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New Need Help Please

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by ceoape, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. ceoape

    ceoape Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Hi everyone - This site is a GREAT source of information and i've read/searched numerous threads - THANKS!! Of all the very useful information i've retained from reading, there's a few things concerning pricing/timing that still are not clear to me; or maybe i've got it right.

    Seems to me that in commercial plowing there's 2 ways to bill; Seasonal and P/Push. After reading several threads concerning P/Hour rates, i think that you're overwhelmingly against that process and i've excluded that as an option. Now, i have a 60 client lawn care/landscaping customer base that i've built up over the past 3 years. Six of my customers are commercial and have always inquired about my company doing their properties during the Winter months. Since 2002, i've only done residential snow removal, but bought a Western 7.6 Poly snowplow last week and i want to now approach my customers with a work proposal. I realize they may have someone already in mind, however as of a week ago, a few of them had asked me and i explained i would let them know this week. They are very trustworthy and i'm not considering any contracts - as i have never used contracts and my customers have always paid.

    My plan i've thought of hasn't been discussed here as far as i could tell and i want your opinions. Most of the customers have lots (no obstacles and decent areas to pile snow) that would take 15 to 25 minutes to complete by any of you that are more experienced. I haven't invested in a salt spreader, but i'm considering buying a manual spreader of some sort because the lots are pretty small and,currently, overhead cost are an issue for me. My plan was to pick a number that i thought was applicable for my services including maintenance, industry standard rate, time, gas, any man labor hours (salt guy), insurance's, and obviously the truck/plow. I've come up with a price p/push of somewhere between $45-$75 and salting @ $20 p/50Lbs as used. I was then going to measure the sq.ft of each lot separately and divide that number by the $45-$75 (which ever cost i finally decide on) and approach the customer with a p/push charge quote. If they question the price, i would break it down for them as a price per sq.ft; therefore, i guess, justifying the rate. LoL?? Additionally, i can't seem to make a final decision on when to leave my house to begin plowing these lots;resulting in not knowing how to bill!!!!

    Don't get me wrong, i could easily tell them it's $30 p/push and plow all night in circles, but i don't want to lose money or be the LOW BALLER. I just don't want to undercut myself and I don't want to take my loyal customers to the bank. Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated as my time is getting slim. I'd be happy with just the 6 plow customers this year so that i could get an idea of how to incorporate this into my business. Thanks in advance.
  2. Mick

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

    I'd really suggest figuring what you need to make for the winter and use this:


    ps: there is no "Industry Standard" rate. I'd also suggest NOT using a per foot rate like you might with lawn care.
    Every square foot and every site is different. Take into the consideration things like demands of the customer, difficulty of the site, places to stack snow, need for backdragging etc.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2005