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new to commercial

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by spittincobra01, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    I am bidding my first commercial job. It is 3 different apt buildings in the same town, about 5-7 mins apart from each other. one has 2 lots, a 5 car and a 10 car with 2 sets of stairs that have 4 steps each. it also has a 90' single car wide drive. The next just has 7 parking spots and 4 sets of stairs with 4 steps each, and the last is 5 parking spots, a 65' walkway, and 2 sets of stairs with 4 steps each. In total I figure it will take me about 1:15 to 1:30 to plow/shovel all 3 with travel time.. what would be a fair estimate for this?
  2. carcrz

    carcrz Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    Depends on the going rate in your area & your costs, but I try to get $100 an hour. That way if there are obstacles & it takes me longer, my time is still covered.
  3. Plowfast9957

    Plowfast9957 Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    When bidding apartments dont forget that most of the time you have to go back and cleanup. The majority of people do not want to get dressed and come out in the snow to clean off thier car and move it. And likewise they are the ones who are the first to complain when their spot is covered in snow. I would say you are pretty close on your time estimate so base it off that.
  4. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    There are many factors to take into account when bidding, so it is basically impossible for anyone on this site to tell you what you should bid it at to make money. Number one thing, don't sell yourself short.
  5. deere-cat

    deere-cat Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    I agree with Epic - don't sell yourself short. With a new account, I like to feel them out a little, maybe even see what they were paying. I'm surprised at how many people tell me - sometimes they even show me their old contracts. :D

    Throw a price at 'em, and negotiate down from there. Your time estimate is right on for plowing, but if you get some ice, you'll spend a lot of time on those steps. Be careful. I arrange my contracts to show a 2" trigger for plowing, but with almost any snow or ice, you will have to be out there clearing and de-icing those stairs. That's a separate pricing structure. I also indicate one free clean-up (either snow off of cars that are now gone to work, or from the county plows putting a furrow across the drive) in the contract. Any more clean-ups, and you'll be running back for free every time some kid throws a snowball on the ground. I might be telling you stuff you already know, but maybe somebody else might need some ideas too.

    Sounds like a nice little job. Good luck!
  6. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    thank you all for your input! I did take icing into consideration, but the owner stated he will take care of any snow under 2 inches, and all salting/sanding and ice control. I made sure that was in my contract, as it lifts the responsibility from me. I did ask what others charged in the past, and he didn't want to tell me until after I quoted him. I went with $180.00 for 2-5" and again every 3" to do all 3 properties. He agreed that clean up will be dependant on what is needed. He did say that if I call ahead, he will call his tennants and they are good about moving the cars. He then told me that I am $10 shy of what he was charged last year, and if they guy hadn't moved he would have had him back this season. I think I did alright, but I owe alot of it to the advise from you guys! :drinkup:
  7. deere-cat

    deere-cat Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    Congrats, Cobra! Glad you got the job (especially since I'm not in your area, and I wasn't bidding on it too!:D ).

    Now impress the snot out of them with doing a real clean job, and they will quickly forget the guy from last year. Don't forget - those apartment dwellers all have friends and relatives, possibly with homes and businesses of their own, that need plowing. AFTER the first or second plowing, ask the landlord if you can give all of his tenants your name and phone number to solicit more business. Maybe offer a finders fee if you get a new contract. You never know where it will lead. Word of mouth is the best (and cheapest) form of advertising out there. Just make sure to not screw up the big job you already have by pissing off the landlord. Some don't like it when you solicit anything with their tenants. Get permission first.
  8. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    thanks for the tips Deere-cat, I will definately keep them in mind. BTW, is your 416 an extend-a-hoe? I used one when I was installing my inground pool and I loved it. I had always preferred Deere over cat until then. I have since run a 312 and a 325 excavators and I loved them. They even have a changable hydraulic system to tun sae or bhp, not sure i Deere has that or not... haven't run them for a living in many years now, I just rent them when a friend or family member needs yard work done :nod: