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View Full Version : What do you do in the winter??


Tony1045
06-03-2005, 05:07 PM
Trying to plan for the near future, ie.. retiring from the 9-5 job (with pension)in a few years and doing the grounds maintenance/lawn care full time. But I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what to do in the winter time for income. I want to keep it in the landscape/landscape maintenance field, not just doing odd jobs. Snow plowing is one I'm considering, also selling firewood. What do you do???? :confused: Lets try to keep this clean AND legal. Thanks Tony

crawdad
06-03-2005, 05:10 PM
I chase the old lady around the house. Caught her a couple times last winter, but I think she slowed down on purpose.
Crawdad

Tony1045
06-03-2005, 05:12 PM
OK, I can see that, but it don't pay very well. :D

Jpocket
06-03-2005, 05:15 PM
Get a couple of good paying snow jobs and chill out for the rest of the winter...And save money while your cutting so winter isn't a big shock

Appalachian landscape
06-03-2005, 05:18 PM
woodworking/ furniture making, handyman, part-time bouncer at my buddy's bar

Gibs
06-03-2005, 05:19 PM
i work for a sheet metal company i delivery the ventalaztion duct and **** all over the maritimes in canada

South Florida Lawns
06-03-2005, 05:41 PM
but come every other week its nice in the winter no humidity or heat.

Del9175
06-03-2005, 05:49 PM
When I did business up north, I sat around quite a few winters. Ocassionaly I got a part time job just for something to do.

In FL, I mow every other week, do some mulching, and pressure clean roofs and pool cages. IMO pressure cleaning is some easy money.

Lawn Masters
06-03-2005, 05:52 PM
You could plow snow, up there, its a full time thing in the winter. down here, we dont get snow, so the plowing isnt an option, unless you own a dozer and want to plow the beach or the orange groves LOL

rodfather
06-03-2005, 05:54 PM
I chase the old lady around the house. Caught her a couple times last winter, but I think she slowed down on purpose.
Crawdad

I do the same with mine. She must have felt sorry for me too a couple of times....lol. We snow plow around 175 accounts btw.

jimslawns
06-03-2005, 07:06 PM
Rest!!!

Work hard all mowing season, then time to do above :blob3:

Guthrie&Co
06-03-2005, 07:14 PM
Trying to plan for the near future, ie.. retiring from the 9-5 job (with pension)in a few years and doing the grounds maintenance/lawn care full time. But I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what to do in the winter time for income. I want to keep it in the landscape/landscape maintenance field, not just doing odd jobs. Snow plowing is one I'm considering, also selling firewood. What do you do???? :confused: Lets try to keep this clean AND legal. Thanks Tony
christmas trees!!!! it does extremly well and i can sell you some at wholesale

Lawnmedics
06-03-2005, 08:23 PM
Move south where you are always cutting grass or enjoy the change of seasons. I sure do miss em.

Tharrell
06-03-2005, 09:08 PM
I'm thinking about getting my CDL and delivering heating oil in the winter. My cousin owns an oil company and he needs drivers in the winter but not so many in the summer. Would work out great for both of us.

JRAZ
06-03-2005, 09:53 PM
No plowing where I am at, but business is still steady for us in the winter. I just make sure I have enough time to vacation for 3 weeks in Anguilla.

http://news.ai

crawdad
06-04-2005, 06:33 AM
christmas trees!!!! it does extremly well and i can sell you some at wholesale

In my area, many people retail them for very close to what is considered wholesale prices. Lowballers are in every business.
Crawdad

cndhaines
06-04-2005, 09:42 AM
A idea i read about and my friend also thought of is have u ever noticed the plants in the hotels and offices? who takes care of them. who brings them in and trades them out? i am thinking of looking into this as a side line what would it take a green house some grow lights and a green thumb u should already have the thumb now alls u have to do is some market research to get pricing of care of the plants and like a plant lease so they always have fresh plants



chris

northwest lawn
06-04-2005, 10:31 AM
firewood and snow removal is the bread and better of the winter months

Grizzly290
06-04-2005, 11:19 AM
In the past, I would deliver Heating oil, as I have a CDL. It did work out great. They don't need you in the warm weather, but they sure do in the winter. They will almost always be flexible as far as not working when it's snowing, and you need to plow snow. Then around the beginning of March, you say goodbye until next winter. It was a win win situation. Grizzly

packerbacker
06-04-2005, 11:28 AM
Going to do snow removal this winter for the first time and Im planning on cutting firewood.

When Im not doing that I brush up on my Nintendo and beer drinking skills :)

Toy2
06-04-2005, 07:26 PM
Has anyone ever considered putting up Christmas lights? I would figure the older people would not want to be on ladders....just my 2 cents!!! :)

liquidforcedude7
06-04-2005, 08:10 PM
1. Make snow my snow site (http://www.freewebs.com/vasnowgun) So most of yall remove it and I make it

Im guessing most of yall are hands on kinda people you might want to check out this forum www.snowguns.com and this site www.snowathome.com

and

2. I Snowboard at Wintergreen and Snowshoe mtn.
http://img147.echo.cx/img147/2969/patski0026ff.jpg

shortgut
06-04-2005, 08:19 PM
drive a school bus try to stay warm and dry Fly to German to see Family and enjoy the food and beer maybe not in that order come back and haul more kids to school then get things ready for spring start up (mowersand other equipment )

Todd's lawncare
06-04-2005, 08:29 PM
We shovel snow off of roofs fire wood and plowing coal clean outs and any type of hauling

odtb
06-04-2005, 11:21 PM
We cut/clear trees and sell firewood. Sell hay,and board horses.Thinking hard about pressure washing decks ect.

DynaMow
06-04-2005, 11:47 PM
do courier work, i bought a van, do local deliveries as sub-contractor it works out well. also if i have a rainy day during the season i can pick up work

ercrvs24
06-05-2005, 02:36 PM
There are a few small fert. only companies in my area that put up xmas lights and seem to do good at it. Where do you get firewood cheap enough to resell, or do you cut trees as well? Also I might be interested in christmas trees if anyone has any information. thanks

Albemarle Lawn
06-05-2005, 04:24 PM
In one we do cosmetic dentistry, another is setup for investment counsel, and in the third is a CPA and real-estate attorney.

We also lease charter jets, and lobby Congress on Tobacco Law.

Oh, almost forget, we deliver babies, too.

KB

ECS
06-06-2005, 09:52 AM
Grass stops growing and hunting season begins. Come back from hunting and it is time for leaf cleanup. From part of October through May, we check do weekly house checks for the vacant homes (caretake), and snow removal and some odd jobs. Our goal is to get more caretaking jobs and do away with all the piddly jobs. I have done painting in the winter while the house is vacant and you have all winter to get it done and will continue to do that I think. there can and is a lot of money checking on the second homes that are vacant. It is easy, does not require a lot of time and is cheap insurance for the homeowner.

65hoss
06-06-2005, 01:49 PM
But I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what to do in the winter time for income. I want to keep it in the landscape/landscape maintenance field, not just doing odd jobs. Snow plowing is one I'm considering, also selling firewood. What do you do???? :confused: Lets try to keep this clean AND legal. Thanks Tony
I rest. No need to work any more than I feel like it. I hate cold.

jt5019
06-06-2005, 02:00 PM
Snowplowing.. The past two winters have been very busy for us but its not always like that.On the real slow winters i will deliver oil part time for some chump change.

Guthrie&Co
06-06-2005, 05:16 PM
In my area, many people retail them for very close to what is considered wholesale prices. Lowballers are in every business.
Crawdad
sounds like your either too close to the local tree farms or the market is really down there.

Todd's lawncare
06-06-2005, 05:31 PM
Play in the snow with my family its the best !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pro-Scapes
06-06-2005, 05:42 PM
Leaf and pinestraw clean up. Storm clean ups. Mow once every 3 weeks. Still stay steady doing tractor work too. Also work at my pt job at the farm and ranch store. Spred rye grass in pastures etc. Farming gets busy here in the winters. Lots of feed and seeds. I'm almost busier in winter than summer. Gotta make time to hit the condo in the keys too! The fish are waiting.

Kelly's Landscaping
06-06-2005, 07:55 PM
I plan on doing nothing at all this winter and with the 12-15 hour days I do now I think I have earned the right to do nothing in the winter. If I get real board I can plow for a landscaper I know he pays me 40 an hour to do that. And best of all if I want a few storms off or the rest of the season off its not my accounts so I will be worry free.

DennisF
06-06-2005, 09:25 PM
If you're going to retire...come to the Sunshine State. We mow all year long for the most part. Winter months mean EOW mowing and mulch, shrub, and clean-up work during the off weeks.

You probably won't get rich as a Florida LCO...but you can make a comfortable year round living.

Oh...did I mention....NO SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

Albemarle Lawn
06-06-2005, 09:41 PM
I rent a few store fronts in the local mall
In one we do cosmetic dentistry, another is setup for investment counsel, and in the third is a CPA and real-estate attorney.

We also lease charter jets, and lobby Congress on Tobacco Law.

Lawn-Scapes
06-06-2005, 09:43 PM
Yeh, yeh, yeh... and you deliver babies too... LOL :)

grasswhacker
06-06-2005, 09:48 PM
I rent a few store fronts in the local mall
In one we do cosmetic dentistry, another is setup for investment counsel, and in the third is a CPA and real-estate attorney.

We also lease charter jets, and lobby Congress on Tobacco Law.

Nice off season work, but too bad they don't pay well all year around.......that's why we mow.

JimLewis
06-07-2005, 02:41 AM
Trying to plan for the near future, ie.. retiring from the 9-5 job (with pension)in a few years and doing the grounds maintenance/lawn care full time. But I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what to do in the winter time for income. I want to keep it in the landscape/landscape maintenance field, not just doing odd jobs. Snow plowing is one I'm considering, also selling firewood. What do you do???? :confused: Lets try to keep this clean AND legal. Thanks Tony

Tony, I didn't take time to read the other replies. But here's what I figured out - maybe this will help you.

It took me several years to figure this out completetly. And at first the concept was totally foreign to me. But here it is; we maintain people's landscapes year-round and they pay us the same rate every month all year.

Now if you would have told me in the beginning that I could get people - hundreds of people - to pay me the same rate all year to mow - IN OREGON NO LESS - I would have said you were crazy. It freakin' rains here all the time! And, like you, I figured I'd haul wood or clean gutters or something during the winter to make ends meet. And first off, let me tell you, that stuff don't make ends meet. There isn't enough of that stuff to really pay well all winter. Go ahead and try it. But that's not the solution.

So how do you get people to pay you all year round? Well, first you have to live in a climate where it doesn't snow all the time. I have lots of family from MD so I know your climate isn't all that far off from ours. It snows there occasionally. But it's not like Montana or Illinois. Our climates are fairly temperate and there are things to do in landscaping all year. I actually had my clients teach ME how it work. Here's how it transpired;

Like most people, I assumed that I'd only work in the growing season and have nothing to do in the winter. And I thought most people WANTED a service for only the growing season. Well, maybe MOST people do. Like 50% or 60%. But after a while I realized two things.

1) Some people actually WANT and EXPECT year-round service. That concept just blew me away.

and

2) A lot of people can be talked into year-round service if they understand it will benefit them in some way.

So in my first year, I was giving bids and I had a person ask me, "Now this is for year-round service, right? If so, I'll sign up." I was thinking, "Huh? Year-round? What am I to do in the winter? I can't mow when it's dark and rainy out and the grass is wet and the ground is mucky and the grass ain't growing. How's that gonna work?" but what I said was, "Sure. We can do year-round. What would you like me to do in the winter?" And she just said, "You know, the usual - stop by every week or two and rake some leaves, apply winter fertilizer occasionally, prune, just make sure the yard is kept up. Just find something to do." I said, "Sure, I can do that."

After 3 or 4 more people asked me the same thing.. I was scratching my head.... thinking, "Wow. I can't believe people want me to work all year. I never thought of that before."

So I started offering it as an option. For $XX.xx per month, we'll take care of your property seasonally. But for $YY.yy per month, we'll take care of your property year-round. And the year-round price was always less - to entice people to take that.

After a few years, most people were chosing the year-round service. So I just eliminated the first option of seasonal service. I already had enough year-round clients that I didn't need or even want anymore seasonal ones.

So from then on I have always just offered a year-round service. Now some people still call us and want only a seasonal service. That's fine. I politely explain that there are plenty of companies who offer seasonal service but we are not one of them. And then I just wait for the next call. It's been working out great for us and nowadays... almost 10 years later..... every one of our 170 customers or so are year-round. We just find stuff to do for them each month. Service goes down a littlle during the winter. But we still stop by every two weeks and do something significant. Our customers are happy. And I am happy to make money all year.

Pro-Scapes
06-08-2005, 04:40 PM
thats great jim. I am also pushing the year round deal. more of my customers are going for it. Many are asking for service every 3 weeks so I just explain it that we will do a bit more during the heavy growth months than in the winter months and it all balances out. Very similar to your plan. Im not in a position to turn down the seasonal ones yet but maybe one day I will be. Come winter time there is a mess of pinestraw and leaves here so that will keep me pretty busy. Only thing that could be working out better for us at this point is a few more clients and a much more condensed service area. I'm in one town one day and another the next. Alot of driving. Comes with being in the country tho.

Itsgottobegreen
06-09-2005, 02:42 AM
Plow snow. Rebuild equipment. Goof off for a while.

Soon as I turn 21. I am getting my CDL with hazmat. So I can drive the heating oil trucks. The local companies are also flexaible with the snow plowing. Half the drivers have to plow snow. So go plow and then go deliever oil. The smart thing to do is to put the plows on the oil trucks. So you can plow the drive and then deliever the oil at the same time.

ProCare Lawn Service
06-09-2005, 09:13 PM
Less work, more hunting, eating, etc.

SPENCER HUNTER
07-03-2007, 12:55 PM
MOST OF THE TIME I PUT OUT MORE MULCH,, PLANT WINTER RYE,, CLEAN GUTTER'S,, EDGE FLOWER BEDS,DRIVE WAYS AND SO SOME PRESSURE WASHING AS LONG IT IS A BOVE FREEZING LIKE 40 TO 50 DEGREE'S,, WITH WINTER RYE I CUT YEAR ROUND,,,LAST YEAR I PUT OUT OVER 900 LB OF THAT STUFF,, CAN'T CUT IT TOO CLOSE ABOUT 3 INCHES IN HEIGHT 50LB WILL COVER A ACRE JUST DON'T PLANT IT TOO THICK,,,IT DIES BACK WHEN IT WARMS UP ABOVE 80 DEGREE'S AND I GET UP LEAVES,,, IPUT OUT ENOUGH RYE FOR ABOUT 18 LAWNS,, SO I WAS BUSY YEAR ROUND,,:dancing:

grassmasterswilson
07-03-2007, 04:53 PM
here in nc the leaves will fall til around late november or december. then in feburary fescue fertilization starts back up. I was really suprised how much work I actually had in the winter time. I was thinking the same thing you were. Try to get some year round customers.

Bill S
07-03-2007, 05:05 PM
Officiate basketball, plow snow, christmas lights, the usual stuff! Paint trailers, fix equipment, go to long breakfasts, lunches and get home early in the afternoon!

Isn't this what everyone in the northeast does?

Idealtim
07-03-2007, 06:26 PM
Is there good money in firewood for the northeast? When I think about it, more than one out of three around me including myself burn wood. And there's only about 2 or three people that will deliver locally. Might be a worthwhile field of bussiness to get into?

racer56
07-03-2007, 09:04 PM
Jim
Do you feel you are lowering the price that the job would pay by going to the lower payment for the entire year? We work March 10th -Dec. 1 normally here. I would like to get a even pay system in place if possible. Right now I have been trying hard to move everyone from pay per mow to just a monthly amount. It hasn't really worked that well as the times the 5 week months I get the short end but they forget about that when I want to skip a week due to very little rain. Could you pm me some examples?

Exact Rototilling
07-03-2007, 10:15 PM
Firewood Business? Premium Tamarack around here sells for around $175 a cord. I just need a place for logging trucks to drop their loads, Cut up and split stack & dry for year or so then deliver. I've been thinking of this myself. Not sure if there is decent money in it around my neck of the woods.
:confused:
Any input greatly appreciated. Website of local firewood provider in my area. Not affiliated with them in anyway. http://blacksmithfarms.com

Mark in MD
07-03-2007, 10:35 PM
I plow when it snows

mc24034
07-03-2007, 11:45 PM
I have a home based business which I make more net profit with weekly currently than my mowing business.... So i guess the winter is pretty relaxing. Check out my link in my Signature.

LindblomRJ
07-03-2007, 11:49 PM
I move snow. Thinking about fabricating gates, railings, and arbors things like that this winter. Have welder will fuse metal.

Also toyed with the idea of fixing riding mowers and re selling them.

DBL
07-04-2007, 12:00 AM
Plow snow. Rebuild equipment. Goof off for a while.


now thats a quote

South Florida Lawns
07-04-2007, 12:20 PM
mow lawns all year

SpartanBill
07-04-2007, 11:33 PM
Jim
Excellant idea I might give that a shot. Maybe factor in contingences for excessive snow.

KTO Enterprises
07-05-2007, 02:11 AM
I make movie films for a company called Vivid Entertainment.
Nice!

02DURAMAX
07-05-2007, 06:20 AM
Move to plowsite.com & Snow Plow!!....

2 clowns mowing
07-05-2007, 06:36 AM
we cut brush, trees and plow snow try pre-paid snow accounts that way you are paid ahead if it snows or not. buy a good blower like a honda they are worth it.