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Contract VS Per visit Resi Plowing

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by RonWin, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. RonWin

    RonWin Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    This year we struck out for sure as far as snow. I am able to get through it but did not make any decent sized profit. I wanted to know what you guys think about pursuing contracts or going with per visit pricing for this next year (again we don't have a crystal ball for the weather). Charge more for per visit plowing or get them in a contract and hope snow is as scarce as it was this year? The average snow fall for where i live is 63" and i just want to make sure that if i do contract that I end up making money if it does turn out to be a heavy snow fall winter. What do you guys say and how did you fair this season?
     
  2. CAT 245ME

    CAT 245ME PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,032

    I vote for seasonal, half the money up front and the rest about midway threw the season. Nicest thing about this is that it eliminates the chasing after money which can become a real headache when it starts getting into May for instance and haven't been fully paid for your work. Different people will have there opinion on this, but in my case over the years per visit on resi's just wasn't worth the trouble. I'll never offer it again. Seasonal's all the way.
     
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    All seasonal, easy to budget your money and with a per plow your not out there chasing snow to make money and over extending yourself by taking on to much. Also it's not how much snow you get it's how many times you go out.
     
  4. RonWin

    RonWin Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    how do you account how much to charge for seasonal contracts? i know you have to take into account how large or small and how many pushes it may take. But is there a general idea you can give as far as make or break on the amount of snow falls? I dont want to offer a seasonal then get screwed cuz the weather is snowing everyday and having to be out plowing the entire season.
     
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    That's because you have to be careful when pricing them .You need to know how times you would go out in a season. But on the flip side your seasonal price can't be much higher then what every one is charging.
     
  6. RonWin

    RonWin Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    grand, what do you take into account to make a profit while also not scaring away potential clients? I want to be able to take on the chances of having it snow everyday but also want to make sure i get people signing up with the contracts.
     
  7. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    You need to know how many times on average you will plow in a winter. Say the average over 10 years. Take that # and multiply it by the price to plow the driveway. You have to remember that you are going to get your full per push price and you may discount it a little.

    Here a 20x50 driveway goes for $400/season. You will plow approx 16 times and might have to come back after the street plow goes by. Doesn't sound like much money but on a tight route you can easily do 40 driveways.

    This year we won but last year the customer won, in the end it all balances out.
     
  8. CAT 245ME

    CAT 245ME PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,032

    One of the key's to doing residential is educating your clients, and also having the right equipment. If your in an area where there is a fair amount of needing to pull snow away from a garage, investing in a pull plow is a real time saver and will allow you to add more work and make more money. A Daniels pull plow for instance sells for a good price.

    Like CET said, get as many close together as possible, less driving means more plowing = more payup
     
  9. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Pretty much what Cet said.I use 25 as my season total,last year went out a few times more ,but in the end it will work out in your favor if you keep them for many years.Plus you need to remember ,it cost less to keep them then it is to find new ones.
     
  10. DKLawn_snow

    DKLawn_snow Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    In our expeirence, First year for myself and 40 plus years for our family, With resi's we charge per visit per inch and for our comerc. we charge seasonal. typically, it works like this. $20 a visit 2"- 4" $30 4"- 6" and $50 6" plus. works great we were plus this year but didn't kill it.

    commerc works like this, we charge "X" amount for the season but we don't per push per inch.. we advertise the SERVICE your paying for SERVICE and not just pushing snow.

    yes we push snow but we also have employees on overnight when the temps are below zero for ice management. every hour the customer's area is inspected for ice. our commerc love us. and our resi's are happy too. With a resi, you either win or lose but the problem is if the customer loses big they are upset, if your out every other night from November to March you lose and are struggling.

    this is just what works for us