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Snow removel Bidding

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by resiak, Nov 13, 2004.

  1. resiak

    resiak Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    My father and I have a handyman/home improvement business and for the winter we are planning on doing some snow blowing. The only problem is that we have no idea on how much people are charging in our area. We live in Attleboro MA "Eastern MA" we live right on the MA/RI border. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Excuse me if I seem rude, that is not my intention...

    If you own a handyman business why would you be asking questions on what to charge based on others in your area?

    Your current business is a service business, is it not? Do you charge according to what other people are charging with that business? Both business' are service business'. In both instances the customer would be paying for a service that you provide.

    I would base the same techniques you use in your handyman business to your snow blowing business. The only major difference will be materials. For snow blowing there will not be any materials. Unless of course you salt/sand along with that service. You will still need to use your vehicle to go to the jobsite, more than likely you would be going to the jobsite to give an estimate, you will be using tools for this business, you will be paying taxes & payroll, etc. etc. etc.
  3. ShannonS

    ShannonS Member
    from IOWA
    Messages: 96

    First of all how much is your time worth? Travel time to site, like he said etc, etc.
  4. tomdually

    tomdually Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I'm new to the "PlowSite' and have been reading post for awhile and it seems to me that every time someone ask for advice on how much to bid or charge that no one wants to help or give any figures but then you all complain about "LOWBALLING' . If a person doesn't know where to start or even how much it's going to cost him overall he has to start somewhere. As for me I don't drop my plow for less than $40.00 and thats for a short driveway.
  5. Cooters Dodge

    Cooters Dodge Member
    Messages: 70

    Amen brother! :drinkup:
  6. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    If someone is in the business then they should know what there overhead is and base there price on that and there expected profit. Not what I expect for profit or what My overhead is. Prices very from $25.00/hr to $150.00/hr on this and other forums for plowing.

    Plowing snow for a living is not all there is to be in the business Like any other business there is overhead, cost of materials, profit, cost of equipment etc. all those things figure into what you need to know before the first time you drop a blade. If you have a CPA. he would be the best person to ask what you should expect for a return on your investment.

    It would be more proper for a person to ask how to figure out what they should charge instead of what they should charge.That way they would know when to raise there price or fold the business before it ran them into the ground.
  7. Tscape

    Tscape Senior Member
    Messages: 829

    Your first step is spell correctly. Snow r-e-m-o-v-a-l
  8. avalancheplow

    avalancheplow Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    Its hard to figures when areas are different. tomdually I wish I could get $40 for a short driveway, but around here they go for $20-$30.
  9. Sorry this thread didn't really go the way you wanted, usually you can get any help you need.

    Around here we do not drop the Blade for under $50. However we do not do any driveways, its all commercial properties and subdivisions. An easy way to figure out how much to charge is set an hourly rate for your service, then figure out how long it will take for the job and bid accordingly.

    Example: $120hr-----job calls for 45min=$90

    Hope this helps :drinkup:
  10. REED384

    REED384 Senior Member
    Messages: 21


    djl maybe you ought to remember when you first started out and mellow out at least he is asking for a starting figure. we all hate low ballers but if you plan on shuting down those that ask for help they most likly will be one as they have no place to start in there bidding . i for one welcome newbes questions as a compliment to my exsperiance and i do have alot in my 30 some yaers plowing snow. why dont you relax alittle before speek. my two cents :yow!:
  11. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    Here is my .02. If the driveway is worth $30 then that is what you charge. If someone comes along with a shovel and does it in 1 hour or you do it in 30 min. with a snowblower or I do it in 5 min. with my truck the price is the same. There will be driveways to large for you to do and some to small and tight for me to do. These are somethings that help you price. If you can only do 2 $30. driveways in an hour and that is not enough money to keep your business going then this is not the business for you. If you can do 3 and your over head is $50/hr then you have profit and can keep going. It is not hard to figure out just remember you are driving around in the worst conditions so keep your calls close and remember this when pricing. :)
  12. Hawkc01

    Hawkc01 Member
    Messages: 49

  13. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    Great question on what to charge for plowing & Salting.

    Let's take that to the next level. What is it costing you to provide the service? You need to determine your costs per hour of operation for your company based on your overhead. Take the time necessary to understand that. Don't just ask the competition what they are charging because they may not know why they charge what they charge either. I say that with respect to everyone reading this post. Too many times in talking with contractors all over the United States, they have no methodology in place to determine why they charge what they charge. Is the going rate important? Yes! But what is more important than that is what is it costing you based on your company's overhead and expenses. That's what you really need to know first. Use rates for plows and salt boxes change from market to market based on annual snow averages. The price for one market may be and probably is different from another market.

    A few things to remember after knowing your costs:
    1) Offer a deicing service - regardless of your market, you will have more deicing opportunities than plowing.

    2) The gentleman that mentioned a 1075 SnowEx salt box is right on line. If you want dependability and a spreader that is very good and offers many potential profit dollars that spreader is an excellent choice.


  14. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    might want to invest in a snowbear and a coffee can for rock salt, to hell with blowers!
  15. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Mr. reed384,

    I do remember, thanks. My intention was not to be rude (hence what I said at the top of my post), but merely to bring out that a service business is a service business is a service business. No matter what way you look at it. He says he already has one.I'm merely pointing out that they will run very similar (as stated in previous post). Now, if you read his question he is asking what the "going rates" or "what people are charging in his area". I'm merely asking why he needs this info. Tell me good sir, what is wrong with asking questions to help someone?

    And another thing...

    When you say WE all hate lowballers, please speak for yourself. Not for everyone, as not everyone shares your opinion. As I've said a 1000X before...I could care less about "market value", "going rate", "what others charge", "what I can expect", "lowballers", and on and on and on and on and on...These prices mean absolutely nothing to MY business!!!!

    If the going rate is 20 bucks but I can't drive to that location without it costing me less than 30 bucks, should I still charge 20 dollars because that's "what others are charging" You'd be a fool!

    I'm going to go relax now :salute:
  16. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    dude take a chill pill and go listen to vanilla ice

  17. Hawkc01

    Hawkc01 Member
    Messages: 49

    I agree with DJL. Many of us are putting way too much emphasis and energy in "hating the lowballers". You will always lose to the lowest guy if you didn't present more value in attracting that client into inversting more for such a valuable service. Cheap Charlies will always be there no matter what business you are in. Believe me, I know. Being a Cheap Charlie takes little or no effort, but to be the guy who is profit driven, you have be more creative, you have to work at adding value to your business all the time and you have to understand thy numbers...

    that is if you want to be profitable. payup

    Low Ballers...big deal.
  18. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    :rolleyes: "Cheap Charlies" I love that one. :jester: LMAO!!