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Changing from Residential to Commercial

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Hegartydirtwork, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. Hegartydirtwork

    Hegartydirtwork Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    I am thinking of working my way out of residential and towards commercial for plowing and mowing/landscaping, seems to be many companies to stay away from but are there companies that are decent to deal with? Would they work with a small contractor like myself? Just something I am investigating
  2. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    I honestly do fine mowing and plowing residentials. They will stick with you as long as you do a good job. And if you keep up the good work, commercials will come one by one. Everyone cuts each others throats just to get the job around here. I get sick when I look at some bids, and realize I have it pretty good. Then again, there are some nice jobs too...
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  3. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    You can do good at either but they really are two different animals.
    Residential care about the quality & generally about you, & are willing to pay a bit more for this personal touch.
    Commercial just want the "look" don't care how it is achieved, you need to know every corner to bend & every trick to be efficient to be profitable, rarely do you talk to the manager/owner unless somthing is wrong. Perfect example we were trimming shrubs at a residential & ran into bees, another one had a bees nest in the ground I couldn't treat the nests (one in the ground, one I couldn't find) told the homeowners they call an exterminator, we were taking out a stump at a HOA, ran into a nasty nest in the ground, called the PM, no way were they calling an exterminator was there responce, I told them until they did we weren't touching it, they found so other sucker to do it. They couldn't of cared if someone ended up in the ER & how much did you make off that job after the hospital visit LOSS ON YOU END, they aren't going to pick up the tab. These are my experiences & on the exteme high & low ends. There are always the exceptions.
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Low end and small commercials are the the same as residentials. To many guys can plow them .unless you can bump yourself up to the bigger stuff were there is less competition your in the same boat as you are now.
  5. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    Some great points have already been made. If you treat you resi clients as well as you would your commercial, you can built up a really nice client base. In my market I can make close to 3 times more money doing resi than commercial. Its also a more stable market. For example I have a large commercial contract with a value of 70 grand, I never know when I may lose it to someone else. It is the equivalent of 233 resi drives, thats a lot to lose in one year. Brant, RLM, GV and myself are really in the minority who think this way, maybe thats why its working for us. Good luck to you, and yes there are decent companies out there, that will take you on as a sub.
  6. plowatnight

    plowatnight Senior Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 305

    res to commercial

    Personally I agree w/ RLM and Neige, however my TH Assoc. are much like single Res. (30 to 50 unit per assoc.) in that the folks like to come out and and say Hi or visit from time to time. When I first started I had a policy where only the board members could contact me, however I soon realized that the older (mostly not the younger) homeowners like to greet you and that builds loyalty when it comes to renewing contracts. I'm starting to think that many plow guys want to chase comercial work because the machinery required to efficiently do single resi. work does not necessarily fit with their notion of how they want to approach snow fighting. ie, the proverbial plow truck and pup blower. I don't know just a thought.
  7. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    put me on the bandwagon of residentials. I like to have a good mixture of both, we run about half residences and half commercial. The commercials are a fickle market, all it takes is a new manager who thinks they can get a better price for you to lose a contract.
  8. Hegartydirtwork

    Hegartydirtwork Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    I have always been on the residential side as well, and my snow clients are fine really. Some of my new mowing clients have been driving me crazy!