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Should i try seasonal, lets hear ur feedback!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by 94gt331, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    I've been trying to figure out the snow removal buisiness this year, considering that this has been a terrible year for winter income ive been thinking about trying seasonal contracts for resedential accounts. My snow buisiness is fairly small to mid sized i guess. We service 45 resedential and commercial accounts. About 7 commercial are zero tolerance. So if we get a dusting i'm salting. So this makes some income. But everything else is a 2inch trigger. I don't have any seasonal contracts. So this sucks when we don't get any snow. I've been thinking about doing seasonal contracts for driveways. I service these driveway customers during the landscaping season so i don't want to piss them off by demanding a contract. But i need to pay my bills also. Do u have any advice for me.
     
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Go for it. I do only seasonal. Just need to figure out how many times you go out in a season then multiply it by your per push price and add a little for just in case .
     
  3. blmc5150

    blmc5150 Member
    Messages: 72

    That's all we've done for 35 years. They can make one full payment with a slight discount or 2 payments. With 70% resi it beats trying to collect money from that many individual people at per time. Or you could try to bundle it in w/ your lawn contract it doesn't look as expensive when you bundle all the payments together. Just a thought. Good luck.
     
  4. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,132

    I wouldn't want to jeopardize my summer income by pissing them off. I can't see taking money for something you didn't do either.
     
  5. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    Grandview how do you write up your seasonal and do you ask for a payment upfront or at the end of season. Were your customers okay with it when you first started the seasonal contracts.
     
  6. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    seasonal SET ## are hard to sign up . but they can make or break a business if not properly bidded.
     
  7. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    ALC-Greg i wouldn't want to piss my lawn customers off either, I think i would offer them free services in the spring to make up for a light snow winter if they paid for services that they didn't get. I just feel that i need some money to make myself fully available to them for snow services. We the snow contractor are poor beause it hasn't snowed during the winter because we make ourselves available to our customers during the winter months. I want and will be 100% fair about the seasonal contracts if i decide to do it. I just need some kindof insurance over the winter. It's either that or sell the plows and just pick up a job for the winter.
     
  8. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    Do you have seasonals and how did u set them up. Did u have success with them? Thanks
     
  9. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    we have one decent sized lot , approx 220k sq. wide open , minimal obstructions. helps with seasons like this . they're very hard to sign up around here . but i consider them an insurance policy to my business. IF properly done on paper favoring your terms .
     
  10. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,535

    When I did private, I had a mix of per push and seasonal. Always had income even when it wasn't snowing. Seasonals sometimes work in your favor and sometimes they don't. You just play the law of averages.
     
  11. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    take for example , in this neck of the woods "per push " is unheard of . It's "by the inch " around here .
    I'd LOVE a per push deal . It's probably the most lucrative among all bidding . DEPENDING on the customer and hours of operation , some think they're getting a deal on per push . BUT , Im not coming into a lot (large one) to a foot(when some acne filled punk manager decides its time ) without a large piece of equip.
    If i turn the key on a 924 w/ 12' pusher , it's $250.00 period with a minimum of 4 hours .

    be careful , it must be stipulated to a T. wecheatem n how will tear that contract apart.
     
  12. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    Yeah i would deffinately try to consider all the details. But Right now i'm only interested in making seasonal contracts for my driveways. So it should be alittle easier to bid i think.
     
  13. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    Hers's an example of what i might do for each driveway. $30 per plow on driveways is what i charge usually. So this winter sucked but I would feel safe at charging 8 plows on the contract. $30 times 8 = $240 but make the seasonal contract say $220 for the winter . I would probaly ask for %50 percent down say around Nov and %50 percent around middle of January. And i can't rip people off it's not my style so if it doesn't snow much by the end of year i would give them some free lawn work to make up for the donations.
     
  14. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    like i said , a hard sale . especially after this season .

    works well in a snowbelt area, like off a great lake , buffalo style .
     
  15. leigh

    leigh PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,997

    You could always add the snowplowing seasonal to your landscaping seasonal and divide by 12 monthly payments.Nice steady income.
     
  16. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    you can always lose ur pants too
     
  17. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    I can appreciate your honesty, but does that mean you will charge them extra if it snows more than 8X? You are not ripping people off if you and them both agreed to a fixed price for a season. Use a 3 year minimum contract and the law of averages usually works out.

    A seasonal contract is a seasonal contract is a seasonal contract and so on. Either you do a seasonal contract or not.

    What you are proposing is a contract based on a per push with a minimum number of pushes (which might be a good way to do it in areas where a seasonal doesn't work well).
     
  18. MARK SUPPLY

    MARK SUPPLY Member
    Messages: 49

    It will be fun next year

    With this winter it will be interesting to see how many companies push their customers for seasonal contracts thinking it is better to have some money coming in.......
    then we ll get hammered with snow and they ll loose their as$#@
     
  19. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    If you are pricing yourself fairly, then I see no reason to loose money, even if its a heavy year. Many of the large residential guys on here are strictly seasonal, and I doubt they got that way by loosing money. If you are in it for the long haul, and not just one winter, then its a smart business move.
     
  20. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    8 pushes in Blair County, Pa? I think you might want to up that number. If you get a decent storm overnight, customers will want pushed before they go to work and then after storm completion. That's two pushes right there. And forget the mindeset of doing work in the spring time for free if you have a light winter. The only way I would do that is when a customer pays me extra every single time I plow for them. Oh wait, that doesn't happen. Get my drift?