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Something to go along with bids......Need Input

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by EvenCutLawnCare, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. EvenCutLawnCare

    EvenCutLawnCare Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    Let me start by explaining the situation in my area. 2 years ago we had a guy move in here who is just lowballing the hell out of the few of us that do snow here. We don't get alot of snow events here but its deffinately enough to mess with it and several salting events as well. It seems like this guys is just targeting our top customers and pricing around 1/2 to 2/3 of what we are. The problem is he really doesnt have any equipment....one truck, 2 skids (1 borrowed) and a tailgate salter. The first one we lost was a restauant, manager said it was based on price only and that he was thrilled with our past service. We always had the lot and walks done before they opened for breakfast. All last year he never had it done before lunch. Now im seeing his truck at my accounts and and hear that he is trying to get them away.

    Ive been thinking about adding a type of question list along with my new bids from here on out. Something like this:

    Does the contractor bidding work for you have insurance?
    Does their insurance cover them for snow related services?

    Are they licensed in the Town/County

    Do they have the equipment to handle your account?
    In addition to their other current accounts?

    Will they be able to service your facility by the time you open?
    Can they provide service throughout the day if needed?

    What is their plan if the equipment for your site breaks down?

    Do they have a sufficient supply of salt
    Ice Melt?

    I'm thinking this might open the eyes of property/ office managers.....
    What do you guys think???
  2. dforbes

    dforbes Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    The first one we lost was a restauant, manager said it was based on price only and that he was thrilled with our past service.

    I think this line is what its all about. I really don't think asking a bunch of questions will help. Most people won't take the time to read them. That being said if I were going to make an insert I would focus on the positive aspects of my buisiness such as:

    Fully licensed and insured

    Basicly use your list to promote your business.
  3. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    I agree I wouldnt be asking them all of those questions. We put in a nice insert in our bids that state basically all that information about our company. Were insured and will provide proof upon request, we are are fully licensed business in the state/county/town or whatever, we tell them that we have the needed equipment to handle there sites (we dont list it becasue most wont understand anything past f350 (but we explain that we have large pick up trucks, skid steers, wheel loaders, dump trucks available for trucking), we have a backup plan in place for equipment break downs or extremely large events, and inform them that we have addiquate sources for salt and ice melt supplies. We put this on a nice glossy piece of paper and include pictures of our equipment and trucks in action as well as completed shots of sites we have completed and salted vs sites that our not salted. We also include customer referals in this insert. This is a great tool. Id rather have someone have as much information about my company as possible rather than questions to answer about multiple companies.

    Like forbes said theres nothing you can do about someone going with the lowest price over service.
  4. LB1234

    LB1234 Member
    Messages: 91

    try promoting your business instead of attempting to diminish anothers. I mean if the lots aren't down by breakfast...that should be the resteraunts problem, not yours. they are obviously okay with it...rememver it was based on price.

    AND maybe this guy didn't lowball...after all you did say..."The problem is he really doesnt have any equipment....one truck, 2 skids (1 borrowed) and a tailgate salter." perhaps his overhead really is that much smaller than yours that he can be half of what you are charging and still make a profit. On the other hand, if he is losing his shirt every storm he won't be in business very long...get the accounts back
  5. EvenCutLawnCare

    EvenCutLawnCare Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    I was in no wat trying to diminish anyone else's business. As a matter of fact I am very careful not to EVER talk bad about another contrector to a client. I will just tell them that it has been a pleasure doing business with them and that if they ever need anything don't hesitate to call.

    I realize the problem with the restaraunt is not mine to worry about. Its just frustrating as I'm sure you have all experienced.

    I would deffinately say that he is a lowballer. He approched another contractor that does not salt ( I do it for him) He told the other contractor " I'd like to take care of your salting for you. I don't know what Matt charges you for salting but if you give me a chance I will beat his price." The other contractor told him he was not going to use him.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  6. EvenCutLawnCare

    EvenCutLawnCare Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    That probably would be the best route. I was just thinking of using this as an insert and maybe a guide line that customers could ask all contractors bidding a job. Around here things are done hourly. Customers dont realize that a '78 1/2 ton Chevy with a 7'6" blade is not as productive as one of my trucks with a 9' or 10' blade. I like insert with photos and and referrals, that would be a great way to show customers the difference.
  7. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    Yup photos i put in are things like the handicap stalls cleared away with no snow around them, snow pushed into areas where it does not effect their day to day operations, and a salted lot compared to an unsalted lot, with some pictures then of our trucks/equipment in action or pushing snow piles back.

    Next year i am planning on making a switch over to using snow slicer for salt instead of just straight rock salt. I am thinking of putting in a picture of snow slicer being used on a really cold day melting the snow/ice off and putting a picture of straight rock salt attempting to melt it right next to it for comparison. It will be extremely beneficial in my area since no one uses treated salt.
  8. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Oooo I think this idea, I may have to copy it,