$1.5m landscape maint company in south needs advice starting snow/ice division

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by brendontw, May 12, 2020.

  1. Unraveller

    Unraveller Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    How many would you like to see? Now I usually only bother asking on condo complexes, where the stipulations can vary in 100 different ways, and I hate re-do a quote 12 times. We can get the Service List OR the price 30% or the time we can get a full contract (company name withheld), an additional 30-40% of the time. And the remaining third, they are usually just trying to use us to keep their current contractor honest, or leverage us against them, so we don't bother quoting.

    For something that isn't very important, and isn't very valuable, everyone around here Sure is shy to post copies of theirs.

    Last edited: May 19, 2020
  2. Unraveller

    Unraveller Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    You realize that you aren't committed to the business, by asking/receiving it right?

    They can cut it by 30% and photo-shop it to perfection, but we'll still just reply with "That's a great deal for a great price, I suggest you stay."

    As I said in post #2 about this. It's a win or walk game, there's literally no downside.

    Before I got into snow, I was in purchasing, and my wife was in sales (Account Representative). RFQ's and RFT's, and lunch time haggling was a daily occurrence. (literally how we met). My wife (in sales), not only got copies of contracts shown to her from many, many clients. Hell, she still get's Christmas cards and birthday presents for our kids, from old clients.

    It's very, VERY easy to get this information from clients you have a relationship with already (summer business), and it's a decent shot to get the information from property management companies and condo boards, because they aren't spending their money anyway.

    You're still behaving with the mind set that you're a contractor bidding a 1-time job, like some kid knocking on doors selling aeration.

    You're not, you're a professional building a relationship, and that relationship can be leveraged. It can save time and money for both parties.
  3. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,607

    I’ve never asked what the other guy was charging, I’ve been told a few times, but it’s not really useful to me.
    The two pertinent questions that offer enough more information for me,

    What’s your budget and what did the last fella do that you didn’t like.
    Not a fan of price matching, but I’ve done it on a few residential lawns if we’re in say 5%.
  4. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,896

    Yeah, things are WAY different down here then.

    And I was not thinking condos when you said industrial. That is factories to me. Factories get an outfit that knows their building, their rules, their pay pace, their insurance requirements and stick with them.

    I would say 90% of the time if you are asked for an RFP they are trying to leverage their current guy. The other 10% they are actively looking or it is a new guy in the seat that wants to run it better than the last guy.

    We will give a handful of quotes to a new factory that is requesting proposals. If you can't get one just in five tries... you stop bidding that place and move to the next.
    Mark Oomkes and m_ice like this.
  5. Unraveller

    Unraveller Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    To be frank, my decision to request a copy is based on how much time it will take me to quote. If it's some square lot with no sidewalks? I can give them a quote over the phone. If it's a 48 unit complex with private walkways? I'm not wasting half a day doing site visits or anything else, until I AT LEAST know the budget and expectations.

    Factories are usually direct purchases, so it will be more difficult unless I go there and meet in person. But I bet if you ask to do a "walk around" with the decision maker, you could see a copy of their previous contract at least half the time (if they agree to the walk around).

    I should also clarify, to see a Legit copy of the contract you need to go in person. Unless its some fert & squirt package, people are hesitant to email a copy. But in the context of this post, where the OP is already servicing the properties in the summer, having a sit down on a june afternoon with a couple of coffee's? 90% he can see these contracts.
    Last edited: May 19, 2020