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Forget about it!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by bdemir, Mar 14, 2001.

  1. bdemir

    bdemir Member
    Messages: 89

    Every lawn customer i talk to has someone doing there snow for 100 to 150 per season. How the hell are you supposed to make money doing this. I need to have 100 driveways just ot make 10k. Im in michigan. I think that i will not plow residential at all next year and if i dont get any commercial i will not plow at all.



    Bedros
     
  2. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    You get what you pay for - perhaps customer dissatisfaction with the service provided by the "lowball" bidder will provide you with opportunities for next season. Don't lower your standards!
     
  3. bdemir

    bdemir Member
    Messages: 89

    Rob,
    Thanks for the advice. Seems like all the customers are disatisfied but they all expect great service for 100 a drive. Thats when i tell them how much the equipment and the insurance costs. I hate having to go through this.




    Bedros
     
  4. plowjockey

    plowjockey PlowSite.com Sponsor
    Messages: 622

    Bedros

    Look at it this way. For a 30' drive a kid with a snow shovel is going to charge the people at least $20.00 per event. If you expect more than 5 events you are already over the $100.00 mark. These people are not dealing with reality. Especially in your market area.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    Bruce
     
  5. MJ

    MJ Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    Bedros, I'm finding the same thing here. Too many plowjockeys out there willing to beat up their equipment pushing 14" for $25/driveway. I'm going to try for one private road with six drives next winter. Other than that, I'm making serious plans to concentrate on sanding. The jockeys don't have sanders because of the financial commitment in equipment, material and storage. I've already contacted salt and sand suppliers. I have the buildings and space. I'm going to start a marketing campaign early in the year and follow the snowplows/snowblowers etc. Forget plowing; find a need and fill it. Good Luck.

    Mick
     
  6. bdemir

    bdemir Member
    Messages: 89

    wow,
    And i thought maine was where its a little better considering there is so much snow to plow. I thought they make out considering it snows so much there. All i know is i am not buying a 30k truck to plow a drive for 8 bucks. No way not in this lifetime. I already learned my lessons in the lawncare business and i dont think i will lowball my self like everyone here does. What a shame. Considering i live in the second richest county in all of america. First is orange county in california and thats even a worse lowball market. Maybe i need to move to a lower income where the competition is less. I talked to a guy who is 20 miles from me and he says its a lot higher where he is. WHere i am is higher income. GO figure.


    Bedros
     
  7. 66Construction

    66Construction Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    I see the same thing around here. I have driveways that range from $150 - $250 a year. I'm hard pressed to get the money out of some of them. I tell someone 200 for the season and they look at me like I have 3 heads. Then they complain and want someone to shovel around their car. They don't understand what a truck siting in their driveway for 10 minuites while someone clears the steps and around a car and infront of the garage is worth. Best driveway is someone waving with $30 in hand and grateful to have their car out of the driveway. Only one I'll ever touch after this season.
     
  8. 99SDPSD

    99SDPSD Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    Mine are this way $25 for the first hit and you get a clean up it. Then if i have to come back again it is anothere $25. After last weeks storm they were all up to a 100 each. it works for me.
     
  9. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    $100 - $150 Per Season - Give me their numbers!!!! I'll subcontract all my work out to them and go on vacation for the winter!!!!! That's an outrageously low price. I'm over on the other side of town and seasonal contracts (residential) run $400-$550 around here - (average of about 20 companies I know of). Per time/push contracts are $35-50. You gotta just stick to those types of prices and sell the service not the price. I mean for $150 what kind of service can these people be getting? I feel for you - those prices are way out of line. It's gotta get better.
     
  10. SCL

    SCL Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    Where I'm at all residentials are per push and are a pain. Look to the commercials and sell your service as one of a full time service provider. There are a lot of guys whoplow before they go to work so they can make a little extra $ to pay for that $30K truck, and thats okay in my book. But yiur commercials will feel better knowing that if they need snow moved at 3AM or 11Am or 6PM they will have YOU at their site.
     
  11. robcat

    robcat Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Let's talk about Canada

    I understand what you guys are saying, but up here in montreal (canada), we go out almost every second day.(between plowing and salting) and we get 200.00 per season Canadian.. Try running a bussiness on that!
     
  12. bdemir

    bdemir Member
    Messages: 89

    Robcat,

    How many plows per year is it approximatly.



    Bedros
     
  13. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 315

    bdemir,


    Where you're at you only get 35" snow in 10 plow events (30 year annual average - I know this year was more)

    At any rate, $10-15,000 for 10 nights of plowing doesn't seem too bad.
     
  14. bdemir

    bdemir Member
    Messages: 89

    Kent lawns are you saying at 100 a driveway i have to go do 100 dirves to make that and you thnk i can make it with just one truck. Maybe if they are a ll in a row but not any other way. I could see them adding up if i had jundereds but think of all the dirving if they were spread apart. and i never see just 10 times in michigan. Rarely. This year it was more like 13 to 14 or more.



    Bedros
     
  15. robcat

    robcat Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    How many plows per year.....Well its hard to keep count but from Nov. 15, 2000 till now, I'd say we've been out 45 or 50 times. We've had a storm or two every week since late Nov. The thing is If there isn't enough to plow we still have to put down salt. Up here salt is like gold...
     
  16. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Not to be a snitch-but im willing to bet,more than 1/2 of these guys doing seasonal for 150-200 are not insured or even running a legit DBA or any type of business.Is there any type of code enforcemnet in your area with snowp plow contractors?all it takes is a couple of complaints form residents about damage done,and uninsured contractors.So pick up those phones,call in these guys who you know dont have it.There are a bunch of them here too,I dont compete with them for the monst part,my customers expect much higher service standards,and when the bigger storms come,the same cheapo guys are the ones who take 2days to get to your driveway.They will weed themselves out,sell yourself on service,quality,and reliability,and back it up.That what I do,and My customers are more than happy to pay for it.
     
  17. bdemir

    bdemir Member
    Messages: 89

    Robcat thats 4 canadian dollars per plow which translates into like 2.5 dollars american. More power to ya if your making it work i guess. Why even get up 3 in the morning for that. Im not trying to be rude but that is too low for even around here where we plow less than half that much but i guess you get used to it like everything else.
    John,
    i dont have to rat on these people because the news already did it for us. A lot of poeple got screwed out of their 100 dollars and a driveway full of snow. So a lot of the customers are educated now and the news has made a great impact around my emmediate area and its working out to be a strong selling point this season. I just ask them if they watched the news episode about the guy who took the money and didint show up. lol. I guess its not that bad now that i am talking with some of the new customers and trying to deal a little better with them. Some are just hard nosed cheapos but the ones that got screwed by bad service are seeing it more my way and agree with the pricing more. I think i will stick with my pricing for this year and sell my services and i will also get a new 3/4 ton with a plow. yess . I cant wait!



    Bedros



    Bedros
     
  18. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Bedros - nice to see the media working in your favour. Looks like at least one of the "BS" contractors made off with some $$$, but in the long run you'll benefit. Would it be possible to post a link to the news story? That might make for some interesting reading.
     
  19. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 315

    The contractor probably didn't make off with a dime because he didn't know what he was doing.

    Poor service and no phone calls returned is completely unacceptable in any market.

    But I wouldn't adverstise that $150 is the LOW price in the Detroit market. I know of plenty of guys who would do it for that, do a superior job and net $ 1,000,000 within 7 years of startup in that situation.

    It's not a misprint and it's not BS, they key is being far ahead of everyone else, not belly-aching about low-ballers.
     
  20. bdemir

    bdemir Member
    Messages: 89

    This guy did it for 100 not 150. I think if they are close toghether it ok but driving a distance it would not make enough for me to do it. I would have to do ten of them just to pay the insurance then another ten to pay the repairs and gas and the other ten would go to taxes im sure then watevers left for the 15 to 16 times plowing the places i guess. I dont know the people im talking to are agreeing with me about the price so im not complaining too much. Im not trying to complain too much i just dont see it unless you get all these in a row.



    Bedros