Contract renewal.

Snow tracker

Senior Member
When do you guys renew your contacts for next season?

We are in a small town and I believe we provide better commercial service than anyone else in town. Our service seems to be in high demand but there is always a low baller looking to steal our lots. It has been a long winter with lots of events and the competition is getting tired, this shows in their quality of service. We often get new clients calling for next season around this time of year. Last year I sent our contacts in March for the next year to the clients that I most wished to keep. I worded the cover letter something like this. ( not exact wording)
“Because of the high level of service we offer we have many new clients asking us to provide snow removal and ice control for their property. Most say that they are unhappy with the quality that the existing pool of snow contractors has to offer. We would like to offer you a spot of our route first because of our current working relationship. Please let us know ASAP if you wish to keep your spot”

My contacts have the ability to add a fuel sur charge and we usually add 5% annually to cover inflation.

Thoughts?
 
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BossPlow2010

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
SE Michigan
Usually start around July 1, but we do have one that we renew right after the the previous years is expired.
You won’t have to do much snow plowing in the summer...
 

EWSplow

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
Milwaukee
When do you guys renew your contacts for next season?

We are in a small town and I believe we provide better commercial service than anyone else in town. Our service seems to be in high demand but there is always a low baller looking to steal our lots. It has been a long winter with lots of events and the competition is getting tired, this shows in their quality of service. We often get new clients calling for next season around this time of year. Last year I sent our contacts in March for the next year to the clients that I most wished to keep. I worded the cover letter something like this. ( not exact wording)
“Because of the high level of service we offer we have many new clients asking us to provide snow removal and ice control for their property. Most say that they are unhappy with the quality that the existing pool of snow contractors has to offer. We would like to offer you a spot of our route first because of our current working relationship. Please let us know ASAP if you wish to keep your spot”

My contacts have the ability to add a fuel sur charge and we usually add 5% annually to cover inflation.

Thoughts?
I don't see a problem with sending contracts early other than not knowing what your salt prices will be. Do you have a caveat in your contract for this?
Do you have any multiyear contracts?
 
OP
Snow tracker

Snow tracker

Senior Member
So far I have been able to more than cover salt pricing. I don’t get to hung up on it as I am not trying to be the lowers price anyway. Trying to let my client know we do better work than the competition, we know it, you know it and new clients know it and there fore seek us out. Because of this we have limited space on our routes so lock in now or loose out.

I do not have any multi year contacts as of not but have always thought about a rolling three year seasonal to help with the law of averages.
 

Luther

PlowSite Veteran
Location
Michigan
Trying to let my client know we do better work than the competition, we know it, you know it and new clients know it and there fore seek us out.

How does a new client know you are better than everyone else when they haven't used your service yet?
 

Defcon 5

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
Woodhaven,Mi
5F4913DE-913B-44FB-89A1-0034126EFE7D.jpeg
 

wishfull

Senior Member
No fun this morning I guess Mark. People see our lots on a constant basis and some are right next to the lots our competition services. Easy to see the difference. Our equipment is highly distinctive so people see and they talk. We have commercial clients coming to us in Dec. to get on our next years mowing list and clients in April calling to make sure they are on next winters snow plowing schedule. Don't matter what time of year it is if you can lock in a contract go for it. Catch the competitors sleeping. Not a good idea to run down your competitor to a potential new client though as it brings you down a little bit too you know.
 

Mark Oomkes

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
No fun this morning I guess Mark.

FWIW, that was Saturday morning. Saw the guy applying liquids and knew what the result would be.

I'm not really a high pressure salesman and wouldn't bash someone over the crappy job they did compared to the great job we did. I prefer to take the high road.

But yes OP, sign contracts whenever you can as long as you're protected from commodity cost fluctuations.
 
OP
Snow tracker

Snow tracker

Senior Member
I never talk down about a competitor to a client. I only used it here to try to explain the situation I am in. I do explain our service and what sets us apart but never put a fellow plow service down. That is one reason we try to never under bid. I want my clients to choose us for our reputation not just looking for the cheapest game in town.

Just really looking for advice as to timing of locking my gold clients up for the next year. What have you done? What worked and what did not?
 

grnleafgrnscape

Senior Member
Location
NEWisconsin
I would sign them while it's fresh in their mind of the service you have provided compared to neighboring lots.
I too have been getting calls from businesses next door to my accounts seeking service because our lots are better taken care of than the competition.
Sign them when you can
 

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