As your commercial lawn maintenance contracts slow down for winter, you may find it’s time to write a bid for spring work in 2023.
If you’re starting a commercial lawn maintenance company, you need to learn how to write a profitable bid. In this article, you’ll learn about
- What is an RFP?
- What is a bid?
- The difference between bids and proposals
- How to make commercial lawn maintenance estimates.
What is an RFP?
Home Owner Associations (HOA) and property managers send a Request for Proposal (RFP) to commercial landscaping and lawn maintenance companies they want to work with for the upcoming season.
You receive these RFPs through your network or because someone saw a property and loved the job you did for that property.
When you receive an RFP, you must do your homework, come up with a bid, and write a proposal to send to the requesting property manager.
What is a Bid?
You send a bid to commercial property owners, managers, and HOA boards. It details the work you’ll provide, the equipment you use, and the customer service you’ll deliver.
You want to price your services accordingly, but don’t go to extremes on the high or low ends. Here are four types of bids to be aware of:
- The high-ball bid – Don’t send in a bid that’s 20%-30% higher than your competitors
- The low-ball bid – Don’t make your bid 20%-30% lower than your competitors
- The generalist bid – Don’t be a Jack-of-All trades where you’re offering a wide variety of services outside of lawn maintenance and landscaping
- The partial bid – Don’t leave your bids incomplete. Wrap up your bids with all the details needed to bid for professional lawn maintenance jobs.
Commercial property managers and HOAs send RFPs to the commercial lawn companies they want to do business with. You’ll need to network—such as by joining your local Chamber of Commerce and other networking opportunities in your area.
And don’t forget about social media. LinkedIn provides a social media platform to network with those you know and want to meet.
The Difference Between Bids & Proposals
There isn’t a huge difference between a bid and a proposal. You can think of a bid as the price tag of the proposal.
The proposal is more detailed with cost, the scope of work, and other details. A proposal also includes additional information, such as how you handle bad weather.
How to Do a Landscape Estimate
Writing up a lawn maintenance estimate isn’t hard. However, you need to do your homework. To develop a reputation as the best commercial lawn maintenance in town, you must spend time visiting properties and doing some math to finalize an estimate.
Gather this information before you sit down to crunch the numbers:
- Ask your sales prospect what their needs are. For example, do they need you to mow the property every week or two times a week?
- If you provide irrigation system services, do they want you to come monthly to check the sprinklers, lines, and other irrigation parts?
- Do you provide landscaping services? Where does your customer want you to plant new trees and shrubs?
- Discuss other landscaping or lawn care services you provide in addition to mowing.
- And remember your customers’ pain points. You may not agree with everything the customer wants, but if it’s in your wheelhouse, you should provide the services.
- Find as much detail about the property you’ll be serving in the spring. Calculate the cost of the crews, lawn mower maintenance, and any landscaping products you’ll use, including mulch and turf fertilizer.
- Don’t forget to include labor and equipment costs and other overhead.
- Make sure you walk the property to get accurate measurements for any products measured by the square foot or the cubic foot. Don’t rely on Google Earth.
- Put the project budget in an itemized list, so your customers know where the money is going.
- Write the contract and include any clauses, such as upcharges for additional products or services.
- Add a brochure and a cover letter if you want to send a professional package to your sales prospect. It doesn’t hurt to go the extra mile.
How MowMore.com Helps You Save a Bundle on Your Mowing and Edging Equipment
At MowMore.com, we’re in the business of saving you money. And in this time of increasing fuel prices, a labor shortage, and inflation, we want to provide replacement lawn equipment parts at a reasonable price so you can keep mowing more properties.
We’re your one-stop online shop for your commercial lawn care equipment needs. If you have any questions about your landscape equipment and replacement parts, call our customer service at 1-800-866-9667 or fill out our contact form.
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Arborgold.com, 11 Steps for Bidding a Landscaping Job.
Ibid, How to Get Commercial Lawn Care Business Accounts.
Procore.com, The Difference Between an Estimate, Quote, Bid, and Proposal.YellowstoneLandscape.com, The 4 Types of Proposals You’ll Receive When Putting Your Landscaping Contract Out for Bid.