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  #1  
Old 10-08-2008, 12:57 PM
Fisher8HD Fisher8HD is offline
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Does anyone price by the square foot?

I am bidding on a commercial complex and I figured out that there is 8400 square feet of sidewalks. Does anyone know how long that should take. I will have two guys on the job. One guy will have a snow shovel and the other will have a Toro commercial snow thrower. I know that it is really hard to give a time estimate because the snow depth will very. Lets say an average storm snow depth is 4 inches. I also am including snowplowing in this contract for one set price. I know its alittle risky but we do all of the lawn maintenance also. Its a big job with 15 acres of grass to cut each week. Any help would be appreciated since this is my first bidding in this way. The company seemed to really liked my way of setting one price for them. Its is a lot eaiser when you have fixed costs to plan and budget. Thanks again
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:35 PM
plowtime1 plowtime1 is offline
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At times we price per square foot, more so linear ft. For us: less than 15 minutes of time. I'm sure by being in the lawn service business you should know your hourly rate and perhap an increased rate; considering snow doesn't fall during daytime hours. I'm sure everyone here will vary in hours due to the equipment they would deploy.
When you say Toro commercial thrower; what size? You should reconsider your pricing arrangements with your customer. good luck
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2008, 06:06 PM
Fisher8HD Fisher8HD is offline
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The commercial snow thrower is approximately 21in. Did you read my post correctly? 8400Sqft of side walks. How long does it take with a 21" gas snow thrower and a shoveler. Say 4 inches of flurry snow. I can do the rest of the figuring. Thanks.
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  #4  
Old 10-08-2008, 08:30 PM
big acres big acres is offline
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Sima

members of SIMA have access to great formulas that you cannot view on their site without a login. If everyone billed one hour per 1000 square feet of sidewalks, we would all make a fair and decent living.
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  #5  
Old 10-09-2008, 08:09 AM
Fisher8HD Fisher8HD is offline
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What exactly is SIMA? I am trying to come up with these formulas. Not just for snow removal but for landscaping and lawn maintenance also. I believe that there is a huge market for knowing your numbers. If I can put together a bid with accuracy than I will not feel bad when I do not get the job. At least i know that my prices are custom built for my business. Not very many people here as a whole can say that they know what it exactly it cost them to be in business. If you are one of the companies reading this that do know there numbers than I congratulate you because it is not a easy thing to do. It is true that most people in the landscaping and snow removal trade do not know there numbers. If there was a formulas for everything that snow plowers use and landscapers. The playing field would be a lot better off and everyone most business's will be better off.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2008, 08:27 AM
Mark Oomkes Mark Oomkes is online now
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What are you selling?
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Quote:
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Professionally speaking I think its unprofessional to say its unprofessional if you dont professionally clear snow like a professional.
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2008, 09:06 AM
plowtime1 plowtime1 is offline
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Nice one Mark!
Fisher, know your bottom line, no hard feelings, you must acquire experience and over time you will develop your own formula. As mentioned before, people deploy various sized equipment;not all will have the same results.
Based on your equipment without a snow shoveler: figure 8400 sq ft. 100x84=8,400; a 21" thrower /small storm.. say 4". take about 45 min-1 hr. with your equipment. Again, folks here may disagree with me as well. For my equipment; level area in question,width proportionate,no obstructions etc.
10 minutes!
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:52 AM
Fisher8HD Fisher8HD is offline
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I had asked a question about SIMA. Not for nothing but why would you think I'm selling something? Anyone else have a any opinions on how long it should take. I'm trying to get an idea of an average time on 8400 sqft feet of walkway. How long does it take with a shoveler and a commiceral gas 21" snow thrower. Flat ground no real obstructions. Small Storm of 4 inches of fluffy snow
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:38 AM
Mark Oomkes Mark Oomkes is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fisher8HD View Post
I had asked a question about SIMA. Not for nothing but why would you think I'm selling something? Anyone else have a any opinions on how long it should take. I'm trying to get an idea of an average time on 8400 sqft feet of walkway. How long does it take with a shoveler and a commiceral gas 21" snow thrower. Flat ground no real obstructions. Small Storm of 4 inches of fluffy snow
You misunderstood. You asked if anyone priced by the square foot, I asked what are you selling. In your business for this question regarding sidewalks, what are you selling?

Are you selling square feet? Parking spaces? Driveways? Sidewalks?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neige View Post
Professionally speaking I think its unprofessional to say its unprofessional if you dont professionally clear snow like a professional.
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2008, 11:44 AM
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TCLA TCLA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fisher8HD View Post
What exactly is SIMA? I am trying to come up with these formulas. Not just for snow removal but for landscaping and lawn maintenance also. I believe that there is a huge market for knowing your numbers. If I can put together a bid with accuracy than I will not feel bad when I do not get the job. At least i know that my prices are custom built for my business. Not very many people here as a whole can say that they know what it exactly it cost them to be in business. If you are one of the companies reading this that do know there numbers than I congratulate you because it is not a easy thing to do. It is true that most people in the landscaping and snow removal trade do not know there numbers. If there was a formulas for everything that snow plowers use and landscapers. The playing field would be a lot better off and everyone most business's will be better off.
Loud and clear! Your future looks bright. Minimal due diligence will drastically improve your learning curve.

Last edited by TCLA; 10-09-2008 at 12:20 PM.
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  #11  
Old 10-09-2008, 02:31 PM
plowtime1 plowtime1 is offline
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Fisher,

was my reply what you were looking for...
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  #12  
Old 10-09-2008, 02:35 PM
elite1msmith elite1msmith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Oomkes View Post
You misunderstood. You asked if anyone priced by the square foot, I asked what are you selling. In your business for this question regarding sidewalks, what are you selling?

Are you selling square feet? Parking spaces? Driveways? Sidewalks?
mark im interested in Sq footage of tin foil.....
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  #13  
Old 10-09-2008, 04:09 PM
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TCLA TCLA is offline
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Originally Posted by plowtime1 View Post
Fisher,

was my reply what you were looking for...
I thought your reply was good ........he just didn't pay attention to it.
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  #14  
Old 10-09-2008, 06:01 PM
plowtime1 plowtime1 is offline
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thanks TCLA
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:20 PM
Fisher8HD Fisher8HD is offline
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Plowtime, Yea, That is what I am looking for. I just wanted to get other people thoughts onto how long it will take also. I am selling time on walk ways.

I am so confused with these replies. Let me ask this Question. How do different business's price snow removal service. By the hour? By the Square foot? Throwing a dart at a dart board and hope you hit a good mark? How do you price your snow removal service. Notice I am not asking on what to charge. To give you a little background. I do have about 8 years experience sitting in a truck plowing snow on a commercial level. I am not a newbie but i will say as my business grows I have to wonder something. How do you know that you are not losing money on the jobs you are plowing. Or the other way around. Maybe your charging to much and there is another company that knows what there overhead is and submits a bid. Guess what? that other company got the job over you because they are able to give a better price and still make a killing. Every business is different based on overhead. That would be a more general topic to talk about. Thanks
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  #16  
Old 10-09-2008, 08:09 PM
ContLand ContLand is offline
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You have to know your costs Fisher. It would be worth your time to see an accountant with your financials (if you have any) and get him to explain "your costs". If you don't have financials, write down as much info as you have on your costs (fuel,insurance,trk pay'ts,repairs, etc)(basically all the things that you can't charge a customer for, this is your overhead) before going to see him as he will cost you $120/hr. There are umpteen ways to estimate a job and everyone has their favourite way. Start job-costing everything you do from now on and you will soon learn if you are making or losing money. It's ok to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them!
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  #17  
Old 10-09-2008, 10:54 PM
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Ipushsnow Ipushsnow is offline
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I have an excel spreadsheet I use for all aspects of my business with formulas that I created. All I have to do is punch in the square footage of the lot, and the linear feet of sidewalk and it tells me approximate time to do it, what to charge, how much bulk salt I will use on the lot, and how many 50# bags of salt we will use on the walks. If I get a call from a customer wanting a price I look them up on google earth, measure the lot and walks, and enter the numbers in this spreadsheet. Of course I add or subtract according to location, PIA obstacles, etc.

Has worked great and no problems at all. The numbers I use for salt calculations have been dead nuts on as well.

Is that kind of what you are looking for?
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  #18  
Old 10-10-2008, 04:56 AM
Fisher8HD Fisher8HD is offline
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Yea, Exactly what I'm looking for. How did you go about doing that? I have someone helping me that showed me some stuff on what excel can do. I was amazed. Not only for snow plowing but also lawn Maintenance. That is the only way to do business. Its so much easier. So basically if you had someone doing your estimates you can hand them a estimating book and have them go out and estimate for you. That is my goal to be able to do that. Do you do lawn maintenance and snow plowing because it would work well with both. Thanks, now I feel like someone knows what I am talking about haha How long did it take you to come up with your formulas? What advice can you give me? How long did it take you? You must have tracked your times for a couples of years to be able to do that. I have a time keeping program that works absolutely aw some when tracking time on different tasks. Thank you.
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  #19  
Old 10-10-2008, 11:32 AM
plowtime1 plowtime1 is offline
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Fisher,
other company got the job over you because they are able to give a better price and still make a killing ;that is about knowing they're overhead e.g. warehouse,office staff,phone,lights etc. Somebody recently told me "that a contractor wanted $700.00 bucks"; I replied "thats their cost of doing business"; that doesn't constitute doing it for... lets say $690.00. You must know your production rate and your overall cost of doing business.

I have a time keeping program that works absolutely aw some when tracking time on different tasks. ; Keeping a journal Ahhh...now your on to something.

If your currently keeping track of recent jobs,then as you progress in the snow plowing arena; you too will learn more. Like myself, I'm sure a majority of professionals hear had to crawl before they could walk.
Best of Luck!
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  #20  
Old 10-10-2008, 11:34 AM
plowtime1 plowtime1 is offline
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I need a typing tutor...hear needs>(here)
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