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General Bidding

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Drewcifer, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. Drewcifer

    Drewcifer Junior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 7

    Plowing $$
    Salting $$

    hey guys im new here but not to the business of winter work. i have been working with my current boss now for about 6 to 7 years but i kinda wanna branch off on my own a bit. I have a 2000 Ford Excursion with a 8 foot arctic plow on it and am looking for a small spreader for the back.

    My question is whats a good average rate to work with when bidding on a job i don't wanna be cheep but i don't want my service to be unreachable either. so just general information would be useful to me for plowing and salting,

    thanks for any help or input you give.
    By the way i live in Ontario Canada xysport
    and my boss is tight lipped about his rates
     
  2. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    Help bidding

    I see many post about bidding jobs. Here's your solution.
    Have you ever asked yourself what you should charge for a job? All businesses need a solid foundation. Your bidding is the foundation of your company. If you want to gain the confidence to know why you charge what you charge for any service that you offer and never second guess yourself again, check out our bidding package on our web site.
    I gives you a simple, accurate, and professional method to determine your company’s cost per hour of operation based on your equipment, use-rates and overhead. Not an industry standard. The only thing good about an industry standard is a good laugh. Trying to run your company based on anything other than your company’s cost is a sure bet to lose profit and to eventually put yourself out of business. How do I say this with such conviction, because we almost did it. I will share with you the changes that we made in 1987 that turned our company from a zero to a hero!
    This package also includes how to take your cost per hour of operation and put it into an effective bidding methodology for anything as simple as a residential lawn to bidding a large corporate account. You will gain the confidence necessary to submit a fair and profitable proposal to secure the contract. It also explains why a service agreement is good for both you and your clients both residential or commercial. The information shared in this package can actually catapult your business to the next level regardless if you are a one-truck operation or a multi-crew company. These four manuals and CD include our 35 years of experience and knowledge as a commercial contractor. Put it to work for you.
    Thanks again for the opportunity. http://profitsareus.com/…/bidding-estimating-contracts-pac…/
     
  3. Drewcifer

    Drewcifer Junior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 7

    well not to be rude but this was incredibly un-helpfull. all you tried to do was sell me a product....
     
  4. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Depends on area, seems the farther north the lower the rate. More snow=lower hourly rate generally. That being said I'm in ND and typical rate is $65-75 hour depending on blade size and a v plow or not.
     
  5. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 555

    Although you did not like Mr. Volzs reply he explained a basic to you that you need to listen to. That basic is that you need to arrive at your cost of doing business to arrive at billing rates, not someone else's numbers. By the way those numbers vary greatly throughout Canada and the US. Spend a little time with an accountant or purchase a product to help you start up. You have a bit of time to get it right before next season.
     
  6. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    Thanks for helping

    Mr. Witte - Thanks for helping explain how I was honestly trying to help the young man. The documented failure rates for our industry is a sure sign of why you can't simply ask someone else what to charge. With all due respect to everyone on here, here's why you should know your own numbers. I realize many of you guys understand but this is for those that don't.

    It really is this simple on why you should use your own equipment, use-rates and overhead to determine pricing. Regardless of the equipment you use such as Western, Boss, Blizzard, Meyer, etc. all of those manufacturers know what it cost them to build a plow. Can we agree on that? If so, then why shouldn't you as a contractor know what it cost "YOU" to offer your service. The right answer is you should. Regardless of what anyone else charges, you are responsible for determining your own break-even point and then add mark-up based on what your market will bear and your desired profit margin. I don't have a big picture of Boss calling up Meyer and asking what they should charge for their plow.
     
  7. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    Regardless of what anyone else charges, you are responsible for determining your own break-even point and then add mark-up based on what your market will bear and your desired profit margin. I don't have a big picture of Boss calling up Meyer and asking what they should charge for their plow.[/QUOTE]

    This should be required reading before ever posting on this site. "How do I price this" threads are just ridiculous
     
  8. Drewcifer

    Drewcifer Junior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 7

    alright i can understand this :) so then my question becomes how do i search for what my market can bear ??
    also whats the blizzard clause ?? ( found it on the site )
    I figured out PITA and i like it :)

    i have plowed for 6 or 7 years now but no clue on stuff like this. im literly blind in all this....

    from what i can find my city average in 76.5 inchs (194 cm) per year with 4 storms of 4 inchs (10 cm) in a day
    all the info is based on stats from 1981-2010

    thanks guys i may be a pain but ill learn yet :D tymusic
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
  9. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 555

    So this question leads me to believe you just want to charge what others charge (or just under) to get you in the game. That information will not guarantee profitability for you. Knowing your cost of doing business, knowing average area snowfall, knowing average frequencies of service, and knowing production rates all will play a significant part in coming up with your cost of doing business. Once you arrive at your cost and what you need to charge (not what someone else charges) you will be able to make an informed decision on whether or not to continue moving forward. Please do your homework.
     
  10. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 704

    Figure out your over head. Figure out replacement costs for equipment. Figure how long it takes to do a job. Figure out what you need to cover the above plus a profit
     
  11. navyman

    navyman Member
    Messages: 66

    Here is what I always say... charge what the contractors charge and you won't diminish the industry profitability, don't underbid them much and you will probably still get the job...or worse.... do it for half and work 80 + hours a week to make what you could make in forty...this is what has happened to the Mow industry. Everyone who lost their factory job is now mowing and charging half what a professional contractor can do it for and as a result we contractors are mowing for the same hourly rate we were 20 years ago. This is my 28th year, and I am about done, the green industry has turned into a mom and pops business. and likely the snow industry also, wait a minute the snow industry has always been the beer money "GIG" lol!
     
  12. Drewcifer

    Drewcifer Junior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 7


    ummmm beer :drinkup:
     
  13. Drewcifer

    Drewcifer Junior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 7

    i know to figure out my overhead and how long to do a job and amounts of snow per year ive learned that here in the last week or so but all this info wont tell me if my market area can handle my price and if it cant then what cut my price and work for peanuts ???

    some how i need to find some going rates for/in my area so i can include it into all my research correct ??
     
  14. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 555

    If your market can't handle your price, don't get in the game. I am surprised that after six or seven years of plowing you are clueless to pricing. Are you profitable as a sub? If so why change, if not why are you subbing. Being a sub is also a business.
     
  15. navyman

    navyman Member
    Messages: 66

    unless you are in China I don't see how you can keep above water for less than $85 p/hr. as a business. However ,if you have no overhead i.e. insurance, State and Federal taxes, shop and all associated expenses, fig. your gas, replacement costs of equip. (what will it cost to replace or fix your truck and associated equipment...? can you buy a beater for $4000 or less? at any given time? in case your current truck pukes. most repairs are typically $4000 and less. So can you make enough each time to replace equipment or just buy beer? Your truck will do $40 per hour worth of work your talent is worth what ever you think it is worth. I wouldn't take anything less than $25 p /hr for my expertise and I get much more (I have 28 yrs exp.) If you are experienced you should charge at least $65 p/ hr. And I wouldn't do any drive for less than $25 that's a minimum even if it only takes 10 minutes. So there , do you have something to go by now? Good luck, I was once where you are now but had no social media to help me.
     
  16. Drewcifer

    Drewcifer Junior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 7

    Herm White

    yes i have been plowing for a landscape company for 6-7 years however my boss never lets us in on his prices or how he even bids his work. i have heard from customers hes a bit expensive but he and his workers are good so they eat the cost for good work but i my self have never bid anything cause i had no clue what to bid and had no equipment anyways i do now. all i have learned in the past week or so has been from this form page. i have also never done any sub work but id be open to it after my regular work was complete. thanks for the advice and help though i have got some pointers from you to :)

    navyman

    did some one say beer ??
    thank you this is some general information im looking for. i have been doing some digging around my area to try and find some local prices to see maybe what an high low average could be to see the market trend for this area. so far not much luck but im gonna dig around some more tomorrow to see what i can find. in the mean time these are some numbers to consider and see where im at and im sure i should convert those numbers to canadian dollars....not that theres much of a difference now LOL

    must find local markets some where i would think

    thanks again guys
     
  17. Mike N

    Mike N Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    Where is the "like" button for this post?
     
  18. navyman

    navyman Member
    Messages: 66

    you pushed it! Lol!
     
  19. Drewcifer

    Drewcifer Junior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 7