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How do you increase percentage of snow work

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Michael F, Jun 4, 2003.

  1. Michael F

    Michael F Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    I am looking to increase the amount of snow work we do as a percentage to our total business. Now it is about 50 % snow 50 % landscape work, problem is the bottom has fallen out of the landscape pricing here. Would like to increase snow work to somewhere around 90% of our work, just do landscape maintenance for those customers, have snow pay all bills & salary. Right now we run three trucks with plows & two bobcats with plows. Year round myself & brother, winter two part-timers also.
    Basiclly looking for advise as to how you guys do it, business wise, to acomplish the work I know to hire subs, lease loaders etc. We are going to the symposium next week hopefully that will help as well.
    Thank you in advance.
  2. Snoworks

    Snoworks Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    Michael - Ok, were do I start. Well first of all, its good to hear your are going to the Symp. in June. Simply attending will be a good jump start to your planing process.

    With that said, I would suggest that you start by tabulating your new operating costs for the year(additional snow equip. & labor should be included). Now you have a starting point for your sales goals. Is the increase to large for one year? Can you grow this fast, at your business level, and still be profitable? Do you have the credit to purchase additional equimpment for expected growth.

    I think this is a good way to review the process your considering.

    Chuck B.
  3. phillyplowking1

    phillyplowking1 Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    What if you go out and spend a ton of money on man power and equipment and you dont have a good winter what are you gonna do ?First see if you can afford going any bigger.
  4. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    Snow's a given in Rochester each winter... just like Erie.
  5. Arc Burn

    Arc Burn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,141

    John,what would a company the size of yours do if it did not snow?I realize your location,but what if?
  6. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    I would go to Cancun more often during the winter...... (j/k)...

    Last winter we worked in 29 states. This winter it will be 35. It's gonna snow SOMEWHERE.....

    More importantly, we have a mix of seasonal, per event and per push contracts (with a very few per hour). It doesn't snow our margin is higher, but the total income is lower. It's a bit of a dance as to what the right mix is, but we would survive quite well if God decided it should only snow in Canada or Siberia all winter (although history shows that to be quite unlikely)
  7. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Not that is isn't going to snow there,but seasonal contracts will help prevent having a slow season,and make it much easier to budget and forecast costs and expenses versus income.

    You can lease all of your equipment,hire subs,etc and pretty much know what you costs are going to be upfront,as well as knowing how much (minimum) you will make on that contract.

    Go after the big stuff,ie: shopping plazas,big commercial complexes,etc,as you will spend way to much time crunching numbers for a bunch of little stuff.Start early,don't wait to the last minute.

    Getting to know some big property managers,or property management companies is a big plus.They can look after numerous large properties which can be worth big $$$.Once you get your foot in the door,and impress them,it can snowball from there.

    Might want to start checking into insurance as well.Big properties means big liability,and a lot of ins co's don't want it anymore.
    The ones who will take you can charge big money.It's good to know upfront,before you bid,as sometimes the insurance required can make or break your profitablilty.
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    Doing it all already crunched numbers, mixing contracts(seasonal/per trip), resigned contracts(commercial that were up for bid already)need to double our snow mix to (add about $50,000), if we sub it out more. Hard part is I know deep down I need to do somthing with my residential customers(not nearly as profitiable as commercial), but long time good customers, I even have a couple that send my kids birthday cards, makes it very hard to dump them.
    I'll be starting post card mailings at the end of the month, to a list I developed, around 350 area business & another 100 or so property mgmt firms that we don't deal with. Planing on 4-5 mailings of post cards, have you guys found cold calling effective?, what other methods any ideas? Thanks again.