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should i raise my prices next year

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by larold83, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. larold83

    larold83 Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    this is the first year i have plowed for other people i have a parking lot and two drive ways that are up hill and i charged them all $20 i know this is cheap cuz the one guy had someone else come plow and he charged him 50 buck he hired me cuz i told him 20 the drive ways are are about he same length around 275 300 feet and the parking lot is 35x70
  2. You might as well file for bankruptcy now if you plan on making a living from snow removal. lol
    I won't even touch a commercial lot for less than $100 per push. (Also depends on how long its going to take me to do it though) There is sooooo much liability issues with commercial you really need to be paid well for it. I certainly hope your not doing this parking lot without commercial insurance? If someone should slip and fall on that lot guess who gets taken to court and sued... You buddy!!!

    For residential driveways that long my per push rate is $80.00

    Or seasonal contracts for those driveways is $800.00

    In my opinion if you were in my area I'd consider you doing those jobs for free. Oh and I'd give you the finger for hurting the industry everytime I seen you. LMAO!
  3. larold83

    larold83 Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    well th eparking lot is gravel don't got a spreader yet i will prolly get one next year so i can lay down cinders the thing is i know these people and i don't want to make a living at it long as it pays for my gas. the truck is a project truck i work on it ever sumer i put new tie rod ends,shocks,front brakes. cab corners, rocker panels, front fenders, inner fenders and a new cable for the plow just wanna make so extra doe so i can get it repainted by me the pain job will cost around 60 bucks from tractor suply and wanna get a new bed this sumer also
  4. larold83

    larold83 Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    so next year i will tell them 40 a push for the parking lot and 30 a push for the driveways i think that is fair in my area i live in the middle of no were
  5. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    that is too cheap. for any area. you dont even have commwrcial insurance. you are not legit.
  6. Hunter9

    Hunter9 Member
    Messages: 64

    To help you when you are starting out (which I think is the real ? here) you should try and get an idea of the market you are in, don't go by anyone saying "I only work for this much" on this site. They are all trying to help, but each market is different, go 30 miles from me and prices for a normal 40-60 ft driveway will fluctuate from $20 per to $50 per.
    From there you should try and understand that plowing is about time. You need to make money based on how long something takes and bid accordingly.
    A square commercial lot that has lots of areas to put snow will be easier (i.e. cheaper and faster) to plow than a lot the same size that is odd shaped w/o any please to put snow....get the idea?
    I would also suggest setting a minimum for any drive and stick to it, people will try and beat you up. Be fair and stick to your guns. Letting customers go away on occasion can be a good thing, but only on occasion.
    Someone will always be cheaper, do high quality work and pay attention to details for your accounts and you will not struggle to grow and you will be able to charge more in the long run for your service.
  7. cornbinder

    cornbinder Senior Member
    Messages: 348

    basically your calling yourself a "lowballer" if your doing it for "gas money" your not making any money. then why bother? it's ok to be cheaper then the next guy, but not that much cheaper.that's a slap in our faces(legit snow removal companies) not good business. i think you have the right idea, that your trying to make some extra$$ to fix up your truck. that's how i started out, and every year i started adding a new account. i now have 5 trucks. research the market in your area, bid it so it's fair to you and the customer. good luck, pete

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I am a little closer to you...

    Your too Cheap.

    for me to do the
    Driveways $50-75 without seeing them
    Parking lot $150-200
  9. larold83

    larold83 Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    well thanks and sorry for stepping on ur toes i will consider what you guys have said and finish out this year with what i am doing now and next year i will change it up alittle bit
  10. WINTER 3

    WINTER 3 Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 80

    Your truck will always be a project if you use it to plow and only worry about putting gas in it. All those repairs are also a cost just like gas. Never mind the fact that you know they were paying $50 before. Now you come in at $20 . Every one needs to start out some how but please read as much from this site as possible. Learn all you can and ethier be a responsible contractor,or go plow for someone else for your extra money.
  11. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    I have one guy I do a drive way for. I charge him $40. Drive way is about 25 feet wide and 60 feet long. Straight pushes up. Makes tenants move cars before I get there. This year and last year I hung up on him when he told me he has someone to do it for $20. The drive way is easily a $50 driveway. He always calls me back. This is my gas money driveway. I sub contract for $65/hr at a Super market with in a half mile. I would raise your price now. Look for new driveways at $40-50 range and tell these people you raised you rates to $30 then go $40 next year. Couple things you have to think about. Gas can go back to $4 a gallon and Milk and Bread can also go back up with in the blink of an eye, If you have no contract with these people. Raise you rates $30 is still less than $50. Here is some words of wisdom you have to live buy. "You know why rich people stay rich? Becuase people plow there driveways for $20. when you plow that driveway with your rotted out old truck and see a brand new car in there driveway. It never goes through you mind hell they could afford 10 bucks more
  12. larold83

    larold83 Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    well my trucks not rotted any more its been a plow truck since it came of the line in 85 this truck has never been touched body wise just some mechanicles here and there the time and patients that i put in it is my time it cost nothing just the parts and the learning expieriance yeah i know the can aford 10 bucks more i work for a millionaire and get paid 9.00 a hour plowing and lanscaping mowin fixen stuff the money i collected from the last three people finished off my christmas shoppin and topped the tank i'm just doin it so i can buy stuff for the side maybe in the next year or two i will go and get some contracts and a spreader but rite now its not a big deal i know what stuff is worth but i just choose to low ball
  13. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    Your looking at all wrong. The last storms finished off xmas shopping and topped off tank. Do you want to be a millionare? Whats a faster way to get that million? Doing driveways for $20 or $40? Dont sell yourself short. You do landscpaing and some guy pays you $9 hr. Do you like the industry? At $40-50 a driveway and little more efort on your part. You could line up 10-20 Driveways. Now when you go to plow you can make 600-800 a storm. Stock pile up a few bucks and buy a used trailer and buy one of those stand up mower things used. Not everybody likes landscaping. But you get my point. 60 in your pocket or 600 After a storm.
  14. larold83

    larold83 Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    you do make a good point but there are so many landscaping buisiness out there and people who plow well there all over but i'm sure i can find some drivways
  15. Upper5percent

    Upper5percent Member
    from USofA
    Messages: 61

    And if you blow your transmission or have an accident plowing...WHAT THEN???

    You won't have saved enough money to fix your transmission, let alone buy a salt spreader next year...:confused:
  16. Snowaway

    Snowaway Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    Where I am it's the same thing every other vehical is a truck with a plow on it. I still managed to make myself some pretty good room. The one thing is like was stated before is do a realy good job, care about the sucker thats paying you 50 bucks to do his drive. I have heard over and over again this year how much of a better job I do than the last guys. Not bad considering This is my first year even touching a plow. My point is do a good job and you will never have a problem staying busy. payup

    P.S. still looking for a smilie with the money falling out of it's hand.
  17. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    Ofcourse you can find driveways. Craigslist.org post under household and small biz ads, Put in your ad that you have a small list and this is there oppurtunity be at the start of plow list. People that are at the end of plow lists and cant stand waiting for truck to show are always looking for better and quicker service. So a small list of 10-15 at 40 a driveway put that 500-600 in your pocket. Just think then you can top tank off with Super.

    I got a buddy that has 30 Driveways all at $50+ in same town. When he goes out to price driveway. He bids close to what its worth . Then says for an extra $5 he will shovel walk and salt walkway. He says $5 I have seen driveways that he is getting 55-60 for. They are $40 driveways. So he really is getting 10-15 extra for walk. Then he pays his buddy 15/hr to shovel. But like other said do a good job. Word of mouth can get you more driveways
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  18. larold83

    larold83 Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    i did put a ad in craigslist under small biz i will put one under houshold i also put a listing in the yellow pages online i just checked it and it was still prossesing
  19. larold83

    larold83 Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    ok i was just on gopherhaul.com and found a realy cool flyer and i can't think of a name that i want to call my snow removal service got any ideas
  20. Wieckster

    Wieckster Senior Member
    Messages: 131

    how about 20 bucks ?