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Good News Got 15,000 in residential contracts

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by davewh, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. davewh

    davewh Member
    Messages: 84

    Thats right after 2.5 months of sales calls, marketing etc. I finally got abot 28 residential customers, bad news is they all suck, Next years its only commercail accounts or nothing at all, I'll starve before I ever take on another residential contract again.
     
  2. YPLLLC

    YPLLLC Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    $15000, thats awesome. I take it you do all of your contracts as a flat fee per month and not a per push?
     
  3. davewh

    davewh Member
    Messages: 84

    Actually I tried something that I found often a one time fee for unlimited amount of plow per season with a 2 inch trigger but to keep everyone satisfied I need 28 trucks
    I'm thinking per push is better or no residential at all
     
  4. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    Why would you need 28 trucks for 28 accounts?
     
  5. 6feetdeep

    6feetdeep Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    ...AMEN!!!!!!!! :cry::realmad:
     
  6. davewh

    davewh Member
    Messages: 84

    Because everyone wants there driveway done at the same time even though its in the contract that we have route tha we follow and a window of time in which to do it. I wonder if they even read the contract before signing.
     
  7. Welcome to the wonderful world of residential plowing. Its pretty much all I do.

    I don't know about London but I know with a 2 inch trigger here in Toronto you'd go bankrupt waiting for business. The average trigger for residential here is 3 to 5cm tops. And if your getting a big snow storm (20+ cm) you can't wait till it ends. You need to make a couple of runs.

    One of the biggest mistakes in residential plowing is the company well tell the customer anything they want to hear to get their signature and $500. This is the WRONG way about it. I make it very clear to all of my customers that no one customer is more important than the next and if they want the driveway done by a guaranteed time they better go buy a shovel. Believe it or not, being upfront works. Don't be scared to type of a letter reminding people of the possible and impossibles and mail it out to all 28 customers. I have 60 residential driveways I do with 2 trucks. 30 driveways generally takes me no more than 4 hours. Thats a pretty sweet deal for $15,000 if you ask me. The per push ideas you see on here might be popular in the states but here in Ontario (Toronto Area) its unheard of and almost impossible to get unless you find some really dumb customers that dont shop around.
     
  8. creativedesigns

    creativedesigns PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,929

    LOL, yeah the world of resis!!! Theres a company here in Ottawa called Appleseed snowblowing & they have four thousand ++ clients! Yup, imagine that eh. They also have 45 JD tractors with inverted blowers ( 3 point hitch ) to tackle those houses.
     
  9. Rough Guess
    4000 x $500 = $2,000,000 per season

    They can afford 45 tractors. LOL

    I dont think I'd ever want to be that big though. Could you imagine the amount of phone calls and complaints they must hear over a whole season. LOL
     
  10. creativedesigns

    creativedesigns PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,929

    The majority of them are leased, but they're slowly buying them now. My dealer says they started buying at least 3 new tractors a year....until they own all 45 out right, then mabe they'll double in size! :dizzy:
     
  11. davewh

    davewh Member
    Messages: 84

    Sounds sweet but dont forget the math, they are all for an unlimited amount of plows til april 1somehow I think I made a big mistake by taking this route i think by billing everyone per push would be best but your right here in london it doesnt fly.
     
  12. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    I HIGHLY doubt with that much equipment, they are chasing around $500 bills for a whole season at one particular account. With that much equipment, I would expect ATLEAST $6,500,000 in sales.
     
  13. It will all work out man. Trust me. You'll have weeks at a time where you don't plow at all. Just make sure you communicate to your customers that its impossible to be on everyone's driveway at the same time. If the client uses the old "But But But I have to leave for work at 7:30am".... I always respond by saying ... "Yeah, you and everyone else that works for a living. Your not alone in the workforce"....

    On big snow storms you should see more business from neighbors of your current clients. It might be for a one time cash deal or a contract. Whatever you do, don't agree to only one month. Explain to them we do seasonal in hopes that we will make up what we lost on high accumulation months. Most people will understand and sign the deal.

    If I were you I would type up a letter and snail mail it to everyone of your customers. I'd say something like this:

    Dear Valued Clients,

    We would like to take a moment to remind you that our minimum snowfall accumulation to plow is 2 inches which you have agreed to in the contract. You have a copy of the contract should you need to reference this information. In addition we feel it is important to remind you that it is theoretically impossible to be on your property by a certain time of the day. The snow will start and complete at various times and your home may or may not be first on our route. We sympathize with your frustration but we urge you to consider what an impossible request it is to insist we are on your property at a time you select if every customer is asking for the same time. Again, this is all referenced in the contract you signed and have a copy of. We strongly suggest you read the contract if you have not already done so.

    Thank you for your support as we work diligently to try and provide you with as little stress this winter as possible. Your business is appreciated.

    Regards,

    ____________________
    Dave Smith
    XYZ Open Fly Landscaping


    Believe me Dave, being open, upfront and honest with your clients will save you a world of headaches and stress. You just need to make sure everyone is fully aware of what you offer and what they can expect. If they are not aware of it, remind them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  14. shepoutside

    shepoutside Member
    Messages: 88

    In Cambridge, I find the per push is a easier sell. I have a 70/30 split. I listen to the customer, and figure out which way they would rather go. I like having a mixture of the 2, rather than all my eggs in one basket. I do 80% residential, which is the work I prefer, but need to service my seal-coating/striping parking lot customers too.
     
  15. davewh

    davewh Member
    Messages: 84

    Excellent advice and thank you i feel a little better, this forum is great like brothers and sisters in arms.
     
  16. davewh

    davewh Member
    Messages: 84

    My other frustration is when you have a 2" inch trigger in London you could have very little snow, when you poke your head out the door. But in another part they may have gotten 6" and they start to panic because they cant get out the driveway. I have found that there is a huge learning curve for both myself and for new clients. I have heard alot of times that their old snow plower just didnt show up and I had sympothy for them, However under closer observation what they meant was he just didnt show up when they wanted him to. Snow plowing at least residential generally has a bad rap and now I know why. I was a virgin pure and white invested alot of money to save my plight now I'm finally F@$%ked.
     
  17. Nelsen

    Nelsen Member
    Messages: 69

    Driveway Doctor has it going on........I tell them all, I'll be there B 4 a certain time, and then make sure I do. But never one specific time.

    Just start early enough to get them all done B 4 that time. BTW....I have all residential n one commercial. Residential....u just have to b serious upfront. This is the way it is or find another guy. DO that, n ull make all kinds of money for easy staright pushes. N th add ons during storms from neighbors will make up anything else. One timer? Just double it.
     
  18. ALLABOUTSNOW

    ALLABOUTSNOW Member
    Messages: 32

    Driveway doctor I am with you.. I dont have 60, but we are knocking on the back door of it and I am adding new accounts everytime it snows. I have 95% of them on a seasonal account, the per-push acounts are friends anyway. I dig it, money was up front in november. Most are seniors and I have had no complaints and we have had 3 events so far this year. Basicly It says in the contract (2" TRIGGER)if it stops snowing and night it will be clear by morning and if it stops during the day it will be done at night.. The one selling point is the you need to give them the shoveling of the front walk and most important, shovel the snow from in front of the garage door. I use 2 trucks and we are done in just a few hours..What subcontractors are paying that kid of hourly when you figure a 2 car 2 deep with shoveling takes roughly 12 minutes. I will market twice as hard to get as many divways as I can for next year.
     
  19. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046

    Obviously you've never bought a tractor, because you would need to gross alot more then 2 mill if you had 45 tractors. Cre is probably exagerating again anyway.
     
  20. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    I would strongly suggest rewording the entire red part. You are basically telling all of your customers to stop complaining, when in fact, there are probably only a few complainers. If I were a noncomplainer and got this letter I would be like WTF and FU buddy!