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commercial customers

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Bossman 92, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    How does everyone justify how many customers to have? That sounds stupid, but seriously each snowfall is different in the amount of snow, time of day, and day of the week. If it would only snow on Sunday then i could add 25 more customers, but that is obliviously a bad idea. If it quits at 1 am i could add a few more, but if it doesn't stop until 6 am I can afford to add anymore. Just wandering how everybody sets themselves up.
    Thanks
     
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    That's the fun of snowplowing,never knowing what your going to get next. I do a little less because I don't like getting phone calls asking when will I be showing up. For me the best thing is coming home and no messages on the phone.:nod:
     
  3. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    I'd only take enough customers to handle in a worst case scenario. Like said, "you never know what it's going to do" Heck if I knew it was going to snow as little as it did last year I could have alot of large commercial accounts.
     
  4. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    have one truck setting and a couple pt helpers on call just in case, or have a couple subs on call just in case. always have more than you need.
     
  5. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    Basically, don't bite off more than you can chew. I've seen a LOT of small, one truck operations get totally screwed because we would get an event over 6" or worse. Most of these guys think they can push 6" of wet heavy snow just as fast as they can push 2" of powder.

    Another thing to consider is what if your plow truck breaks down. Who will plow your accounts in that event? What will you have to pay them? Do they have insurance? Balh, blah, blah, blah.

    what I would suggest is get your feet wet this year with just a couple of accounts. See how long the events take you to plow. This will give you a good idea of how fast you plow under different conditions. Next year, take that knowledge into effect and take on the work you feel you can handle.
     
  6. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Good route planning can help you add a couple extras as well. If they're right there 10 mon. push with no travel time it can be easy money with out over extending yourself

    Network with a couple of other "One Man Bands"You can cover for one another in the bad times and party togeather in the good.
    A freind has a small commercial I drive by on my route, during a storm I run through it on my way by just keep the entrance and road open.
    He has a devoted spreader truck, If I need a little salt dropped, and am on the other side of town and cann't get there in a timely manner, his truck will slip in an cover.
    You get the idea.
    In our case we keep records but money rarely changes hands. the "quid pro quo" factor comes in to effect.
     
  7. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    i'm with basher on this one..... need to make friends with the other contractors not enemies. the low paying customers are the enemies/competion.
     
  8. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    Well i have been doing this for several years, i own two trucks both with boss v plows, and spreaders. I have a friend that use to plow, and still has his own equiptment, so he is on call if i need help. Last year i had 32 commerical accounts, not a real prolbem to take care of for us. But there have been days that i wish i only had one account, do to it still snowing at 8 am. was just wandering how everyone else does it. a typical snow for us is a few 2-4" and mabey a 6-8" each year, and they usually stop early in the morning, so it is not hard to get everything done an hour before they open.
     
  9. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 577

     
  10. Makndust

    Makndust Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    Almost all of the snow events that we get amount to about 1 - 2 inches. I have built my business on a 1 inch snow as far as what I can handle easly. Most of my clientel understand when we get a 6" snow that I will be a little behind. Usually it is not over an hour or two. I guess that they have to becuaue I am the only stupid one in town that does this. Every year it gets harder and harder to justify ins, and equpt maintanance. I don't know how much longer I will be doing this unless we start to get some real winters again.
     
  11. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Don't forget the lowballers:gunsfiring: Leave them out there to suffer on their own!
     
  12. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    might as well hire them and make money on them instead of loosing it to them. keep them busy so they don't take on more work......just a thought.
     
  13. snowdevil

    snowdevil Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    How Many

    Make your route list, put in critical customers done by times, travel time beetween accounts, day/night scenario, it will become clear-er How many you can fit in, then add the summer homes on the end and people not home etc. I used to do 28 residential now I do 12 Commercial and can fit no more at present in an eight to twelve hour plow day.
     
  14. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Amen to that, only problem is they and their equipment are generally unreliable.
     
  15. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    I wish plow days were 8-12 hours. Maybe for some of my subs(a couple of which I got thru plowsite) but usually a typical Jersey storm of 4-5 inches and we are working 20-24 hours.
    I do not do any residential however.