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One price for the full season?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by progmc, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. progmc

    progmc Member
    Messages: 51

    Do any of you guys price out for the whole season. No matter how much it snows you get the same. I have a guy that wants me to do it for his lot. What it is is a 6 unit with a small parking lot on the south side mabe 20x40 and a 6 car garage on the north side. Theres not alot of room but I think that I could push alot of it to the front of the house in a hurry. any ways before I could even give him a bid he said that he was thinking about a thousand for the year with No side walks. Just the two lots. I told him that I would figure up a bid and let him know. I just didnt know if it would be smart to do the whole year or do per push like all my others.
     
  2. QMVA

    QMVA Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    Sounds like this guy wants to be as cheap as possible. Personally I would try to stay away from him. :nono:
     
  3. progmc

    progmc Member
    Messages: 51

    I guess I see where you are comming from but a $1000 for the whole season is decent I guess Just wanted to see if you guys have had any trouble doing it this way. I thought about telling him $1200 but not sure yet. It will take about 30 min. to do tops depending on traffic.
     
  4. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Make sure to figure about how many snowfalls you get on average a year and figure that into the cost along with insurance, truck payment if you have one, overhead, and fuel cost.
     
  5. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    Like BOSS says cover your costs and put in a little for profit.

    It don't heart to have a few seasonal contracts but not to many. if there is a lot of snow then your hourly contracts will help make up your loss and if it is a light year then the seasonal ones make sure you make a little.
    Just make sure you get paid in full before season starts. This gives you startup money which is always nice.
     
  6. Mick

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

    Sounds like it might be OK. Just be careful with your idea of pushing in front of the house. I'll only do that if specifically asked - I've had a couple of people ask me to do that so the snow would act as insulation and wind barrier. But make sure not to block the view or block any sidewalk or handicap ramp.

    Eau Claire, WI gets an average of 35" of snow per year. I'd say $1000 is good, but you'd want a multiple year agreement in case of harsh winter this year or put a cap on total snowfall/number of plows if he only wants it for this year.

    Check with your insurance agent but multiple-dwelling units may not be covered under your General Liability policy.
     
  7. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    Even the most seasoned snowplow veterans have problems with the "seasonal" pricing. Since you live in the land of cheese I assume you see a fair amount of snow. You are talking about plowing 2 lots that don't have a lot of space. The less space there is to manuever the longer it can take to plow the lot. What if you get hammered with snow and you have no place to put it? Will you be responsible for that as well? It also takes longer to plow heavier snowfalls.

    Assuming it snows 10 times this year and your minimum fee is $100.00 an hour. Can you plow the lots in under an hour? What if it snows 15 times. Than you will be up the snowy creek.

    I suggest this... Again using the average of 10 snowfalls per season and a $100.00 minimum per hour, go with the $1000.00 per season. Then add into the agreement that there will be an additional fee imposed if there are more than 10 snowfalls. Say, maybe $100.00 per event. If it snows less than you are in the clear. If it snows more than your margin is covered. If he asks if he can get a break if it snows less than 10 times you tell him no because that $1000.00 is like a security blanket. It guarantees the lot to be cleared.
     
  8. J HIsch

    J HIsch Member
    Messages: 66

    Follow Mick's thread. Multiple year contract.
     
  9. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113


    The only problem is if you push for a "more than 10" clause, they may want a clause if little of no snow falls that year, I would if I was the client and you want overage protection on a fixed price contract anyway.
     
  10. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    Like I said in my earlier post... If he asks if he can get a break if it snows less than 10 times you tell him no because that $1000.00 is like a security blanket. It guarantees the lot to be cleared.
     
  11. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    There is enough competition out there that you do not need to pay 1000 buck for a "security blanket" I me I have push snow for years but if I was a client looking for a fixed price contract, it would be regardless of snow amount be it season totals of 6 inches or 6 feet otherwise there is no real advatage for client because his costs can rise during winter if cause is in there. My feeling is that if you do a one price contract, it should be that way regardless or not at all, for what it is worth.
     
  12. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    I don't have a problem with seasonal contracts especially if you work alone. Your overhead,truck payments, insurance and plow are all fixed costs that have to be met. If you have an average of 12 snowfalls per year figure out how much you want per snowfall X it by 12 and add a bit extra for a cushion. If it snows 14 you lost a bit, but only time and fuel. If you take all your expenses and divide them by 12 and give the guy a price per snowfall and it snows 6 times your expenses per snowfall just doubled. If you can get a mix of both seasonal and per plow that is always best. If you need to borrow money you can always take the contract price to the bank telling them you have this much work for this winter, snow or no snow.
     
  13. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    Yes I am not against them, it is just that you need to lock price in completely for client too to make it attractive to them too.
     
  14. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    I have told a few of my customers that a snow plowing service is like car insurance. If you haven't had a claim on your car insurance do you drive it into the wall so you feel like you got your monies worth. Some years it will snow more then others. Look at an average for 5 years.
     
  15. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    YOu are right, there is a ton of competition out there. Unfortunately, most of the competition is from uninsured newbie lowballers. I have an established snowplow business with a large profile of contracts. Many clients have asked about a seasonal contract. After I explain the pros and cons to them they usually stay away from them. I only have 5 or 6 seasonals. Those are the big buck accounts like strip malls and trucking terminals. I could go on about the security blanket issue but it seems I may be wasting time.
     
  16. lawnmedic

    lawnmedic Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    I love a nice mix of seasonal and per push clients, but all of my seasonal clients are 12 month contracts. They include lawn and snow with flat monthly fee. This works great when applying for credit, also allows the customer budget for the year....
     
  17. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    There are some out there that are under insured for sure but just because they under bid, does not always mean that they are underinsured or that they doo not know what they are doing because I have been know to underbid just to "show" them your service on a few occaisions. There is a LOT of hungry plow truck drivers out there and it gets worse every year and some are seasoned veterans too.
     
  18. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

  19. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    Hey I remember that even as recently as about 10 years ago, I had next to no competition around here. Things have changed a lot since then and you have to change with them sometimes.
     
  20. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    I guess it all depends on what markets you are pursuing. You can have all the gas stations and convenience stores you want. Personally, I will stick to the properties that a lowballer can't even think of plowing without references, large equipment, and most important, experience.