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Convincing Customers to go Per Push

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by cold_and_tired, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    All of my customers are hourly. I want to try to get everyone on a per push contract for next year. I try to be as honest to my customers as possible. As it stands now, I dont plow slow but I try not to go too fast. I know that if I were to really get after it, I could probably add another small commercial or two.

    I have my prices figured out but I was just wondering what some of the selling points you guys use to get customers to go per push?

    Also, how does this sound? First plow at 2" trigger, following visits will be at 3". Sound fair or should I push every 2"?

  2. Matt400

    Matt400 Senior Member
    Messages: 164

    Speaking from the customer side I wouldn't want to pay hourly...maybe per push as you say but for the past 10 years we have always paid for the season up front all at once. In our area thats the way most do it. Contractors average it out so heavy winters they kinda eat it I suppose but light winters and they come out ahead.
  3. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    I wish seasonal contracts would work around here but our winters are extremely unpredictable. 20" one year and 120" the next.
  4. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    I just set the per push at what I was charging them hourly at.

    Example, I have one place it always takes me 22 minutes but my minimum is 1/2 hour.
    his price is always the same. (it's never taken me more than 1/2 hour)

    I just moved him to the set price, then he doesn't have to worry so much.

    I've only got a couple left that are per hour and I probably just won't change them because it turns out the same way (1/2 hour minimum price every time), for me it's per push, for them it's hourly, they never see it and then I don't have to explain it.

    always seems fairer to me to be per push, then the job costs X no matter how long it takes.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  5. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    if you have records of exactly how long it takes you, and you are very conssitant, just tell them look. the longest it took me was 1 hr. the sortest it took me was 45 mins, the average time on the property over a 3 year period was 52 mins. so we will charge you X. in the end it will all balance it self out. tell them it will be much eaiser for both you and them this way at a set amount that they can predict. and that your tring to keep office expenses down so prices dont have to go up in the future.
  6. BD Exteriors

    BD Exteriors Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Do you add more money for large snowfalls when you charge per push or is that part of your thinking that it will all balance itself out?
  7. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    There will be no extra money per push, just more visits.
  8. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    if i pull up and its over 4 inches...or over 8 inches ...its more yes

    however with that said, i try to not let them get ot that point, 2-4 inches and we plow it...2-4 more fall , it gets plowed again, and they are charged each time
  9. timberseal

    timberseal Senior Member
    from 46385
    Messages: 247

    We're hourly on almost everything we do as well. I tend to think if your pretty honest about it hourly works out better for everyone IMO. During snow events when the businesses are open we often scoot through the lots to keep the lanes and sidewalks clear for the client. This doesn't usually amount to a full push on the lot (maybe half since cars are there). How do you "maintain" the lot and charge fairly on a per push basis? Once the business is closed we then return to do the final cleanup. This is what has kept me from going per push all these years allthough we do have a couple. Those couple are always all or nothing plows though.
  10. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    I see what you are saying. I do have a couple HOA's that are next door to each other and we have to take every bit of snow from the front patios, the driveways and the sidewalks to the road and then push everything to a single pile. Typically, for any storm over 2", we maintain the roads and the front patios and leave everything else until the storm is over.

    I was thinking of charging 25% of the per push price to keep the roads passable and when the storm is over, coming in and cleaning up for the full per push price.

    I'd like to have some of the seasoned per push guys weigh in on how they charge when they are just keeping lots and roads passable.