just wanting some tips and thoughts on turning a profit with only two plow events a year. Any tips a re appreciated. Also a seasonal contract would be hard to get but possiably having a retainer, might work. Thanks, Brian
It can be done.
I know a substantically large contractor in the Kansas City market that generates over $2M in revenue from snowplowing. And has a 60% gross margin. On one plowable event a season.
Some things that I have learned.... My area averages only 17" of snow a year. this year we had a 4" snow and a 2-3".
You must be careful in buying equipment. I suggest good used equipment at a good value, this way if it does not work out you can sell the plow for at least what you bought it for.
Seasonal's are difficult, but retainer contracts do work for me, they put down at least what I figure it would charge to plow once, if you don't get much snow it is not smart for them to pay.so it is a fine line to walk, and if does not snow you don't have empty pockets.
One good thing in areas like this is competition is limited, so when it does now you are very much in demand. Prior to the season I make lots of personal contacts with business and leave lots of business cards. Usually they save them for a rainy (snowy)
I make a list of all contacts with managers name/phone when it starts snowing my wife re-contacts them for plowing. She also sets up time and re-suggest they have a plowing contract.
If they just want plowed they get charged a higher "one time" price. If they wish to sign a contract then they get in-season contract price. Contracts are good for me as they are a sure-thing when it snows, so they get special attention/service
If your patient/careful you can make some money..3W
I had raised the retainer question on an earler thread. After this sour season it's something I'd like to do to pay the bills. What I had considered is a two push fee per month regardless of snow or not, the first two events would be at no additional charge. December and March would be one push months. Nearly all of my work is residential. This would be a hard sell, as far as I know no one else in my area does any contract plowing other than on a per push basis. I have read here and agree that the expenses involved to be available for service should be covered by the customers serviced. Increasing the rate to those who do not wish to participate is a good marketing idea.
Sorry to bring up an old thread but I was just searching and came across this post and had a question for John. John, are you referring to Ben Boyd from Nigro & Boyd Landscape in your reply? I am a subcontractor for him. The reason i asked is, in our annual subcontractor meeting he mentioned he went to a seminar that you held. If it is him I sure knew he made good money but not that much.......