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Strip Mall

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by foggyjr5, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. foggyjr5

    foggyjr5 Member
    Messages: 77

    I got a call today, the guy owns a strip mall and was very unhappy with the cost of his past company. I couldnt get out of him how much he was paying, but I am going to meet with him tomorrow. I wanted to get an idea of what to charge, what i would suspect would be that he wants it all plowed and salted. How much do you think that i should charge?? Thanks.

  2. Mick

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

    To be honest with you, he will not (can not) hire you to plow this mall. Your profile shows you are 16 years old and have one truck. I seriously doubt you have General Liability insurance.
  3. sodking

    sodking Member
    Messages: 45

    or even a drivers license....
  4. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L Senior Member
    Messages: 178

    First of all,

    Dont go in trying to under bid someone else. Charge what the job is worth! So be it if its more than what he was paying before. Obviously he's not satisfied or he wouldnt be searching for a replacement provider.

    You should be selling your services, reliability, and quality. Do that, and they will pay what you want. If not, then it wasnt meant to be. But by all means, dont sell yourself and the rest of us short.

    Good Luck
  5. foggyjr5

    foggyjr5 Member
    Messages: 77

    Yes I do!

    Actually i do have a drivers license and insurance. And thanks PerfiCut L&L for the adivce, unlike some other people
  6. Mowerpan

    Mowerpan Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    Ya last time I checked at 16 you can get your license. Just ignore the doubhters. Whos to say he has no insurance? Maybe his dad has a buisness that covers him? Who cares, stick to anwsering the question asked.
  7. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Not to bust your chops Foggy,
    Mick is probally one of the most respected members on this site. He brings up a very valid point !!!!
    So do you have the means to secure proper insurance to plow a site like this ??? Why jack around, wasting your time and the owners.
    I know Mowerpan thinks your okay (he is just a kid as well) but im sure most members feel the same way here.
    Do you have or can you get the proper insurance ? Last time I checked 16 year old kids have one heck of a time just getting auto coverage period !Most companys would NOT write commercial auto for young adults. A few here claim they are covered under there parents policies but I would bet money most are not covered as they think they are.
    You will need at a minimum 1 million in GL. Also plan on commercial auto with a minimum 1 million coverage. I would suggest an umbrella for a million as well. These policies cost me over 3 thousand a year, as add ons to my construction company.
    If you think auto coverage under mom and dads policy are enough your fooling yourself. Regular auto insurance will not cover or pay anything for a claim derived from you plowing snow commercially. So unless you screw up your truck in your own driveway your not covered. If someone is hurt while your plowing a commercial lot your NOT covered.
    Your parents will be liable for damages, and could and probally would loose everything they own or allmost own. In this day and age, with lawyers sueing every body and there brother for spilling coffee in there own laps, you think your okay plowing snow with no insurance ???
  8. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    also what are you going to do while you are in school and it snows? i would like all the kids on here to answer that for me.
  9. smokin_stroker

    smokin_stroker Junior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 11

    If it snows here they don't have school anyways,and if it snows that hard why they are at school they let out early
  10. AlwaysGreener

    AlwaysGreener Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    You need to be honest and tell him your age...if age is ok, I would then ask myself can I really do a great job by providing him 24/7 professional service he can count on???If not then don't do it, you will never get paid if he calls and you don't show up because your in school, he has keep that lot clear at all times or he will be getting calls from his tenets or even sued, it is a big responsibility for you to do. Plus there are so many more factors that are involved just because you are young. Just becareful.
  11. foggyjr5

    foggyjr5 Member
    Messages: 77


    I am insured under my dad's insurance, it is a 2 million dollar, and yes if i need to get out of school i can. My school is unlike any other school out there. I only have class about half the time I am actually in school. And i am able to leave school whenever i want. Many people don't realize how hard i work and have worked to get this far.
  12. JPMAKO

    JPMAKO Senior Member
    Messages: 660


    If you have the insurance and are able to provide service for your customers 24/7 I would like to congratulate you. It is not every day that a young person such as yourself actually works let alone operates a legitimate business. One issue that has not been discussed is that of the legal age of 18 for signing contracts. That is one thing that you are going to have to watch out for. If your father or someone else of age is your partner, I would let them be the one that signs all business documents. As for everyone bashing you about your age and not being professional because of your age I would stick with it if this is what you want to do and not worry about what ANYONE says to you.
    This goes for members on here as well as the competition in the real world.
    It seems to me that everyone in my industry (Landscaping) has way too much time to worry about the other guy and what they are doing. Just make sure that you price each job fairly, DO NOT be one of the guys that goes in cheaper to get the job "Low-balling", as this is one major downfall in this industry. There is plenty of work to go around.
    As for pricing the replies that you are going to get are going to vary depending on location. It is very tough to price a lot with just seeing a satellite image. For me to give you a price I would have to see the lot in person and know what the market in your area is like.

  13. lorentzlawnsnow

    lorentzlawnsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    smokin stroker i'm not sure what part of ohio you're from but around here it has to be pretty bad out to cancel school and it has to be extremely severe for them to let out early.
  14. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    foggyjr5, I know that lot. 120 & Dodge area.....Jenson Tire at the south end. 1-3" snow with your 7.5 blade BASE time 1.5 hours empty lot and depending on where you have to put the snow. The lot is pretty empty at night, but during the day has plenty of traffic. Be sure to adjust times accordingly for additional snow amounts, daytime pushes, traffic, multiple pushes, add sidewalks, and salt applications and don't forget trigger depths. From my experience, most businesses around here like figures for snow removal based on storm totals in a 24hr period not by the push and then you push 3 times during a storm. They want one solid figure and that makes it even tougher, If you can get them into a flexible agreement that allows you to provide them with A+ service is the best. I am guessing that is what he has now and why he feels he is paying to much. That lot usually looks well plowed and salted........Omaha only gets 6-8 plowable events per season and a couple more than that salt only applications. Good luck.
  15. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174


    I think what some people here, including myself, are wondering is if you have snowplowing commercial insurance. I'm sure you have a license and insurance on your truck. However, most, if not all, standard insurance policies will not cover snow plowing accidents unless you have a specific rider on your policy or if you have commercial liability insurance. Also there is the question of General Liability insurance. This is a separate insurance coverage that helps protect you in the case of a 'slip & fall' or other accident on the lot you are responsible for plowing and salting. Many residential plowers opt to do without this insurance but in almost all commercial jobs this liability insurance is a must have.

    On a different note, you do have only one truck. What if your truck breaks down? Do you have a back up plan? Murphey's Law plays an important role in snowplowing. Basically, whatever CAN go wrong probably WILL go wrong and usually at the worst possible time. What if your transmission blows up in the middle of a storm? Let's say you can have it fixed in a day. What will you do in the mean time? That's a lot of snow to remove with a snowblower LOL.

    I really am trying not to discourage you. I just think you need to get your feet wet with a smaller / less important piece of property.

    If you are hell bent on providing a quote for this property... Based on the size of the lot and where the snow can be placed, I figure it would take about 45 minutes to clear and another 15 minutes or so to salt (assuming you have a V-Box salter). I would figure about $150 for the plowing and another $180 for bulk salt. If he opts for no salt than I would up my plow price to about $200.00
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2005
  16. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    PM, good points........despite his response I am wondering the same thing. There is a big difference in having insurance on the vehicle and have having it properly insured for commercial plowing. 2ml of GL for plowing in Omaha is cheap, but does it cover services provided by someone his age. Can he provide 24/7 service that is required by retail type business. Foggyjr5, you may want to look for more industrial type properties as opposed to retail........subcontracting for someone may also be a good option.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2005
  17. foggyjr5

    foggyjr5 Member
    Messages: 77


    Ok, for everyone that has commented on my age. Yes, I have commercial liability insurance, and even have my truck commercially plated. I am able to provide 24/7 service, and yes i have a backup plan if my truck fails.
  18. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    Not that I don't believe you but what exactly is your back up plan?

    I think it's great that you seem to have your ducks all in a row. How long have you been plowing? How many other accounts do you have? DO you have other commercial accounts or mainly residential?

    Also, please don't take any offence to the comments of age. Most commercial automotive policies strictly prohibit drivers under the age of 18. No one is giving you a hard time about your age. Most of us have been in this business for a very long time. Personally, I have been plowing for over 10 years and I know Mick has been plowing for almost 20 years. WHile our tactics may not have been good and some of us may have come across rude, we have seen a LOT of kids just turn 16 and think they can put a blade ontheir 1980 S-10 and move mountains.

    One more comment on commercial libaility insurance. Assuming this is really your dad's truck (since it is his insurance), let's say the main reason he has commercial liability insurance is because he is a plumber and he uses this truck as his work truck. That commercial liability insurance will probably not cover him / you for snow plowing. I'm sure you probably already know that but I felt I shoul dpoint it out regardless.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2005
  19. sodking

    sodking Member
    Messages: 45

    I am happy to hear that you are insured. You may want to call and be sure your insurance covers plowing operations and "products completed, operations".
  20. S-10 Plower

    S-10 Plower Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    ok first off don't let the other plowers on hear discourage you from bidding on this strip mall if you really want to. I personally give you praise for being young and knowing what you want to do with your life, and how to run a business. Yes you do need insurance, I started cutting grass when I was 12 and had no clue about insurance, and it took till I had to pay for a broken patio window before I realized that insurance was a good thing. As far as being 16 and having you license :salute: to you I was 16 1/2 when I got mine. But in Michigan until you are 17 you can't drive between the hours of 12 midnight and 5 or 6 am. Unless you are traveling to and from work, yes I plowed when I was 16 but nothing on a large scale, and yes the police hassled me on being out after curfew but I was traveling to and from work. If I was you I would check and see if your state has any laws of that kind. And as far as bidding that lot I would estimate how long it would take you to do a 1-3" push by how much you charge by the hour. (IE: 1"-3" time 2 hours X $125.00 per hour = $250.00) and so on for 3-6" 6-9" 9-whatever. salting I charge double what I buy it for around here when its snowing its $62.50 ton so I charge $125.00 a ton applied. You will need to adjust your pricing for the going rate in your area. Also don't for get to put something in your proposal about if a loader and dump truck is needed it is a separated charge of XXX.00 per hour with a Minimum of X hours.

    Good luck let me know how it turns out.