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Getting Started - Some Questions....

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Mr.Jay, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. Mr.Jay

    Mr.Jay Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    We own a Full Service Landscape Business for 20 years and have blown and shoveled office buildings in the past, only to get "Low-Balled" out.(never offered plow services) Do have plowing experience.

    I've purchased a new plow for my pick-up to do my own large drive and my dad who has a hard time doing his drive..also, a few of our summer customers always ask if we plow.
    so i decided i'd like to add a small to med. size snow removal service to our business.(heck, we pay com. insurance anyway). we have about 4.5 months of the white stuff so I think money can be made.

    Equipment I have:
    2001 F-250 Super Duty w. New Blizzard 860SW
    2003 F-350 Super Duty 1 Ton / Monroe Dump Body w. Plow mount only (to interchange)
    Bobcat 130 60" bucket / 7' Straight Blade
    8.5 cub. ft poly sander low profile (just purchased)

    Got Plow in Dec., so its probably to late to start this season (everything is contracted)
    though there is over 2 months left.

    This is what I already did:

    * Sent out over 200 letters to our past and current summer customers announcing our new services
    * Put up tear-off flyers / not working...
    * Ad in newspaper /received some one time plows

    OK Enough...... here's my questions ??

    1 When is the time to go out and talk to small and med. size businesses / introduce
    ourselves and ask to bid on their snow removal for next season?

    2 Billing. Is it a good idea to have 2-3 different charges 2"-4" / 4"-8" / 8" and over on the
    contract. salting and shoveling separate??

    3 With our present equipment, and planning for next season, how much is TOO Much??
    I'm thinking 5-6 small / med.commercial & 5-6 residential..??...

    4 Is it fair to say on an average year in our midwest we have 20 outings?? I know were at that point already this year......but..

    5 Any advice for the 2 months remaining this season...?
    drives me crazy to look at my 5300.00 plow sitting on the beach in my shed having a margarita with my poly spreader.

    Oh well, I guess i'm early for next season :rolleyes:

    Any Advice Appreciated.

    thanks, M. Jay
     
  2. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411


    1.never too early and never too late. you may find a contractor that a guy who is doing a bad job or something didn't work out, so i wouldn't quite give up on this year just yet
    2.depends on the type of contract you want, do you want per trip pricing, per inch or seasonal? you can't have all three in one contract. and i always keep salting and sidewalk pricing seperate from plowing.
    3.only you will know that. depends on your capabilities and your employees' capabilities. also depends on the types and sizes of the lots you win
    4.couldn't tell ya
    5.start calling around, you never know which large contractor might need help
     
  3. Kunker

    Kunker Member
    Messages: 96



    1. X2...you can talk to them now, find out if they are happy with their service or not, get a feel for what they are looking for if not and find out when they are accepting bids.

    2. What does everyone else in your area use for billing? In a lot of areas, seasonal is unheard of. In other areas, per push/inch/event is unheard of.

    3. Again as mentioned, it's what you feel comfortable with and what you're able to bid on.

    4. I don't have the link handy, but there's a website that is regularly mentioned on here that shows average snow fall. Depending on your triggers, you could figure out the average number of events.

    5. While it is late, you can still advertise for residentals online, see what you can pick up. Definitely call around and see if you can get some work for your truck as a sub somewhere...great way to get experience on someone else's dime.

    Good luck and welcome to Plowsite!
     
  4. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    1st thing to make sure you have dependable workers who can plow w/o tearing up equip and lawns.
    Start now for next year and take whatever you can get to finish off this year.
    You have plenty of equip to do what you want to do.