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Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by 2003ctd, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. 2003ctd

    2003ctd Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    Has anyone ever done seasonal driveway contracts, where you give a fairly decent discount for paying for the whole season up front? A good friend of mine is trying to talk me into doing this for the upcoming season.. Im just not sure how many homeowners would go for it... Any opinions?
  2. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i dont do driveways as a seasonal, however all my seasonal bids for commercial i give a 5% discount for any amount paid prior to Oct 1st... i have had a few ppl bite on it, but not many... even though i lose 5% , im most case, jsut haivng the cash flow early to purchase things helps alot
  3. 2003ctd

    2003ctd Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    I've never done residential accounts either, I've always worked for someone else besides a few of my own accounts.. Im debating whether to do my own thing this year, and yes the early cash flow would be a big help i getting equipment and supplies.. Plus it saves from doing alot of paperwork, and you wouldn't have to worry about people not paying.
  4. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    my thoughts exactly, i do residential, but not many, im moving more towards commercial, truthfully , i dont even want condos, or townhomes, or apartments, but we do those too

    are in the mchenry area?
  5. 2003ctd

    2003ctd Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    No im in dupage county, been debating about moving up that way by the chain
  6. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    I tried that one year and never again. We dont do any resi's unless its a long-time customer or a driveway of a commercial property owner. Dont have time! We do have 3 condo complexes though.
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Money is nice up front. I never gave a discount. The only bad thing is when you have the money in hand you tend to get sloppy.Better off 1/3 at singing 1/3 around Jan. last 1/3 Mar. this way you have money coming in all season.

    People asked me if they should pay up front and I tell them to put your snowplow guy on speed dial because you'll be calling them a lot.
  8. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Only way I do it for Residentials. I'm not going to be bothered sending out bills for under $ 100.00 for snow, or chasing them down for so little money. Resi only amount to about 5% by dolllars for us though, & thats 50 of them. If they don't like it find someone else.
  9. plowman4life

    plowman4life Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    dont do seasonal resis. we did that one year and actually lost money or residentials. b/c they would call us back and say but we already paid for it. so now per push only.

    if the driveway cost 65 to plow and you call us back your paying again. (not the full price but a fraction of it might be 20-30 bucks depending on how much need to be cleared again.) all of our resis get done after the storm anyway.

    the only thing we do free is if we are passing by a resi we will open up the top of the driveway durring the storm to make it easyier for them to get in and out and for us to plow when we come back. but we dont make special trips for that.
  10. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    It's the only way to go, wouldn't want it any other way. No discount. They're really not paying up front. A great deal of expense, prep time and energy is spent well before they are actually plowed. We do charge more than just about anyone, and they are serviced well. Many times they will be plowed at 1 1/4-1 1/2" accumulation when the others in the neighborhoods are not.

    Couldn't imagine billing per push for residentials and arguing with them to justify why they where serviced when a borderline accumulation happens. It really needs to be left to our discretion.
  11. 2003ctd

    2003ctd Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    When do you guys usually start collecting money and signing contracts?
  12. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    April, and a month ago
  13. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i agree, but what about those years that you get limited snow falls... then they complain that you charged them all this money and didnt plow them only a few times? i got that with lawn mowing customers, during a dry year

    i tell my customers, and in the contract, that it is up to the plow drivers discreation, if they want service , or donw want service then they need to call prior to midnight. Most of the time they understand. they also Inital in the contract that if they have a complaint of service, or if they feel it souldnt have been plowed they must make a call, with in 24 hours to the office. after that we take no more complaints

    after a few of those border line storms , i start figuring out the picky ppl.... their rate goes up the following year (the head ake tax) and i tell the driver to take a pic of the drive way in the middle of the night, if nessasary using a ruler

    but im getting out of the res. market to begin with
  14. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    You hit the nail on the head.

    All of my residentials seasonals are paid up front. No billing, no questions on whither or not the trigger was met. No getting replaced with a lowballer midway through the season. Yea, if it doesn't snow, then they might complain. If it does snow alot, then you raise your average for next year.