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First Year with Seasonals - Got Little Snow

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by cold_and_tired, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    Signed one customer to a seasonal and now they are really not happy. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of only signing a one year deal. We only got 30% of our average snowfall and they are questioning signing another seasonal contract.

    What do you guys tell them in this situation? I talked with some other customers about seasonals for next year and they are backing out of the idea.

    I did do quite a bit of grounds work for free for my seasonal customer just so they felt like they weren't getting the shaft. In the end, they see money going out the door and no snow on the ground.

    I reminded them that it was up to mother nature and that they were essentially paying insurance to make sure there lot was clear. The facilities manager understood this but the execs are a little more hard headed.
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Tell them it's an insurance policy. You'll be there when it snows as opposed to guys who sign up tons of people then show up when ever. Or tell them if it snows a lot next year they'll make out.
  3. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,747

    Remind them its based on averages. It may take 5 yrs to "average out" but they will get winters where they are laughing at you doing so much work for so little money. Just remind them it will average out.
  4. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    Well said.

    Minimum of three years, or no seasonal. Not just to protect yourself, but to protect them, and the longevity of your relationship. Ask them if the coin was flipped, would they still be re-considering for next year?
  5. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    Take the averages of a bad season, and apply it towards your seasonal price, show them the savings. We barely broke even on our seasonals this year, and all my customers that had seasonal contacts are very happy at the value they got.
  6. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    I wouldn't worry about it, seasonal or per push is the customers choice. Can still make money on the seasonals if they don't include extra salting and hauling. I prefer per push myself but that's just me.
  7. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    It is good to have a mix of seasonals and per push contracts, I know this year we basically broke even on our seasonals, but made great money on all our per time/hourly contracts. And on years when snow is light, the seasonals make you good money, even if your per time/hourly don't
  8. JTVLandscaping

    JTVLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 862

    We had a tremendous winter this year, and it was my first year doing seasonals. I loved it, definately an ego boost too knowing I still walked away making money, hard to believe I bid it right being new at seasonal pricing. My worry with multi year deals is being new at pricing seasonals, I don't wanna get myself in trouble by underestimating a job, so I'll leave those deals to guys who can write a better bid, right now I'll just stay in my comfort zone. Not to mention, my seasonals this year were apartment houses, and every couple of years I plow an apartment house for a season and remember why I hate plowing them, so I don't want to lock myself in that for 3 years and regret it.
  9. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    X2 on the well said...Also sell them on the fact that they will know their costs for next year and can Budget for it in advance....Remind them you also only got 30% of the average snowfall and odds are that wont happen again next season.....
  10. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    One thing about my area is ,it will snow and if it doesn't everyone is happen for a lite winter!