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Most Profitable?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by beanz27, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Which is generally more profitable:

    Commercial Accounts or Residential Accounts?
     
  2. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    Commercial without a doubt if you have the ability to spread deicing material. That's where the money is made. A lot of Resi simply want plowing but non deicing.

    You can be profitable doing drives but it is a completely different business model.
     
  3. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Glad I asked. I'd seen it mentioned either way in this forum. I want to do commercial, but I'd rather not screw myself if something breaks. I don't have much equipment available within a few minutes, it would take hours to get it to town. In general, the larger commercial chains (ie walmart, target, shopko, sears, etc etc) are they handled by nationals?
     
  4. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    More money in commercial but there's substantially more investment.
     
  5. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,216

    Stay away from the big box accounts and the Nationals .... Horror stories on this website about both.
     
  6. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    I noticed. I've been contacted by two nationals, so far I haven't seen a contract that I like the looks of. Plowing is a nice way to make some money, and I'd like to make it my primary winter earnings, but realistically I'm not going to kill my equipment when some idiot who sits behind a desk and hasn't even seen the lot is getting paid more then I am and they don't lift a finger.
     
  7. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I love Ice and under 1'' snow falls Salting is a good money maker
    I can do my list in 3 hrs with one truck vs plowing can be 8-10 hrs with 5 rigs
    Last time I figure it I was making about 700 per hour with salting lots
     
  8. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Really? Why is salting so profitable then?
     
  9. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    Salting is always going to be more profitable than plowing. Plowing takes 4 to 5 times the amount of labor, fuel, wear and tear, and so on. Salt is a relative low investment, if your plowing, you alread have the truck, and if your able to buy bulk salt you will make even more money than using bagged products. I don't quite average 700 dollars per hour when spreading salt, but I am close to 500 dollars or so. I am thrilled to make 60 dollars per hour when plowing.
     
  10. blazer2plower

    blazer2plower Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    I do mostly Resi. I do salt but I don't like to. When I salt their is a trip charge and they buy a bag of salt regardless if the use a half a bag. Or a whole bag. Very profitable.
     
  11. Stik208

    Stik208 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,316

    No there's not....:laughing:
     
  12. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    All depends on your business. If you commit to commercial accounts and loose them ,it's tough to replace them. Driveways ,if you loose a couple they are easily replaced.
     
  13. agurdo17

    agurdo17 Senior Member
    Messages: 124

    money is in commercial. commitment in residential. lost 30000 worth of commercial to low balls this year. all ten of my driveways came back......go figure. w/e just subbing this year to get back to lawn mowing season.
     
  14. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Only thing that scares me from doing commercial is the ones (like Kwik Trip) with Zero tolerance. I spent 2 hours yesterday plowing slush, just kept going around and around in one Kwik Trip. The salt truck came through 3 times while I did it. I mean it's just ridiculous, I'm sure they pay a pretty penny for it, but still, I don't want to commit to something like that if I have other clients/customers to take care of also.
     
  15. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    both :salute:
     
  16. blazer2plower

    blazer2plower Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    Like right now I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to get a few commercial accounts for next year and add to my res's just to make a little more. I know a lot of guys on here do both. Some don't do any resi's. The question is where do you want to be in 10-15-20 years From now.
     
  17. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,291

    I'm about 50/50 and have no complaints. The resi's are nice because they are loyal and mine pay with in a week of being invoiced. Comericals are nice because they need to keep their lots in good shape and you're going to salt events out of them too.
    I have some friends that plow grocery stores and retail, they basically camp out there during a event. They get paid very well but you have to deal with all the cars coming and going along with the general public walking around too. Personally I don't have the bandwidth to deal with that crap and want nothing to do with it.
    Keep things in perspective and don't get yourself in a bad place by over selling, take your time and grow your business methodically, you'll be much better off.
     
  18. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Dealing with cars coming and going and people walking isn't that bad with a large lot, but I will forever stay away from busy gas stations and convience stores like Kwik trip. They suck, too many idiots coming and going not even caring in the slightest bit about the truck they drive in front of. :mad:
     
  19. trustyrusty

    trustyrusty Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    Some will call me weird but for us commercial accounts with lots of sidewalks are our most profitable. We have a pretty decent sidewalk route built up for a small town small snow business. While all the plow only guys watched November and most of December slide by without a plowable event, we ran our sidewalks at least 4 times. On a short snow season you might only get one or two plowables total, but you'll likely get quite a few skiffs, freezing rain, or even heavy frost that'll find you out making some money.