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Storm pricing/perpush/pervisit

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by bigjeeping, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping Senior Member
    Messages: 676

    Urgent question about "per push pricing" because many folks are asking me about plowing and I don't have apricing system set up yet!

    Here's a scenerio:

    (1) You have a small residential account - $25 for
    plowing and salting
    (2) You are working with a 3" trigger
    (3) There is an 11" snow storm

    You plow/salt on your first round, at this time the snow is about 5", then on your second round you plow salt and the snow is about 6" and the storm is over.

    now....
    (1) Is that the correct method for clearing a drive in
    an 11" storm
    (2)How do you charge.......... ?

    (a) Charge $50 for 2 visits ($25 x 2)

    -or-

    (b) Charge according to your height fees
    3-6" $25
    6-9" $35
    9-12" $45 (they pay $45 since there was 11" of snow, regardless of how many times you plow)

    What do the customers like more? Is my height pricing good or should I make 9-12" $50?

    let me know what you think/how you do your thing
    try to make responses understanable :gunsfiring:
     
  2. Mowerpan

    Mowerpan Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    Personally I would go based on inches of snow. That way the customer doesn't have to guess how many times you'll be there and worry about having to overpay you.
     
  3. clncut

    clncut PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,121

    Here people are questioning the amount of snow fallen so for residentials I bill per push. I tell them that for larger snowfalls multiple visits may be needed and they are billed for each time visited.

    John
     
  4. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping Senior Member
    Messages: 676

    well thanks for the tips.. I still don't know what to do tho :drinkup:
     
  5. Mick

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

    I would go with (b) unless the customer requests special service like having no more than 5" or something similar. You are charging based on the total snowfall in a certain amount of time (ie: every 24 hours starts a new billing cycle).

    In the example you drew up, you would charge $45 for plowing a total of 11" of snow. This allows you to decide how often you want to plow. In some cases (snow is light and fluffy, all fell overnight with no need to plow during the snowfall; you plow at 5:00 so they can get out for work commute by 6:00AM), you might just wait and plow 11" all at once. You get $45. The next snow is REALLY wet and heavy, so you plow every 4" and 3" the last time. You still get $45. The trick is that you were able to structure it, so you got overpaid the first time and underpaid the second time, but it evened out. This way you get to control your plowing and the customer isn't saying "You didn't really need to plow so often". All he cares is how much he paid and what did he get for his money (being able to get out of his driveway at 6:00).

    TIP: Some set up the pricing structure so they're getting the same amount every 3" increment (ie: $30, $60 and $90 for 3"-6", 6"-9" and 9"-12"). Others, like me, structure it like $xx, x times 1 1/2 and x times 2 ($30, $45, $60). If you're doing like me, make sure the 9"-12" is twice the 3"-6" price. Otherwise, you're cheating yourself while giving the customer the impression that you're cheating him on the other end.

    I have some I've set up like this: Say it's a $30 plow for 3" - 6". I'll offer ( and sometimes just do it) to plow anything that falls with a 24 hour period up to 12" for $45. We get a lot of 3 -5" snows that would be $30, but historically, it works out even as far as overall cost to the customer. Since most of the fuel is burned getting to the account, I see this as a win for me. Besides, I'm only concerned with one measurement - 12". Much easier billing, record-keeping and easier for the customer who now just keeps track of how many times it snowed to know how much it's going to cost him "so far this month".

    I know this is more than you asked for, but I thought I'd just give you something else to think about. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2005
  6. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping Senior Member
    Messages: 676

    Thanks a lot Mick.. you gave me some direction there.

    Next question.. Say I was giving an estimate on a small drive for $20. Should I tell them up front that it will be 20 for 3-6", 30 for 6-9", and $40 for 9-12" Or do you just leave that in the service agreement for them to read later?
     
  7. Mick

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

    I tell them when they ask "How much?" - something like "Well, what I do is charge according to how much snow falls. It'll be $30 for ..., $45 for ..." and so on. If you decide to offer the "one price for anything up to 12", then follow that with "If you prefer, I'd charge $45 for anything up to 12" and add $1 an inch over 12". I'll also have a sample agreement with me that I can just write in the amounts and put "$45 for up to 12" at the bottom and leave it with them to look over. Then call me with their decision and I can fill out an agreement to send for their signature. Actually, I don't do much of the last sentence, cause I don't use contracts as such. I call them "Proposals" and they're just for the customer's benefit. I do fill out all their information and send/take to them, but I don't care if they sign and return or not. Around here, your word is good enough for me. If your word isn't good, I don't want to work for you, anyway. I've lost money three times in five years - but usually around $50 a time. Not worth going to court over.