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A good reason to stay positive!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Snow Picasso, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Snow Picasso

    Snow Picasso Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    So I've been reading all of these posts about how stressed everyone is about this wonderful" Snow Drought" that we're dealing with. I'm here to tell you to get your gear ready to roll because it's all about to change!
    Over the last 5 years I've taken a family vacation in the beginning of February. Last year we went to St. John's and we had "NO" snow! The 4 years before last we went to Hawaii.... You all know what happened in those years! 50+ inches for the Chicagoland area 4 years straight!
    Well I'm here to tell you that I'm gonna take one for the team and go back to Hawaii on Feb 2nd! You guys can thank me later. It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make if it helps my fellow Plowsite members out. If this works we'll pass the hat! lol Thumbs Up
  2. scott3430

    scott3430 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,003

    I appreciate your good attitude about the snow! Yeah we will get some good snow eventually - maybe feb & mar. Have a fun vacation! Your plan for more snow might just work.
  3. Snow Picasso

    Snow Picasso Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Thanks Scott....it's gotta turn at some point! We've had some pretty week March's here in the last 4+ years. It would be nice!
  4. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    I'm hoping your right.

    if that's all it takes I'll pay your full vacation every winter......lol
  5. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    Screw that! If it works you can pay MY vacation and you can all plow my accounts while I'm gone.
  6. Snow Picasso

    Snow Picasso Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Maybe I should get out of snow removal and get paid to leave the state during the winter months! It would be a win-win....We would all be happy! lol
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I don't care either way.

    Now, I'm sure I'll ruffle some feathers, but no snow never stresses me out.

    I've built our business around not depending on snow-removal as a source of revenue in the winter. All it is, is an added bonus to the bottom line. It is just way to unpredictable to count on anything.

    Snow removal is a high over-head, small reward business. At some point, I'm considering either letting my employees handle all the snow while I stay at home and monitor, or getting out of it completely.

  8. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    I'm with you completely!!! I stress more about having snow than not having snow. I've added enough summer income to not have to depend on snow. Last year we billed $45k in snow. For the stress and equipment involved it wasn't worth it. Granted it was a bad year, but regardless I could do without and be fine. A decent year would yield about 5x that gross, but at what expense?
    Been thinking of a few different ways to step aside but unfortunately everything I come up with still involves me at some point. I've been fortunate to have found a good #1 employee and good subs so I could make it work with a few less accounts and leave everything up to them. The hardest part is when it does snow there's few things that can pay this well in a short amount of time if you've got the right accounts and equipment.
  9. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,216

    I am a snow only 1 man business. I keep the route small so that I can handle what I have booked. I would like snow but .... I do other things for income.

    Those who have equipment payments ... I do feel bad for you !!!!
  10. blazer2plower

    blazer2plower Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    I'm a 1 man shows as well. I have other things to do to but in the winter mouths its really slow. I too feel bad for the people who depend on the snow. But it can all ways be worse.
  11. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    This is what I'm talking about.

    In the years 10'-11' we had the biggest snow season that was only matched by the winter of 78'. The year I was born.

    After we went past our annual snow fall, it got stressful and expensive.

    Lack of sleep topped the list, but equipment repairs and maintenance came in to a close second. Our average is 23" and we hit about 43". Seemed like after 23" we broke even on the next 20" of snow.

    And winters here in IL are hit and miss. We can go through 4-5 years of moderate to heavy snow falls to what we've seen the last two which is little to none.

  12. Snow Picasso

    Snow Picasso Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Why would you think you were ruffling feathers? I don't agree that it's high overhead and small reward though. If you have a summer business which I'm sure most of us do as a primary source of income, than your overhead should be based off of that business, not snow removal. Like you said it's a bonus! The money has depreciated some over the last few years, but it's still very profitable! In fact the revenue from my snow business is blowing away my summer gig!

    I do agree with the managing of the snow business and letting employees work it for you, but it's hard to trust just anyone..... It's even harder finding those people! I'm sure most would agree.
  13. Snow Picasso

    Snow Picasso Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Well said!
  14. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Snow is purely fun money for me. It pays things off, send me to white sandy beaches with little umbrella straws, and builds off road rigs. That said, im not going anywhere this summer, and my off road rig is still just a set of axles after the last winter and this one!

    Gotta love low overhead though! I have about the same wrapped up in these piles as some guys do in just a blade. and they all pushed 24 hours straight on the last 12" wet heavy snow we had with no problems. and i drive them home when the urge strikes me to get retro. haha. i have a unimount on the last truck in the lineup now. andi have my main rig, a dodge with a ultramount, but its for my main business and the plow was purchased with cash. I have payments on nothing. I couldnt imagine trying to make payments on snow equipment the last two years.
  15. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    You said it right there
    I care less if snows anymore When it snows I have more stress Seen this type winters many times over 30 years doing this
    If it wasnt for all the Full service contacts I have I wouldnt be doint this I rather be hunting when it snows
    I know guys lives off snow or try to I tell them you better go north
  16. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    The deal with us is our area, Smaller in comparison with a ton of people doing it. I loose bids all the time by 25% or more after I feel like I've dropped the price too far already.

    We get a heavy winter, and customers start to complain their total bill for the year is too high. We get a light winter, and they complain we came by to plow a questionable 2" snow.

    There's easier ways to make money. I'm looking into a couple of side opportunities now that won't require me to loose sleep, won't give me stupid chillblains on my toes, and will generate a steadier extra income all year around.

    I don't hate snow removal, but I think the winter of 10-11 burned me out and I haven't been able to fully recover. I might complain, but as a business perspective and keeping employees busy in off months, it will probably be one of those necessary evils.

  17. Lugnut

    Lugnut Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    Nice looking trucks for 25 years old! :drinkup:
  18. siteworkplus

    siteworkplus Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 514

    gotta love those short bed GM's

  19. Snow Picasso

    Snow Picasso Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    I hear you brother! So true about bidding and complaining from customers. Don't forget customer loyalty! That's long gone as well!
  20. perrysee

    perrysee Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    I'm a one man show in snow too, over the years i have downsized the snow part. helped other guys get started. less stress and more customer detailed now. helps for summer projects.