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For you guys who do shopping centers..

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by lazerpa, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. lazerpa

    lazerpa Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I've got a great opportunity to give a quote on the mowing/maintenance of 2 shopping centers.

    The guy just called and said he would really like me to do the snow removal as well..

    To this point I've only been doing snow removal on smaller lots (gas stations ect.) and residentials.

    Just to give an idea on size...

    1 shopping center has a department store, a grocery store, and a slew of other stores (like dollar general/subway)

    The other one is just a grocery store with a cvs and a few smaller stores.

    Heres my question.

    Do you generally give a price per inch or an hourly rate for snow removal based on personnel and equipment.

    Usually I have been giving a price per inch..

    Any input on how you guys like to put these together would be great..

    thanks in advance!
  2. dayexco

    dayexco Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    if it's being managed by a nsp...RUN, the other way
  3. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    You need to speek to who ever it was that asked you to quote the job. Ask them for bid specs. If they don't have any, then your getting in way over your head. If they do have them, then just sit down and do the math. If it is being bid from a national service provider, then as mentioned already run.
    I guess this needs to be asked, but if all you have plowed before is small stuff, then do you even have the equipment it takes to bid something of this size? Multiple trucks, loaders, skids, blowers, and manpower? If you don't already have this list you might not want to get to big to fast. Also make sure you have enough insurance and workers comp to cover anything, and I mean anything. Big lots are not always better.
  4. csi.northcoast

    csi.northcoast Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    amen to all of the above mentioned...but one other thing....make sure you have the $$$$$ to carry you... until you are paid... say for example you have a big december, you have to out lay monies for fuel, insurance p/r repair, salt etc. you may have to wait depending on the customer 30-45 days (or in the case of some NSP 90-120 ....sorry maybe a bit over doing..) m y best advice do not get too big too fast ...sow and steady wins the race
  5. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,248

    Join SIMA and use the search function on here. Your question has been asked 100 different ways and each client wants it done 100 different ways. Figure out the scope of service which the owner the shopping center should have as it will outline everything needed to submit a proposal. But for a quick answer we usually go per service or a flat seasonal rate. I have never done per inch. Good Luck.
  6. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Not trying to be mean but this request is not reasonable to ask. I just don't understand why here on this forum some think it is ok to think that some one can answer this for you with a reasonable answer.

    I belong to a forum that is geared for contractors only and on that site if some one asks these types of questions the thread is locked down and directed to this statement.

    Here is the response:

    This site would do others justice by making this a sticky.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
  7. MatthewG

    MatthewG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    Not sure if you took care of this or not, but if you need any help, Id be happy to give you some pointers, Im close by
  8. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Not much discussion on that site I guess.
  9. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    That reply should be a sticky!!! Well said,
  10. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,106

    That was good.................I'm sticky after reading it.
  11. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    If the first guy to build a boat was asked how to do it and he said no,we wouldn't have aircraft carriers now. Guys complain all the the time about lowballers and stuff ,just pass a little info along to the next guy and he will learn and help you out in the long run.
  12. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    I hear you Scott...but I firmly believe one has to learn to walk before they can run. John Mac's reply was perfect IMO.
  13. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    just to put this in a perspective, the Original Poster, askes a question like "do other contractors like to price per inch or hourly rate?" and we are all berating him for it?!?! Am i missing something here? Its not like he came on here asking questions like "I have a 200 000sq ft lot i need to bid on, what would other guys in my area charge for it?"

    Back the the OP's original question, I like to charge hourly (with a retainer fee) for my equipment for commercial work, the main reason being that with a hourly charge you never lose money, you may not make as much money as you would doing per push or seasonal but you are covered for your expenses and always know how much you are making profit on the hour. Doing a per push is ok too, just make sure you decide when you can get into a lot, nothing sucks as much as waiting for a call from a contract that is letting the snow build up to get value for the push. The biggest problem with doing it per inch in the arguement factor, so many people well argue how many inch/inches there were.
  14. BillyRgn

    BillyRgn Senior Member
    Messages: 713

    You need to ask for bid spec's and requirements, way to many varyables with out knowing what they want, for instance do you need a bid bond or performance bond or both? If you give them a price and then they say o by the way you need a performance bond on top of your GL policy, then that could cost you several thousand that you did not expect. Get the specs and requirements and go from there. You then should be able to come up with some specific questions we can help you with, more times then not the customer will tell you how they want you to charge and what to include,(per inch, hourly, seasonal). Good luck
  15. snowtorture

    snowtorture Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    I worked for a guy that charged both by the inch (1 swipe every 2") and by the hour.