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I set the deadline!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by bhmjwp, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. bhmjwp

    bhmjwp Senior Member
    from kcmo
    Messages: 309

    How do you guy's handle accounts that delay signing contracts? Still waiting on bids-waiting for approvals, ect.

    I have set my deadline as Oct. 28Th. I have my manpower and chemicals set up for the accounts that have confirmed. I have a letter ready to send on Mon. withdrawing my bids and will submit new bids if required to all outstanding accts. I'm figuring at 25% increase. Drives me nuts every year and have said enough is enough!

    Am I just getting old and cranky?
  2. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    you aren't old and cranky, this makes everyone angry, i have the same problem with quite a few bids, a lot of them have done this to me this year, and i phoned all that were still outstanding, and made mention that as of the oct 15 i was going to pursue other contracts unless they confirmed even via email, because it isn't fair to leave me hanging, i ended up getting confirmations on most of the contracts. i don't know if i would put a charge increase on it, i would just make a clause that says contract must be confirmed by such a day or it becomes invalid. When i phoned around i did inform all clients though that i would not be holding a spot open for their quotes after the 15th
  3. APLC

    APLC Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    :realmad::gunsfiring: i know right they want to wait until there is snow in the forecast then everyone wants on the bandwagon, it such bull because we need to get the route ready and still waiting on freaking contracts from AUG:angry:
  4. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    i wouldn't add 25%.......probably have a good 2 months before winter hits.....
  5. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,593

    I'm in the same situation- My biggest account;called, e-mailed, dropped off a copy of the contract with a self addressed stamped envelope; no response. At this point, I don't care if I lose the account but how hard is it to return an e-mail?:realmad:
  6. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    for those that are waiting on contracts..

    is there pre-payment involved, if so it is possible that the company does not have funds allocated for snow opps yet, thus no return contract until they do. I had a church contract that paid in three payments: Dec 31, Feb 28, April 30th.

    they also could be shopping, it is in their financial best interest to do so.

    are any of you on good terms with the secretary? if so just ask her why the delay and what you could do for next year to speed things up.

    try doing a multi-year contract usually 3 yr. it must be written with the client in mind so both sides feel comfortable with it, meaning it needs an opt-out clause in July.
  7. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,593

    I think part of the problem is most people see snow as a nuisance, we see it as a way to make money. Alot of business owners (customers) don't want to deal with the prospect of extra expense until they absolutely have to. Makes planning ahead a real pain in the a$$ on our end.
  8. bhmjwp

    bhmjwp Senior Member
    from kcmo
    Messages: 309


    Thank you for the imput. I read on here a lot more than I post. And i have to say it is a great learning experience even after 15 yrs. of snow removal.

    11of 15 accts signed by Wed. 5 pm. 1 ask for extention til Mon. to get from Corp. 2 ask for re-bids, want to bet they lost the paperwork! Sent new bid sheets with increase, 2 still no return calls or paperwork.

    As it is not customary for up front payments here-not a problem. Good on going communications as they are year around customers w/lawncare. As to being to early to worry-most of these accounts have equiptment and chemical stored on site. Planning is key for both the customer and ourselves. We supply most accounts w/chemical, sholves and warning signage for their in-house personal to use as needed. Takes some planning.

    I think it is mostly a lack of concern until the first flurries fly. Next year I am going to send proposals out with an Oct 15. deadline-and a 25% increase after that date. There is a cost to not paying attention to business. Yes, it may cost me! But I'll sleep better at least before the snow fly's!
  9. SnowGuy

    SnowGuy Senior Member
    from NW Ohio
    Messages: 201

    In my opinion after 35 years of plowing, I think that if you handle your accounts that way you will probably lose them. I have plowed are local K-Mart store for 25+ years and this year they went with an out of town contractor that then sub-contracted it out to a guy than bid it for less per month for total services (plowing and de-icing) than I averaged having in the salt alone that I used monthly on the account ! It in now a dog eat dog world for snow removal and there will always be someone out there to do it for less. If you piss off your customers, they will then have a reason to shop price and you will probably lose big time. In my opinion only !!!
  10. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    Ain't that the truth...snowguy.
  11. bhmjwp

    bhmjwp Senior Member
    from kcmo
    Messages: 309

    You may be right! But if the industry is no longer profitable-then why stay in. If price drives the professionals out, then the day will come that the lowballers drive themselves out. I got into the business because of requests from customers that could not get reliable and quality service. Maybe go south for a few winters and the requests will come again. Don't get me wrong, I really respect my customers and give above and beyond in service and attention. I am getting old and stubbom and will not operate at a lessor quality for a lessor $. Anyone who thinks that the same service can be had for 1/2 the dollars has business management lessons to review.