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Advice please - First Season in business

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Added Touch, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. Added Touch

    Added Touch Member
    Messages: 34

    Hi all!! Just jumping in here. Looking forward to this. This is my 1st year in business having started out with mainly lawnmowing and property maintenance. I have just purchased a 10 hp Toro 2 stage, and plan on servicing primarily residential clients. Driveway and walks. I have read many of the forums and I understand most are reluctant to discuss price, but I am gonna jump out and put my thoughts on pricing, hoping to get any feedback (good or bad) you who have gone before me have for a newbie. I am planning on offering seasonal contracts for my clients that would run aprox. $200 a season just the drive, or $300 for the drive and sidewalks ( aprox 1000 square feet of drive and up to 75 linear feet of sidewalk) I would start when there are about 2" of snow amd guarantee them one visit each 24 hours during a snow fall. Salt would be included. My guess is that it shouldn't take more than one half hour to arrive, unload and complete. Customers would prepay for the season, or I would offer 2 payments with a 10% cost increase. I estimate I can service up to 20 or so customers, and likely would only need to go out 10 to 12 times based on snow fall.

    Any thoughts if I am on track or out of the park appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. glenspot

    glenspot Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    I am personally not a fan of seasonal pricing....leaves you responsible holding the bag if you get an unusually heavy winter, or a lot of 2" snowstorms...

    I would simplify things somewhat if I were you. I understand that you want to make it clear what the customer is getting and that you promise to take care of them when they are getting snow.

    Simply promise to snowblow, the price and come after the storm. With 20 accounts, each taking 30 minutes...you have 10 hours of snowblowing ahead of you (not including drive time).

    If you start snowblowing at 6am, you won't get to your last home until 11am. (at which time another 3" of snow could have fallen....What I'm saying is... promise to do the work. Ask them if there is a particular time they need to have their driveway cleared by.. (For example: "my daughter leaves for school at 7am" or "the mailman comes at 10:30" etc)
    Then do what have to do to get them cleaned out on time.

    As far as pricing goes.... it really depends on what the "going rate" is in your area. if you feel that you can do 10 hours of snowblowing and do it for $200 - $300 per customer...and still make a profit... then have at er....
     
  3. Added Touch

    Added Touch Member
    Messages: 34

    Thanks Glen,

    Good advice, I guess I am looking to ensure I have a certain amount of cash flow to cover expenses and the cost per season does that for me. Average snow fall in this area is fairly low 68.8 inches. What would be a range you have experienced in terms of seasonal prices? does anyone thingk I am way too low, mid range or too high???? Also any help with contract examples would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  4. glenspot

    glenspot Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    In our area... i get a minimum of $15 per visit for plowing... if I only had to plow 10 times for the season I would be billing them $150.

    Using that logic you seem to be right in line with what I am getting..... But I am not in your area..... So i don't know what hte plow operators are getting for plowing, either. If I have to take the snowblower off the truck to do a walkway, I charge $15 - $25 depending on the size of the walk..... (Of course we go out plowing & blowing a lot more, so what they pay yearly is a lot more than what they would pay you)
     
  5. Added Touch

    Added Touch Member
    Messages: 34

    Perfect .. Thanks.