1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Price Calculations

Discussion in 'Sweeper Forum' started by redman6565, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    Im new to this, so im asking for help. but how do you calculate seasonal prices when some customers want 4 times a week, 5 times a week, once a week, etc. im having trouble figuring out a solid formula to quote prices.
     
  2. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    they only want to be plowed 4 times a week what about the other 3 days a week

    JK i know this is the sweeper forum:D
     
  3. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    im gonna plow with my sweeper truck :salute:

    ill put salt bring in the water tank holder :drinkup:
     
  4. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    i would put a plow on the sweeper truck you have a plow on everything else with a motor:D
     
  5. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 617

    Do you know where you need your hourly rate to be in order to be profitable or is this what you are trying to figure out? If you are already sweeping, then seasonal shouldn't be too hard. If they want 4 times per week, then 4 x 52 weeks x price per visit. Little more info I guess or a little more sleep on my part and I will re-read later.
     
  6. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    touche my friend, touche. i take pride in the versatility of all my machinery. someday ill figure out how to plow with my big 619 scraper and my large excavators wesport
     
  7. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    i think i want to be at around 85.00 per hour. now these lots are only a couple miles away from my shop. but with seasonal calculations, i always thought that they would be cheaper than straight up hourly rates...
     
  8. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 617

    Good luck! I know pricing is variable per region, but I just lost 2 large ones this week to someone. Guy bids for $60 per sweep on accounts that take 2-3hrs.
     
  9. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    wow! thats brutal
     
  10. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    tha lowballers are worse than in plowing:eek:
     
  11. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    and thats sad because there are about a quarter of us sweepers to guys that plow.
     
  12. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    What the CAM cost of the property? you will always have your lowballers outhere;just keep following up customers to the actual level of service they're getting from this lowballer. It's a shame people will actually leave loyalty for a buck. we dont bother going after litter accounts,not worth the aggravation because anyone legally or not, can park the machine basically in their garage and thus reducing the overhead compared to a normal run business JMO
     
  13. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 617

    Redman- Brutal is a nice way of putting it. We are talking about an account 35-40 min sw of me. This guy is located another 40 min north of me. He did snag another account from me which would be on the route to the farther store. This would help a little with the travel time, but he is still bidding these accounts around $20/hr without travel time. I don't see how I could do the route without any employees and cover costs at $20/hr let alone figure in something to cover my wages and profit. I don't foresee it lasting. Something will give. Either he will up the cost within a month or so, or his quality will be non-existent, or both. I know times are tough, but I can be a bagger at the grocery store for minimum wage and make more than this guy. In my area it seems the market will bear $40-50 per hour. I like to be in the $50-60 range which will cover my costs and keep us at 10-15% profit margin depending upon what fuel costs are. I don't think this is out of line, but what do I know? I suppose some markets might bear $85/hr but you will know your area better than any of us. Good luck.
     
  14. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    Phil,
    I deal with a company southeast of me (RI) who travels more than 1 HOUR to sweep lots as low as $25.00 for 100,000sqft. lots. Your absolutely right about profit margins, I would need to be around $ 90hr. based on my employee payroll.
     
  15. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 617

    Plowtime- How do they even stay in business? Have they been around awhile? I mean, I guess I am just hoping the guy snags as many of these as he can, and it takes a month or 2 before he realizes he is broke. It would open up the door to my accounts again, and then some of his as well. I know as of a couple years ago he couldn't swing a couple grand for a used plow. Gee I wonder why? I am surprised he is still around. He just picked up 4 accounts in the area (that I know of) within about a month time frame, so it might be more than he can bite off in this short of span. Fuel jumps back up, tranny goes, hit a deer, any other major change in his market and he just bit it. I still don't know how you can even cover costs let alone make anything.
     
  16. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    I agree,
    we've never really chased that market due to our machines being a-4000 and heavier mechanicals; this in part is operational costs and why we wouldn't consider it. You may want to consider checking out his quality, (a little PI work) and document what actually happening. It all comes down to either cheap labor or owner operator with no overhead. This guy that comes from RI, his vehicles look like @#IT, personally I wouldn't have my name on them. Volume does work though because every added detail outside the scope of work means extra dollars for him. Think about it, if the store manager has a cheaper price but occassionally needs something extra, they will go to him regardless of cost. The reason perhaps is they think the former service provider will tell them to go you no where. By this guys history not being able to by a plow, your absolutely right, just a matter of time; I would keep up the communications with your former clients though.Do you have a level service package as to what they prefer to have done?
    I have a few methods in pricing that I put together to land this portion of maintenance for larger corporate accounts when and if we decide night time babbysitting is actually worth it(lol) Your a smart business man and sees whats about to come ahead for this dope. PM me if your interested more.
    take care, best of luck
     
  17. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    ya, drive around and take pictures of garbage that's left behind or garbage in the mulch beds, cigarette butts laying all voer the place, then you can justify your rates. thats what i do. then the managers can get a visual.
     
  18. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    Redman-
    Unfortunately sometimes it takes this method, we had to work on a project at a local wal-##rt (no-plugs)lol . I happen to watch the so called "professional" sweep,drove the sweeper to where anything was noticeable,corners were left untouched away from the storefront,only litter cans in front of store were replaced, and whether or not it was agreed upon; the litter was placed in their dumpster. Your previous reply is accurate;furthur more... if it's a densly populated area the contractor does half the work because of general population litter control problems and this excuse guaranteed is utilized by these lowballers.
     
  19. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    that is true. its always a fine line but i found over the years it helps aid your bid if you include pictures. anybody can claim "we do a better job" but the guy that takes the time to walk the lots, show consistency in the other contractor's inconsistencies and include that in your bid and i guarantee your chances have increased.
     
  20. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    100%...perhaps even more!