When winter comes roaring in, snow removal contractors are in demand, and the competition for both residential and commercial snow removal work heats up. Clearing driveways, parking areas, and sidewalks is crucial for issues of both mobility and liability to homeowners and business owners alike, and for those without the right equipment or the time to spend doing the job thoroughly, it can be back-breaking and frustrating labor that’s well worth bringing in the professionals for.
That said, it’s only natural for customers to want an estimate before they choose a service. Any informed consumer will want a clear understanding of how they’re being charged and what the provided service will actually cover. This is a guide on what to include in your snow removal estimate.
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Why Estimates Matter
The pros who are best versed in how to prepare a free and quality estimate will be among the ones best placed to make the most of the busy season and to win repeat business. Not only do properly prepared estimates help win jobs, but they also provide an indispensable first impression of a company’s level of professionalism, its attitude toward customers, and its attention to detail in everything from the specs of the job to spelling and grammar. As the old saying goes, there are no second chances to make a first impression.
Evaluate The Site In Person
The best way to know how to price snow removal work in any particular instance is to have a direct understanding of the site’s particulars and the scale of the job. It’s critical to see the site directly when you’re offering a quote, to understand any particular challenges it will present, and to be able to provide a realistic assessment of how long the work will take and any out-of-the-ordinary approaches and resources it might require. Don’t forget about first impressions: Put your best foot forward by showing up in company attire and — especially given how time-sensitive the work typically is — on time.
Provide A Job Summary
After you’ve looked at the site and what it entails, provide the customer with an accurate and succinct summary of what the work will involve. With snow removal, you may choose to charge in a few different ways depending on the particulars (some of the options are covered below), and there may be a need to employ plows, blowers, salt application, and good old-fashioned shoveling in removing snow from driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, and roofs. A job summary should cover all these details in an easy-to-read format that makes clear why your proposal is what it is. The objective is to encourage customer trust in your company as the best candidate for the job.
Show The Project’s Costs
One thing that any kind of estimate, for any type of service or installation, should make clear is the costs involved in the project. The core costs for a typical snow removal job break down as follows:
The hourly rates charged for members of your crew, and the number of crew members who will be needed to complete the job, are one of the most important costs on any job.
Any transportation time dedicated to a snow removal push is billable to the client. This can also include fuel costs and time spent hooking up equipment (although if you feel it makes for greater clarity, you can itemize those separately).
Materials operation costs reflect each piece of equipment that will need to be working on-site, at whatever intervals are necessary, during the job.
Insurance is a critical consideration in any form of contracting, doubly so in the case of snow removal given the frequent urgency of the work and the risks it can involve to workers and equipment.
Clarify Your Billing Method
The above costs can be covered by a range of different billing methods, and your estimate should make clear which method you’re using, since clarity about billing can encourage customer loyalty. These methods can include:
- “Per push,” or per clearance of a lot or driveway during a snowfall event. This provides the option of removing the snow in manageable stages instead of trying to do a single push after an extremely heavy buildup.
- “Per event,” a single charge for any snowfall event no matter how many times your company pushes during that snowfall. This can be profitable in areas with numerous light snowfalls.
- “Per inch,” an option for the contractor with an experienced eye who can tell at a glance how much they need to charge per inch of removed snow in order to cover their overhead and turn a profit.
- “Per hour,” charging hourly per man on every job, whether they’re part of different snowfall events or the same one.
With repeat customers and long-term clients, you can set up seasonal or multi-season contracts that set out a few basic pricing models, which can then be adapted to the specifics of a given job.
Set Your Company Apart
The customer may be looking into more than one option, so it’s important to include any achievements or facts about your business that will single you out from the rest. If you have professional awards or certifications or licensing or trade organization memberships that might help set your company apart from the rest, your estimate should mention them.
Highlight Your Contact Information
Your high-quality estimate should have your contact information front and center to facilitate connection once they’ve made up their minds. Attach a business card to make reaching out even easier.
Getting The Job
Knowing how to craft accurate, reliable, and appealing estimates is key to knowing how to bid on snow removal jobs. Estimates provide a vivid impression of your company, convey essential information about how you work, and establish and strengthen customer relationships. A well-written estimate can make all the difference in landing a job.
Looking to land more snow removal business? Contact CraftJack today and learn how you can access motivated snow removal leads.