Originally Posted by etwman
Yes it will be in Nashville.
Here's my two cent piece of advice for the spring.
Item #1. If I had a dollar everything I heard a landscape company crying the blues over no snow removal this winter I'd be stupid rich by now. Here's the deal, you should never ever bank on any snow removal income. If you get it, its a cherry on the sundae. I mean I know companies that do hundreds of thousands in snow removal but you can't bank on that. So when you are doing annual budgets and estimate sales for 2012 I never put any snow removal in that. Do I feel bad for companies that didn't get any snow? Sure I do. Do I feel even more sick for them if they banked on it? Nope, not in the least bit. Our snow removal sales are less than 2% of our annual sales, not much, but I don't even think about it.
Item #2. What's worse than banking on snow removal and not getting it? Going into the spring heavily discounting grounds and landscape services to try and cash flow the mess that was created over the winter. Company's that are sitting on mountains of salt, equipment, etc. trying to get spring work out of desperation to try and stop the hemmoraging. Are you out of your mind? You are headed into your bread and butter season. While small discounts may be okay to stimulate interest, discounting things significantly to cash flow a train wreck is a disaster in the making. Two wrongs don't make a right.
So you say "there are companies doing this?" I'll guarantee it. Don't do anything stupid.....or stupider.
Make the spring a strong one, don't look back, just go forward. Go out there and get some early spring hardscape or landscape work. Good grief we have two crews in the field in Feb. That's a first!
I agree with this 100%. I was running my own company, but I didnt enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It just wasnt for me. Now I am the maintenance and snow manager for another company. Its a perfect fit. All winter long I have been hearing we have no money we have no money becasue of no snow. Well I told them maybe next year we should look at a few seasonals. I wasnt apart of the selling this past year. But they didnt like seasonal last year becasue we had the big blizzard and on one account that was seasonal they got smoked, so this year everything is per push. Well guess what no money this year. Now as i am bidding the maintenance I am trying to sell snow services in with it, and we are doing a handful of seasonal contracts. The company is over 15 years old (snow for about 4 now) but hasnt realized yet that you need to have a good balance of seasonal and per plow accounts. I like to cap my snow, others dont, but that is an entirely different discussion.
As far as the spring pricing, that is my biggest concern right now. All of these companies coming in at 1/2 our cost just so they can get some work. I had a 4k contract (simple maintenance: mowing, trim bushes, and lawn care, no cleanup or anything becasue they did it as a commmunity) with a HOA that i did with my own company for 4 years. I switched to the new company and he was ok with that and said he will most likely be re-signing with me again but had to put it out to bid as always. New company came in for $1400.00 for the year. I know the company and they are hard up for $ because of no snow.