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Love plowing but really hate this time of year

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Brian Young, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    I love plowing, its my favorite aspect of our business, but man, I hate the waiting game that always comes with this time of year. I wish there was a law that gave these companies a cut off date,lol. We must have put out over 100 bids and no responses. 30 of these are our previous customer's minus a bunch of driveways, which never say yes or no til the first storm. Its just a little nerve racking now that this is my sole source of income!
  2. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    I feel your pain. I've tried jumping out the 2nd story window of my office, but everytime i get up on the ledge the phone rings with another potential customer who wants a bid but won't decide on it until the middle fo end of october no matter what incentives or lines i give them, and we will be happy to do the work. UGH
  3. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    I am going through the same thing right now too. One thing that I started doing that has helped speed things up a little (at least for last years customers that won't commit).

    I started calling them and just told them I need to know right away because we are ordering our salt for the season and if you want in on these prices we have to order now.

    So far I am amazed at how many people have said " Yes we are planning on using your services again this year, it's just still warm and we have time before it snows"

    All of these people received a letter to confirm services and most received a phone call too.

  4. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    this year we told every customer that oct1 is the cut off after that we will accept no snow removal. even if i loose out on work at least i can make a plan to be profitable with those customers.
  5. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    I also give an October 1st deadline. However, my proposal states "To be guaranteed service you must respond before 10-1-09. Those requesting service after that date will be taken on a first-come-first-served basis."

    The only people who call me after October 1st are people that I never solicited in the first place, everyone else locks in.
  6. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    how are you guys feeling with 2 weeks to go before your deadline? more feet dragging than usual?
  7. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Bidding and waiting sucks. My friend who got me in the business bids on everything and waits to see what sticks. After my first year of bidding I knew there had to be a better way. I approached my biggest client, a school district, about multi year bidding. I know the facilities manager from our previous company and he was all for it. Worked out great for all of us. I got three schools I wanted, another guy got the other three. And the school doesn't have to even think about it for two more seasons. This is the second season. By May they will have a two year extension proposal in their hands.
  8. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    stating the deadline has really inproved our response. law of supply and demand make customers understand your supply is finite and if they dont act you cant provide for themit costs them nothing put piece of mind to sign earlier
  9. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    I use an opt out in my renewal letters.

    "we know your time is busy, so there's no need to call if you are happy and just want it to continue"

    100% renewal, 2 years in a year. Some people call anyway just to confirm, but it works for me.

    the big guys I follow with a phone call anyway just for my piece of mind.

    I changed very few prices this year.
  10. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    We have the same thing going on lots of bids out there and lots waiting on coming in! It is crazy, if only they knew what we go through on planning parts of things.
  11. highlander316

    highlander316 Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    this is your only income? No mowing?
  12. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    Well yeah mowing but I'm loosing a big account we had in Nov. so I didnt bother going after more work for the summer because of no extra time.