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please help me!!!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by andrewlawnrangr, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. andrewlawnrangr

    andrewlawnrangr Senior Member
    Messages: 339

    i have a property that i was asked to place a bid on. now it is a church which my family attends to and have been goin there for quite a long time. see if i get this bid i am able to bid on the whole property, which i need to. ok the lot consists of a long drive (160x8) the lot is (135x56) now that gives me 8840 sq. ft. what would you charge?? there is not any walkways required to be shoveled because the maintaince man does that. so basicly were lookin at plowing and salting.... i would like to get this lot and give them a deal on it but not do it for free. i am just starting out in the snow business so i woudl like this to happen. thanks to all

    PS to all fellow lawn/landscape busines owners how would i go about placing a bid on the lawn,bed maintaince, season clean-ups. how would i present the numbers to cliant in a business fashion?? anyone have a copy of their proposial that they could send to me that woudl be great...

    thanks to everyone
  2. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    Andrew , if you have to ask these questions , you may want to take some business courses at your local college.
  3. CrazyCooter

    CrazyCooter Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    Oh, grow up. Even if he knew what he was doing, he's asking the same questions everyone else had to ask at one time or another.

    Even if the guy *had* taken classes at the local yokel community college, sometimes a little reassurance goes a long way. Just because a teacher tells you something doesn't mean that you don't want advice from those who have been there.

    Remember back to when you started, y'know, when the world was black and white. If you didn't have someone to show you the ropes and you had someone to ask about it, wouldn't you?

    Hmm. That's probably why he's here.
  4. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    So nobody is alowed to ask questions? :rolleyes:
  5. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    What I do is give them a biiiig bill and they write me a cheque, I sign it and give it back. They then write me a receipt for a charitable donation.
  6. jpunlimited

    jpunlimited Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    learn or get burned!

    don't listen the negatives on this site. they are just tired from working. this was my first season plowing. I got burned on two residentials this year. bid to low... because the town never plows near them. but there are people on this site that will help you as they have many times me. just limit the thread to one subject. do not low ball your bid just to get it. it never works! long term. put together a fair bid based or some advice from this site. they will give a non biased price because they are not connected to the bid. good luck
  7. Clapper&Company

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

    You have to remember your in this to make money, maybe not to get rich. But to make money. They got the money, what i'm trying to say is if you low ball to make them happy, or just to get accounts, you willn't be in biz long. Bid it at a fair price so you make money, and if you get it GREAT if you dont maybe next year. Theres enough out there for every one. I get new accounts all the time, and I'm higher price then most in town. ( by 5 or 10 $$) But we do good luck,
  8. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    I would have to think that if one is in the snow removal / lawn and landscape business , that they would have a general idea what they would have to bid to make a profit.

    Then Andrew writes "PS to all fellow lawn/landscape busines owners how would i go about placing a bid on the lawn,bed maintaince, season clean-ups. how would i present the numbers to cliant in a business fashion?? anyone have a copy of their proposial that they could send to me that woudl be great..."

    I think that if anyone that doesnt know how to write up a bid , and present the numbers to the client in a business fashion could use a semester of business . Why ? because most businesses fail due to the fact of poor planing , and accounting , basic business 101 .

    And yes I believe his question lacked sufficent information to be answered in anything less than the broad sense . Had his question been asked , Do I charge by the hour , or push , or by the inch ? And how would you handle a sunday snow during services . Then my response would have been different .

    And asking for copys of proposals is to me is very unprofessional , a good professional proposal or contract takes time and money to prepare .
  9. motorider000

    motorider000 Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    How I view it is that he is not even in the same state as me so it is not going to hurt me to help somebody that lives hundreds of miles away succeed. Its not like he is knocking on my customers doors. just my 2 cents.
  10. ShannonS

    ShannonS Member
    from IOWA
    Messages: 96

    My point exactly. :rolleyes:
  11. andrewlawnrangr

    andrewlawnrangr Senior Member
    Messages: 339

    everyone here is trying to make a buck.. well the point is i am lost...... being that this is my first year snow plowing and i just wanted help. me being 19 and taking classes to get myself farther in life..but for one who is not fond of school, and does not come easy i chose this road...... but all i am asking for was a little help...not a beat down.

    it seems Md has a problem with people and cant help them. out of the posts so far Md has to say that i am unprofesional.... what for asking a question...
  12. Peopleeater

    Peopleeater Senior Member
    Messages: 249


    That is exactly what I was thinking.

    Being young and inexperienced (I believe he also stated that he was just starting up, which may mean he hasn't done any lawn contracts yet? I dunno, but maybe that is the reason he doesn't know how to bid one.)

    I read the other post in the other thread for which the same question was asked. You responded with the same answer. Like Boss and Crazy said, he is only here to learn, and at least he is one of the smart ones that ask the questions first before taking the leap. It is a pretty big step to take!?

    And as for the info. part, which I think was 50% of why I even replied, was at least enough for andrew to get his answer from another poster. Maybe you should have posted your rebuttal as your original answer, it may have been taken better.

    OK, I'm done now. (I think)


    ***Businesses also fail when they don't make a profit! ***
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2005
  13. vanwhyjr

    vanwhyjr Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    I think you guys should stop bickering about anwsering the kid and give him some damn advise. :dizzy:

    Andrew, you have to sit down and figure out how much money you will need to keep yourself in busness. How long will it take to do this account? Most of the guys around this site get about $100+ per hour for there work. Go over to the account and do some pretend plowing and time yourself. That will give you a rough estamate of how long it will take to do the lot in one pass. You should set up some type of increased prices for increased snow amounts. You also have to consider your gas, the price of salt, wear and tear on the equipment, insurance, and your normal business expenses.
    Take all that into account and give them a good well explained bid and you should have no problem.

    Good luck. :drinkup:
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2005
  14. motorider000

    motorider000 Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    I like this guy!
  15. dlcs

    dlcs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,160


    Alot of what your asking comes with expirience. Go to the church and talk to them. See what their needs and wants are inregards to the bids. Ask them how they want you to bid by the push, by the inch, etc. I can tell you that its impossible to give you a price to bid, simply cause my area doesn't get as much to plow as the east coast. If your looking to find nice proposal forms and such. Check out lawncaresuccess.com, I'm not sure if there are any snow type forms on there but the lawn ones could be modified a bit to use for snow. Just a thought.
  16. andrewlawnrangr

    andrewlawnrangr Senior Member
    Messages: 339

    hey guys thanks for giving me straight anwser. im goin over to the church now

  17. CrazyCooter

    CrazyCooter Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    Look! must be a harvard plow grad here!

    Wow, someone doesn't ask the question in the manner you prefer, egads! What a riffian!

    Propasals, here? Shocking. I got a base for mine through others, right here on this very site. Amazing, people in other staes willing to share information on how they do their job? You'd think this was a site for asking questions and trading information.... Who'd make a site like that? He should just go see an accountant and ask him how to plow and mow and what to charge, ebcuase that's what we all did when we wanted a little help to make sure we were doing things right.

    Go back out and scrape dry pavement, it'd be more productive than your responses here.
  18. crashz

    crashz Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    While Andrew is young and needs advice in lieu of experience, Md has a point. It would help you immensely to do some research (first place I head is Barnes and Noble) and get an idea how to generally set up your business.

    Look for books on small businesses and basic economics. You should familiarize yourself with the material and you'll begin to see what applies to you and what doesn't. Learn the ins and outs of Cash Flow. Learn what cost really is, profit, how taxes work and depreciation. The more "homework" you do here, the better chances of not being burned in the future. All business and economic basics apply to the 1 man show just as much as huge companies.

    You'll have to do some educated guessing here and there, especially when it comes to material spreading, time mow/plow/mulch/etc a certain area, but you can probably ballpark it and adjust your guesses as you go. If you've handled your cash flow requirements properly, a small mistake in your estimating shouldn't be a problem.

    Its not easy giving advice on these things as everybody does things differently. Also your questions are to general to be effectively answered in a post like this, but I hope we've at least got you pointed in the right direction.
  19. Mick

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

    Ok, let's look at this another way. Supposing that an experienced person with a 3/4 ton truck and an 8 ft plow can clear an unobstructed area of one acre (43,000 sq ft) in an hour, that same person should be able to clear this area in an average of 12 minutes (8840/43,000 = 0.20 or 1/5 of an hour = 12 minutes). Now, let's say an average income is $180/hr for that same 3/4 ton truck. $180/5 = $36 for this area. I'd round up or down to $40 or $35, depending on other factors, such as distance from established route, potential obstacles or problems etc.

    Now adjust any of these figures as you wish.

    Hope this helps.

    (on edit) I forgot about the salt. Basically, you'll average one yard of salt per acre. Take your cost of salt per yard, double it and that is what you charge them to spread it. I've heard some guys triple their charge, though, so that's up to you.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2005