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How do you beat em

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by chasity2682, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. chasity2682

    chasity2682 Member
    from canada
    Messages: 76

    I started my company this year and picked up my own customers, but I am getting random calls from 1 of my competiters asking me to quote them. The last job I looked at was 5 storage buildings. Property was about 800FT x 1000FT with the buildings scatered on it. She wanted acess to all sideds of the buildings with nothing blocked and lots of room to get around. When I gave her the price she was almost offended and told me the person doing it currently upped there price to $100 per push. I couldnt pay for my gas with that. Any suggestions on how to beat them out.:confused:
  2. mycirus

    mycirus Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 589

    Tell her thats a good price and she should keep him. Then wait for her to say, oh he is unreliable....Well there ya go. You have to pay for service.
  3. NW Snow Removal

    NW Snow Removal Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    depends on building sizes, otherwise I am going on a 800,000 sq foot lot. Therefore, I hope it was a typo and you left off a zero from the 100, and it was 1000 that they upped their price. Other than that I am not touching this one.
  4. chasity2682

    chasity2682 Member
    from canada
    Messages: 76

    the buildings are big probable 20x75 and no he is actually doing it for 100$ . I lost other customers to him already this year cause his pricing. A job that takes him an hour and a half he charged 60 dallors for.... i can't compete with that.
  5. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    No you can't compete.... just move on..... when the guy blows a tranny or other big malfunction and he doesn't have the $ to fix it , he'll be gone

    Why the heck is the property owner asking for quotes anyway?..... $100????? You do NOT want those accounts......
  6. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    When I was much younger I worked cheaper, not that cheap, but over time and with years of hard lessons and the patience those years and expieriences have brought me I have learned it's definitely better to leave the cheap work to the guys willing to do it and move on to those who can see the value in quality service.
  7. dchr

    dchr Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    AMEN TO THAT-very well said. I did the same thing many moons ago not only with plowing but with the home improvement business. You either learn real fast or your out of business. The cheap work is definetely not worth it in the long run-most of the time the ones that want the cheapest price want the BEST of everything and will drive you crazy. :dizzy:
  8. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Bid $75.00.
  9. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    You don't have to...they will beat themselves. Doing work for unreasonably low prices may sound great if you are a one-truck show and can "make money" that way. But when you finally have the epiphany that "OMFG, I have condemned myself to this type of work forever...by myself, because nobody else will work for my rates"...or they have to start over again entirely, and we all know how much fun *that* is when you have no reputation, let alone a reputation for being the cheapest guy on the block.

    "Long term planning fail", I believe it's called.

  10. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    Mick , Forest and DCHr got it right, ensure that you are gettin what you require hourly or on contract to provide the service, or dont touch it. If you are good at what you do you wont have a problem making a living /or supplementing your income. When you get too busy, ask yourself is it my service that makes me busy or am I just too CHEAP
  11. TGM

    TGM Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    you can.. beat him with a stick? :laughing:

    anyways, just move on if you can. either 1 of 2 things will happen. 1 - they go from lowballer to lowballer (aka bottomfeeder) which you don't want anyways. or 2 - they wake up realize that quality service is going to cost a premium or at least reasonable price.

    working for nothing will merely help to put that truck into the crusher that much quicker..and all without putting food on the table.
  12. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    identify/keep track of proerties he does, as you see them poorly done, stop by and pay the property manager a visit, "your property looks very poorly done, do you need some help with it, here is my card" he can't be doing a good job if he is quoting that week, and then you have a in with the property manager
  13. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    . . . it worked for us with a hotel
  14. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,365

    As with heather, this worked or us on a set of 3 banks we lost this year to an unreasonably low price. I called my contact 2 times after the first two snows.

    The contractor didn't last through December, and we were back in at the first of this year.

    Call your contact back and ask why she was looking for a new bid. Was it price alone? Or is it poor service.

    Learn to sell your service.

    If you have other properties in the area, make sure to let the prospective client know which ones you service so they can see how your properties look on a consistant basis.
  15. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    As LM22 says . . . We had 2 of the hotels of the chain in 2 cities on either side of the prospect. Middle hotel was poorly done and they were looking for a new plower. We were there at the right time with the right references.That was last winter. We just re-upped them for the 1st of February for the next 12 months.

    On the other side. . .

    One guy kept calling on of my factories (I took it from him, he took it back, long story). They finally caved in. renewed with him. 2 years after, when he couldn't do it properly, they were back again with me.

    Just 'cause you lose someplace doesn't mean it's forever. And just 'cause you gain someplace. . .
  16. tiaquessa

    tiaquessa Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    I totally agree. Damn, I hate the lowballers. I was doing a Chinese restaurant years ago (10 years) for $75.00, which then, was fair. Someone came in, and told the owner he'd do it for $25.00. I said good luck to ya, and have a great day. The next storm, around 6" or so, I drove by around 3pm, and huh, what do ya know- not done yet. I stopped by, and told the owner I'd do it for $75.00 right now. I got the job back that day. Businesses that know better, shouldn't step over a dime to save a dollar when it comes to their business, especially the liability part.

    BTW to the OP- I wonder if the guy who's doing it for $100.00 has liability insurance.
  17. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    low prices seem great until the first time someone falls when your place isn't done properly, the sad part is it should take being sued once to make people/contracts understand it isn't all about price
  18. chasity2682

    chasity2682 Member
    from canada
    Messages: 76

    thanks Guys. thats great. the reason she was calling was he was doing a poor job and he was always really late in the day i told her it would be donr right before 6am and she didn't go for it. i guess the money is worth more till she gets sued. Thanks guys
  19. kcress31

    kcress31 Senior Member
    Messages: 451

    A smart businessman knows when to walk away. For every 5 percent in discount you give your customers you have to increase your sales volume by 8 % just to make the same amount of money in the first example.

    Let us say you get $ 100 / hr for your machine and your in the bank is $45 / hour profit. after 1000 hrs you have put $45,000 in the bank. Now Operator B only charges $95/hr and his costs are exactly the same. After 1000 hrs he now has $40,000 in the bank. Operator B now has to work an extra 125 hrs in the same season to make the same in the bank as you. For a 5% discount you have to work 8 % more? It is weird how that works.

    Now use the same example but lower your profit margin. You charge $60 / hour for your machine and you in the bank profit is $25 / hour after all expenses. After 1000 hrs you now have $25,000 in the bank. Operator B charges $55 /hr and profits $20 / hour. After 1000 hrs he has $20,000 in the bank. Now operator B has to work an extra 250 hrs just to make the same money as you. He has to work 25% more hours to make the same amount as you or you can work 800 hrs and make the same amount as he did.

    It's amazing how these lowballer think that they can make a living and get ahead charging ridiculously low rates.