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How many do residential?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ultimate lawns, Feb 19, 2003.

  1. ultimate lawns

    ultimate lawns Member
    Messages: 92

    How many of you guy's do residental accounts? I just do all commercial. Anyways, When I used to do my small residential accounts, they NEVER paid on time! All my commercial accounts do. I have 18 commercial lots. Do you think I should do residential? Why bother, its not going to snow. lol:p

    Ultimate lawns and more,
  2. fordman

    fordman Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    I do both residential and commercial. Personally I prefer the commercial work alot more and will hopefully be eliminating residential work totally by next winter.

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,304


  4. ultimate lawns

    ultimate lawns Member
    Messages: 92

    Yea, I personaly hate it too!
  5. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496

    I do

    residential only . Works out nicely with my backplow now only if some of this snow would melt to give me some damn room
  6. farmertim

    farmertim Member
    Messages: 95

    rez only!!

    I do residentials only, well ok I do 2 bars but the rest is all homes and common roads to those homes.
    We don't have that many commercial lots around here, they are all in town and the old guys get them, and NOBODY SALTS OR SANDS any commercial lots.
    All my residentials are yearly contracts so I get paid weather it snows or not.
    The bars pay cash when I do it.
    I think I have reached critical mass as to the size of my plow, I now have a 9' straight blade up from a 8'and I virtually tore it apart the first time I plowed.
    To much leverage on the ruff gravel drives and hidden bowling balls!!:waving:
  7. gslam88

    gslam88 Senior Member
    Messages: 168

    Right now I have a commercial lot and 25 or so residential, but every storm give me a couple of new accounts.... have had very little problem getting paid, I am working on getting more commercial accounts for next season. but might add a driver the way things are going .... but its a wait and see approach as to not get killed growing too fast ....

  8. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    Our business is mostly residential, although we have been adding commercial for a few years, and that is growing. We have 200+ driveways now, and we charge a flat rate for the season, paid in advance. When we first started, we did the per time or per month billing thing, but after a few years I got tired of trying to collect from people in August for the previous winter, so we switched to the flat rate in advance. We had very few complaints. Actually, most people like to just pay for the season ahead of time and not have to worry about it. For a few people I will accept two or three installments during the season, but they are in advance, for example, 1/3 by Nov. 1, 1/3 by Jan. 1, and the final 1/3 by March 1. No pay, no plow. I started something three years ago that has been a big hit. I send out our contracts July 1, and if they return the paid contract by August 1, they get a 10% "early bird" discount. If they return it by September 1, they get a 5% discount. After that, it is full price, and after November 1, the price goes up. We also accept credit cards, and a lot of customers like that. If they ask to pay monthly, I explain that we are not a finance company, but that I will accept their payment by credit card, and they can make the monthly payments to their credit card company. If someone wants to cancel their contract, we will refund them the prorated unused portion of the contract fee, based on a six-month season.

    On commercial accounts, especially those that get paid from some corporate office out of state, we have to bill monthly and wait for our money. Some of them are really prompt and pay within two weeks of the invoice, but some are more like 45 days. I have had the most trouble with new accounts, because it seems like the corporate office always messes something up with getting us into their system. One gas station chain took 90 days to get us our first payment, but then once it got going, they caught up right away.

    Personally, I like residential. I feel like I am making progress when I can go from one job to the next quickly. Put me in a big parking lot for awhile and I start to feel like I am going to be stuck there all day.
  9. plowman777

    plowman777 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    i do purley residential cuz i dont want the insurance hassles and i work a full time job in a different business....does commercial pay that much more per hour than residential?...im always weeding out bad customers and driveways i dont like, this storm i dropped 6 and added 1.which puts me at 25 driveways....i get paid pretty well tho some lose the invoice etc, mostly i bang on doors a few days after the storm
  10. dillyolboy

    dillyolboy Member
    Messages: 97

    I plow all residentials and three private roads that the rich people live on. Two important things are having a tight route and seasonal contracts. You also need a decent truck setup with a backblade. I like the fact that you don't have to spread salt and there is a lot more room to put snow compared to the amount snow that you need to move (ie their lawn) ;) . With a truck like fordman's residentials probably aren't much fun but with a regular cab short box truck and an automatic I love it. :D
  11. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 324

    I have way more residentials than I would like but I've got to make money somewhere. 95% of them pay on time, I bill most of them monthly. The ones that don't pay in a timely manner do so after a follow-up call.
  12. SDlawndawg

    SDlawndawg Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    All residentials and a private road. I charge per push. I would be out of business if I had seasonal contracts, but it seems to work depending on the area.
  13. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    I do both. Plowman I make more$$ on res an hr but I get more work out of comm . Res don't want to be plowed under 2.5'' but my comm want 1'' plowed and then there is salting to do. So I end up making more coin in the season doing comm. 48 drives / 5 lots. Next yr I will only take on 35 res my goal for lots will be 8.
  14. snowplowjay

    snowplowjay Banned
    Messages: 890

    I do residential accounts. Seems as if residential customers are more picky then the commericial accounts. And the commericial accounts have more liability so its nuts.

  15. plowman777

    plowman777 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    ahhh yes salting can be great for those that do commercial....

    how do you price salting?, the same hourly rate as plowing plus whatever you charge for the salt?