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Is my wife correct on this....?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Exact Services, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. Exact Services

    Exact Services Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    Short version:

    I'm not doing any contracts this winter just on demand residential only. 2nd season for snow. It snows - they call. I am however giving a discount on de-icer if they call B4 Oct 29th to be placed on the preferred customer list. Post cards go out in the next day or so. These card will be mailed out to a retirement community only. In fact I'm reducing my service area to basically cater almost exclusively to this retirement community and a few other near there.

    Wife doesn't want to spend X-mass at home like we did last winter. She wants me to tell customer from that retirement community that "we may be gone for X-mass". So I asked her what is the point in bothering to send out the post cards? She said just tell them, [those who call B4 X-mass for snow] that you might not be here. "It's no big deal" she said. I told her that is not good business to have them call and I tell them ah shucks ...I'm 400 miles away and not at home - sorry can't show up. No way I will sub out the work. Not worth the hassle or trouble.

    So ... I tell her it's not worth sending out the post cards then - it's a waste of postage. Having them call and then not being here is bad for business and ones reputation of being reliable. She tells me I'm extreme for thinking this. "They will understand", ...she says. I say it is a risk. It could even hurt my reputation for lawn service in the community next Spring. :eek: Retired people talk among themselves - word gets out.

    What do you experts say? She might be reading this so be nice.
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Divorce her.
  3. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    I have customers after me if I'm a couple hours late (in their mind).

    Sorry to say but in my opinion your wife is completely wrong. If you're away on vacation and theres a decent snowstorm, they will call your number. If they dont get you I promise you right now they will call the next person in the phone book and you can forget going back there again---unless you charge about $10 when someone else is charging $50.

    People don't "understand" and they don't care either. You're just moving snow to them and theres a big line of plowers waiting behind you to do the same thing.

    Plowing is about the customers schedule---not yours....especially when you're reacting to call ins. The only hope you have is that all other guys are busy--- and that only works for a few hours.

    And you're doing a residential retirement community on a call in basis????? That sounds ODD to me. Your area must be different than mine.
  4. plowmaster07

    plowmaster07 Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    be really careful! lol. I would flat out say that you either need to sub out for your vacation time. Or tell her you just can't be telling customers that you cant plow them out this storm, guess what? They will go pick up the paper or flag down the first plowing contractor that drives by, and then your down an account for the season. She can be pissed off, :realmad: but you also need to make your money when the sun shines. And YES, it will definitely hurt your reputation in the spring time. The only way that I can even think of taking a vacation in the winter, is to be sure that I have ALL of my route covered by a friend of mine. Not trying to be mean to your wife (I understand the fact that you have to live with her), but business is business.
    Good luck! :drinkup:
  5. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    If that is how she supports you when you are trying to earn a living... Divorce her.

    Next time it snows tell her "It's no big deal" I'll clear you out in 3 days. Till then you are stuck at home as my customers would be.

    She doesn't want to stay home for Xmas, send her away for Xmas... Move while she's gone.
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Make that move GF in!:cool:
  7. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,250

    Normally wives are always correct, but not in this case.
  8. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    it seems like your trying to get contracts even though you say your not....if you are will call and dont pick up the phone then its not big deal cuz u have no obligation to be there...but if you "preferred cust list" then you mine as well be signing contracts.... i see where your wife is coming from cuz your stuck in the middle of 2 biz stratagies.. make up you mind and go with it
  9. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,039

    Who wears the pants in that family?? :laughing::laughing: jk

    I thought my my girl was demanding and a PITA.....you have my sympathy!

    Seriously, it's your venture, not hers. Tell her to call her work and tell them she has enough money for her bills & shopping this month & that she will be back to work when she needs more $$. "They'll understand"??? Yeah, I don't think so. Where ya going to go on Xmas anyways....the in laws? :cry: "No contracts"?? No way! You never know where your going, and depending on time of calls you'll be back tracking half the night! wasting gas & time. More of a waste then anything. Let me go out on a limb here, but your probably dropping some of your plow $$ on Xmas right....? Exactly...

    Good luck fellow plower! :salute:
  10. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    When I read the title of the thread, my reaction was YES!

    Unfortunately, not the case here. Snow business means no vacations from Halloween to April Fools, at least. This is a 24/7 business, for 5 straight months. All you can tell her is if the three day forecast looks really good on 12-22, then maybe something quick. But buying tickets now is risky, unless you can get most/full credit back.
  11. cfdeng7

    cfdeng7 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 376

    commercially plowing is a full time job. you arent helping them out. you are providing them a nescassary service (especially retirement homes) and u must be there if it snows.
  12. timberseal

    timberseal Senior Member
    from 46385
    Messages: 247

    Best bet is to find someone to fill your shoes during those days. We go to Florida over xmas and new years for two weeks every year and leave the employees to take care of things. It's a bit stressfull but it works. Find a trustworthy sub to fill your shoes for the week otherwise it'll be tough to pull off.
  13. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Would she (or you) mind if you couldn't get out or your family couldn't get in? I really can't believe that someone can be that "naive" in business matters. I also can't believe you're seriously asking opinions about this. I think the best thing you can do is forget about plowing snow except for your own driveway.
  14. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    Your wife is wrong but if it makes you feel any better my wife also thinks I should be able come and go whenever I want.
  15. Premier

    Premier Senior Member
    Messages: 274

    Sounds like my x-wife :laughing:

    In my personal and professional oppinion you would be comminting suicide to your business, both snow and summer work. Ive done work for retirement communities, if your not there when they NEED you your done, cuz they r going to tell everyone they know.

    Send her on vacation, u stay and plow. I wouldnt even take the year off as it will be harder to get them back when they find somebody cheeper that will be there when they need him/her
  16. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    The only time I do driveways is around Christmas. I always get flagged down while I am going between my commercial accounts. Homeowners that usually do their own driveways would rather dish out a few bucks to spend time with the family rather than spend time with their shovel.

    I would expect my driveway to be perfect if I had family in town around Christmas.

    Unless you can find someone to sub your work to for a few days, I would say that you aren't going anywhere.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009
  17. dlcs

    dlcs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,160

    I'm going away the first week of november to Florida. The wife pissed and moan until i said ok, I'm already stressing out over this. I got subs lined up but its not the same as being there. I'm nervous as hell. If there is any snow in the forcast while we are gone, i will not have a good time.
  18. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    I take a vacation every Feb. Wife is from Fl and the winters get too long for her.
    I do have subs that cover for me for a week.
    (She also gave me a kidney so I keep her happy when I can)
  19. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    She certainly doesn't care about your customers does she. It is a big deal.....your wife is selfish and nonsupporting of your business.

    What are her feelings about you blowing off her birthday, anniversary, valentines day, bla, bla...? I bet she makes a big deal about that crap huh?

    Either get out of the biz, or get her with the program.

    I feel sorry for you......Good luck.
  20. asps4u

    asps4u Senior Member
    Messages: 543

    Exactly! Or you could take Grandview's advice, although that would probably be the most expensive. lol
    You absolutely will lose your customers if you go through with your wife's plan. I will stamp a guarantee on that. They are paying you for a service and don't care what your wife wants, or what you want for that matter. They just want to know that when they call, you will clear the snow. Bottom line.
    I'm glad I don't have that issue, my wife knew what we were in for as far as vacation availability when I started this business and she knows better than to even think about it during summer and winter, so that leaves a very small window of opportunity, but if she needs to go, I send her off, and I go when I can. But we discussed all that prior to me starting the business, so we started on the same page. She is very understanding though, and she really likes to be able spend what she wants when she wants, so she leaves all business matters to me. Good Luck, that's a miserable situation you got there. I can't even imagine :waving: