PDA

View Full Version : snowblowing?


DiSantolandscaping
10-27-2011, 08:35 PM
is it profitable enough to go around with a snowblower and try to make money, my target areas would be with houses close together and not very big drive ways. but whats the best way to sell them on snowblowing instead of plowing, besides, no ripped up lawn, and or big tall snow banks? plus im working on a flyer ill post it when i get it figured out how i like it.

32vld
10-28-2011, 12:23 AM
Home owners are not going to care either way for the most part. The are going to care about the price a lot more.

I had some ( very few ) home owners that assumed a snow blower could not do their property. To those I would say that I have large 2 stage blowers and have been doing this for years. Being they didn't know anyone else they let me do their property. I never disappointed them.

32vld
10-28-2011, 12:28 AM
Worth it?
Depends on how much you can charge and how many homes you can service after the storm.

Also may pay for you to have a shovel man go out with you. One blowing driveway, one doing stairs and areas where the blower can't be used.

THIESSENS TLC
10-28-2011, 03:04 AM
What I find works well for me, and a lot of other guys in my area are probably doing the same thing is to advertise on craigslist or kijiji a couple days before a big storm, and you can do quite well as long as your price is right and is in comparison with most other guys. People do want their driveways cleaned asap, so once the bigger companies have all they can handle for the day & night, now your phone starts ringing off the hook on top of what you might have already picked up. You can do quite well! If you dont mind being in the cold for 20hrs plus. Stay warm my friend.

moneyclass
10-28-2011, 09:57 AM
Good post. Im actually going to start off this year with a snow blower snow removal service. Just got my signs made up yesterday.

Yeah my goal to get customers is keeping the price down and im gonna add in doing all sidewalks.....as for snow plows they usually dont add that into there service (there to lazy to get out of there warm truck lol)

Im doing $25 a driveway which will include there driveway sidewalks and salt by the front door.

32vld
10-28-2011, 01:40 PM
Good post. Im actually going to start off this year with a snow blower snow removal service. Just got my signs made up yesterday.

Yeah my goal to get customers is keeping the price down and im gonna add in doing all sidewalks.....as for snow plows they usually dont add that into there service (there to lazy to get out of there warm truck lol)

Im doing $25 a driveway which will include there driveway sidewalks and salt by the front door.

Just what we need another low baller bring everyone else's profit down the drain.

I get $40 for a small driveway alone. single car width long enough to sqeeze two cars on it.

Then I try to up sell with price options. The customer can choose the level of service they can afford. Just driveway price, then quote if they would like you to also provide mail box access, cars, stairs, side walks, walk way around the house, side entrance, patios, decks, cars, etc.

I don't mess with salt. For two reasons. We clean up everything so well there is no need for salt. Up selling brings in a lot more profits then salting.

JBlawn
10-28-2011, 05:35 PM
If you have the clients and are close together its worth it. i do around 20 driveways with a snow blower, they are all very close together and can get them done in about 6 hours and make 900 then wait for the next snow.

H & M Yard Improvements
10-28-2011, 05:37 PM
Good post. Im actually going to start off this year with a snow blower snow removal service. Just got my signs made up yesterday.

Yeah my goal to get customers is keeping the price down and im gonna add in doing all sidewalks.....as for snow plows they usually dont add that into there service (there to lazy to get out of there warm truck lol)

Im doing $25 a driveway which will include there driveway sidewalks and salt by the front door.

Really? $25 a driveway? Seriously? How much do you plan on making at $25 a driveway? How long will a long driveway with a steep terrain take you? How much fuel do you plan on using? How long of a travel in between driveways? You may want to rethink your price. Id hate to be out there and get only a few calls and make only 75 bucks for doing only 3 driveways. not a good days pay if you ask me. If you charge those prices, you may as well do it for free!

moneyclass
10-28-2011, 07:33 PM
Thanks for everyones comments...maybe i will rethink my price. What is the going rate then? 30 40 50???

bel-nor
10-28-2011, 07:48 PM
Yes you can make good pay from that service. I like the Toro 2 stage 826 thrower for driveways/sidewalks. Think about using a powerful blow vac for steps/walkway which saves time. Also the blow vac can be used to blow off the customers cars which will keep that customer for the winter season..believe me. Then seal the deal with "I blow vac'ed your rear entry (around the door and a path to the rear yard) in case of an emergency in this weather. I charge $35.00, and get $5 to $15 tips and request to return if the snow starts again. Like the Lawn business the right tools make the work possible for good profits.

moneyclass
10-28-2011, 08:10 PM
Question on the getting payment......do you guys get payment right when the job is done or send them a invoice?

If you do send a invoice would that be a per job invoice or monthly invoice?

H & M Yard Improvements
10-28-2011, 08:46 PM
Question on the getting payment......do you guys get payment right when the job is done or send them a invoice?

If you do send a invoice would that be a per job invoice or monthly invoice?

It depends on the customer. For me it is for my regular customers that pay on time every month, i will bill them at the end of the month with whatever service i did for them throughout that month. for the customers that arent exactly always on time with payment or ones that would flag me down etc, i always ask for payment upfront otherwise i dont do squat.

moneyclass
10-28-2011, 08:50 PM
It depends on the customer. For me it is for my regular customers that pay on time every month, i will bill them at the end of the month with whatever service i did for them throughout that month. for the customers that arent exactly always on time with payment or ones that would flag me down etc, i always ask for payment upfront otherwise i dont do squat.

Yeah the flag down people I didnt know what to do.....I know theres probably a few of those people out there. I guess you would have to collect payment right there and then go take care the driveway.

DiSantolandscaping
10-28-2011, 08:55 PM
well we got 3 to 8 inches of snow coming in tommorow night and i havnt had time to go out and find accounts but i tihnk since the grounds not frozen i might have a shot to snowblow a good amount cause people wont want a ripped up lawn and drive :laugh:

H & M Yard Improvements
10-28-2011, 09:02 PM
Thanks for everyones comments...maybe i will rethink my price. What is the going rate then? 30 40 50???

Rate would usually depend on the property. think about how long that driveway will take you to clean off (labor). then factor in fuel for your snow blower and vehicle expenses, profit, etc add it to your labor and theres your price. Prices can vary from driveway to driveway. Everyones labor and expenses are different. Give it some thought and crunch some numbers.

32vld
10-28-2011, 09:03 PM
For regular customers that you can trust and they have paid on time in the past. Do what ever you want.

Thing is snow removal is a different animal then landscaping. Some people do them once they become regular customers. Some only want you when the snow is deeper then they are willing to do on their own with a shovel. So they are semi regulars.

The thing is I still get a lot of one timers for many reasons. These pay me cash when I get done.

Many a customer fears that they can hand you the money first you can just get into your truck and drive off. Also they don't want to pay until you are done to make sure that you did a good job.

Never meet a customer that made me nervous about being paid. Lucky that I never got burnt.

THIESSENS TLC
10-29-2011, 01:29 AM
If you do decide to use salt for your customers, make sure you dont put it on concrete if they have any on their property...it eats away at it over time! asphalt is ok, but like someone else said, just stay away from it. Do a good job and you wont have to worry about salt.

moneyclass
10-29-2011, 10:07 AM
Everyone is saying stay away from salting which i probably will now. But what if they ask for it......charge pretty high for it so i they want it i get good money for it and if they say no then no harm on me?

shepoutside
10-29-2011, 10:36 AM
Everyone is saying stay away from salting which i probably will now. But what if they ask for it......charge pretty high for it so i they want it i get good money for it and if they say no then no harm on me?

We use Ice-melt products that are not harmful to cement/lawns. It cost more, but most are happy. We also have a de-icer service too. If they want salt, have them sign off on the service.

Exact Rototilling
10-29-2011, 10:38 AM
Unless you have a considerable amount of snow each winter your probably better off delivering pizzas. This area is loaded with $15-$25 per drive types. 120' estate driveways plowed for $35.

Winter before last barely 4 nominal snow falls. Lots of legit guys lost their shirts. Last winter just shy of 15 events.

This is the land of lowball sprinkler blow outs. One Co advertises "we will beat ANY competitors price on blow outs". I.belive this is an.attempt to.get.their foot in.the door for.other.landscape and maintenance work.
Posted via Mobile Device

H & M Yard Improvements
10-29-2011, 11:21 AM
Unless you have a considerable amount of snow each winter your probably better off delivering pizzas. This area is loaded with $15-$25 per drive types. 120' estate driveways plowed for $35.

Winter before last barely 4 nominal snow falls. Lots of legit guys lost their shirts. Last winter just shy of 15 events.

This is the land of lowball sprinkler blow outs. One Co advertises "we will beat ANY competitors price on blow outs". I.belive this is an.attempt to.get.their foot in.the door for.other.landscape and maintenance work.
Posted via Mobile Device

Yes there is lots of lowballers out there that make it harder for everyone else. They lowball everyone else and then once they have a huge workload, they cant keep up with expenses and wind up going out of buisness because they have no clue what expenses are and think that what they make off of everything is just pure profit. . Then when one of us who knows what we need to charge comes in to replace them, the customer says my last guy did it for "X" amount making us look like we are trying to rip them off. My belief is that if you dont know what to charge, you probably shouldnt be doing it in the first place.

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
10-29-2011, 11:52 AM
The area you are in is going to dictate the rate you can charge. Here in Erie, 25 for a average city drive and walk is about right. Most important though, don't charge low just to build a route. Better to have a reasonable rate to fit your area and build slowly than charge low and end up with a full route of cheap accounts. Do your best to figure the going rate in your area. Talk to friends or relatives who use snow services to see what they are paying. In the beginning your hourly gross isn't going to be the best. Once you have filled in your route your hourly gross will get much better. Takes time to build a solid route. Good Luck.

DiSantolandscaping
10-29-2011, 02:14 PM
i know most dont like the idea but i use contracts with both res and comm accounts because ive asked around and thats what all the other guys in this area are doing, they say it so that both the lco and the home/business owner know what to expect and so on.

on the side note we are supposed to get 6 to 10 in of snow tonight. :cool2:
so well see how things go.

32vld
10-29-2011, 04:23 PM
Everyone is saying stay away from salting which i probably will now. But what if they ask for it......charge pretty high for it so i they want it i get good money for it and if they say no then no harm on me?

You sound young and let your enthusiasm get you seeing $$$$$ to easily.

You can't charge crazy just because a customer wants salt.

Yes there can be harm to you. When you start giving crazy quotes people are not going to want to do business with you and you will hurt your chances of up selling other things to them. Or them considering you to comeback in the spring to give estimates to do landscaping for them.

Also fisrt year did not get much business.
Second year did much better. Enough to again next year.
Third year, I had more people then I could get to on a couple of storms so I added a second blower. Did well.

So be prepared to not do so well at first.

Also what state do you live in?
Average snowfall over the last ten years?

32vld
10-29-2011, 04:28 PM
Also add this to think about. You may not make enough money the first year to pay back what your blowers cost let alone make profit enough to buy landscape equipment.

But you'll have the blowers for the years to come.

lawnpro724
10-30-2011, 04:57 PM
Home owners are not going to care either way for the most part. The are going to care about the price a lot more.

I had some ( very few ) home owners that assumed a snow blower could not do their property. To those I would say that I have large 2 stage blowers and have been doing this for years. Being they didn't know anyone else they let me do their property. I never disappointed them.

I couldnt disagree with you more. We keep getting more and more customers requesting snow blowing instead of plowing and their number one complaint is a torn up lawn and scratches in their drive. Price is their least concern.