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Bidding For This Coming Season

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Enzo, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. Enzo

    Enzo Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    Hello All,

    I havent been on here in quite some time. I have been getting a list together of some small commercial properties I want to hit with a bid for this coming winter. I have a list of about twenty businesses some are family owned which is a plus, but I would like to know about the other corporate ones. Should I send a letter out to there actual place of business and address it to the manager or owner? I also have phone numbers of all these places, I went to the library and researched the adresses and phone numbers so I can contact them. Also in this letter that I will be writing should I include pricing for their lot or should I just introduce myself to them and if they take the bait I can follow up with another letter that includes pricing? I know I have alot of questions but this is my first time going after some commercial accounts.

    Thanks,

    Enzo
     
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I'd start by walking in to the store or local office, introduce yourself and what you do; then ask if they have a Request For Proposal that contractor's submit bids according to or just accept bids for plowing snow. The formality of the bid usually depends on the nature and structure of the business. Sometimes, local managers handle it all and sometimes bids go to corporate HQ. Be flexible and take cues as you talk to them. Be prepared with a business card, copy of Commercial Auto and General Liability insurance and able to come up with a price on-the-spot if asked (usually this is by small, family-owned businesses).
     
  3. Enzo

    Enzo Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    I was planning on doing that, but I dont think I can just walk into Burger King one afternoon and ask for the manager to talk about a proposal for the snow. I thought about sending in a letter like I mentioned, but the adresses I have are of the place of business not of the franchise owner. How should I do this?
     
  4. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

     
  5. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I agree with Todd. They're not allowed to shoot you for asking. If nothing else, you can find out who to contact. If you don't ask, you're not going to get anywhere.
     
  6. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    Isn't it a little early?

    I need to strum up more business myself, but i was planning on waiting a couple more months. Do businesses even think about snow before September?
     
  7. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Some do; especially the bigger ones. Our town is already taking bids for plowing three routes and stocking sand shed.
     
  8. Enzo

    Enzo Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    Well I did what you guys mentioned and it worked. I called them instead first and they said they are accepting proposals and they would look at it. I am going to post pictures from google maps of the properties. If anyone can let me know what they think I should bid this at just for snow removal that would be great so I could get some type of idea. I know it will be in a contract for this winter season and they will have a chance to renew or cancel at the end of the season. I want to do it on a basis of like $100 per storm for the winter season no matter how many storms there are, or should I just do one flat fee of these three places for the whole season? These places need to be salt/sanded and shoveled side walks. I attached 3 images below of the places.

    Thanks,

    Enzo

    1 Building.JPG

    2 Buildings.JPG
     
  9. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Are you going to get a chance to talk to someone there before you submit a bid? If so, ask them if they have what's called a "Request For Proposal". This will usually outline what they want, how they want to be billed and so on. If not, prepare separate bids based on "per plow" and "seasonal" pricing. Be prepared to detail how you'll ensure timely clearing for customers and employees. Be prepared with a plan of where you'll push snow so as not to block entrance/exit line-of sight and how you'll handle unexpected snowfalls or snow during hours of operation. Look professional, act professionally and you'll be taken seriously. Be concerned only with how much you'll charge and how you'll bill and your proposal will gravitate to the bottom of the stack.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2008
  10. Enzo

    Enzo Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    I was thinking of doing monthly billing and I appreciate the advice as well. I am going to come up with some pricing and ask around some contractors I know around the area and see what they say.
     
  11. MightySal

    MightySal Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    I used to work for Burger King corp. and franchise it is up to the individual store manager to secure his/her own snow and landscape company. Corp & Fran. owners can careless who the store uses just as long as it is not over budget. (if over budget it makes the manager look like he/she doesn't know what they are doing) Also like said earlier make sure you know what they want you to do during a day time storm. If it is to just open up the lot and come back when closed to clean up, or just wait till the end of storm to do the whole thing then. I would put in the contract pricing for open hours to clear dt lane and drive ways and mark it as per call of mgr. and pricing for total clean out after hours. Most store will have emp. do sidewalks while they are open and in the am just before the store opens so you may not have to do sidewalks.
    Hope this helps.

    Saw in another thread that you are looking for a contract. Talk to your lawyer he can help you with wording. You don't want to word things wrong in a contract, it can screw you in the end.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2008