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Late Comers

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Oasis, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Oasis

    Oasis Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    Ok heres a question. We started accepting clients in September and October at discounted prices. November first our prices took a step up and as of December first our prices went up considerably. Here in Toronto we have had a considerable amount of snow in the past few weeks and people are still calling. When I tell them the price they complain but a month has allready past how come the price is still full..... When do you guys begin reducing your prices and I guess more generally what kind of schedule do you price your residential and commercial customers say from September to February. How does your price fluctuate throughout the season. I dont mean to ask for your exact pricing as a fishing expidition but rather how you change your prices throughout the season or do you?

  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Maybe after Feb 1st you could give them a break,if they sign a full season contract (with non-refundable retainer) for 08-09.
  3. Oasis

    Oasis Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    I never thought about that thats an excellent idea. Do you actually know anyone thought that accepts 08/09 contracts january of 08??
  4. jrush

    jrush Member
    from ct
    Messages: 41

    Break? For what? It does'nt cost me any less to go do the job whether they sign up in August or December. I don't want to fill my route up with people that signed up in nice weather at a discounted price.
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    The company I used to work for would waive any late season extras if they signed a contract for the next year. And it can;t hurt to ask.
  6. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    We make every one sign 2 years or more.

    Had a guy sign of a seasonal last week.

    Told him, he would have to pay November & December payment, by the 15th.
  7. DirtyJerzey

    DirtyJerzey Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    to me im doing the same work no matter what, same fuel prices, same wear and tear... sure it is nice to get accounts early but I wont discount them. If i get a call during a storm and get a one time deal then prices go up, because then it is a premium. Sometimes even if I get a call the night/day before a storm ill quoute them higher just cause I know they need it plowed therfore my service is a premium
  8. Oasis

    Oasis Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    I think the main reason we discounted the people in September and October was because we were a new company and we had to make sure we would have sufficient accounts. If I knew how many we would end up with I probably wouldnt have.

    Ok i just remembered... most of you guys charge per push. . . Im not sure if this is a Canadian thing or just us ?? but all of my clients are on yearly contracts. They pay up front for the entire season. If it snows once or 100 times its the same price. Same as our commercial clients. Salting of course is per occurance or per ton but all plowing is seasonal priced contracts.

    Ok so knowing this info does the answers change????
  9. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    No Because, it cost you the same all year if you run or not, your overhead is the same.

    If you discount it, just do in enought they feel good, but it dosent hurt you.
  10. Mick

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

    Depends. I don't accept clients during a snowstorm. But, if someone called in January, the first thing I would ask is if past snows have been plowed. Then, I'd want to look at the site to see if they'd been doing something like just make a path with a snowblower. Now, if I'll be dealing with past snowfalls, I'll figure how much it would have cost them so far if I'd been plowing right along, double that, and that will be the cost for getting it cleaned up. Then, I'll figure what it will be from now on. That gets around the issue of people who wait until it's too deep, then call you. And people who do something like agree to a seasonal on a per month basis and cancel after you've bailed them out from this mess. I got bit once when I cleaned up several storms on an agreement for a per push basis; not going to happen again.

    If you're dealing with something like a seasonal rate and they want it prorated, I'd walk away. My first thought would be - Why are they just now looking for someone to plow? Second thought would be - What happened between them and the last guy (related to the first thought and leads to the thought of - Do I want to deal with this guy who starts comlaining right off the bat?).
  11. heather lawn spray

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

    Quote 'em full rate.

    If your route is full or near full (and it sounds like it is) there is nothing to gain by discounting them. If they're coming to you mid-season there is something wrong on their side, like Mick says. Fight with their plowman, didn't plan on it snowing this year and so on. Don't cave. You got 'em
  12. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,257

    A new company discounting prices. Why? Your cash flow is probably already low, and now you choose to make it lower? If you can do it at the lower price, then you're overcharging to begin with.

    Do your employees take a cut in pay to make sure you have enough work for them? Does the insurance company cut you a discount because you're new?

    I digress, what about offering them a per push for the rest of the season instead of a seasonal price? If that's not the issue, charge them at least full rate for the remaining 2 or 3 months left because how do you know what the weather is going to bring in the Jan and Feb? Last Feb was our second best month--EVER. But Feb is historically our driest month in the entire year. Think of how much money you could lose then.
  13. rjfetz1

    rjfetz1 Senior Member
    from CT.
    Messages: 640

    The only time I would discount the price for snow removal is if they said I could plow a day or two after the storm. Why work all those hours for a cheapier price?? If someone is looking for a discount now then chances are next year at this time they will be looking elsewhere for a discount....
  14. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    I think some of you are missing something (unless I read it wrong). He charges a seasonal price for the whole winter. He wants to to know if he should discount the sesonal price because we have already experienced 1.5 months of winter. In theory he's not discounting, he's still getting what he wants monthly. All of this really depends on if your route is full.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2008
  15. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    I agree with Oomkes on the per-push for rest of season. Show them the rates and then show them how many pushes you will figure into next year's seasonal contract. Then make them sign for the rest of this winter, and next year. If they don't, then they are not being honest with you and you should jack up your per-time rates for this winter if they want to be bailed out of a jam.
  16. Stone Mountain

    Stone Mountain Member
    Messages: 45

    Hey, Oasis, I'm in toronto as well.
    I base my contracts on a certain number of falls (events) for the whole season. For example, if I plan on 20 falls and 25 salts, and we've already had 8 falls and 10 salts, then I'd enter into a new contract as a percentage (don't do it by the month as Jan/Feb are the busiest) of a full season's price.

    By the way: I read your contract. It would never stand up in court. Go to Landscape Ontario and use the one they have on their website. All insurance companies approve it.

    Whereabouts are you. Let's get together one night and go to Timmies (This is special Canadian code you Yanks wouldn't understand)

  17. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    It's either the Ballet or Hortons I'm in!:salute:
  18. heather lawn spray

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

    How about the ballet and Horton's aftertymusic
  19. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    How about the drive thru first!
  20. Oasis

    Oasis Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    That actually sounds like a great idea. What do you use to base your expected number of events. Obviously last year is no basis for predicting this year as December has proven. As for my contract I will msg you privately.