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Commercial accounts = 1 big PITA! for guys who want to get into commercial plowing...

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Brian Young, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    For guys who want to get into the commercial end of plowing, this is what you can look forward to.... We called a development/realty company to see if they were accepting bids several weeks ago, "yes we sure are, here's a list". The guy asked if we are a full service company and I said yes. He asked if we salt and I said yes we are a full service company :confused: . I told him we also offer liquid salt as it is a bit less expensive. He said great give me a seasonal price as well as a per time price for each service being--mowing,mulch,spring clean up. fall clean up, snow plowing, sidewalk shoveling, salting both rock and liquid and finally sidewalk salting. Thats a lot of crap to bid out! I get him our bid all nice and neat, all the different prices under each property. A couple weeks go by and I call him only to hear "no decisions as of yet try back in a week" Just got off the phone with him and he tells me the guy who makes those decisions didnt understand my bid sheet with 2 kinds of salt! Whats so hard to understand?:confused::confused: I told him "you asks me to put both prices on the sheet! He said "I know I'm sorry but he just didnt understand it but your plowing prices were great" WTF!!!!! IDIOTS EVERYWHERE! Then he tells me, out of 10 locations another company has 1 year left on 8 properties :dizzy: What a waste of friggin' time!

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    tell him you want to meet in publib to go over it, then kick him in the balls.
  3. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    That S**ks...we feel your pain...have been there at one point in time.
    I guess it part of what were supposed to do...kill'em with kindness and then?
    Hey, its part of the business to put that much effort into it...I have a record of all these types of people as should everyone; hopefully someone new will take the place of this IDIOT. But look at the bright side, at least you have the info for future reference...thats one positive! wesport
  4. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    that too Goldpro
  5. creativedesigns

    creativedesigns PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,929

    Flashy commercial accounts like malls & big box stores are always cool to have, BUT I find Condo complexes easier to price. For the walkways straight rock salt is all you need. Simple & easy.

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,556

    I have started asking when are the existing contracts up because I had one get me to price 3 sites, just for the plowing. I gave them a price they said it was very close to what they were paying now, but they had seen other lots I did the previous season and asked how long my prices were good for. I said for this comming season, the sooner you can let me know the better. "well our existing contract is for 2 more years" I was nice and said well call me when they are up. Then I got in the truck and did some screaming "are you kiding me!" Still hope I get them but 2 years from now... come on
  7. Premier

    Premier Senior Member
    Messages: 274

    I had one of those last year, took me 3 days to go look at all the properties and figure out pricing, All to be told that they were under contract till next year.... What like we have nothing better to do than waste our time making them feel good that they hired the lowballer and have no intention of changing....
  8. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    That's the problem with offering "Free Estimates". People just shop you and waste your time. I haven't figured out how to deal with this other than charge to give estimates. Luckily I don't do very many estimates - mostly word of mouth.
  9. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    Premier, are you in Madison?
  10. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    That's life, who care's. Just keep bidding and you'll pick some stuff up. I spend lots of time doing large bids and I can't even get a hold of the guy to hand it in afterwards.
  11. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    Oh I understand that, we've been doing it since 2003. Just wanted to maybe shed some light on what a real PITA it is in the real world. Cool harvest video!
  12. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    I had a good one today....called to follow up on the estimate, guy asked me my company name twice, he said yeah, ya look good why dont you come in and look at some trimming i need done along the parking lot. I get there, and theres a 08/09 chevy 3500 dump truck parked there (wasnt there when i bid) with plow hook up on the front, so i'm thinking great....go in, he wants 5 evergreens he planted last week trimmed (give me a break, landscaping you put in looks stupid!) and he was confused about who was calling....hes doing the plowing himself, thought I was the guy who was only going to do his sidewalk. yeah, going to do your 80' road sidewalk and not plow or salt.

    another is earlier this season contacted a management company who has several 10+ acre sites, guy said look at our web, go measure the properties do what you have to do and i will get back to you with the specs, after a month of calls, hadnt seen the specs, so i gave him the "standard"

    life goes on.........another day, another property to bid....i hate the run around, and the untruthful.
  13. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    Been there, done that, wayyy too many times.... Thinkin I've been doing alot of that over the past 3 weeks but we'll see....
  14. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    I still do get a little upset. It sucks when you put alot of time and energy into something and they just toss it to the side. Alot of bid are just for price checking they have no interest in switching contractors they just want to keep them honest. The good part is the more you bid the easier it gets.:drinkup:
  15. creativedesigns

    creativedesigns PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,929

    JD, when you bid on the larger accounts, do you include a certain amount of trucking loads with it? or is that all extra per truck load?
  16. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    I'll include pushing long distance's but never trucking. We only have to haul snow about every 3- 5 years on avg so it's not a big deal.
  17. snowman4

    snowman4 Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    Must be nice! prsport:sleeping: