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Seasonal Contracts this year...

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Chief Plow, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. Chief Plow

    Chief Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    Any one around my area...

    How are you guys making out with seasonal contracts. Being that we have gotten buried this year. I have an chance to take over a couple of banks along my route, but they want a seasonal price. That goes against my one rule.... No seasonal contracts. But, these are nice easy jobs. About 8 spaces and a small sidewalk, entance and exit. Just wondering....

  2. tnt69tnt69

    tnt69tnt69 Member
    Messages: 30

    I'm still on pace to be all right with my season contracts. This is the only way i do business other than the calls that come in the day of the event.
  3. Chief Plow,

    Where abouts are you? That goes against my wat of thinking in my area.... No seasonal contracts. Only one person I do asked for seasonal contract. She moved out here from Rochester.

    I believe in getting paid for what work I do, do. With seasonal contract someone is always not happy...... "He only came 4 times to plow and I paid him $xxx. for what"? or "I was in there 25 times to keep him clear and lost money" .

    I will continue with NO Seasonal contracts.
    Bob V Albion, NY area
  4. jlmac

    jlmac Junior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 16

    It's not easy trying to keep 3 guys on salary without contracts. Every situation is different. I've done contracts 90% and per push 10% for 15 years and it averages out on the side of contracts. Give them superior service and they won't complain. A snowless winter can wipe out a contractor with overhead.
  5. Earthscapes

    Earthscapes Senior Member
    from WNY
    Messages: 577

    Chief plow------- all our contracts are seasonal and were doing fine.... I base my contracts on 20 plowable events, every year floats, last year we had 7 or 8,, this year we had 11 so far and looks like we will be close if not over the 20 mark. I like contracts because i know how much money is coming in and i never have to worry about paying my bills.
  6. Well, round here, "seasonal contract" is like a swear word, you donteven mention it to a potential customer, they'll kick you out the dorr and say a few choice words while their at it.
  7. copandplower

    copandplower Member
    Messages: 44

    I do all residential and I give the customer the option of seasonal or per push. I leave it up to them as a way to get more customers and it puts the ball in there hands. If its a slow winter they cant be upset with me...it was there choice. Its fun to watch them try to predict how the winter is going to be.

  8. Chief Plow

    Chief Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    I'm about 30 miles north of albany. Seasonal contracts are taboo for us. For years we have been by the push only. I like it that way. But these banks, for some stupid reason, even after trying to convince them, they want a seasonal price. So I am trying to figure one out. And was only searching for some opinions of people around here to feel out how the year was going. I know the guy that takes care of the Hannaford market acrross from my quick marts bid $15,000 for everything for the whole season and he said... "Ive lost my shirt this year." My only reply was what about years prior... Enough rambling... thanks

  9. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Seasonal pricing is a game of averages. If you know how many times you have serviced your accounts in years past it should be no big deal to put a seasonal number together. And you can't do seasonals by looking at it as a one year thing. In a given year you will do OK,, lose your shirt,, make a killing. You have to be in seasonals for the long haul.

    The other thing is to carry enough seasonal so that you can cover your expenses even if you never see snow. That is your minimum income for the season. Then add enough per push accounts to fill up the route. That way you can at least stay solvent in a minimum year. And in a hard year, when the seasonals are taking a beating you have the per push stuff to make up.

    I had one account that wanted to go per push two years ago,, and we got a 150% of normal year. So he figured he had lost money on the deal. I don't remember just what he did pay, but it was more than the seasonal price. Last year he wanted to go seasonal, no problem with that on my end. We got 75% of normal,, he got burned again. Had he gone seasonal both years he would have saved money and I would have still been happy with the revenue generated in those two years. THIS year he bought an old beater to do it himself. HAH! He now has VERY unhappy tenants and a yard that is a horror show. Gotta love it!
  10. tnt69tnt69

    tnt69tnt69 Member
    Messages: 30

    I hear ya Alan. Gotta love it. The way i see it, it's a lot easier to deal with seasonal from a billing/collecting aspect. Both will have there pros and cons as far as happy and unhappy customers. But the seasonal eliminates any headaches with billing and collecting and if you make the customer understand the long run like posted above it's not that hard to convince them. As you see from the posts, majority saying the greater percentage is through seasonal contracts, i think its better business, in any business, to line up a contract. My 2 cents
  11. windmill

    windmill Senior Member
    Messages: 224

    A seasonal contract . . . at a bank . . . What a way to get all your service charges back. I would love to do a bank. Here in Vernon we have very few who want contracts, but I can understand institutions wanting one. It's all about budgeting and that's all they want to do. Once they have a budget they know their expenses and can then figure out how much to charge for their services. It's a cycle . . . a VICIOUS cycle, and we're all riding it.
  12. Acorn

    Acorn Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    Figure out your by the time price and figure at least once a week from now to the end of March.

    Seasonal is the way to go here. A lot less paperwork. You don't have to read minds because they won't call in the middle of the night to tell if they want the service or not. You can go to sleep here with a clear forecast and wake up to 12" easy. By the season I don't have to handle a hundred phone calls per storm. They pay half in Oct and half by the end of Jan. All work prepaid. Thie helps cash flow at the first of the year to aquire more equipment.
    When the city plows I plow. Some people don't like it if it doesn't snow enough and they don't feel like they got their money's worth. I just explain it's like insurance. You pay for it even if you don't use it. Last year I got paid an average of $450 for 70 residential and small comercial sites and only went out 8 times. Other years it's been up to 20 times. I count on once a week.