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How do you make money?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by burlingtonplow, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. burlingtonplow

    burlingtonplow Member
    Messages: 57

    When it doesn't snow for a month in the middle of winter?
     
  2. Dewey

    Dewey Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    I hear ya.... it sucks..... I operate a small sawmill 8 months out of the year so..... I just started it back up this week . I don't really want to saw in the winter but...... gotta keep the $$$$$ flowin
     
  3. MIDTOWNPC

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,452

    Mix some perpush with some seasonal.

    If you have all seasonal then you are getting paid no matter what.

    You may have some hard winters where you really work for your money, but if you priced it right then you will be fine with doing the work and getting paid your rate. IF its a light winter then you will not be doing as much work. IF you get people on multiyear contracts you will be doing even better, because if you have a light winter the next year they will want you to discount the price however if you have a hard winter you will have a hard time convincing them to increase.
     
  4. burlingtonplow

    burlingtonplow Member
    Messages: 57

    Should we travel 500 miles for big storms? is it worth it?
     
  5. PlatinumService

    PlatinumService Senior Member
    Messages: 559

    for that 500 miles
    A) do you have guaranteed work?
    B) have a reputable contractor that will pay you for that work they provide you
    C) can your truck handle the trip
    D) does your wife have nothing for you to do around the house?
     
  6. JR Snow Removal

    JR Snow Removal Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    I'm not like most guys I just do snow and ice. I have a full time job as a printer, so no matter if we get snow or not I can still pay my bills with out worry. (I feel for my fellow michigan plowers who rely on snow to pay bills our winter has been horrible for snow I have 1 full push but quite a few saltings and don't owe anything my equipment) I do snow because I love it and to get the first hand experience running a business before I take over the printing company. I would love to think I could run both businesses successfully down the road but I think there is going to be a time to phase out the snow plowing:cry:
     
  7. MIDTOWNPC

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,452

    I also have another job. I own a computer store which I have someone run if I have to plow, and I own commercial rental property. I still count on snow money however. I am a beleiver of many eggs many baskets however.
     
  8. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,197

    The only thing I can suggest, if you cant sell them a seasonal, could you at least put in your contract a minimum 2 pushes a month. I mean you have to have the equipment and manpower ready for when it does snow. So you could either sell it like a 2 push retainer a month, meaning you charge a minimum of 2 pushes even if there is no snow, and they do not carry over to the next month. Or sell them a package of minimum 10 pushs a year, payable over 5 months. Kinda like a seasonal, with no risk to you. Most of this will depend on how many pushes you average a winter. If you only average 5 pushes a year cut those numbers in halve. I sell everthing seasonal, so no keeping track on how many pushes, and arguements over the amounts of time I plowed. The client is happy because there are no surprises, they know what it will cost and budget for it. Hope that helps :drinkup:
     
  9. PlatinumService

    PlatinumService Senior Member
    Messages: 559

    How many events do you set your seasonal up for? because if you have 100 calls and estimate 20 plows with salt and 20 extra salts for the season and you get 25 plows with 35 extra salts for presalting etc how do you carry those numbers?
     
  10. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Bank as much money as possible during the summer. Save,save,save. Be smart about buying equipment. and pray for snow! We average around 100-120" a season and so far we have a whoppin' 62" :cry: Fortunately we're supposed to get some tonight and much more next week. Thank God spring is right around the corner.
     
  11. LTLANDSCAPING

    LTLANDSCAPING Member
    Messages: 60

    I like the idea of 2 pushes per month regardless of snow (Dec. Jan & Feb and maybe 1 for March) Once you go over 7 pushes, they have no more obligation to you.
     
  12. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,197

    On average we get around 16-20 events a year. We price them for the season, and regardless if it s 12 events or 30 the price is fixed for the year. We do not salt ou resi.
     
  13. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    The odds that you have that many more puahs and that many more salts are slim.

    If you figure what the pure base cost of a push is, after all other overhead has been covered for the season, 5 extra pushes isn't that big of deal.
     
  14. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I like these seasonal contracts.
     
  15. JR Snow Removal

    JR Snow Removal Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    Talking my customers in to seasonal next year would be next to impossible I would think seeing how we only got 1 full plow here. I think I'm going to try it tho
     
  16. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Yeah! Customer's jumped on the band wagon this year after last years record snow fall. I bet we signed 40% more seasonal contracts than the previous year. Next year.....might be a different story.
     
  17. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Get them to sign up now while the snow is fresh in their mine and tell them how much they would of saved if they had been seasonal.
     
  18. FisherVMan

    FisherVMan Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    Well I can tell you that seasonal just isnt in their conversations around here as it amazes me how many people here keep switching back and forth to the lowest bidder???? They will hire the cheapest guy ;even if he only plows half as much and doesnt show up till 8 pm; when the rest of us were out plowing at 4am??? It is almost like they hate to pay for it and many of them dont even want you to touch it unless you get about 6" . About 50% of them have a relation; that has some old broken down plow outfit; that will do it for a couple bottles of beer, or package of venision or whatever. The favorite trick seams to be just dont pay the last months plow bill, and change over to the new guy for next year.................. there is a guy here that owes the competition $1200 from last year and he has NO contract of any kind so he told me he has no hope of ever collecting a nickel of it??? I guess when the avg wage is only $8-9 per hour like it is around here people just are NOT going to spend much to get plowed..... we get tons of snow here normaly, and I would guess avg 15 events with some winters considerable more, but thank god I dont have to depend on it as we do antique gun restorations in the winter so the plowing is only a sideline to get the heck outta the machine shop!
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  19. DCS MN

    DCS MN Senior Member
    Messages: 169

    A lot of the commerical work in the Twin Cities is going to hourly or per push. It is very hard to find seasonal contracts. It would be nice but I have had poor luck finding them.

    I also have a full time job as a commerical job site superintendent.
    In my free time I run my construction, maintance, storm damage, snow removal, or anything I can make a buck on company.

    At some point I would like to go full time with my own business but I am greedy and like the paycheck every week. There are a few weeks during the year I wounder why I do both but then checks roll in.payup
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  20. mycirus

    mycirus Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 589

    I went to Foxwoods today and made 132.50 at the Blackjack table. But I do have a full time job. Plowing is just play money. And I want to play some more. Darn.....