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how do I get new buisness and then how do I price parking lots?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by drpepperinacan, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. drpepperinacan

    drpepperinacan Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    I have been running a lawn care and snow removal business for the last couple of years and I am now going to get a snow plow( I was using a snow shovel and blower). I want to get some tips on how to find people that need there parking lots plowed and then some tips on how to price those parking lots. thanks
  2. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    I start bidding jobs in September. I'd say it's a little late to start looking for work this season. As far a pricing the average truck can push a 45,000 sq ft parking lot with 1 - 3" of snow in an hour. Add for islands, obstacles and snow pile locations. Figure out ALL your costs and necessary profit and you should be able to calculate your charges from there.
  3. coral

    coral Senior Member
    Messages: 128

    must be the internet connection in florida went down....:laughing:
  4. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    You are simply going to have to get out there and shake hands with every business owner and manager that you can find. Thats about the only way to get more customers.

    I feel that phone calls are very impersonal and generally amount to lower sales.

    As far as price goes, you need to figure out your overhead and profit margins. JMR hit the nail on the head with productivity numbers but you need to also figure in plow widths (7.5-10') and different plow types (Vee or straight).

    Don't be too concerned about the guys on here with thousands of posts and non-productive answers. The bulk of their wisdom has dried up and they are in a competition to see who can come up with the most smart A$$ reply.

    Keep reading the posts and asking questions. There are plenty of other members willing to help.
  5. thesnowman269

    thesnowman269 Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    So if everybody used the search function and nobody posted their questions, what Would plowsite be? a place to post pictures and tell eveyone about stupid customers? :confused:
  6. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Most of the guys here are more than willing to help, me and hydro included. But it is a two way street. Spend some time reading and searching. There is a whole forum dedicated to bidding and estimating. As well as forums for commercial snow removal, ice management, and so on.

    Once you have some idea of what you plan to run for equipment, the kind of lots you would be targeting, etc. bring on the specific questions.

    As mentioned, you need to get out there, shake hands, talk to people. Many people, myself included, learn the business by subbing for a year or two. Truthfully, most any commercial property manager is going to be reluctant to hire you with zero experience.
  7. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    no its just when every other day someone post how do i start a business and how do i find clients.... these kinds of threads get reallly repetitive... plus youll find 100x worth of info than what well post in this one thread
  8. drpepperinacan

    drpepperinacan Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    how much should I charge when I am subcontracting?

    I have a 1986 f150 with a 6 foot plow on it and an old montomery wards 20 inch snowblower and shovels of course. is $35 and hour good to charge somebody i am subcontracting for with the equipment I have or do I need to charge more?
  9. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Do you have the six foot plow mounted on the truck already?
  10. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    $ 35 @ hour is a little light, by the time you factor in fuel, insurance and maintainance costs you're not making much money.

    you are goiing to have a hard time getting top dollar if you only have a 6 foot plow and no experance you are not going to be real productive in roadways or lots. The average plow loses about 14% of its width when fully angled. your 72 inch plow is 63" when angled. If you turn your wheels you will be packing unplowed snow.
  11. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    Subbing is your best bet to gain the basics. Talk to the larger service providers in your area......you need to discover the going rates and negotiate for yourself. Sounds as if you have some experience but it seems limited.

    I don't know why no one has suggested joining SIMA. You can get basic production numbers and great information if you're serious about moving forward. Maybe someone has as this thread seems to have been slashed.

    I do believe in cold calling, but don't take this advice...the phone is your friend. Used as a tool it's far more productive to qualify prospective clients and other service providers for your opportunities.

    Good luck to you.
  12. firemedicplow

    firemedicplow Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I charge $70/hour just to turn a wheel on a 3/4 ton 8' blade. Residential drives are $25 with salt and front door walkway, or $20 to just back drag drive. But thats at a 2" trigger. Good luck
  13. smokin4by

    smokin4by Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 98

    i also agree this thread has been slashed some....comments on posts that are not there.

    cold calling works, just make sure you can talk to the right person. don't sell yourself to the first person who answers the phone.

    drive around during/after a storm and see what business' are being cleared and what ones are still covered when its done snowing. target them FIRST !! they probably are not happy with their service and are looking for somone new.

    subbing for a couple years builds great experiance by watching others, learning from their mistakes, and learning how to be more productive.

    and if you do have a 6' blade i'd try to get something around an 8' blade. then most single car drives are one pass, and your not packing snow with your tires trying to windrow
  14. drpepperinacan

    drpepperinacan Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    yes it is already mounted on the truck
  15. drpepperinacan

    drpepperinacan Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    i did go aroung after the storm and actually gained enough customers that I may not need to subcontract any more but I am still going to just so that I can get more experiance and be more efficient . I got a 6 foot plow because I was told and 8 foot plow would be to heavy for my truck and they were right, the front end drops about 2 inches when I raise the plow. otherwise it seems to handls the six ft plow really well. I want to get an eight foot plow but I don't have a vehicle to put it on that works at the moment.unless I get the 4x4 fixed on brothers 84 suburban. I was told that do to the weight and stronger front suspension this one would handle an 8.5 foot plow better than my fl50. what do you think?
  16. smokin4by

    smokin4by Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 98

    2" of drop with the plow raised is nothing. if it was 4" or more then it might need some help. 80's model f150's do fine with 7.5-8' blades. a little bit of weight in the bed (400lbs) will help alot too. after a while you may need to replace ball joints, but thats true with any truck that sees work. if the 6' is working for you great, use it to pay for a bigger one. but your going to do alot of shoveling if your plow is not wider than your tires when angled. customers like curb to curb clearing and if you can't get to the curb???

    glad your giving subbing a chance, experience is the best tool
  17. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I agree an 8 foot plow might be a bit much for your truck. Are you sure it's only six feet? There's a few sizes in between 6 and 8......

    Depending on brand/model....6'8", 6'9", 7'0", 7'6"....

    What brand is yours? Do you have a pic of your truck with the plow mounted on it?