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!!!!!!!!!!! Contracting troubles !!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by tigertownman, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. tigertownman

    tigertownman Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Im heading into my second snow season as a business owner . I have been plowing for about 10 years i would say for other companies and work done in high school. So far this year I have 1 contract , and a few residential properties , real small residential properties. Last year I ventured down that ohh so bitter sweet road with BIG managament companies. And well i got paid very good , but just had to wait for my money . Well this year I planned on not going with them at all , so i put in bids at 40 to 50 local companies for snow and ice management , I got 1 gas station that is about 30 min from the shop. I dont know if my estimating is way off , or what . But i just dont see with the prices i gave , how can someone do it cheaper and still make money. Help me what am i doing wrong , or is it just the way it is , I seen alot of the same with my lawn maintenance estimates . And to top it off , I got an email yesterday saying that the BIG management company i was going to go with as a backup plan , they have already got their contracts done .... My last hope is I have numerous lawn maintenance accounts with BRICKMAN'S . and So far they have been a very good company to work with , very good. I have a possibilty of getting all the banks i maintain in the summer for snow removal , I really just need help with good estimating so im not in this mess at the beginning of each season.
  2. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Welcome to the our world of bidding in a down economy. We all know how you feel. Good luck with your ventures.
  3. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    True that, someone can always do it cheaper, but who will do it better and be reliable?
  4. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge Senior Member
    Messages: 237

    cheaper has its down side!!

    I seen cheaper bids but those guys plow in the daylight hours - 8-5 Mon. - Fri.. I love it when I get a call from those companies that I solicited to pre season. My rate doubles when I hear from them , dont worry I promise ya when the first snow hits the ground your phone will blow up but explain to them the prices I quoted pre-season do not apply an I need cash or check when service is complete ,,TODAY!
  5. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,548

    i just may have to steal that as my signature :waving:
  6. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,548

    seriously though, i have recently had to make potential customers aware of the difference between cost and value
  7. DaytonBioLawns

    DaytonBioLawns Banned
    from 45458
    Messages: 347

    All I can say is welcome to the game. I got 120K worth of bids... in 2nd place... Which means I will lose an event or two and then get them. I tell them there must be a deposit taken to receive service ASAP. NOW sort of ASAP. That is because I don't want to rush out for someone who wouldn't sign in the first place, not charge more, and then chase the money in the end. It happens all the time. Usually I am able to get them to do it by credit on the phone. I have one 40K account that I worked my butt off on bidding and doing the foot work and I came in second...by not much more than a few bucks. My equipment was all practically new and we are professionally uniformed. annnnndddd of course I see this early nineties truck and rusted plow and spreader sitting out on the lot to "advertise"..... a couple bucks and they got "buck the man in the hills with a plow truck rather than Pavlak, Richard, and Dunn's professional team of 'Plow Guys' with over 40 years combined experience"........ Its really frustrating... really... But all I can say is take care of those accounts when you get a chance. They may see your value and never accept bids again (or at least let you see the competition's bids). If you kiss *** and just do it with a smile those people will sign with you and rave about your services.
  8. deereequipment

    deereequipment Member
    Messages: 90

    Relationships. It's all about building relationships.
    Then with EXCELLENT service, you are there for life!
    I went up 20% on my pricing this year, and not one complained.
  9. jgoetter1

    jgoetter1 Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    I agree - relationships are key. Build slowly and you won't be going through this every season.
  10. blue sky guy

    blue sky guy Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Chasing your money is the worst part of being in business. Make good relationships & provide excellent service-then its all uphill. Good advice from the last quotes.
  11. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 594

    Putting bids in randomly without any "In" connections can be very difficult. If you put out that many and only got one of them you should probably look at your bids overall.. I mean the professional appearance and wording of it.. Now I am not saying that your bid must look terrible, but maybe you should have it looked over by someone or try and compare it to a few local companies?
    That is what I did my first year of plowing and it helped me a lot. But in my area at least, a rural country area, it is almost impossible to get a bid if you just throw one in blindly without knowing someone with connections, unless you are extremely cheap. Just my two cents. Dont give up and trying calling the places and introducing yourself and ask about giving the quotes before you just blindly hand them in
  12. slave2lawns

    slave2lawns Member
    Messages: 46

    That's really just the part of being in business for yourself. We plow & landscape NY,NJ and PA and sometimes you just can't catch all the fish in the pond ( maybe I need a bigger net) lol. I think it's great when you network yourself b/c it only makes it easier when bidding comes up. You just have to keep knocking on doors, every door if you have to. I get juiced up going after accounts by Brickman, Realty Landcaping and Sharp's. Basically don't get discouraged, just keep going out there.
  13. buddy4781

    buddy4781 Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    It isn't easy to pick up accounts if you are the new guy. Last year was my first year and I only had 5 accounts. This year I've picked up three more and kept everything from last year. Do your best to service what you have very well, look for competitors that don't give good service and that is your prospect for next season. When prospecting, build doubt about your competition by asking "Do you have a back up plan if equipment breaks and you can't get service", then leave your contact info. Keep following up on your quotes until you are told no or thrown out. Being persistant shows that you are serious and will do good work. Ask your present customers for referrals and if you can us them for a reference. Comunicate everything with your customers so everyone knows what to expect through out the season. As for quoting, know your cost and charge accordingly.