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What if clients gave you a buget number & asked for a RFP ?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by RLM, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    The HOA thread listed gave me this idea. What if a clients were to give us a TRUE NUMBER & ask what can you provide for this & hold us to it. As upposed to asking for a bid going with the lowest priced contractor that is going to cut every corner he can to make his bid number work. Do you think this would be better ? I know it would on paper make there decision seem harder because they wouldnt be compaing apples to apples but as it is no theyre not anyway.
  2. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    I think the problem is getting them to acknowledge a true number. Around here most are living a pipe dream that it won't snow and their budgets reflect that, but in our area the numbers are consistent enough I would bet on them. Otherwise I would rather some people come to me and say we need XYZ and want to realistically pay this amount. That would reduce our bidding time spent as we could immediately look at it and determine if we were even on the same page. Again the majority would shoot low though so you might turn down clients that you might otherwise be able to upsell.
  3. Omran

    Omran Senior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 265

    Well I was thinking on the same deal you are talking about the other day, and I agree with shovelracer;that the problem the clients are willing to lie when they breathe as soon as you tell them that.
  4. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    If they offer a good enough price....go for it
    I doubt many will tho
  5. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    They lie now, I cant tell you how many times I quote a seasonal price @ 2 inches....& get calls for less than an inch. Then they wont pay for the extra service calls. Ussally the ones that pull this are with us one season, the slowest payers, etc. They are also the ones that have someone new every year.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  6. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    Very true...

    If clients set the budget, which is fine, 90% of the time they will abuse what there getting for the budget.
    However I wouldnt mind people calling me and saying I'll pay $$$ to have building A looked after. Can you do it?...Yes or No

    For seasonal, I give them a price to look after the property, no options for them to abuse.
  7. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    I would never go for that. I would be willing hear there budget and if its worth it i will bid but if i know that its unreasonable then I explain to them that at that price i wont be able to provide a full service to their expectations.

    Also in our contact if we have a seasonal account and its on trigger for 2" with no salt for anything less we state this in our contract. Services and their costs listed above are for those storms totaling 2 inches or more of accumulation. For all storms totaling less that 2", services will be provided per request only, in which client will be billed at the rates listed above (we list our hourly rate, and cost for salt)

    In these cases we are very careful to document everything. We measure multiple locations on the site to verify the storm is less than 2" and we take pictures of the measurement to verify this with a dated camera as well.
  8. Plow Nuts

    Plow Nuts Senior Member
    Messages: 214

    We actually tried it this year. A property manager overseeing the maintenance and snow removal for 5 private school lots called us mid season because the service he was using blew their budget for the year after 2 storms. He did not have a contract and was shopping around. We checked out all 5 lots and rather than bid them we asked him where he needed to be per lot per storm and he was less than 20 $ from our number. We asked him to go back to his boss at the school board so we could iron out the details of the contract ie trigger, salting, sidewalks etc but assured him we could work within his budget with some extra room on his part. To this day the guys has yet to call us back and is still using the same hack he was using. The guy did a horrible job and charged 3x the price. Oh well you can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink. We still price out jobs this way but that one really got under my skin.
  9. woodchuck2

    woodchuck2 Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    Every time anyone has ever approached me with this there numbers are way off. I think some of these people use the snowfall accumulations of Florida for their budget. I like everyone here keeps track of how many storms per year and we all know what our trigger amount is yet they will try to me how much snow we actually get and the number is usually less than half of what i come up with. I do not contract with seasonal paying accounts just so i do not get burned. Yes, in some cases people do come out ahead. But if you are charging properly by the storm/push you should always be ahead and you will not have any worries of any excessive snow accumulations.