Even the most successful landscaping companies have to fill their pipeline with a steady supply of new customers. When you know how to bid landscaping jobs, you have a chance to make a great impression while setting your service apart from your competitors'.
When choosing jobs to bid, look for projects that match your expertise and price accordingly. Even if business is slow, entering into a race to the bottom by trying to offer the lowest price may not pay off in the long run.
How to choose the right project for your company
Ask the customer how they found you to learn more about their motivations. If they received your contact information via a referral from a past client or current customer, they may be more interested in quality than price. This makes them a great prospect.
Customers that are in the beginning stages of a project may be trying to get an idea of the costs involved with their job. If they are simply looking for the lowest bid, they could be more interested in saving money than getting high-quality work.
How to bid on commercial landscaping jobs
Commercial landscape maintenance bids may require a different approach. If you are bidding for a job with a local company, you'll probably talk with the owner, which makes selling your services easier than dealing with a manager or someone who will pass your information and bid along to the decisionmaker.
Landscape bidding software can help you present professional commercial landscaping bids that include all the necessary details. If you know the exact amount of time it takes to handle a property of a certain size, you can plug the appropriate information into the software and come up with a quick bid that offers the business owner instant gratification.
What to look for when visiting the site
If your customer is comfortable with you and sees you as a professional, you are more likely to experience success when you bid on landscaping jobs. Make sure you have a chance to visit the site in person and try to meet with the property owner or the person in charge of hiring a landscaper.
Ask questions about their goals and vision for the project. Take notes and ask for clarification when necessary. You'll use the information you collect during your first visit to the site to address the customer's needs and wants in your bid.
Estimate time and labor depending on the site
If possible, use a customized pre-printed bid form when you put together a plan for your client. Be sure to include your full business name, the name of the person completing the bid, and contact information. If you have a website include the url on your form, as well.
Offer details about estimated materials costs and labor costs in separate areas of the form. Include sales tax, other charges and fees, and the total cost of the project. Your customer should be able to clearly see how each charge fits into the total price of their landscaping job.
How to negotiate landscaping job prices with customers
Landscaping can be a competitive business, so your customers may try to negotiate the price. Identify areas where you can cut costs before you meet with your customer to discuss your final bid. When constructing a bid, triple check your numbers. You'll want to be able to reassure your customer that your bid is correct.
If a customer wants a lower price but your bid doesn't leave room for negotiation, that's OK. Let them know up front that you price fairly and you need to make a profit to stay in business. Then, show them how they can slightly modify their "wants" to get a lower price.
For example, using ten flats of annuals instead of 15 will cut costs from materials and labor. Replacing the three-year warranty on trees with a one-year warranty is another way to cut costs. Don't reduce your price without asking the customer to give up something. Customers who don't want to pay a fair price for your work won't respect you or your employees, anyway. It may be better to let potentially difficult clients go.
How the right insurance can help you get new landscaping jobs
Having a policy that caters to the needs of landscapers can help reassure your customers that no matter what happens, their property is safe. Landscaping insurance should fit into your company's budget while delivering the exact coverages you need most.
If you don't already have insurance for your landscaping business, get a quote online that's tailored to the needs of your business. Landscaping insurance prices are based on the type of work you do as a landscaper, the number of people you employ, and the geographical area where you conduct business. You can pay upfront annually or monthly without extra charges.
With the 100% online landscaping insurance policies through Next Insurance, you'll be able to share an unlimited number of Live Certificates of Insurance at no additional cost. You don't have to pay for coverage you don't need, which makes our policies easy and affordable. On average, it takes landscape business owners about eight minutes to get a quote and coverage through our website.
Business owners don't have a lot of extra time, which is why it's important for landscapers to have access to their general liability insurance policies online 24/7. If your customers have questions about your insurance coverage, you can answer them on-the-spot.
Be sure to add information about your landscaping insurance to your bid form. Let customers know that you are ready, should unanticipated events occur during the course of the job. If you are a licensed landscaper, include information about your town permits, tax registration, and state licenses. Any evidence you can provide that you are a reputable company will help you stand out from your competition and win more landscaping business.