Friday, March 9, 2012

Negotiating Contract for Yard Clean-up

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Today I met with a client and surveyed the property.  In a word it was a real mess.  They had not addressed the removal of the fall leaves, nor did they clean up the gardens or prune any of the dead branches from the trees.  The lawn was all weeds except for an assortment of naturalized spring bulbs.  

To say the least I was rather overwhelmed looking at the property of 72 x 167, a large yard that needed to be cleaned up and then manicured. 

I needed the work, but this contract would require me to hire lawn service and gardener. So I quoted a high estimate and the client wanted to negotiate at 50% less than my asking estimate. I was their 15Th gardener that had submitted a bid for the job.  I gave the client my business card and told him if he changed his mind or if he had any questions to call me.  I declined the job.  

Garden Services Peace Lily Business Card profilecard

The only reason the job was available was because the property was overgrown and every inch of it needed to be addressed and the client wanted cheap help. I figured it would take 40 hours to get it manicured before I could concentrate on early spring containers and feature gardens and felt my estimate was fair.  

This evening at 7:00 I got a call back and we agreed upon 15% less then my original estimate. 

When it comes to an entire yard clean-up a gardener must look at the entire property and determine if it can be completed by one person or if it is better to hire workers. For this property and the time frame that the client wants all work completed I hired a college student that does lawn service and a gardener to help with weeding.  By hiring students I will save on labor costs, however I will need to oversee the work on a daily basis. 

Even though I accepted the job for less than my asking estimate I am glad that I was able to negotiating a fair gardening contract as it is better to have jobs lined up rather than having nothing on the books. 

Here is a backyard makeover video from You Tube that you may like.

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