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Finally Calling- VERY LATE

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by easygreenlawn, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. easygreenlawn

    easygreenlawn Junior Member
    from N. Ohio
    Messages: 15

    I have had a bid into a Frickers resturnant since Nov 1st. The price was valid until the 26th of this last month and they are just calling now and want me to still sign. It was stated clearly that the price was only valid until then. Can I boost my price a good majority since they were late and my run and everything is set up along with bulk salt purchase price. This will add quite a bit more work and all that. Please give your opinion of updating prices!
  2. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,306

    I would tell them that the space that had been held for them has been filled, but you can squeeze them in for a 50% premium increase. payup
  3. larryjlk

    larryjlk Member
    Messages: 66

    you gave them a bid and you got it. you should be happy. 4 days late is hardly a catasrophy. Are you saying that if you got it 4 days ealier it's ok? If you don't want the contract I suppose you can decline it because it was late. We'd all be in some deep s**t if we got canceled because we were late.
  4. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    You are being picky over 5 days? Do you want the work or not? Sign em up.
  5. plowman350

    plowman350 Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    if you want it

    Take it only if you can make it work. We set up deadlines for a reason, and there's nothing wrong with charging more for being late. What does your credit card/mortgage company do when you're late? 50% seems high, but sure, mark it up a bit...they'll probably pay it rather than look for someone else this late in the game.

    If you need/want the work, just take it as is, and make some more money.

    Billing customers for lawn/snow service is a real pain. With my lawn customers I always try to meet them in person for the bid, and I include in my talk about paying on time. I have no problem saying things like:
    "You will know in advance how much your bills will be, and when they're due. So, I realistically expect them to be paid on time. I'm sure you can appreciate the fact that what you view as a 'bill' is actually my paycheck. I know that you wouldn't go to work every week wondering if and when you're getting paid, and I wouldn't work in that situation either."

    Usually I don't even get that far, and they give me their word that I'll be paid on time. If you can get them to give you their word on the spot, they'll remember that conversation every time they see your bill, and treat you wth respect. If not, then don't be afraid to tell them that you have plenty of customers you've turned away, waiting for a spot on your schedule, who are more than happy to pay their bills on time.

    Anyways, lots of rambling off topic, but this is the business we're in.
  6. Turfmower

    Turfmower Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    Tell then you can't do it they responded 5 day late. That will teach them.
    put a big red x on their bill for being tarty
  7. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I agree with the position that you should take them at the price you quoted if it fits your schedule. The "deadline" was a way of assuring them that you would hold the "place" for them for a certain amount of time. When the deadline passed, so did your obligation. Now, it either works for you or it doesn't.
  8. easygreenlawn

    easygreenlawn Junior Member
    from N. Ohio
    Messages: 15

    The plowing isn't where the problem lies. I should have mentioned this earlier. I had my deadline for Salt order on the 28th so after I called them about the order, a condo association called and they had a bid valid until the 15th od December for a yearly contract starting in January, taking up my salt reserves, maybe even plus some. So the problem is the difference in salt prices, bagged VS bulk. I have room on the slate, just can't see spreading salt for nothing after costs of bags. They were late, so I feel they should be re-bid and higher salt price. If you miss a sale by 4 days, do you think a business will honor that price? Most likely not. Please give me your 2 cents! Thanks.
  9. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,306

    Can't you just buy bulk salt from somewhere else if you run out? We have our own, but buy from other dealers if we run out or just to keep from coming back across town to reload.
  10. DJDarknez

    DJDarknez Member
    Messages: 92

    A deadline is a deadline. They missed it. If it was a written quote, then whoever you contacted with the price knows it.

    I say do some quick price hunting for salt, then incorporate that however you want to in the price incease. Have to increase. Since they waited past the deadline, you could almost think of it as a "penalty" because now you can't order more salt.........because of a deadline.

    Taking time into a consideration, as previously suggested......do it. But tack on that extra amount.
  11. Crumm

    Crumm Senior Member
    Messages: 529

    I would explain to them the salt cost increase due to not placing the order by the deadline. They missed it not you so they should pay the increase. Give them a new bid with the cost increases but show the labor as being the same so they will understand and not think that you are gouging them for missing the deadline. I am in the freight business and when fuel prices go up so go our rates. We call it a "fuel surcharge" maybe you could call this one a "salt surcharge".
  12. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    1. If it cost more to serve them then charge them more it is that simple.

    2. If they missed the deadline but you still have room for them now is a good time to rase your price for next year.

    3. If you do not have room for them then rase your price a lot so if they accept you can cover yourself no mater what happens. (like hire someone else to do it and still make money.

    Every year I offer my old customers to contract at last years prices if they respond by Oct. 15th. after that my price goes up 10%. That is my deadline and I stick to it. New customers start at the new price for the year every year. i have some old customers that have been with me for 20 plus years and still paying the price I charged back then, and new ones that pay doubble.

    If they were late signing the contract then you may be concerned that there payment may also be late.

    Just my thoughts.
  13. davink

    davink Member
    Messages: 50


    so I am new to the site, and I do not even plow professionally. But I do run my own contracting company, so I get to deal with the bills, price quotes and deadlines.

    My 2 cents, I feel that part of it is feeling them out. If you think that they will take the increase and still contract with you, go for it. See ehat the markup on the salt is, add 5% to that, and tell them that they need to pay the increase. Explain that the deadline was based on the salt order deadline, and the cost. I do not feel that is inappropriate. If I quote someone a job, and put a sign date on it, and they choose not to do it, that does not mean that price will be valid after that date, wether it be a day or a month after. If my material costs change, then so does their price.

    On the other hand, someone else may have bid in very close to where you would be with the increase. Maybe it is worth the inconvience and the cost for getting the contract, and maybe keeping the contract for years to come.

    Personally, I would just charge them the salt increase. Figure if it would be cheaper to get more by bulk (if you still can) or bag, and let them know the differencein the cost, anyone should understand that.

    Like I said, just my two cents. Good luck!
  14. Tony Bonventre

    Tony Bonventre Sponsor
    Messages: 89

    Purpose of the deadline in contract.

    I imagine that the intention of the deadline in the contract was to give the customer incentive to sign with you in a reasonable amount of time. I know this may come as a shock, but to some people making the decision who to use for there snow plowing is a big decision. One question I would have is why did he wait so long, and I would ask. I would come right out and ask them, Depending on that answer would depend on what extra if any I charged them. For instance if they went with a low-ball price and that did not work and now they are calling you, well I still don't know about charging them more but I would try to get a 3-5 year deal out of it so you don't have to do it next year again. Now if they say that they were checking ref. and credentials and they chose you, I would say thank you for your work!!!!!!!
  15. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    If it cost you more then it should cost them more. BUT you raise the price,I will bet you dont get the contract next year....Rob
  16. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 794

    A deadline on an estimate is a deadline. Explain that to your customer, along with WHY you left him a deadline (already bought your salt, set your routes, etc.)...BUT tell him that you VALUE HIS BUSINESS and would like him to re-sign with you next year if he likes your service and tell him that you are going to "give him a break" and overlook his missing the deadline. Make him feel like you are doing HIM a big favor by re-arranging your routes to fit him in and not charging him any extra because HE was late.
  17. Norman B

    Norman B Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    You do what you think is best, I have been in buisness for 15 years. One thing I have learned is never say no to money. Be happy they went with you. If you don't take it I'm sure you will make the guy who gets it very happy.
  18. easygreenlawn

    easygreenlawn Junior Member
    from N. Ohio
    Messages: 15

    I raised my price by 30%, less than what cost will be for the difference, but i will suck it up with plowing costs. I couldn't see doubling the cost, and they understood. They also are wanting a lawncare bid and re-mulching and all the "good stuff" for next year at more than this facility. I am going to be busy tomorrow writing proposals for those and writing a contract for snow removal too! They must have been impressed! And understand deadlines like most businesses should! Thanks for the advice also!