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advice on how to bid

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by snowplower1, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    I have been having a lot of problems trying to make sure i'm bidding correct. I want to make sure i am not bidding too low so i don't make anything but i don't want to lose every bid.
    My question is, does anyone have a set formula based on maybe making a set hourly price you charge people per trip based on your bills, paying someone to plow for you and the typical things we have to pay for
    also maybe a set formula for just doing it based on the size of the lot.

    I understand that it varies by areas but if you could share how you do it, any help sharing how you find the best price would be great. thank you
     
  2. BRL1

    BRL1 Senior Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 657

    Well this is how I do it... I only take jobs I know will make me money and that aren't a pain in the ass. One piece of advice I can give you is be patient the jobs will pop up all around you and then you can jump on them. My company is from a town of only 66k people and I still wont take a job if it is all the way across town. It just doesn't make sense to spend 20 min driving to my next job unless its a big lot that I will be making considerably good profit on. We have been in the landscaping business for 13 years and its all about picking and choosing your jobs. But to answer your question I just factor in the amount of time it takes by your hourly rate and when they want the snow removed by, as well as the trigger lower the trigger usually the faster you can get it done. Then add up all your materials and for you your hourly pay for your operators. then add on top of that figure what profit you would like to make for that specific size of job..
     
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Need to add up what your monthly bills are first. Then figure out the among of goes and low among of hours .then divide it up . Then in the end you charge 190.00 for the season for driveways
     
  4. Citytow

    Citytow Senior Member
    from phila
    Messages: 548

    you got to start somewhere . I started subbing for a large contractor for years until I was comfortable and large enough to compete. there are several factors to a business . me or anyone else here would be lying to you if they said there was a set formula or set price in this business.

    for example , I could get double and sometimes triple the price for a large driveway in an affluent neighborhood than I could in middleclass one. (gouging)
    you can charge by the push (per event), by the inch or season. iv always had good fortune charging by the inch . it seemed the easiest to estimate the time to clear snow and the fairest for both parties involved .

    iv noticed a huge scam over the years by snow brokers and corps taking advantage of the small contractor. BE CAREFUL when bidding . theres a reason your bidding ,most likely in this business they burned the last guy. reason being is they figure if they owe you say 34k , they know it would take you that much in litigation to see nothing . its called the sharks eating the guppies method . a food chain sort of .
     
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Where he is located last I heard driveways are going for under 200 for the season.
     
  6. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    Wow and I thought we had it bad here
     
  7. Citytow

    Citytow Senior Member
    from phila
    Messages: 548

    you'd think he'd think that one out before posting . but I guess that's why he has 13k posts
     
  8. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    We do only commercial. 200 a driveway is about where it is actually. If anybody has a good idea how to do per trip bidding for 2" is the type of contracts we are usually interested in
     
  9. Citytow

    Citytow Senior Member
    from phila
    Messages: 548

    all depends . how many miles per trip (portal to portal). per push is what I think your interested in . that's a one time deal , usually the customer , who thinks you can come and push 2' in one shot , will pull that trigger .

    try this
    ice -2''.................. $______
    2.1-4''.................. $______
    4.1-6''.................. $______ or 3-4'' increment pricing ...makes them realize what they're getting & for how much .

    when you reach 12'' or 1' .......$______ + $______EA. ADDL. INCH OVER

    have a binding contract and ensure the customer knows what website you plan on using for total accumulation. there are a lot of configurations to do business by . just make sure all the loopholes are closed . they'll find them for you . just bc we have plows , people think were making millions .

    make any sense ? don't give it away just to get the work during winter . I know a guy who lost his pants doing that .
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
  10. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    well actually how my contract spells out the per pushes is that we come every 2" so in a storm we'll be there every 2 inches so multiple times in a day. i just gotta figure out how to make sure im pricing it at a level thats making me money and isnt a price that gets turned away immediately.
     
  11. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Are you trying to take your long term debt and trying to pay it off short term?
     
  12. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    no just trying to make sure im being reasonable with my bids lol
     
  13. Citytow

    Citytow Senior Member
    from phila
    Messages: 548

    I never tried it like that . . just seems like your at their mercy returning. so if you have 5 bidded like that in a 20'' storm with in a 10 mile radius , you don't stop. seems ridiculous really. traffic jambs , trees down and accidents would be a nightmare . unless you have trucks on site .
     
  14. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    well each of our plowers has a area that we have stuff in that they plow so they're not running around too much
     
  15. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Guess your thinking is, if all your expenses break down to a 100 an hr ,then you want to make that plus profit. But if your area only will bring in 75 an hr,you'll need to figure things out then. Go seasonal!
     
  16. Citytow

    Citytow Senior Member
    from phila
    Messages: 548

    you make an excellent point here. that's about what he is doing when the days said & done . Thumbs Up
     
  17. springscapes

    springscapes Junior Member
    from Stayner
    Messages: 6

  18. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    yeah all good stuff. i have a long time before i make final decisions on bids so i have a long time to learn, i only put my input on how i think about the lot and what the price i would do it for but my dad is the one that makes the final decision but he has been doing it for so long he can just say how much it should be done for but doesnt have a way to teach me.

    anyone bid by measuring the lot and just have a price per sq ft? if so how do you go about it.
     
  19. Citytow

    Citytow Senior Member
    from phila
    Messages: 548

    basically it comes down to time and material.
     
  20. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    yeah im gonna go in depth on how much we spend a month and try to find a good method