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View Full Version : End of mowing season, what about plowing?


devuono311
08-04-2010, 11:35 AM
Alright,
So I have been busting my behind trying to make it so far this year, and I gotta admit its tough. However I am not giving up.

Everything started out slow, then the phone kept a ringing, (mostly calls wanting price quotes, which I don't agree with over the phone quotes, they arent really precise) Anyhow, phones a ringing, I'm slowly picking up jobs, Got to about 6 weekly customers and 2 bi-weekly customers, mowing and trimming. I had placed craigslist ads, ran a 4 week popular local paper ad, and a six month placemat ad. I ended up with 8 customers. I was happy though, not knowing exactly what to expect, I was more than happy just to get some work. Then, I lost customers it seemed all at once, though it was over roughly three weeks. I was concerned, I thought "What am I doing wrong". Then I started re-thinking what was going on. Two customers I lost due to their own business wasnt that great so they had more time to mow themselves and not enough money in there budget to keep me on. Ok, I can understand that fully. One guys son moved back home and so he took over responsibility, another guy lives in Cali. and owns a vacation home up here, called and told me his lawn had to be treated for a carpenter ant issue so his lawn had to be left alone anyways for two weeks and that with all the remodeling he had been doing he was steadily running out of money so wasnt sure if he'd be calling me back this year or not. Now that one bothered me because it seemed like a couple excuses to let me go without necessarily stating " I'm firing you". But I've racked my brain and have no idea why he would have been displeased with my work. His lawn looked great and well kept. I had a renter who was responsible for her own lawn and that included a double lot , she moved and didnt notify me until I showed up the following week and there was a for rent sign in the yard and the house was clearly empty, so I called her, sure enough no need for me. Last but not least, Another local business, is a church camp and this is there last week of camp so yesterday i was notified it would be my last week for them as the camp director would be taking over my duties due to his free time he would have until next season. Man, I have to say it feels like I've been punched in the gut. However, every single customer I have had a chance to discuss my services with say I have done an excellent job and have no problem possibly bringing me back next season, that its just a matter of due crcumstances and that I need to expect it with the economy.

I have two customers left......... :(

So while I am obvioiusly working on that presently, I REALLY dont want to be caught with my pants around my ankles once winter comes. I've plowed before, know how to plow, ( and no its not always drop the blade and push snow) but I've never bid plow jobs before, don't know if businesses pay for a season up front, or by the amount of plowing, nor when to approach residents or businesses for bids. I really neeed this , this year, and though I'm sure the mowing will pick up better than this year next year, I need something to keep me busy through winter. Could somebody please send me some info?

Thanks,
Mowed Over

LLCDallas
08-04-2010, 02:12 PM
Nice job picking up your first customers. Do you know what your ROI is? If you're already paying for advertising, do you have a website up? I think having a website should be the very first thing you spent ad money on. It's a 24/7 advertisement that is extremely cheap. Plus, your other marketing campaigns can lead customers back to your site to see more information about your services. If you need more info on how to get started, send me a PM.

Steve
08-04-2010, 07:26 PM
Here is some reading for you. I think this is gonna help a lot.

http://lawnchat.com/index.php?s=snow+plowing

Hedgemaster
08-04-2010, 07:29 PM
Count me in as interested in this as well.

Everyone says "you have a truck, get a plow!", but I wonder how badly it will beat my truck up for one thing, and then there's salting... do most places that need lots plowed expect salt as well? I would imagine so. That means a salt box is needed. This stuff adds up quick. :(

I may just buy a snow blower instead. :)

LawnMoore
08-04-2010, 11:54 PM
Count me in as interested in this as well.

Everyone says "you have a truck, get a plow!", but I wonder how badly it will beat my truck up for one thing, and then there's salting... do most places that need lots plowed expect salt as well? I would imagine so. That means a salt box is needed. This stuff adds up quick. :(

I may just buy a snow blower instead. :)

Just buy one of those jet fuel flame throwers, duh..

No, im just kidding ofc!

I was just thinking and what if you get a decent commercial fertilizer, use it for spreading salt!! (i think you would certianly have to keep it lubed up some how or do something to prevent salt rust) but then when the snow clears you could use it in lawn care as well, even if you didnt use itm you would have it incase you did need it! then next winter break it back out!

I dont know if thats plausible but i hope it helps.

robgee05
08-05-2010, 01:57 PM
Just buy one of those jet fuel flame throwers, duh..

No, im just kidding ofc!

I was just thinking and what if you get a decent commercial fertilizer, use it for spreading salt!! (i think you would certianly have to keep it lubed up some how or do something to prevent salt rust) but then when the snow clears you could use it in lawn care as well, even if you didnt use itm you would have it incase you did need it! then next winter break it back out!

I dont know if thats plausible but i hope it helps.

Just get a decent snow thrower. Its a little less to worry about liability wise. Then you can focus on residential drives and sidewalks at first. Some people will be ecstatic to have you clear their snow. It will also give you a good base of leads for lawn care in the spring.

All Terrian landscaping
08-06-2010, 12:19 AM
Seeing that i usually end up with little to no work during the summer, and end up getting swamped in the winters, i can possibilly help with this situation :D
If you do have a truck with a plow on it all ready make sure its in top mechanical conditon. Its better to fix everything now, then in a parking lot when its blizzarding out (or on the side of the road in my case) Remeber, no ones truck breaks before a storm, its during. and if you dont have a truck, it better to buy one with out a plow and put one on, then it is to buy a "seasoned" one, you never know what the last guy put it through.
As for getting clients, start NOW!!!, by september all the good places r taken, what i do is carry a nice shirt and alot of biz cards in the truck and when im driven around and see someone outside, ill throw it on and stop by an talk to them and give them a bid rite on the spot, it may not seem real biz like, but it works
and last but not least, make sure you have a back-up driver, because more than likley, youll need him.

Really hope this helps you out, like my old man always said, your either gona get rich, or kiss your a$$ goodbye :D