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Snow Shoveller Ottawa

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Markek, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Markek

    Markek Junior Member
    from Ottawa
    Messages: 6

    Hey guys,
    im just here to get some help with snow removal estimates, ideas, right paths situations.
    ive read a few threads here about snow removal, but this season i will be using hand shovels.

    im not planning on making a living, just extra money.

    i understand this is a gamble.

    I work full time at a retail place,
    im offering snow removal(really all it is, i shovel your driveway Lol)
    i already have 5 customers,
    i have another 6 customers from the summer months when i did maintenance for them.

    a few of them are hiring me to take care of the snow for only a few months of the winter.
    the rest are for the full season.
    i charge up front, they have my information for any legal matter, and i provide a simple invoice.
    I do not charge tax as i wont be making more then $30,000 a year.

    prices very from 280-350/for the whole season
    depends on driveway size, if they need any extra side walks, back yard decks.

    because I work full time i am only available on evenings and over night.
    we will be coming after any snow storm, if it snowed over night, we will come in the next following evening, if it snows at night so we will come over night before the AM,
    if it snows at the AM= we will come evening.
    if it snows evening= we will come overnight.

    my only problem is that it might snow at 6am, therefore i have to be at work(retail) by 9, meaning i wont be coming untill the evening, My current customers understand and dont mind, but i wonder if they will get fed up?

    another problem is that when the city plows the streets, there will be a blockage in the driveway, what if that happened while im at work. :s

    do you guys think this might work out or i shouldnt even bother doing it this season?
  2. Markek

    Markek Junior Member
    from Ottawa
    Messages: 6

    is there a way to set up an agreement such as:
    Pay X amount for me to service you.
    if it snows too little over the season i give %y back.
    and if it snows too much you have to give me %z per visit?

    but how many visits are considered in X amount?
    say once a week fall storm?
    you guys do snow removal Dec-april?
  3. Markek

    Markek Junior Member
    from Ottawa
    Messages: 6

    helllllllllllllllp bump
  4. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 622

    Most people will not wait all day for you to show up. Can you find some one that can cover the route when you work and you cover for him?

    Also when you both are available you can knock out move work.

    Thing is be up front with your customers about your availability, and go for it. New snow customers can turn into lawn customers.
  5. Markek

    Markek Junior Member
    from Ottawa
    Messages: 6

    they are fine with me working in the evenings and overnight.
    as long as it doesnt pile up.

    i also figured an agreement,
    something like
    dec-april 5 months of work
    20 weeks.
    lets say it snows once a week, im taking a fee of $250-350
    part of the agreement is that if it snows less then 7 times during the season, i give back 10% of the fee.
    if it snows more then 10 times for the season, now it we charge $25 per visit.

    leaves me on the safe side and also they like the return they might get in the end of the season.

    in the price i include pet friendly salt on ice steps,
    1 walk way and small space in backyard(some customers want decks, or a little patio shoveled)

    so far so good.

    thanks for the reply, hope to see more!

    what you think of my "agreement"
    i know theres more to it, and i should get better terms.
  6. Markek

    Markek Junior Member
    from Ottawa
    Messages: 6

    its really not that long of a wait for the customers to wait for me to come in the evening.
    they just go through the snow to work, come back and ill be there around 6 oclock or so.

    it would suck if it snows early in the morning like 6 am.
    you can always pay 600 for the big trucks to come by.

    theres +, - to everything
  7. RonWin

    RonWin Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    I just hope that you'll be able to get their places cleared out. All that shoveling is and will take a toll on you. Especially the heavy wet stuff. You might want to look into a snow blower, even something cheap like a hand plow if you don't want to spend a lot of money. When you aren't able to see how much work the job is going to require (snow not being on the ground) you might end up on the short side of the stick by not charging enough or not being able to do it. Anyway, thats just my 2 cents.
  8. Markek

    Markek Junior Member
    from Ottawa
    Messages: 6

    thanks for the reply.
    yes i know exactly what you mean.
    so far so good, no snow. total fees are in my hands.

    i love the customers that want to pay $150 for the whole season. LOL
  9. JMS

    JMS Member
    Messages: 97

    You are flirting with disaster, residential customers are the most winiest customers you'll ever find! Believe me they will be pissed and your phone will be ringing off the hook if they are plowed in all day. And hand shovelling anything over 5cm will kill you if your doing more than one property.

    Good luck!
  10. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    You're using shovels and you can only shovel at night. I don't blame them.

    You don't have the overhead or service that the $600 dollar plow guy does and those people offering $150 know it.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  11. perrysee

    perrysee Senior Member
    Messages: 121


    i would find a sub like i do ,my son or brother in law cover for me when i'm at work;pay them what you would get per time,that way customer stays happy and family makes money too
  12. jklawn&Plow

    jklawn&Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 469

    See how it goes. Depends on the season whether it will last for another year. Personally if they can find someone to do is sooner for same price you might be out of luck. Also for you alot of work compared to getting a plow and doing maybe twenty times more with finger exercise on button ccontroller.

    STIHL GUY Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 663

    why not just charge per storm so its more fair for you and the customer instead of trying to guess how many times it will snow
  14. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,978

    not a bad thing to try and earn extra money.....buy a good used older ariens snowblower, 8hp 24" cut, i" talking 25yrs+ old for 150 - 200 dollars....find a trailer big enough to fit it so you can get around....Spray it well with silicone spray.....you will do 6 driveways regardless of the amount of snow in the time it would take to shovel 1.....plus it save your back! no piles to throw over....go with a flat rate for the season for ie..nov 1st till mar 31st...then extra for anything outside of it....no kickbacks...over the a few years it averages out!
    as long as they got out for work and their car in the driveway before bed people were happy with the cost and work savngs....( i did it when i was in college)....