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Per Plow of Seasonal Price?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by CNYScapes, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    Seems like in our neck of the woods everybody wants seasonal pricing. 90%-95% of our plowing is seasonal, so I make more money when it does not snow. I give residential customers the option of per-time or seasonal and most pick seasonal, but when it comes to commercial work, I have 12 seasonal lots and only 1 per time ! How is the split in your areas?
  2. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    I seems most in my area like per time pricing. Seasonal around here seems to be a bad word. I only have one seasonal, but it is part of a total landscape package. I think there are so many contractors in my area, that a seasonal contract doesn't guarantee a good price. Everyone around here is cheap.
  3. Mick

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

    I've offered seasonal prices before and nobody was interested. Now, this year it seems more are talking about it but only one decided to go with it. But that's a start. Actually, I'm going to be pushing more for seasonal starting next year till I get a good mix.
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    All seasonal I don't even offer per plow, mines for unlimited plowing from nov 1st to apr 30 .So i don't want any snow cuts down on the profits.payup

    JPMAKO Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    My company offers both.

    Over the last two or three years I have been pushing more and more for seasonal especially for all of my Lawn Maintenance clients. I went from having a mix of approximately 15 seasonal and 70 per visit to approximately 45 seasonal and 65 per visit.
    next year I am hoping to have about a 50/50 mix. I like having both because if we get hammered with snow I am making some money back. It all seems to even out.

  6. pats plowing

    pats plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 286

    Everyone I have is per push. The commercials range from 5 parking spaces to 200 spaces. I dont want to get into people calling for dustings saying that it should be plowed because of seasonal contract. Winters like this and the last one, we make a lot more per push, and I think most people wouldnt like what appears to be a large bill, when in fact they end up paying close to that amount anyways.
  7. rob1325

    rob1325 Senior Member
    Messages: 298

    Seasonal for me. I would say 75% are seasonal. Most condos I do are seasonal, they like to keep books balanced every month with no worries. I personally like seasonal. I can care less if it snows and saves on equipment expenses and material expenses. Though the past couple of years I think it had benifited them around here. I would say the last four out of five winters have been in there advantage. Though I keep highering the price and they have been crying about it, expecially after last year. Will do same next year with fuel prices going high and material price and the looks of another long winter here.
  8. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    Ya, I raised all my seasonals 10% this year and only lost 1 out of 13, I then replaced that one with another for more money. We have been on the losing end of the seasonals also for the last 4 out of 5 yrs but that is all the customers want around here, gotta give them what they want !! We will just keep raising them as long as we get more events every year.
  9. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    seasonal or unlimited?

    I offer a per push and a seasonal, however I do have a limit on my seasonal, after 20 trips I start charging again. Can't afford to lose my shirt. My Ideal winter is all 2" snowfalls. This way I keep the money rolling in with the commercials and never have to hit the residentials.
  10. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I only do commercial no thanks on drives.
  11. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    Same as Grn Mtn other than we do 15 visit limits on residential then they are billed per trip at 1/15 of the original contract price.

    example: $300.00 + tax for 15 trips paid prior to Nov 15. All trips after the first 15 are billed at $20.00 + tax on a monthly basis for the rest of the season.

    I think one set price for the whole season is stupid. What if you have to plow 30 times and are basing your price on 15???? You're going to lose your ass.. We do one price for mowing but that never changes. Bill for 30 cuts from April 1- November 1. Will never cut more than once a week so the trips are predictable.

    Our setup breaks down something like this:

    Commercial per push: 90%
    Commercial 25: 8%
    Commercial 15: 2%

    Residential per push: 35%
    Residential 15: 60%
    Residential 25: 5%
  12. drmiller100

    drmiller100 Senior Member
    from idaho
    Messages: 119

    WOW! what a great idea! this makes sense from a business point of view, and makes sense to teh customers. If I could do this, I could lower my prices somewhat.


    Around here, NO ONE does seasonal. I do not believe there is a single business within 50 miles of me that gets seasonal pricing. I've been thinking about it.
    Last year we only pushed 4 times, and a lot of guys gave up. We almost did, but survived. So far this year, pushed 7 times.
  13. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,891

    In Toronto, it seems almost everyone is seasonal for commercial. We have a 15 time limit as well, and then charge the 1/15 thing. When I first came on this site and read about people charging by the inch it took me by surprise because I have never really seen that. It may exist and I have only been doing commercials for this season, but I have alot of people that I talked to about how to do commercials properly and they all work the same way. I used to do residentials on a per time basis no matter how many inches, but we have now moved away from that as well, (except for a few clients that I have had since I was 12). We have monthly lease payments, insurance, and all those other nice costs of living and it seems to be too big a risk to rely on the weather. With a cap on the amount of pushes, we are safe from losing our shirts. With seasonal we know that we will make at least X plus the cost of salting which goes for about $100 Canadian a time, so that gives us a bit of extra money to play with.

  14. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    example: $300.00 + tax for 15 trips paid prior to Nov 15. All trips after the first 15 are billed at $20.00 + tax on a monthly basis for the rest of the season.

    What is the incentive for the customer to go with a seasonal rate if you charge them for the extra plows anyways, That sounds the same as a per push contract? As far as I know nobody does that around here.
  15. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Per push onlypayup .. It snows to much around here to gamble with the seasonal pricing.
  16. Mick

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

    Not at all. It works like this: Example - Average income for the year per account is $300 based on $30 per push for 3" - 6" and 10 "pushes". So I offer a seasonal account for $300 unlimited pushes. Like you said, if it snows above average, I'll lose. But by having per push accounts next door, I'll make more than average on those accounts - say $600 if it snows twice the average (2x is unlikely, but possible). Here's where knowing your expenses and having a tight route come in. If I were driving 10 miles for that one account, I'd be in a hurt from time and fuel expenses. But by setting the route up so I'm doing them between per push accounts, I'm only out the time and a small amount of fuel and wear&tear. Done right and either way (high or low amount of snow for the year) I'll come out ahead of either all per push or all seasonal.
  17. durchins

    durchins Member
    Messages: 36

    In the past I have done per push billing, frankly it became a pain in the ass. Chasing down a homeowner for 30 frikkin bucks was not worth my time. This year I switched to prepaid seasonal only for my residentials. Some of my customers didnt like it but I currently have 100+ drives all prepaid for the season. Its nice having the money in the bank before the season.
  18. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,891

    "What is the incentive for the customer to go with a seasonal rate if you charge them for the extra plows anyways, That sounds the same as a per push contract? As far as I know nobody does that around here."

    The incentive is that they know they will always be taken care of and not have to worry. Also, the average year here is usually less then 15, so it really doesn't happen. They also understand that in business you have to cover your ass and so they understand why a minimum is being paid. This is somewhat the standard in Toronto and I think it makes life alot less stressful for plowers.

    Take care,

  19. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    Average residential driveway will be discounted $2.00 per trip.

    Per trip- $28.00
    15 pre-paid- $26.00 per x 15 = 390 and then 26.00 per after.

    This really isn't that much of a discount, and I push hard for it. Some years we have 9 plowable events and others 35. With the lake affect snow in this area, it is much harder to predict actual winter snowfall (depends when the lakes freeze over). If we push less than 15, I make out better than the per-push contracts. If we go over 15, I'm still making money until the day we stop.

    I'm willing to take the $2.00 per trip loss to guarantee I will have income all winter long.payup
  20. pinepointe

    pinepointe Senior Member
    Messages: 102

    It's best to have mix

    We currently have a mix close to half are seasonal. Most of our seasonal are large sub devlopments that we also mow several business's have not converted to seasonal but it all works out in the endpayup payup