Did I mess up this lawn care bid?

Have you ever come upon a property that looked challenging to mow? Did you wonder why it was overgrown? Possibly the home owner couldn’t get anyone else to mow the yard at the price they wanted to pay. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one entrepreneur who was second guessing himself after he put in a bid for a difficult property. Read how he handled it and what advice others gave him on dealing with such properties. It may help your future bids.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I had a mowing customer email me for a quote. I stopped by his house, the front looked pretty quick and easy. The back yard, looked like a war zone. There was some grass, mostly sticks and stumps with roots sticking out of the ground. There was also a fair amount of dirt, and everything was downhill. I wouldn’t see any way to get a commercial mower back there because of all the obstacles-on a hill, a steep drop off in the middle of the yard, stumps, trees and much more! It was just about 1/3 of an acre. The going rate around here is $30 to $35 for such a size. It’s just me mowing with my trusty 21″ push mower. He was very fast to respond when I said I’d stop by, but after I quoted him $40, I have yet to hear from him. I figured $40 is fair because it’s going to take me a little more time. I didn’t tell him his hidden yard treasures would put a hurtin on my mower. Did I do right? Is there something I should have changed up a bit?

The reason this bid went the way it did was because he had sent me an email asking for a quote. He was still at work and wasn’t home when I got there. I told him I’d email him back within a few hours…which of course I did. I couldn’t tell if he was shopping for quotes, or wanted it done asap. To be honest it looked like his current guy quit on him probably because of the back yard. I thought I was going crazy on this one! I spent a few years in sales and customer service, so I always offer STRONG customer service and am good at closing deals. It was a nice neighborhood that I wanted to get my foot in the door, but I can’t win them all! So even if I don’t hear from him, I’ll hit up the neighborhood with some flyers and keep it movin!”

A second lawn care business owner responded “you didn’t do anything wrong, you were too nice if anything. You have to be careful with customers like that. They have a tendency to make you feel obligated to giving them cheap rates. In the beginning I took on mowing customers like that for dirt cheap because I wanted work. Now I’ve let them go and don’t drop my landscape trailer gate for anything under $30. In landscaping there is Black and White….Cut and Dry, In and Out… Don’t deal with the Gray! (Tree Stumps on hillsides and tough BS that’s gonna ruin your hard earned equipment)”

A third shared “I cut a lawn once that had so many tree roots it was like mowing over a bed of river rock. The lawn looked relatively normal from the street, but just beneath the grass was a network of protruding roots that covered the entire lawn.

Ultimately, I decided I could not work that job because of the damage it WOULD cause to my mower. It was hell on the arms just holding onto the handle as it bumped around almost uncontrollably.

Let someone else deal with that crap.”

A fourth added “here are some of the answers I have gotten after giving a landscaping bid:

  2. FOR THIS LITTLE YARD????( almost 1/2 acre)
  3. But it won’t take more than a hour, I know I used to do it myself.
  4. (I get 50 an hour).
  6. Forget it!!
  7. As you New Yorkers say - fahgetaboutit.

This simple answer is, I have a mowing rate, I make money, I support my family, pay my bills. If you think that I am going to screw myself to make someone else feel good. Think again.

I do quality work, and wont compromise to do it ‘cheap’.”

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

If you need help estimating lawn care or snow plowing jobs, get these lawn care and snow plowing estimation calculators.

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Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
How To Get Lawn Care Customers Vol. 2
The landscaping and lawn care business plan startup guide
A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success