Write landscaping job bids more efficiently by avoiding these common estimating mistakes
There is a ton of effort that goes into landscaping work before the job even begins. For large projects especially, the bidding process can be extensive as you work with your client to formalize designs, calculate material and labor needs, negotiate the price, and get their approval.
After all of that, there is nothing worse than losing the bid to a competitor.
In many cases, these losses come from a handful of common mistakes. Having the right tools available can greatly increase your bid-to-win success ratio. In this article, we’ll cover 5 common mistakes that landscapers make during the bidding process, and how LandOne’s software can transform your approach to landscape design.
Check out how LandOne Takeoff’s design, photo, and inventory features help you create accurate and professional proposals in minutes.
5 Common Mistakes When Writing a Landscaping Bid
1. Not Understanding the Scope of Work
It’s critical that you and your client are on the same page from the very beginning of the project. Being misaligned on the scope of work can result in delays or inaccurate quotes. As you walk the property with your customer, get to know them and understand their expectations and needs. Find out what styles they like, if their family has allergies to specific types of plants, or if they want to include any special elements such as water features or fireplaces.
Tip – Having a checklist of standard bid walk questions can ensure you don’t forget to discuss any important details.
2. Eyeballing the Measurements
Misjudging the amount of raw materials you will need can significantly cut into your profit margins, or worse, cause you to lose money on the job. While it may be tempting to eyeball the square footage, always take the time to capture accurate measurements of the work area. This can be tedious to do manually so having a tool that integrates satellite imagery or allows you to upload your own drone photography can make this a lot easier, not to mention more accurate.
3. Using Outdated Design Methods
Gone are the days of old-school landscape designs scratched on a sheet of paper. Landscape design tools have improved significantly, but many require the landscaper to return to their office to draw up the plans. Also, traditional overhead line drawings have their limitations as they are sometimes difficult for customers to visualize how the finished product will look.
Instead, you should opt for a digital tool that allows you to create the design on-site with your customers. By using robust design software, you can speed up the design process by incorporating the customer’s feedback and making changes on the spot. The customer will also appreciate being more included in the design process.
4. Creating Inaccurate Timelines
Customers want to know that their landscaping project will be completed on time. Most schedule overruns are a result of poorly planned scopes of work or unexpected delays (like bad weather). In most cases, expediting a project at the last minute will require additional workers or approving costly overtime.
This can cause a lot of frustration, especially if the customer is expecting the work to be done before a special event. While you may be tempted to overpromise on your schedule to impress the customer, it’s always best to be conservative and overdeliver. Using a sophisticated design and takeoff tool that allows you to scope work, time, and materials accurately minimizes the likelihood of providing inaccurate timelines to the client.
5. Inconsistent Quotes
Consistency is critical especially in the landscaping business where many referrals come from word of mouth. When you quote a job, it’s likely that your customers will ask their neighbors about similar jobs they had done on their properties. Being able to demonstrate that you can accurately and consistently provide pricing will help build confidence with your customers. Leveraging digital landscape planning tools can help automate and streamline your quote creation process.
Creating landscaping job bids with LandOne Takeoff
At LandOne, we’ve designed our comprehensive landscaping takeoff and design software to give you all the tools you need to seamlessly create stunning designs and accurate project plans. With our program, creating detailed plan takeoffs, calculating material costs, keeping project photos and notes, and collaborating with your customer on-site has never been easier. Sign up for a 14-day free trial today to see how LandOne can revolutionize your landscaping business.