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Considering dropping snow relocation for good. Other Winter employment options...?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Exact Rototilling, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. NickSnow&Mow

    NickSnow&Mow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Sweet! Whats your setup?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    So....I'm 85-90% sure I will exit the snow drill.

    What do you tell your clients as far as finding another service?

    The other angle is do you play stupid with an employer and pretend you are seeking permanent work or hey I'm leaving in March...?

    Employers would rather hire long-term and not waste time with someone who will leave. Am I not correct?

    Glad to know snow pays well for some of you. It clearly doesn't here.
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  3. PLLandscape

    PLLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,390

    The only time I've ever plowed was with a local municipality as a college kid. Sure that was fun. Take the truck out, plow a few lots, go to the shop and stuff donuts down your face, go out again later to "clean" it up, go back and sit until the days over. Use primo equipment on easy to plow places that are easily completed before people show up to use the lots.
  4. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    In another thread a month or so ago I saw some post about working 18-20 hour days doing pipeline install. I think it was in the heavy equipment excavating section. I could see doing this short term but long term it sounded like it took a serious heavy personal toll on lives and families....?

    I need to decide 100% by September 1st. Past snow clients want NEED to know.

    Before my back injury few years back [almost quit the biz cold turkey] I had 25-30 residential driveway snow accounts... 100% blowers. Showed my route to my neices BF and he was fear struck on covering for me. Looking back now I don't even know how I was able to grind them all out on heavy snow days.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,020

    how do you tell your clients you aren't doing snow?

    I have thought of a few ways:

    1) beat it mack!
    2) change the answering message to "Gone fish in, see you in the spring"
    3) send them all quotes for the year that is triple your normal rate, due in advance.

    Any of those should work!
  6. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    I do not know how important it is keep landscape customers by doing their snow.

    I have a lady. Afraid of falling. Enough snow to make her black driveway white she wants me there. I went up state to hunt for a day in early December with my oldest son.

    We got an unexpected light snowfall. I get a call on my way back home about 2 hour ETA. She called me wanting me ASAP for the 1". My other son was home so I sent him. Cell phones are good. She was happy.

    She loves my work. I leave large coffee can of extra salt that she can use.

    She will not give me her landscape work. She is loyal to her Hispanic guy. He goes back home every November and comes back every spring.
  7. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,853

    Pizza delivery is a great way to skate through the winter making a little scratch on the side.

    It's mostly cash (a lot of independent pizzerias pay cash only) consistent daily income, ect.

    If you're going to do pizza delivery, I recommend dominos. They pay usually a flat rate of $5/$6 an hour, plus $1.25-1.75 a delivery, plus tips. They're usually pretty busy. I did it during winters before I started my own company. You won't make that much at an independent pizzaria unless it's crazy busy. Also, if you work at an independent pizzaria they'll work you to the bone when it's not. For less than minimum wage they can keep it, that's why they pay cash, to cheat their employees more than Uncle Sam.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Honestly my growing season clients would not jump ship for snow. Like I said before my quality and attention to detail is very solid for the price point.

    In the retirement community [think market density] I mentioned before there is little loyalty. They will typically jump at the lowest price. There is a tendency for these older folks to get on the phone and call me if their driveway is not cleared by 10am. It is a tough crowd to please and very aggravating.

    A number of years back before my back injury...I pushed hard on snow in that community to gain snow accounts to get my foot in the door for lawn maintenance. It didn't work well. Clients I picked up for snow were very budget minded. Trying to chase the "retired limited income class" was a huge mistake.

    My best client base now is "well off retired" and "working professionals" who have the money want quaility and are NOT constantly chasing the lowest price point. Most of these folks have their own snow throwers.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. WPLC

    WPLC LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Messages: 194

    I hate plowing with a passion. Last year we went out over 35 times (over 120 inches of snow), and the going rate for a residential driveway around here is $200.:hammerhead: I'm really down-sizing this year, and am going to do about 160 driveways with 2 trucks all in a 3 mile radius. We have swing wing back blades over here, so a residential driveway takes no longer than a minute, so that is one big reason why prices have fallen so much. I would probably lose lawn customers if I didn't plow, so that's really the only thing that keeps me plowing...
  10. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    At this $200 price point is it driveway only and ZERO getting out of the truck and NO shoveling...?
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