous to be yourself. Jobs you look at in the early spring may seem to be a breeze, but by the time you are in mid summer, you may want to kick yourself for bidding them too low. When you are on site, do not be so stuck in the stiff professional mode that you come off as a robot that states facts and numbers only.

I’ve been turned down on many jobs and it sucks. I could have a lot more properties now, but I don’t and it’s ok because I’ll get there. I’d rather have fewer mowing accounts, making what I should be making than a lot more making nothing. Heck, if I would lowball to get the jobs I would be so busy mowing now, I wouldn’t know what to do! But what is the point in all that. You are in business to make money. Your bragging rights should come from how much money you made and stuck in the bank, not how many mowing customers you have.

I have had clients tell me my bid was in the middle of the other bids they received and they wouldn’t give me the job. Others said I was the highest, but I have learned, those aren’t the customers I want.

Yet there other customers will hire me, regardless of my higher price because they liked my personality, thought I was friendly, and wanted me to be the one to service their property. The more I scheduled bids for the evenings or when the home owner was home, the more I was able to speak to the customer in person, and the more sales I would make at a higher price. When I am on site, I will ask questions, play with th home owner’s dogs and do what ever I can to show a friendly, trusting side. Other mowing companies will bid the job during the day when no one is home and leave a piece of paper with a price on it. When customers have a few bucks and can choose more so on what they want, not simply based on price, the better I get at sales, the more sales I get.

I also like to include an upsell in a bid when I see a service to offer. For example, one job I was called to mow included two rental properties. One property was overfilled with leaves and acorns. The customer didn’t ask for a cleanup bid, but I added one anyway and stated ‘due to the risks of property damage and personal injury I cannot mow this property without the cleanup.’ The 2nd property was overgrown, I bid it 2 and a half times higher than the regular mow price and explained the higher price was due to grass height. I really didn’t think I would get these two properties, landlords tend to be cheap but after reviewing my bid, he called and asked when I could start. He told me the last company was fired for breaking windows and liked how I stated the risks if a job was not completed. So for bidding properly, I’m invoicing over $500 the first week with this job.

Be cool, be personable. People respond better to someone they can talk to and laugh if a joke is cracked rather than a scruffy looking guy, or even the 100% professional that has a stern face and is all business with no personality.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.

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