My base price for a 2 car is $30 then the walk would be extra maybe $5-10 .Don't sell yourself short doing walks will take up your time and your doing it for even less.Think of it this way would you plow another 2 car for like $10-15 if your getting $20 for one that you would shovel?Set your rates before you start to plow.
I gues location IS everything, most of the drives around here are 2 cars wide x 3 cars long. Everyone has a 2 car garage so its all back blading. The going rate is 10-15 dollars per trip. However, in your case I would try to figure how long it would take to shovel that walk, if it takes the same amount of time as it does to plow the drive then its an additional 10-15.
well guys i`ve tried to follow the 30 dollar rule here.well i gave 3 bids today and they all said that i was nuts for charging 30 per push.these were 2 cars wide and 8 cars long.im going to guess that your market is way better than mine,because nobody around my area will pay that much for just one push.driveways are new for me cause i only use to take commercial stuff which is easyer for me to bid on and more fun aswell.but keep the input coming guys or i think im going to have to do something else this year to make money.
yup i think 4 years of doing landscaping/plowing and getting no where.its just time to give it up and go back to driving a truck or being a mechanic which i find boring,but oh well i guess.know matter how hard i`ve tried its made know difference.still taking out loans every year to try to make a go out of this trade.just can`t seem to get a break.
it all depends on how you talk to the customer. if you DEMAND $30 dollars everytime you go there and drop your blade, then they probably wont hire you. you have to baby them! tell them what your going to do, how your going to do it, ask if they need to be clear by a certain time, tell them youll put down some sand or salt if you think they need it (a couple of handfulls, not a whole truckload). during a big storm, tell them you'll pass by every once in awhile to make sure they can get out. different customers have different needs, and some people just can't be satisfied. most people will look at you as a "kid with a plow truck". instead of a snowplow service. dont get discouraged, keep trying to set yourself up with a good client list and that will keep you busy.
Mike9497 - Don't give up yet. Here's what I would do. I would sign up the $20.00 driveway, try to drop the walkway service. Walkways kill you when it comes to minutes per hour, you will never get anyone to pay you what your getting paid per hour plowing.
Then hit the rest of the area with flyers and try to get as many customers in this area as possible. By doing this you can reduce driving time, therefore increasing available plow time per snowfall. Hence you can increase rev. per storm and make up for the relatively low per plow fee. Make sure you give all customers the same pricing structure, with no walkway service.
You have to compromise when starting out, therefore build your client base, all in the same area. I have some driveways that pay me $120.00 a push and some that pay me $25.00 a push. The cost differences are directly depending on size, loacation, and length of time customer has been contracted by our firm.
But there was a time when the dollar was the sole reason why people went with my service. Ok maybe, you need avr. people skills to sell a contract as well, but you have to start somewhere. I don't think $20.00 is way low for just a driveway, especially if you have 30 of them in a row. Then it looks like easy money to me, the key is getting the 30 in a row.
So I expect you to be out handing flyers this week, the threat of snow should help your cause. Make it threw this winter, and start the same process as above, say in September. In a couple of years, you WILL be able to raise your prices to new customers, while picking the prime driveways from you existing client base.
Your situation is exactly how I started as far as plowing is concerned. After eight years of plowing, my per plow price avr. approx. $40.00 and my seasonal driveway price avr. approx. $325.00 per driveway
In some markets it just takes time. Oh yeah, a little bit of money too!
I agree with Snoworks about it taking time and money to get started. So far, every year, for three years, I'm losing money buying equipment, trucks etc. First year bought the plow. Second year, bought the sander and one ton truck. This year put a bunch of money into repairs so the trucks will hopefully last longer. But, looking at it over the next several years (2-3) I plan to be making substantial profit with route expansion, adding services etc.