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How to charge "per-season" customers?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by NYH1, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. NYH1

    NYH1 Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    Hey guys, I'm new at plowing. This was my first season and I started out pretty late but still did ok. Each time it snowed and I plowed I seemed to pick up more work as the season went on. So I definitely have some plowing accounts lined up for next season. Plus some of my customers want me to give them prices on mowing their lawns as well.

    Around my area for plowing, people either pay "per push" or "per-season".

    Charging and billing per push is easy enough to figure out. Every time I plow I bill and get paid.

    How do you guys figure out and calculate your bids on "per-season" accounts? We average around 22 events a year here in as typical winter season. So if I was going to charge someone say $20 per push, would I charge them 22 x $20= $440 for the season? Or would I give them a little discount because they're paying up front for a seasonal rate? I've heard of some guys giving 10 to 15% discount for seasonal customers that pay up front. Does this sound right? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    A new 2500/3500 (Ram or Chevy/GMC) with a new Fisher HD 8.5' or 9' plow to come before next season as well.

    Thanks, NYH1.
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Almost right on your pricing. You need to add a few more plows for "just in case" . No discount either. People like seasonal prices because its less to worry about.If you want to help them out split the bill in half ,half at signing and half when ever you want.This is for plowing only ,they want any other service,extra cost to them.
  3. truckitup

    truckitup Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    In Rochester NY take that price cut it in half then take another 10% and it still will not be low enough. We are lucky to get $275 for the season for a two wide drive way 75 feet long. There are some low ballers that do them for $200 for the season and it snows over 100 inches a year.

    Stick with your pricing and give them great service. You will get more work.
  4. NYH1

    NYH1 Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    Not discount as in if I was going to charge them $20 per push, then charge them $20 x 22= $440 for the season and don't take anything off for doing a seasonal rate?

    Splitting the bill with them sounds like a good idea thanks.

    Thanks, NYH1.
  5. NYH1

    NYH1 Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    Thanks truck. I'm in the Syracuse area. We usually get 115 inches a season. One thing I do that no one else around here does. Is I go around after I know the city/county plows are done clearing the roads and have pushed that roll of snow that everyone hates into the bottom of their driveways and quickly clean it up. Takes a few seconds and my customer really appreciate it.

  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Correct, you're offering them an even payment plan for the season,you don't need to offer any discount.
  7. NYH1

    NYH1 Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    Ok, thanks Grandview.

  8. NYH1

    NYH1 Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    ETA- Forgot to mention, I do this at no extra charge. It doesn't take long or cost me much and kind of sets me apart from the other guys in my area. Most of my customers are within 10 minutes of my house. My customers have mentioned how none of their past plow guys or other plow guys on their streets have done or do this. I just consider it giving them better customer service.

    I'm just starting out so I want them to see that I am willing to go the extra mile to take care of them.

    Thanks, NYH1.
  9. ServiceOnSite

    ServiceOnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 950

    Problem with offering that service included in the price is you have no control over when it happens. Around here they push back the snow banks at random after the storm. Sometime even a couple days later. Could be nothing in the forecast and you make plans out of town and now you have 5 people calling bitching about a service your giving them for free.
    The way i used to do residential work was i would only plow what fell from the sky.
    No drifts or approaches included unless i was out plowing when it happened.
    Its nice to be nice to people, but as many here will say homeowners will take advantage of you and not think twice.
    Ill never forget getting yelled at for not plowing a driveway ( that i did plow )
    by the wife, and it was the snow that fell off the roof. Husband called me later and apologized for his wife and her rude remarks. :dizzy::dizzy:
  10. NYH1

    NYH1 Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    They don't push the banks back here much, if at all. Plus I usually end up driving by most of my customers just driving to do day to day things anyways. Most are in my neighborhood. Like I said, it's quick and easy. So far so good.

    Thanks for the insight, NYH1.
  11. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    At 115 inches per year isn't their going to be events that need more than one push during a storm? So actually the 22 events is closer to thirty. I wouldn't be plowing a driveway in a 115 snowfall area for 450 bucks.
  12. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    We do,..............
  13. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    More power to ya.
  14. doyles

    doyles Member
    Messages: 95

    well most guys plowing residentals around hear will plow the season for 300 so good luck at the 450 mark
    I wouldent plow residentals for 300 its not worth the agervation and 450 to me for the season is still cheap
    also you are closer to 30 plows a season
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014
  15. andersman02

    andersman02 Senior Member
    Messages: 756

    Your right on, take the average number of plows in the season, multiply by per push price. I'd give one price with sidewalks and one without.

    I find it is tougher to add extra plows here in MN on RESI because those extra plows will add quite a % to the total. Commercial is different.

    We do runways (plow in front of the house like the city does) on snowfalls up to 3-4" and do not return after the city has unless someone calls in. Anything over that we dont do runways and just return about 1/2- 1 day later
  16. NYH1

    NYH1 Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    Thanks guys!

  17. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 317

    wow i don't go any less than $40 a push for a driveway, and even then most driveways are such a pain I'm steering more towards commercial..
    as for your season pricing yes you seem on track for how to price them,and its even better if you can get like 4 or 5 neighbors to hop on board.
  18. NYH1

    NYH1 Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    TPC, thanks. So far I've been luck to have two to five customers on the same blocks. That makes it quick and easy.

  19. Mike N

    Mike N Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    There are signs all over the west side of town (Gates, Ogden. etc...) offering $169 seasonal rates. Heck, I even got a flyer stuck to my mailbox offering a seasonal rate, with unlimited trips, for $159 and my driveway is 135' long and two wide.... man, talk about plowing for nothing.

    Apparently whoever left the flyer didn't see the two trucks with Western Unimounts sitting in the driveway.
  20. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    A guy around did that after few storms he stop plowing and left town

    Ran off with 5-6k gave every body a fake name and and shut off his prepaid cell phone
    Some say he got ship back To Mexico