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Correct way to place Commercial bids.

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by IMAGE, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,747

    I'm not placing any large commercial bids this winter. But I want to practice doing a couple bids so I can get efficient at doing them. I am thinking the kind of lots where they have to be done everytime there is any snow fall or drifting snow. (big box retailers, rental storage, banks, etc...)

    I have a couple questions on how I should write them:
    1. Should they be an hourly price per each piece of equipment(and then is there a 1 hour min?)
    2. Should it be a per push price? And salt then at a per application price?
    3. Or should it be a seasonal price for plowing, with a per application price for salt?
    4. Seasonal Price that includes both?
    5. Or maybe give them all the options and let them choose?
    6. Then if they do want a "Per equipment hour" price, what is the best way to submit it? Line itemized?

    I know that is alot of questions, but I want to get proficient at it, so I can get my bid templates made out and ready for next falls bidding. If someone wants to go even farther then just answering my questions, and act like the commercial property representative giving me your needs, so I can submit a couple bids to you(and help me perfect my template), that would be awesome!

    I am only looking for advice from people that actually do commercials, and handle/understanding the bidding. Thanks guys :drinkup:

    Edit: to be clear, I am not asking prices. Just practice on bidding procedures.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2007
  2. Plowfast9957

    Plowfast9957 Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    I know it may be different where you are located. Here they will usually give you a bid sheet. It will tell you how they want it to be bid. Hourly, seasonally, by the inch, etc. The will usually tell you a trigger depth, if shoveling is required when it must be complete by etc. If they got 6 different estimates and they were given by 6 different methods of billing it would be kind of hard to compare. Some bigger places will name exactly what kind of equipment that you have to have on site or avaliable to even bid the job. So I guess what I am saying is that it is a case by case basis.
  3. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,747

    What about the places that don't really know what they want? Because they have just been going with the same guy "forever". How can I lure them away?

    I asked at a regional store, talked to the store manager whom I have known many yrs, and he had no spec sheet or anything, no idea to what they required, as to shoveling, plowing trigger, etc... Just that they pay by the hour, and that the same guy gets it all the time.

    So when I ask them what they want, they dont really know. I need to SELL to them basically. So whats the best way to do that?
  4. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,823

    Do commercial lots generally look for a new guy or cheaper price every season? I've always wondered if plow guys call the commercial lots or if the lots call the plow guys. Hows this work? I'd also like to get some commercial lots. I'm really not wild about doing residentials forever lol.
  5. jlouki01

    jlouki01 Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    I wouldn't try to pull that customer away..... What I would do is make that guy your best friend. He is obviously doing something right. Tell him what you know.. he he has been there forever. You need to know what he is doing so well that keeps his customers happy. Do the right thing and it will pay dividends in the future.

    I know it's hard when there is a storm out but I do this for mowing. I will go watch competition mowing. Watch what they do, how they do, how long it takes, how many guys, etc.. If I can't identify an area that needs improving i know it's almost a lost cause.

    We tried getting a school district just south of us. They told me they had been using the same company for 15 years! I told them how wonderful I thought that was, asked who it was and immediately starting working towards a relationship with them.

    But to answer your question. Most of the stuff I have bid in has either been flat rate ( season ) per push or per hour. Ask how they are setup now and figure out which system works best for you. For instance we are in the dust zone here. A flat seasonal rate can sometimes work out killer here. Sometimes an hourly. Only you know what method best works for you and your area. If not go ask the guy who's plowing that account you want:)

    I think snow work is the exception to the rule when it comes to price shopping. Most of the business I have gotten has not been because i was cheaper. It was because I did a kick ass job the year before and they were able to open their businesses on time and had a spotless parking lot.

    People don't care about mowing ( some do most don't ) nothing quites happening if the grass doesn't look nice:) Everything stops if your parking lot is a sheet of ice.