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What would you do

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Neige, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    Here is a question for you guys.
    I have been doing a small service station for the last 8 years. My price is at 2 grand and its 600 ft from my shop. They just offered me a similar one for the same price that is a 10 minute drive out of my work area so thats 20 minutes travel time for a job that takes 20 minutes. Across the street my competitor does a 24 hr service station for $1800 same size as mine. Its not rocket science that I can make more money doing the service station accross the street for $1700 than the one outside my service area. So what would you do?
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  2. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Use a bucket, it would be faster.:drinkup::laughing:
  3. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    For existing customers I go a little out of my way.... Nothing better then having 4 or 5 properites under 1 invoice payup... LOL

    But new customers its real hard for me to go 5 min out of my service area...
  4. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    Wow! Sounds a little crazy to me.

    5-10 minutes would not be an issue as far as I'm concerned. Not really much of a drive for new opportunities.
  5. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    So, I would go for it
    5 minutes isn't a killer, and it will still make you money
    Plus you become the "sole source" provider for this other company

    Because, just like me, I like to do business with one place.
    One contact, one check, one invoice, etc.
    Lots of places want to do that.

    And if you can't take care of their other property, you might lose the one near you to someone who will do both.

    Sometimes it's about defense.
  6. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    yeah, sounds like your customer is a good customer, and being the fact he isn't bartering you down, i would say it was worth the inconveince of the bit of drive, and if you are in the area, maybe other opportunities well come open, and as i understand your competitor is doing a service station across from the one you already do, i would say the issue you might have is IF you get the competitors service station, at $1700, you may have to look at lowering your price on the other one because if the two owners ever get talking about your prices the older, loyal customer might have a problem with being charged more then a new client, where as if you do your loyal customers other service station 10 min away, he should be happy that you are willing to do it for the same price.
  7. fireball

    fireball PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 545

    what's wrong with doing all three
  8. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    Wouldn't this be a good opportunity for you to expand on your service area? Right now this account might be 10 minutes away but perhaps next season it'll be in the middle of your new territory.

    Just a thought :waving:
  9. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    i would still be worried if the two owners ever get together for a coffee, and talk, if you are going to do two similar priced jobs in the same area, better make sure they are the same price (or very close)
  10. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,253

    Take the second one and lowball the one across the street.
  11. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    ...just hope the two owners don't get to talking.

    same price as other store, not going out for bid -sounds like a gimmee to me!
  12. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    20 minutes is quite a distance out of the way, for a large contract I would do it but not for a gas station. On the other hand you have a pickip plow now so you can probably do it with that. I know Paul knows this but more work doesn't mean you make more money. Work smarter not harder.
  13. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    I really don't see how a 10 min. drive each way is " Out of the way". Maybe you could explain why this is a tough decision? If it was my decision I would make the "short" drive.
  14. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,584

    20 minutes is another small commercial lot, but instead you're going to be draining your tank driving... I have 1 property that's out of the primary service area, same type of deal. I priced it higher to account for the drive-time, and the customer happily paid it knowing the type of service they'll get (we service 2 others for them). If it's priced high enough, go for it, but not if you can take something else closer and make more payup

    Funny, I was at the tire shop this morning, and a landscaper came rolling in with a shredded tire on his dump trailer. It was an employee driving it, and we got to talking. He asked me what areas we work in. He was shocked that we worked in such a small area, he's covering 120 miles from one end of his route to the other. Just don't know how they make any money when they spend all night driving... :dizzy:
  15. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    How can you possibly plow 2,700 residential driveways ~ and who knows how many commercial sites ~ a year and you have never encountered this dilemma?!?

    Can't help but run a little math on your pre-pay resi's....you must be checking sites in the Neige helicopter right? :D
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  16. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,481

    First off, you've got two different conversations going on here. 1-should you take the other account that's ten minutes away, and 2-should you lowball the competitor to steal his account that's accross the street from you. I don't see how either has anything to do with each other. And if your competitor came into your service station and gave the guy a price of 1,700 for the station that you currently do, wouldn't you be right here on this site complaining about "lowballers"???
  17. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    That's waisted worry........worry is better spent for something you have control of.
  18. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Look at it this way.

    If you dont do it he'll be asking others for pricing.

    That being said, you may even lose the one under your nose.

    10 minutes isnt that big of a deal Paul. I would do it to keep the guy happy, and not look elsewhere.

    At the end of the day it might cost you the one you already do-whether or not it makes or breaks you-only you know. Good luck with that.
  19. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    I know its not a dilemma, just wanted to see what others thought.

    Very good point, I really was not worried about losing him because I buy lots and lots of gaz from him.

    Just the answer I expected from you Mark. :D

    Right on JD, just the point I was trying to make.

    Sure my service area is 3 sq. miles. It would be much more profitable to just add contracts where I drive by already. Instead of expanding my area, I would prefer to add more accounts where I work already.

    Yes I have several choices. #1 do I want to expand my service area. Not really. #2 do I want that other account. Yes I do, is it low balling if I get it for 1,700 I dont think so but thats my opionion. If I increase my clients in the area I already service, am I not becoming more efficient? If I become more efficient could I not offer a better price, and still make good money. In all fairness I should offer my own client the same price, since he has supported me all these years. So this is what I did. I went and saw my competitor and mentioned I had a service station outside my area, that was closer to his office. I told him he could have it for $1800, and I wanted the one he does in exchange. He agreed, worked it out with the clients and we are a go. Lastly I offered my original client 2 free saltings since we had agreed to our price of $2000.00. Worked out for everyone.:D
  20. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    5-10 min for a new customer out of my service area is huge... Then if you get the job there, and someone else askes you can you do a job for me 5-10 min away again... before you know it your 1/2 hour one way trip or more.... where do you draw the line....

    Paul - Thats some pretty interesting problem solving you came up with there... Sounds like everyone is happy now and everyones making money.... :drinkup::
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009