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Should I accept this contrat?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by bsuds, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. bsuds

    bsuds Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    Should I accept this contract?

    Question 1
    Here is the first question. My commercial route is nearly full, and as of now everything is all within a few miles of the shop. I have a potential client that wants to sign the agreement, but this location is around 25 miles from where most of my business is. This potential new client knows many decision makers around town and could be great for future business; but I feel like if I take on this account that my other accounts with in my main area, some equally if not more important in terms of being awarded more business in the future will not be able to receive the best service possible. Which is always my ultimate goal. Should I take on this account.

    Question 2.
    As I was writing this I just got a call back from a national food chain that wants to award me with the work servicing 5 of their locations around Denver. I told her sure just send back the agreement and we will get you routed. She told me that they never sign contracts, but there is never a problem with payment. I told her that with out a contract there is no guarantee of anything. I have never worked without a contract and do not feel comfortable doing so. I still have a ton of great bids out there and with these two prospects my route will be completely full before October. But what the hell to do? Wait out for better agreements and hope to have a full route, or take on one of these two clients? I will not be able to service both unless I use subs. Everybody please chime in on this one. payup
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2009
  2. Mick

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

    Only you can make your business decisions. Too many potential factors of which we are unaware. First thing that comes to mind is - You're getting too much business too fast. Why? How long have you been in business? I'm surprised (suspicious) that a national chain is granting work without a contract. Sounds fishy.
  3. bsuds

    bsuds Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    I agree something does sound fishy, which raises my alert. As part of this call from the franchise area manager, they wanted to go with a landscaping proposal that I offered them. This proposal is just for some light maintenance work. I told her I would do the landscape work and see how things go in terms of payment, and from there make a decision at to weather take on the snow removal. This was fine with her. But, one of my maine rules of business is never operate with out a contract. You are right, alot of business is coming in very quickly; but this is just from good prospecting and persistant phone work. I don't have any lowball offers out there.
  4. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,538

    #1 - Can you find a sub in the area of the other one?

    #2 - I wouldn't work without a contract for liability reasons, no ifs, ands, or buts.
  5. Ne1

    Ne1 Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    Never do work without a contract. Big chain or nor your setting yourself up for lots of problems
  6. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I think you need to pass on the first one, unless you have someone VERY trustworthy to sub it to. At 25 miles each way, you are looking at well over an hour travel time. How much plowing is the job? There's no sense trying to expand your business area, and not be able to do a good job. You will end up looking worse. And your core customer base is going to suffer. No doubt about it. You might end up losing some of them.

    As for the national chain not wanting a contract, something doesn't make sense. I would expect them to DEMAND one for liability purposes. Something isn't right there. They may be fine, but check into it. What happened to last years guy?
  7. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Fishy is right! Sounds like they want to be free to make a change at any moment. NO national chain's attorney's would allow this, unless it benefits them.

    25 miles isn't all that far. Surely you've poured over your routing and deadlines to see if you can create a time wondow for it? Hard to pass up on something that could bring lots of qaulified leads.
  8. Pennings Garden

    Pennings Garden Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 242

    I think 25 miles for a what sounds like a smaller lot is a very long way... in a bad storm that can be 45 minutes to an hour just to get there and last time I checked most customers don't want to pay me for 2 1/2 hors of work for a 1/2 hour job...

    I would see if I could find a reliable sub to do it.
  9. bsuds

    bsuds Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    I have decided to pursue the office building in the first question. As the time with in the routing will allow for it. This office building is not just plow and wants the complete package of snow removals services such as plowing, shoveling, icement, and parking lot deicer. I estimate there average bill per snow event will be between 350 and 500 which justifies the extra drive time.

    As for the national chain. I will not be dedicating any space or time with in my route for a company that does'nt want to sign a contract. The are just too many things that can go against me in this situation.

    Thank you for all your input. Let it snow. :gunsfiring:
  10. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    Sometime its better to be left...I sure the money would be helpful...but your reputation is key!
  11. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,137

    Option #1- If you can use a sub for this property it could really help your business in the future & put some money in your pocket now. Do you have an extra truck where you can get a driver to do this place?

    Option #2-- No Contract NO Plowing.