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charging

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by gus1234, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. gus1234

    gus1234 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I would like a little help from the pros. I am not sure how to deal with charging my customers when it snows for two days straight. Should I go and shovel and snow blow after 6 inches and then go back again after the snow reaches 6 inches again, or wait until all the snow falls then do clean up. The reason I ask is because I never discussed this with my customers and I want to be fare to them but I do want to get paid.

    Thanks
     
  2. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    That is something you need to discuss with your customers. Some will want it done at least 1 time per day, others will want it done every 6 inches, still others will just want it done once per storm. Call or visit each customer and see what they want, and when they want it.
     
  3. mnglocker

    mnglocker Senior Member
    Messages: 923

    You should be FAIR to them and your self also.

    I have it in my contracts that we will come at the end of the storm or every 4", which ever comes first and we have a trigger amount of 1".
     
  4. gus1234

    gus1234 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    mnglocker you are saying that you go out and remove snow when there is 1" on the ground.
     
  5. mnglocker

    mnglocker Senior Member
    Messages: 923

    If the total snowfall is under 1" we stay in the shop. Once it hits 1" or greater, we're coming to plow it when the storm is over, or when the precipitation hits 4". Which ever comes fist. (The end of the snowfall or 4 inches of white stuff)
     
  6. gus1234

    gus1234 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I see thanks. Yesterday we had 1 " hit the ground so I just stayed home and cleared my sidewalks and driveway. When I go out tomorrow I will ask all my clients if they would like me to come every snow, because i think that a residential property looks much nicer when it is cleared of snow. Also I will clear it up about what they would like to see when we have a lot of snow coming down.
    Thanks again
     
  7. NicholasMWhite

    NicholasMWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    This is generally how I work. I have 1, 2, and 3 inch triggers depending on the customer. Next year I think I will tell the 3 inchers that they have to go to 2 inches just to make things easier for me.

    My question for you is what if 4 inches is on the ground and you know there will be only 1-1.5 inches more. Would you wait till the end of the storm? Generally in that situation, I would wait. UNLESS it was just before the morning when everyone leaves for work, or afternoon when everyone comes home. Then I would at least go take care of my working (non retired) customers and probably leave the retired customers till then end which really helps with my routing.
     
  8. gus1234

    gus1234 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    That is a good question i guess i have not thought happening. I guess what i would do is start with the people that had to go to work early and then on to the people that are retired. the delema i have is that i would fell gilty charging again for the early morning cusomers so i would just stop and finish clearing all the snow for free.
     
  9. mnglocker

    mnglocker Senior Member
    Messages: 923

    Here's the deal, you spell it out in writing. They agree to it, you agree to it. Don't work for free.
     
  10. NicholasMWhite

    NicholasMWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    I haven't had any problems yet. Say their trigger is 3 inches, as long as there is more than 3 inches on the ground when I plow the first time and at least close to 3 inches the second time. What I think you need to do is go to all your customers and ask them what is the highest amount of snow that they want to deal with themselves. Like I said I have people with 1, 2, and 3 inch triggers. The 2 customers that I have with 1 inch triggers pretty much get plowed every time it snows, but they are aware of that and that is what the chose because they don't want to have to deal with it at all. The rest are responsible for clearing the snow themselves. They are not allowed to just leave it because then it makes it very difficult the next time I do have to plow. If they didn't clear it themselves I would tell them they either need to lower their trigger or find another plowing service better suited to their needs.

    Like I said talk to your customers and figure out what they want. Get a feel for them and then make sure to keep their best interests in mind. But don't do anything for free and don't take on more than you can handle. I only take on 8 hours worth of work and I only do that much because 6 of them are retired and don't need it done until 9-10 o'clock and conveniently they all are at the end of my route clustered together. At this point when I get calls for work I ask them if they need to get out to go to work in the morning and if they say yes then I tell them I can't accept their business.
     
  11. gus1234

    gus1234 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Yes you are right. I am new at this and so I don’t have a contract that I use, I agree to a price and say that I will show up when there is 2" or more on the ground and shack there hand and say have a great day. All I do is snow blow and shovel residential properties and beer gardens for bars. Last year I had 5accounts and this year I have 15 it seems to be working out pretty good. But once again you are right I shouldn’t be working for free and I should have a contract so everyone knows what is going to happen when it snows.
     
  12. MattR

    MattR Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    Hi Gus... As you know we are expecting to get dumped on with Saturday's storm. 14 inches last time I checked. Anyways, I have been getting calls already from new customers asking prices. I tell them right out that with the amount of snow we are expecting, that I will have to hit the driveway at least twice. I start out @ $20 for a drive during regular snowfall. With this storm they know in advance that I will have to charge more than a single push if they want my services. Some hang up on me, while others understand and ask to be included on the route list. I even had a regular customer call me today and inform me of when her work schedule was for Saturday so she could make sure she could get to work.

    The E.C. area is alot like my area, lots of "handshake" deals. Most do not like contracts and would rather just agree on something verbally. For those who do not like to deal with contracts and would rather have a Gentleman's agreement, I do supply them with a sheet of paper that explains how I do business (services and prices) so they can always refer back to that. So far so good with that system. What probably helps is majority of those are retired farmers and they like that old fashioned agreement and service.