1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Residential Shoveling

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by cja1987, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    Hi everybody, this is my first post but I have been reading threads for a while and want to thank everyone for such an informative site! Iam only 16 years old and this is my first year plowing you guys have helped me out alot

    Ok, heres the situation I have been shoveling at two houses in my neighborhood for two winters now. Both houses are occupied by older women who live alone and have no one else who can do the job. They both use the same guy to plow there drives but I shovel their decks, deck stairs, front walkways+stairs, sidewalks and in addition clear off both of their cars. Also both houses have about a 15' area between where they park there cars and where the stairs they use to get into the house start that i shovel. The problem is one lady pays me $5 per shovel thats right five dollars and the other one payse me $10. We never really set a price and when I was called over there a few years ago i thought it would be a one time thing and was not concerned about money since i knew these people well and have for years. I dont want to do this anymore because one of the ladys even thinks that I scratched her car while cleaning it off last winter so the first time i went to her house this winter she was all concerned about me braking things at her house. Shes the type that i know would make me pay for it too (or at least try to) but it definately was not me who scratched the car and I told her that there where a thousand other ways that scratch could have got there. Between both houses it took me two hours to do all the clean up work after we got 25" of snow in december and still the same amount of $ they would give me for 1" of powder. Plus its always something like "is that ice on my storm door? oh maybe you could try to get it off" etc. I plow my own 200 foot drive and some relatives and friends drives that they pay me for. So when I get 25" of snow I cant afford to be spending 2 hours at a job i get paid a total of $15 for back breaking work when I have to stay ahead of the storm with my drives.

    Could some one tell me how much you would charge to do the work described

    Also what would be a nice way to say see you later i dont want to shovel for you anymore? I would keep doing it if i thought I could make some money plowing thier drives but they alredy have someone that i dont want to lowball off the job.

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH for reading this and sorry about the long post it s my first and i will try to make them shorter in the future.:)
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2004
  2. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    also what do you think of the lady trying to make me responsible for damage to her car.
     
  3. badranman

    badranman Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    That's why I tell people I don't do cars,don't want the B.S. about scratches.
    That is WAY to cheap for the shovelling. Not knowing the size of your area I would guess somewhere between $25-30 each is more like it. You could also look at it as the money you could make with the plow during that time, alot more than $15!

    I would politely tell them that if they want the same quality service they were getting, it's gonna cost them xx amount. If they say no, who cares. You don't need that anyway IMO. They couldn't get any one else to do it that cheap so don't let them take advantage of you. payup
     
  4. Rappa

    Rappa Member
    Messages: 84

    Just tell them that unfortunately because you are getting older and have more responsibilities, that you don't have the time to do it anymore. Then you can throw in, "If you can't find anyone to do it, I can do it after the storm, (when I'm done plowing) for 25 dollars a piece. And stay away from the cars will ya? Can only get you in trouble...
     
  5. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Get rid of them now before they accuse you of something you DIDN'T do:eek: Sounds like trouble to me. I wouldn't even get out of bed for $5.00.
     
  6. BLinindoll

    BLinindoll Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Definitely sounds like a headache. I would go with what Rappa
    said. He's got a great idea. And I know what ya mean. Little old lady's are hard to say "no" to.
     
  7. rusty gmc

    rusty gmc Junior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 23

    those old ladies must still think its 1953. i think a good shovel COSTS $10.00-$20.00 bucks nowaday.you need to be upfront with your prices at the beginning of the season.changing prices half way thru the season will make you look greedy. tell them this is the last season you will be offering a senior citizens discount. be polite and explain that your customer base has expanded and costs have gone beyond your control and mom stopped giving you an allowance years ago and you have this wicked camaro that you must pimp out and your girlfriend needs more tat-toos and....etc,etc,i think you get my point. heres another neat trick,just dont show up!!! that works for all my competition!!!payup
     
  8. crashz

    crashz Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    I see your point and I think you should tell them both what you have told us. Its a lot of work and time to spend, when you could be making money for your truck payments!

    But keep in mind that they live on a fixed income and may not be able to afford $30 each snow storm. Maybe you can work something out with them. But be firm in the fact that you will not be responsible for any damage.
     
  9. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Just because they might live on a fixed income doesn't mean you have to feel sorry for them and not charge them for what it's worth. You've got to make money too!:D
     
  10. ptllandscapeIL

    ptllandscapeIL Senior Member
    Messages: 495

    I'm making $25.00 per drive,and $15.00 for salting it and it takes me about 10-15 mintues and i tell them ahead of time no cars in the drive
     
  11. jeff wright

    jeff wright Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    we wont touch a res. job for less than $35.00. this is for any depth of snow fall and includes(drive,sidewalks,steps,and patio with ice melt.) I usually just back drag the drive, then hit it with the spreader and the helper gets the walks,steps,ect. Time is money. We also tell the cust we need 24hr after the storm clears to get-em done. We let them know up front that commercial is priority. We have lost one res. push this year because of time issues but we did not lose the customer.