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Pricing Help

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by TCNorth, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. TCNorth

    TCNorth Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I am new to the business and have customers that are allowing me to bid. I am unsure of how much to bid. I know my work will be exceptional, but they don't. I am looking at three different bids.

    1. 30 parking spots to be cleared with a 30 yard drive on hill to be salted.
    2. 8 pump gas station with 4 parking spaces. need to plow all around small building
    3. 20 parking spots with sidewalks shoveled and salted.

    Can anyone provide some pricing help. I am a one man operation with very little overhead. Truck and plow is paid for, but older, so there will be maintenance.

    We average over 120 inches per year.

    Thanks to anyone that can help.
     
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    First off ,no such thing as a little overhead in plowing. (unless gf is with you) .You need to charge enough to cover future costs. How do you know you plow exceptional ?

    I could say 13,475.00 for the season but that's me. Very hard to get a straight answer on here. Everyone has a different formula.
     
  3. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Especially since prices vary ALOT in different parts of the country.
     
  4. TCNorth

    TCNorth Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks for the info. Given your amount, I am guessing you prefer seasonal contracts to per push pricing?
     
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    It's the only way to charge!payup
     
  6. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,874

    LOL, no way you are going to stand behind that bid are you? That is something like 1036.53 pizzas.

    I will gladly do it for 1036.52 pizzas...but I need extra cheese.

    TCNorth if you really want us to help you need to atleast post sat pics or give sqft. You will be picked on and stuff but in the end most likely you will end up with a number you can work with...you have to help us help you though!
     
  7. TCNorth

    TCNorth Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Yeah, I am getting that picked-on feeling. I will see what I can do about sat pics. I tried google earth earlier and didn't figure out how to post it here. The visual is a little blury, but would probably give a better idea of what I am talking about.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  8. TCNorth

    TCNorth Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Ok, here is the sq. footage.

    1. 19,555 - salt 2,200sq. hill
    2. 21,190
    3. 7,222

    I hope this will help someone help me with pricing. If possible, I would be interested on how you get the number you have.

    Thanks again.
     
  9. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,874

    Don't worry, you will know how its done. You are going to come up with the rates not me.

    Where are you located in Michigan? That will also change your rates so you aren't charging to much or leaving alot of money on the table.

    There is also a very large database of bidding info in the bidding & estimating section that you should go through.

    First you need to figure out an average hourly rate for you. What do you normally make doing driveways in an hour because you don't want to take money out of your pockets to do these lots.
     
  10. TCNorth

    TCNorth Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Terrapro,

    Thanks for the info. I am in the Traverse City area. Minimum I would make $50 per hour doing driveways. The 21000 sq ft location wants a per time bid along with a salt and sand per time bid.
     
  11. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,874

    I wondered if that was what the TC stands for. You might be getting snow this weekend payup

    I would not bid lots out at $50 per hr, you would be losing money. I do not know the going rate for snow that far north. Double that or more would be a better number.

    On average a pickup with 8ft str8 blade should do about an acre per hr or 43.5K. That is your base for calculating any future timeframe. Get a bigger plow or a V and you will be doing the job faster but should still be calculating it like you have a str8 blade.

    Say you need $100 per hr, that would be your price you need to work with. So your 21K is about half an acre right and you can do 1 acre per hr so the lot would take about 30 minutes. If you are charging $100 per hr then the lot would be $50. Then go through and find your difficulties. Say working around two light poles and some walks is going to add 5-10min to your time, add another $5-10 for those.

    Salt is easy. If you searched for how to apply salt you would have heard anywhere from 26lbs perK to 16lbs perK. Then find out what others guys are charging in your area which is generally $.25-$.15per LB.
     
  12. TCNorth

    TCNorth Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Terrapro,

    Hey, now we are getting somewhere. That is the kind of info I was looking for. Very helpful. The 21k lot is a gas station at the front of my sub, so $50 is where I was looking at 2-4 inches. I am going to quote a little higher for larger amounts of snow.

    Being so close and trying to get into the business, I want to stay competative and get some commercial accounts. The second lot is across the street from the station, so that is quite close as well. The closer the better especially at 5am. Thanks again
     
  13. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,874

    Not a problem but you need to learn how to do this yourself.

    I probably wouldn't do a gas station for $50. Remember the pumps are going to cause problems and there are going to be people always in your way. It will take you alot longer than 30min.

    I structure my price at a 0-6" and every 3" afterward is 50% extra so by the time 12" rolls around I will be billing double because I am pushing double the snow.

    Don't lowball the bid to get the job, that is how we are getting into so much trouble in this industry. Everyone thinks they need to be cheaper to get the job so sooner or later it gets the breaking point and no one is making money and everyone is performing badly.
     
  14. TCNorth

    TCNorth Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Good points. Thanks for the advice. I like the percentage pricing for more snow as well.