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How to pick up commercial lots

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by badabing1512, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. badabing1512

    badabing1512 Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    I know this is probably asked 10 times a day and you guys are sick of it but here it goes, ive been doing plowing for some years now which has all been residential but i am ready to go commercial. The only equipment i have right now is my truck with a boss 9'2" V and 2 buddies with straight blades who plow hourly for me. I am looking to pick up some commercial plowing and i will buy equipment as needed for the lots. i know everyone has their own rate but how do you guys charge for commercial lots, im guessing per acre or square foot and than you figure how long it will take with the equipment you have and so on so that you decide what profit you want to make after costs, but please explain how you charge. also what is the best way to pick up commercial lots and keep them, are most of them just the lowest bid or should i try to contact a property manager and come up with a proposal, im a newbie to commercial and would like to know everyones side as to plowing commercial. any info/help would be great guys. Thanks again, Eric. :waving:
  2. badabing1512

    badabing1512 Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    Nothing guys?
  3. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,584

    Commercial pricing varies by property, and in most cases, the customer decides how it will be priced. Some want hourly, some are per time, while others want seasonal. In most cases, the price you give them will be what you need to make a profit (generally based on how much time you anticipate clearing the lot to take). Be competitive, but dont sell yourself short, it's far easier to lose money sitting on the couch with your feet up.

    Keeping commercial customers from year to year is no different than residential. Maintaining a good relationship with the management is first and foremost, with high quality service (be on time, do good work, dont damage their property, etc.) right up there (the 2 really go hand in hand, as it's hard to maintain a good relationship if the service you provide sucks). Staying competitive goes a long ways too. Some companies go out to bid every year, regardless of how good your service is. Get too greedy and you'll lose them.

    Last thing, commercial customers tend to be a lot less forgiving. I dont care how good of equipment you have, have a backup plan in place in case of something catastophic happening mid storm (accident, breakdown, etc.). This could be as simple as an old beater truck, on-call subs, etc.
  4. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    Have a plan.

    Not much forgiveness with commercial work. If you are wanting proposal formats, and information on calculating per push, seasonal or flat rate pricing, check out a CD titled Quick Estimator for Snow & Ice management @ www.profitsareus.com

    This CD calculates time and material based on your equipment, your overhead, and your use-rates. There is also a comprehensive Snow & Ice Management manual available.

    Being a plowsite sponsor and a full servcie contractor myself since 1979, I know what you are looking for. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at 800-845-0499. Have a great year.
  5. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Use the search function or just start reading. Your questions have ebbn answered many many times
  6. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    hydro_37 Use the search function or just start reading. Your questions have ebbn answered many many times

    Also you can join SIMA, they are fantastic for what your looking for, look into it.
  7. TPC Services

    TPC Services Senior Member
    Messages: 875

    boy you two are helpful as two cocks in a hen house,
  8. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I gotta agree with Hydro on this. Everyone here wants to help, but some of the basic stuff can be found with a little reading.
  9. Chrisxl64

    Chrisxl64 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 574

    Is this a good thing?
  10. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    This is the way I look at it, when I started in this business there was no internet, no SIMA, you learned by trial & error, took your bumps & brusies. You can dramaticly shorten your learning curve, save a ton to money & time with resources. Just the contracts alone are worth the $ 170 in SIMA dues vs. paying an attorney to write them. Everyone wants to get from A-Z but skip the work to get there, do some of it for god's sake, read on hear (search) there are over 8 years worth the posts, there are trade publications with archived articles, etc. If your to lazy to do any of the work (research) & self teach, then pay a consultant to teach you.
  11. BMWSTUD25

    BMWSTUD25 Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    How come every time someone suggests using the search function they get called an a**hole or something of the like. badabing1512 is probably like many others, new to the forum, as he only has 14 posts and has only been a member here for about a year . You guys that are always so quick to chew someone out for bringing up the idea to "use the search function" which inevitably comes up on almost every thread. Did it ever occur to you guys that maybe the only way they will ever know how to use it or even know there is a search function is to let them know???? okay I'm done......sorry for the rant badabing
  12. Silentroo

    Silentroo Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    If you want to 'pick up' commercial lots. Try this,

    Buy it a couple of drinks,
    Talk really nice,
    Complement it a lot,

    and hope it does not see through your BS too soon.....
  13. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Been waiting for this response. What's next, a loader on each corner?:D