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? on residential snowplowing

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by 02Chevy, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. 02Chevy

    02Chevy Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    How do you charge per push or for season? Because I have been thinking what would be the best way so i don’t loose money.
     
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    The best is to have a mix of both. Then you cover yourself no matter what happens. Just make sure with the seasonal contracts to allow for that higher than average snowfall. There are several ways to do that, but the best would be to have a few per push sites in the vicinity and make sure all agree to the same trigger and the same method of measurement. Otherwise, you could have the seasonal one calling saying they want plowed while the per push one says it's not deep enough. It takes some fine-tuning, so expect a few glitches in the beginning.
     
  3. 02Chevy

    02Chevy Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Well how does this sound to you guys. I was thinking of haveing a set amount for a number of pushes like $100 for 10 puhses and when they run out they can eaither be charged per push or buy another set amount of pushes.
     
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    $100 for 10 pushes? That's $10 per push. How long does it take for an average push? Up to you, but at that rate, I'd say about five minutes.

    I've heard of this method being used frequently, but as a consumer I wouldn't go along with it. Basically, I would see that I'm the only one who stands to lose. If we have a below average year, you come out ahead. But, if we have an above average year, you're going to charge me for the pushes over the agreed on number. It just seems I'd be better off agreeing on a set price and pay for the pushes I get.

    What I do in the case of a seasonal is charge a few dollars more than it would cost the person for an average year, then offer to plow whatever falls over the trigger. So, let's say I'd charge $30 and we get what would amount to 12 pushes. That would be $360 for the winter. Then I'll say "For $400, I'll push anything over 3" in any one snowfall." Obviously if there are 20 3" snowfalls, you're going to come out the loser. But if you have five or six per push accounts in the same area you just changed the overall outcome. Then the trick is not to get scared off the same deal the next year.
     
  5. westwind

    westwind Member
    Messages: 79

    We offer every available contract option. Per time, seasonal price (based on 15 snowfalls), and Monthly (seasonal price divide by 5). Sometimes be plow more than 15 times sometimes we plow less. Call it snow insurance. We do not refund if we plow less, we also do not charge more if we plow more. After 10 years in this, it all averages out, our profits are still good.payup
     
  6. Up North

    Up North Senior Member
    Messages: 921

    Contracts haven't caught on here yet, but what Mick says is a good rule of thumb. Try to have a mix of contracted jobs and per push, that way you're somewhat covered if you don't get snow, or covered if you get snowed under. I know some parts of the region are cheaper then others but if I had to do a driveway for $10 I'd be better off staying home with the plow off.

    Buck
     
  7. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    Contracts here are the only way driveways are done. We should not compare pricing. An average driveway here goes for $275-300. That is a 20x50. Drive in, 3 backblades push it up on the grass and leave. With a tight route you can easily do 10/hour. I have one driveway that is $2000 for the season but it takes me almost 20 minutes. You have to charge more to do the front walk, in front of the garage doors and other stuff if they ask for it. We generally push less then 3" snowfalls where some places have 3" triggers.

    Pricing is not easy and takes experience.I would try to sell a lot of my customers on a seasonal contract. Over time you and the customer should equal out.
     
  8. PORTER 05

    PORTER 05 Senior Member
    Messages: 449

    if it is youre fisrt season, just bill them everytime you plow...once you get a handle on it and you know wats going on, then you can start doing the contracts and seasonal billing..+ $100, for 10 pushes???wat if it only snows 3 inches and the accounts trigger is 3 inches, so you only plow t once, that means youve plowed that driveway for $10??? plow doesnt hit the ground for anything under $30, and thats for a SMAAAAAAAAAL drive, average driveaway we do is about $50-$65 thats from 2 inches to 6 inches, then it gos up from there but im not getting into that...
     
  9. NEPSJay

    NEPSJay Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    only a SUCKER will do work without a contract
     
  10. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,592

    Up North, "Contracts haven't caught on here yet", I know some parts of the region are cheaper then others but if I had to do a driveway for $10 I'd be better off staying home with the plow off.
    Buck

    I have had the same accounts for several years now and I have had only verbal contracts. I have never been screwed by a customer, I don't give then a reason to. "Contracts haven't caught on here yet"< Hear eather..
    I think you will find a lot of people operate with only a verbal agreement.

    I guess theres a lot of suckers plowing snow??
    I thought that fishy smell was Buck???:D :waving:
     
  11. NEPSJay

    NEPSJay Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    Farmer...are you being paid "per plow" or seasonal?
     
  12. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,592

    Per push, plow....

    I see both sides of the seasonal contract debate.
     
  13. Up North

    Up North Senior Member
    Messages: 921

    Should have brought one of those 14" crappies and left it behind your seat last week....LOL!!

    Although those one ton springs would have rattled that thing right up to the front and you'd have found it by the time you got home.:eek: :D

    Buck
     
  14. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,592

    roflmao:waving:
     
  15. NEPSJay

    NEPSJay Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    Its not a debate about seasonal vs per plow, not the direction i was headed.

    Do you send out an invoice in the mail AFTER you do work or are you paid in advance?
     
  16. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,592

    I bill monthly. so, after we do the work.
     
  17. NEPSJay

    NEPSJay Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    wow... any idea of how much money your losing by offering INTREST FREE CREDIT?
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2006
  18. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,592

    LOL,

    The electric co., water dept, cable co.,ect ect... none of them charge interest on the bill.
    Are they suckers too?
    I get to use the water and electricity and the cable for a whole month then pay. So, I'm holding there money too with out paying interest
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2006
  19. NEPSJay

    NEPSJay Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    How much are you LOSING by extending credit to your clients, without finance charges??? heres an example....IF you service 20 clients, at $100 each, on credit, once in the first week in december, you have extended $2000 worth of interest free credit. second week in december,one service, you are up to $4000. by week 3, with only one service, you are up to $6000. week 4 (one service again) you are up to $8000. invoices are sent which cost about 50.00 per billing period for paper, time, stamps, etc etc. you service on January 1st, you are now up to $10,050.00. and if you invoice after EVERY service you are up to $10,250. you service again on January 5th, you are now up to $12300. your payments should be in by now (did i say should be) but you've extended OVER $12 GRAND worth of INTEREST FREE credit. is this a smart business move? Not to mention, around January 15th, maybe you'll be recieving (did i say maybe) only $6,000 of that $12,300 that is outstanding. by the 15th of February, you are in the same boat again. by the 15th of March, in the same boat, again. so on and so forth...... this means, that huge interest free loan you handed out, becomes a rolling loan. it's never paid! by the time it's paid, it's out there again, as interest free credit! it's always out there. the snow removal buisness and the credit extending buisness are two different buisnesses. I dont loan money, and at my bank, they DO NOT plow snow.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2006
  20. NEPSJay

    NEPSJay Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    they charge late fees..... when your customer is slow paying, do you charge late fees? Or do you say...."well, thats ok, just send what you can, when you can"?