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sold out for the year

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by snowman55, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    tired of waiting for managers to make decisions as i've stated before, this year screw it oct 1 i'm done if you didn't sign a contract by then you need to hire someone else to jump through hopes at the last minute. has worked out good up 30% for snow and am in the process of setting up routes and equip. what a stress reliever that decision was. anyone else booked for the season?
  2. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    My boss also cut off sales recently, but I know the almighty $ will persuade him to take on a few more... is nice to be in a fortunate position not needing more, as many here are scrambling for work.
  3. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    We're pretty much booked up now and where we want to be. That being said, any pricing going out now is typically higher than usual. If we get it, we get, if not-no big deal.
  4. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    I'm no where near sold out for the year, looks like i'm going to be busting down doors and blowin up phones until the snow flies this year, sales are way down, even though # of bids has been through the roof. I can't close a door. Quality and dependability don't seem to matter to the customers that relied strictly on that in the past. Long time customers are out the door, we provided A+ service with honest straight forward pricing the last few years, and are getting shut out due to prices that I would never dare to put on paper. I'm in a good mood. clearly.
  5. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    sorry to hear that. looks like you have a lot of equip to keep busy. is it mostly comm? when do you start selling? i have been in that boat for 14 years and decided enough. started selling 4 months ago and stressing to cust need to sign now. costs them nothing to make a decision. however i don't do huge comm stuff i know that is very competative. also we try to prescrean all bids so we arn't wasting time hoping i might get work. if they won't meet you on site and let you talk about why your service costs what it does they are just price shopping.
  6. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,541

    I'd be sitting pretty well if the contracts ever show up... We've done a lot of bids this year, and had quite a few say they're going with us, but until the contract is signed and on my desk...

    The competition is fierce this year, we're losing bids left and right to competitors working for less than it costs me to pay a driver, fuel and insure the truck, etc. much less make any money. We're being over-run by low-ballers this year, and some of them are larger companies subbing the work out at $35 an hour... I go backwards at $35 an hour.

    Worst so far this year was a good customer referred a business friend to me that has a 1.5 acre lot. Winning bid was about $50/hr, and the customer that referred this company to me was mad that I wouldn't match the competitor to get the business. He's upset because he wants his friend's company to have good service too, but doesn't seem to understand that you get what you pay for, and I'll let trucks sit before I send them out to work at cost. They just don't get it... :realmad:

    Back on topic, I like to push the customers to make a decision sooner rather than later, but most I'll still accept up until the end of October, depending on how booked up we are, especially repeat customers. New customers that procrastinate end up paying more. payup
  7. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    I usually try and start selling as soon as the snow melts from the previous year, especially existing customers, then i start with property management companies and then work on individual sites. we do about 90% commercial and 10% condos and apartments. I usually try and get a face to face to go over what is expected, special areas of concern, etc. This year I tried an option of no price increase over last year if signed by Aug. 15th, couple bit, others just wanted that no price increase to stay with us.
  8. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    Sometimes people need a push to get movin, then there's those who could careless..

    I have all my jobs commercial / residential again this year not sure if I want more maybe if I hire a driver i'll take more ....
  9. Plowman52

    Plowman52 Senior Member
    from Flint
    Messages: 146

    I only signed 12 this winter but agean it's my first winter with my own company and what not
    also I only have 2 trucks (not big).
  10. deicepro

    deicepro PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,124

    Pisses you off, right!:realmad: I'm sitting on 200 plus bids and half say " we are going with you" , but no contracts signed. Seems like they are really draggin their feet this year. I saw an ad in my local paper for "driveways plowed $10 and up".... Unreal!! I might get a lot of rest this year!
  11. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    The one thing that i'm going to take from this year is that I need to be more creative and try and pull the wool over customers eyes to get in the door with them. Two existing customers have come to me, "andy, we gotta do something, I got a bid from _____ (which from what i've seen can produce results) came in a lot lower than you, I'll give you the numbers. When I see the bid, I realize that its higher over the course of the season than we would be. Trip charge, per pound charge, hourly charge, all seems like little numbers, til you start adding them up. Come on PMs, use your head!
  12. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    no doubt!! big print i'll plow your lot for $35 small print- $100 trip charge -salt $150/ ton + $100 truck charge- ice melt $2/lb + $50/ hr labor min 2 hrs- clean up lot after cars $175 and on and on. I won't play these games but your right you need a chance to review your bid with them so they see the real costs. and new cust who won't give you the time are most likely a waste of time to give a bid to.
  13. kolkie05

    kolkie05 Senior Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 114


    I sent out all of my renewals with a return date of 10/1. Of course about half actually returned them and the other half I'm calling now.

    I actually had one guy say today "well it's not snowing yet" really?...it's not? at that point I almost wanted to call him several unpleasant things, but gathered myself and explained why he needed to sign his contract and if he didn't I'll fill someone else in his spot.
  14. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    In pretty good shape. Had my three schools sign up for three years last year. Signed two apartment buildings for three years last week. Need to get a bid together for a nursing home. Would be a new account for me. They want all salt, no sand - which is unusual in my area. Confirmed with a couple other businesses we're good to go. I'll just plan all of last year's resis staying. Might lose a couple, probably pick up a couple.
  15. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Longae, I agree. Many PMs know more than us and can somehow make the best decision for their business by scanning our contract for a couple of numbers, right? I have started playing the game, to some extent. Not really hiding charges, but shifting costs away from their hot button. For some it's the complete plow number, others the salt, hourly rates, etc...

    Like gambling I am trying to box my bet and not leave them a way to get the lower number without spending money elswhere. Today I almost sent a bid to a cheapy motel neighboring a longtime account. Was going out at $60 for a few drivelane passes overnight, and $120 to return for clean-up around check-out time. Last minute, I quoted $90 for each... figuring we'd do the overnight and get the call saying "We can skip the clean up". Same total number, but the "$120" doesn't quite jump off the page at them.
  16. hillsprinklers

    hillsprinklers Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    ya, I filled up today, was waiting on one manager we have dealt with for a few years, he always jacks us around so I made 2 quick calls and were full, made the final order for salt and were good to go with 4 truck and a skid steer