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I just had a call from a friend with a lead on an account. It's way too far for him to travel, but he thought I might be close enough to handle it. As it turns out, it's about a 20 minute drive beyond the furthest account we service now.

The question is this: Do you have a rule of thumb as to how far you'll go to get that additional account? Obviously, if it were a $20 driveway, nobody would chase that far to get it, but if it were a $1000/push mall, the extra driving time would not be such a big deal. Even though you may never have thought of it in those terms, there's a balance somewhere in between--"I'll drive one minute further for each XX dollars of plowing on an account".

How much does the job have to be worth for you to go out of your way to do it?
 

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I think that it all depends on the situation, because there are alot of variables that will factor in your decision. I think the best tool is to use your best judgement for each situation.

For 20 minutes drive (each way I'd assume?), I would definitely do it for $1000 per push account. Just think about it, how much of time would you have spent travelling for several accounts on small route? Probably the same. Plus wouldn't it be nice to plow on wide open lot? Very little backing up on road unlike when doing residential driveways. Just IMO.
 

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We had an offer for a small mall ( 200k sq ft.) that was at least a 45 minute drive from our nearest account and we went there just to see it. The mall would be a loader and pusher job with some shoveling and probably a skid with a plow. Even though I thought we could engineer the job so we could make good money I would have to dedicate most of my time there and my other accounts would suffer. Then if I lost the big job when the management company decided they needed to save some cash I would probably have to rebuild my business since my other accounts would have left from lack of service.

Wxmn6 is correct "it depends".
IMO if your one of the companies that has site managers (the ones that don't plow) then a site like this would be fine since your representative is there almost constantly to keep things running smoothly. We have two full time employees and no site managers and we do fair amount of plowing ourselves. My one rule that has taken me 16 years of plowing to figure out is KEEP IT TIGHT! We now regularly turn down rfp's that are 3-4 miles away since we have plenty of opportunities in our main area for work.

I think it also depends on how much and how fast you want to grow your company. For us 5-10% per year is plenty of growth. So to answer your question digger (finally :rolleyes: ) we have no set rule for a distance but it has to be fairly close in order for us to competitive.
 

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Digger, I ran into this situation yesterday. A local business that is 26 min. from my furthest account,,,not even in the same town:(
A nice wide open lot that would take about 20-30min to plow. I had a price set in mind,with travel costs of course and left him a bid. I'm driving away going yeah sure he'll never call,,guess what he called this morning and said ok lets do it. I'm like thankyou ..you just paid for my new E-Z dumper/plus.

If it would have been a driveway I would have never gone and looked at it. All my drives are kept within a tight group.
 

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If your a small company,and do not have the resources to take on something like that,then I would keep your route tight,and not bother.If you have the time to travel there,and the $$ are good,then go for it.If your time is tight,but you can sub it out,and still turn a good profit,then I would take it on.

I will take on work a 100 miles away if it is a profitable contract.Just hire another crew,or subs,to take care of it.I would also make sure it's a multi-year deal,as you do not want to invest into something that may be gone next year.
 

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depends

I does depend on what you can get for a price . If they want to pay for your time then go for it ! With my residential business I have to keep everything real close to my home base . Doing drives never is worth traveling
 

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I aggree with BWhite - Put the cost of travel time in to your bid. If you get the contract, you will be getting paid for all your time!:D

Chuck B.
 

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just remember a 20 minute ride when it nice weather
could be an hour in a snow storm


john
 

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Cardoctor That's what I say when people say it is not that far away.Just because you can get there fast in the good weather does not dictake how fast you can get there in the bad.And JD's right about puting all your eggs in one bascket beter to service more samller accounts then one big one .But some times it's nice to have those big ones and stay in one spot and make that big :cash :grinz
 

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I condenced my routes so they are close to my salt bins.

Unless I can put a bin up, they are within 10 min from them.
 

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cardoctor said:
just remember a 20 minute ride when it nice weather
could be an hour in a snow storm


john
That's exactly what bit me in the azz last season,as i drove around picking up new accounts on a sunny october day i thought "this won't be to bad" and then 3 seperate storms later that required chains @25mph:headwall ,made for longer days than anticipated:mad:
This year things are much closer:)
 

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If you have the opening in your route and you get paid for travel and ect... then go for it. mabye you will get other contracts in the area.
 
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