Interesting, you are running a business and going from residential to commercial and have no idea how to price a job? I would think you would have taken on some smaller commercial jobs and have at least a general idea how they work and what some of the requirements would be. But lets assume, you have lucked into a consideration and you want to take advantage by pricing it right. First, I would want to know what the company is expecting from you for lawn care, that they would provide and complete list of requirements (weeding, mowing, edging, seasonal snow removal, seasonal spraying, weed and feed programs, and such) Or maybe you will give these on an as needed basis? I would walk the property completely with an owner/manager and take extensive notes, detailing what they want and measuring the extent of what I was expected to do and complete, weekly, monthly and seasonally. Considering you would be making one drop of equipment, how many people you would need to complete the assignment, how much gas would be needed to fuel the equipment, any additional equipment you might need to purchase to complete the assignment, and any spots that may require specialized equipment or personnel, attention, or additional insurance you may need to carry for workers, for bystanders who might get hurt, and so on, should all figure into a complete and thorough quote, keeping in mind, you want the job, but not if you are losing money. Throwing in something that doesn't cost you much, other that some extra time, say weeding around their community pool, doing a small seasonal planting at the front entrance, and so on, to build some value into your services would certainly help. What do local commercial lawn care company's charge for this kind of development? Can you compete? Can you offer more value for the same money? What are you offering that makes you stand out? Are you "greener"? Using only organic products, no pesticides or "greener" options? You must always remember, people buy people before buying products or services. So you are in essence, selling yourself though selling your company to get the job. How do you stand out in a crowd of other lawn care company's? Is your priority to be the cheapest? The greenest? The best value for the money? Reliable? Dependable? What is your SHTICK? One must know their place in the market, what their competition is doing and how they can bring a service or product forward in their marketing of self and company! The size of the properties also has some play in this, what might you charge individually? What is their association charging them? You will need to come in under these numbers and clear some money. What if gas goes up more? What if a key piece of equipment fails and needs to be replaced to complete this job? Can you figure in repairs and replacements without going under or going out on credit lines? I used to be a real estate agent for some senior developments and I used to see company's come and go at some of the developments, some going out of business, because they would lose their one big account, or some major piece of equipment would go down and they could not cover its repair or replacement and the owner was unable to secure something before the next appointment. What would you do? You need to figure all this BEFORE giving an off the cuff quote, and you need to be realistic, what can you do it for x 82 units. I hope this helps you and good luck getting the job!
Answered By: Tippy's Mom - 7/11/2008