No Plowing Unless You Are on Full Year Contract.

BrettStevens

Member
Location
123456
Have had to start doing this. We do lawn mowing/maint during the Spring Summer Fall. Primarily basic maint and subcontract some of the frills.

About 70% of lawn maint customers sign up for snow. We have a solid 5 day- 7 day of weekly mowing/maint contracts.

So considering the lawns are spread over 5-7 days and the snow has to be done in 12-18hr window its a challenge even maintaining the 70% most years.

No idea why but this year I'm getting excessive calls for snow, just snow; they have a lawn guy but he dont do snow. Last year I took on a few of these. Too much. Shed them.

So this year I started a "Snowbird List". Snowbirds are Canadians that Winter in Florida. The "Snowbird List" will guarantee removal within 48-72hrs. Surprisingly I've had sign-ups on this list even though the customer says they are not Snowbirds. They just got ripped off last year and want someone they know will come. I been around for a while and they would have seen my trucks plowing for years.

Odd. Seems there's an untapped market but I dont want it.

Residential obviously.
 
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BrettStevens

Member
Location
123456
12-18 hr worst case depending on totals and if its an ongoing event. Theres more detail in the contract. I always give worse case. This just res. Commercial gets done immediately.

48-72 is Snowbird List not regular customers
 
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BrettStevens

Member
Location
123456
There’s 38 signed up for the Snowbird list and it’s still early. From what I’ve been able to gather 29 of them are actual Snowbirds and the rest apparently don’t care about the wait.
 
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BrettStevens

Member
Location
123456
Free landing/steps salting which is add on service for the other res. Peanuts.

started list a couple yrs ago and guessing they all chat in Florida because gets bigger every year. And now I even put cold call overflow on it that not Snowbirds.
 

Fourteen Contracting Inc.

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Vaughan, Ontario
Free landing/steps salting which is add on service for the other res. Peanuts.

started list a couple yrs ago and guessing they all chat in Florida because gets bigger every year. And now I even put cold call overflow on it that not Snowbirds.
Ok, if I'm following this properly, your Snowbird list pays the same amount as your regular residential customers and in return for waiting 48 to 72 hours for snow plowing service you clean / salt the landings / walkway at no extra charge?
 
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BrettStevens

Member
Location
123456
Yes. I find it odd myself. I’m guessing the market is poorly served as it’s smaller garage fronted drives and there have been numerous cases of outright scams and likely poor service from ill equipped lawn boys.
 

sota

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
NJ 07922
If you're seeing an uptick in requests it sure does sound like a potentially untapped market. Plus it sounds like it's a lot less stressful than the Gotta Have It Now! crowd.
 

Mr.Markus

PlowSite Fanatic
Its been my experience that the snowbirds are good at haggling out a cheaper price but rarely adhere to later service. The oil and propane trucks only seem to deliver on storm days, their daughter/son is staying at the house, the cleaning lady/painters/contractors can't get in, and now they are a priority but not paying extra. The same goes for some professionals I work for, they are workaholics and drive 4x4s its never them stuck in the driveway its always their entourage/visitors. When negotiating payment its a good deal to wait for service. it reality it never works.
 
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BrettStevens

Member
Location
123456
No issues with haggling as of yet and payments all good last year.

now when new snow customer contacts us, I tell them no lawn no snow but I do have a Snowbird list. It’s been surprisingly successful.

most people have at least one AWD or 4wd SUV here and I guess the non snowbirds that sign up don’t mind rolling over the snow to get out.
 

Freshwater

PlowSite Veteran
No issues with haggling as of yet and payments all good last year.

now when new snow customer contacts us, I tell them no lawn no snow but I do have a Snowbird list. It’s been surprisingly successful.

most people have at least one AWD or 4wd SUV here and I guess the non snowbirds that sign up don’t mind rolling over the snow to get out.


Untill you get a big storm, the county plows before you get there, and the entrance is 18" deep.
 

EWSplow

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
Milwaukee
No issues with haggling as of yet and payments all good last year.

now when new snow customer contacts us, I tell them no lawn no snow but I do have a Snowbird list. It’s been surprisingly successful.

most people have at least one AWD or 4wd SUV here and I guess the non snowbirds that sign up don’t mind rolling over the snow to get out.

Untill you get a big storm, the county plows before you get there, and the entrance is 18" deep.
And, you're trying to plow snow that's been packed down from people driving over the previous snowfalls.

Something I've seen in the Keweenaw: It snows almost every day. We were at a hotel and they were sraping the lot with a loader. There was a 1' drop between the snow that wasn't scraped off and where it was. I'm guessing that it wasn't charged out at a normal plowing price.
 
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BrettStevens

Member
Location
123456
“We cannot guarantee steps, driveway or walkways will be clear of ice nor are we responsible for ice or packed snow surfaces….”

Gotta love res
 

EWSplow

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
Milwaukee
A friend of mine plows in the UP.
He's got quite a few cabin roads he plows. Those are done after he's done with occupied commercial and residential, sometimes a couple days after it snows. They are remote and private roads.
 

Mr.Markus

PlowSite Fanatic
A friend of mine plows in the UP.
He's got quite a few cabin roads he plows. Those are done after he's done with occupied commercial and residential, sometimes a couple days after it snows. They are remote and private roads.
It is a tough business, everyone does what they can and looks for a niche.
For the most part I see on here that no one seems to do call ins, they are booked but they always follow the mantra of "Never stop selling"
For me as a one man operation it is difficult to throw on another drive or lot while an event is happening. I rarely say no, i just refocus and ask if its ok to look at the end of my route. This weeds out the self importants that think they can just call and make you jump for their business. Sometimes it bites you...I have had 2 major CEOs of multinational corporations call me to plow their driveways during a big snow event. I gave them a timeline 3 hours out and they found someone a little more desperate for the work. They have their own tractors, and basically used the guy cause their equipment was broken so I dont feel as bad about it. But there's that nagging feeling in my brain that they wouldve been impressed with seeing me plow a 3/4 mile drive in 10 minutes or the time it takes them to put their boots on and start their tractor.
 

Fourteen Contracting Inc.

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Vaughan, Ontario
Competitions website.

don’t understand aggressive marketing in snow removal. Too many unknowns for staffing and equip with random influxes of customers.

They're not really your competitor though. They're going after a different market. Full service residential. The heavy advertising is to reach that niche market. I'm sure that the majority of home owners see paying $2500.00 a season for snow as insane. However, the market def exists. It's smaller, but it's there. Once you hit your sales goal for the year you can pull back on the advertising.
 

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