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View Full Version : Winter Flyer, might do it...


CHEESE2009
11-18-2010, 06:39 PM
So I thought it over, and I might jump into snow removal...

http://i920.photobucket.com/albums/ad41/breeze2009/winterflyer.png

Obviously if you know how I am when it comes to making a flyer, you'll eventually see me create about 1000 of them until I get it perfect... I obviously need my original logo, this one is too dark.. I just gotta browse my comp for it...

lol, this one is just phase one


Might not show at first, I think photobucket is doing some alterations to their site... I also attached a file below.. same thing

Local Edge Lawn Care
11-18-2010, 08:02 PM
$100 for the entire season?? Ill give you all the snow removal in salt lake city (http://www.localedgelawncare.com) you can handle and ill even give you $200 for the entire season... I have a couple of accounts that one push with a little bit of salt the snow removal (http://www.localedgelawncare.com) bill is just over $700 bucks each push.. But it takes two of my lawn care (http://www.localedgelawncare.com/services.php) plow trucks and ten sidewalk guys a couple of hours to finish.. The flyer looks good but i would never say one time fee for entire year cause you can never predict how much or little it will snow. here in salt lake city (http://www.localedgelawncare.com) its so different every year..

Justin
lawn care service sandy utah (http://www.localedgelawncare.com)

CHEESE2009
11-19-2010, 03:51 AM
I've done walkways for a few years with several companies.

For residential, it only takes literally 2 minutes or less to get the job done per customer. I used to manage 60 accounts per snow fall, just a truck and shovel. I could do the route twice in one day if needed. It's a slacker job.

It's also more expensive than my competitors, give or take. It's one of those services you offer to better improve the overall look of your business, though it can be profitable.


For driveway snow removal, in the city the average cost is: $160-$250 (low).

In the country, it can be $500.00+

Our prices have bombed down here, it's a tough industry to compete in.

All you need is an assortment of shovels, and to be on the ball... Never let the snow settle - always keep it so your just giving it a little dusting.

I start my route till finish, then I re-do 1/4 of my route over to make sure no excess snow had covered the walkways. Doesn't take much time or effort.


Doing 60 lawns a day is impossible for me, 60 walkways isn't anything.

I consider this my vacation.

Steve
11-19-2010, 04:19 AM
Scott, I love you artist abilities.

How will you be removing the snow? By hand or a snow thrower?

Also, do you have properties with public sidewalks that need to be cleared too? Will that be included or no? How effect do you think it will be to market only walkway clearing? What will you suggest them to do about getting their cars out?

picframer
11-19-2010, 05:40 AM
It is amazing how prices have dropped, great for the consumer but brutal on small companies trying to make a living. I sub pretty much all our snow removal as there just isn't any money in it around here. 20 years ago I used to plow a dozen or so driveways with my old International tractor, very cheap to run and due to it's size nothing would stop it, anyhow what I used to get $45 to $65 per push is now $20 to $35. With the price of fuel, maintenance, insurance etc. I simply can't do it.

The only time I take the gear out is for the city or one commercial client when they need a loader as I charge by the hour $75.00 plus travel time. Other than that I work in the shop and enjoy the scenery:)

xpertlawnman
11-19-2010, 08:53 PM
Providing snow removal services is something I hope to never have to do. I have about 10 lawn customers that hound me every Fall to clear snow for them. I have been lucky, it seems as though they find some neighborhood kid to do it for them. When the time comes where I start to lose lawn business, I will find a way to provide this service, even if have to sub it out. The winters here are too unpredictable to make any serious coin. I did buy a snow blower a few months ago. Luckily I came to my senses, it will now be a Christmas present for my father in law. Like picframer said, the prices for plowing are much too low for it to be worth while, unless you have commercial accounts.

Steve
11-20-2010, 05:52 AM
Does it just come down to it is easier for new people to get into snow plowing than offering lawn care services?

Or is it that it is cheaper to get into or what?

Why does it seem snow removal services has taken a bigger financial hit?

xpertlawnman
11-20-2010, 10:00 AM
It simply does not snow enough here for it to be a recurring service. The snowfall here could come as a couple big storms or an inch or two here and there. People just want the snow removed and they don't care who does it for them. Anybody with a strong back and a shovel can do it. In areas of the country where it snows alot, it becomes more of a recurring service, so there is some good money to be made. We had one big storm here last winter and all of sudden everybody had an ad on CraigsList offering snow removal.
Another service where the prices have dropped is firewood. What I see a cord of wood being sold for, just astounds me. To split, deliver, and stack all of that wood to make a few dollars does not make any sense.

picframer
11-20-2010, 05:14 PM
Interesting as firewood here has gone through the roof, I but a tractor trailer load of hardwood in 16' lengths every two years, however we do so much tree work, very few of the clients in the last two years have wanted to keep the hardwood so I have enough for at least three years ahead, some of the staff take the softwood.

I burn hardwood pellets in my WW shop as it's so cheap, easy and no mess. Now wood pellets have really come down in price, at least 35%.

What does a cord (true cord 128 cu/ft) go for there? Here it's about $225.00, 8 foot lengths is about $115.00 and 16 foot lengths $90.00

Steve
11-21-2010, 06:39 AM
With all this information, it makes you wonder if lawn care business owners would be better off experimenting with other revenue sources over the winter months.

MAKLawnCutter
11-21-2010, 01:02 PM
The only time I take the gear out is for the city or one commercial client when they need a loader as I charge by the hour $75.00 plus travel time. Other than that I work in the shop and enjoy the scenery:)


People in Florida charge between 65 - 85$ /hr for basic labor charges. I have a gain on the competition and charge $30 for non equipment labor and $35 with equipment motorized. Cheap as could be! I run at a lower rate and make more money than most do :).

Matt

picframer
11-21-2010, 08:18 PM
With all this information, it makes you wonder if lawn care business owners would be better off experimenting with other revenue sources over the winter months.

I think we have to to survive and who knows you might stumble upon a small gold mine.

fieroboi
11-21-2010, 08:48 PM
It is very interesting indeed how snow removal can vary so much from place to place. Living in Alberta, Canada, we on average get about 50-52 days of snow fall in a season. I consider myself fortunate listening to some of the comments as to how inconsistent some areas are with snowfall.

I go year round with many clients, in fact if next year things expand like they did this year, I will no longer be taking on seasonal clients (ie. summer or winter clients) year round clients only.

Scott, I am shocked at how little the charge was that you were considering. Course, your area could be considerably different than here, I charge anywhere from 125 to 225 per month for service. I also don't change my price for different seasons. My clients pay per month whether their yard needs anything or not. For example, I was lucky that for November we did not have any snow until the until the 17th. Course, that was not really a blessing cause it has snowed everyday since then and looks like there will be at least two more days before it gives me a break.


Lloyd
Blue's YardFX
Camrose, Alberta

picframer
11-22-2010, 05:40 AM
Scott, I am shocked at how little the charge was that you were considering. Course, your area could be considerably different than here, I charge anywhere from 125 to 225 per month for service. I also don't change my price for different seasons. My clients pay per month whether their yard needs anything or not. For example, I was lucky that for November we did not have any snow until the until the 17th. Course, that was not really a blessing cause it has snowed everyday since then and looks like there will be at least two more days before it gives me a break.


Lloyd
Blue's YardFX
Camrose, Alberta

I was thinking the same thing when this post first came out, regardless of how short the walkways are, how little travel time, how long it takes, I have no idea how one can offer this service for so little.

Scott is in an area that would receive at least three times the snowfall of Camrose (based on living in Calgary for 7 years and spending a lot of time in your area horse back riding) and travelling to the Montreal area one week a month.

Steve
11-22-2010, 07:15 AM
I go year round with many clients, in fact if next year things expand like they did this year, I will no longer be taking on seasonal clients (ie. summer or winter clients) year round clients only.

Lloyd, how do you market the year round services? Do you put a flyer out that says you will cover all the customers property needs all year long for $X per month? Or is there a better way to go about this?

I wonder if this marketing method could be used in other geographic areas as well. But with snow, it's seems like it is hard to know for sure how many days of snowfall you will get and you could potentially lose your shirt on a fixed monthly price, it seems.

CHEESE2009
11-22-2010, 09:41 AM
I was thinking the same thing when this post first came out, regardless of how short the walkways are, how little travel time, how long it takes, I have no idea how one can offer this service for so little.

Scott is in an area that would receive at least three times the snowfall of Camrose (based on living in Calgary for 7 years and spending a lot of time in your area horse back riding) and travelling to the Montreal area one week a month.


Montreal is a warzone lol.

I have met just about every competitor and when your alone with them, all they do is trash talk about eachother...

Unfortunately, our market is low here - not sure how it happened but I've gotten used to it starting out. I can't imagine what it'd be like for our prices to go up like you guys.


People bid as low as $160 a season for snow removal, $100 for walkway shoveling...

I guess that explains why we're considered reckless drivers here :P... Our profit only exists if we are speedy and manage tons of clients.

It sucks to know that on just about every block we have a lawn guy, lol. At 5pm, you can sometimes see us all heading home the same path. It's ridiculous.


And yeah, when we get snow it's like an avalanche covers the city. It's a whole new world lol. I think everyone should come and experience a Montreal snow storm - bring dog sleds and a few huskies.

Local Edge Lawn Care
11-22-2010, 05:26 PM
We have had a few year round contracts where they pay the same each month no matter what! There are some advantages to this such as in march when you give a spring clean up (http://http://www.localedgelawncare.com/services.php) you dont really need to mow all that much in march you get the same amount, but when fall clean ups start? watch out because if you get some bigger apartment complex managers where instead of having you schedule the clean up when the leaves have fallen they will be calling you all the time to come out and clean up and at times your only there for an hour or so it takes more drive time gas etc instead of making it worth the time! or if it does snow a ton again they will call more times for little stuff versus the other customers that pay per push or hourly on clean ups, But there are times where we didnt do anything for a couple of months and got paid but worked our butts off for little things in the other months. So just depends on how you set it and setting good ground rules is a huge plus.. I started adding on the clean ups that there has to be a minimum of 3 hours before we will come out or there would be a gas ser charge-

fieroboi
11-24-2010, 01:37 AM
Lloyd, how do you market the year round services? Do you put a flyer out that says you will cover all the customers property needs all year long for $X per month? Or is there a better way to go about this?

I wonder if this marketing method could be used in other geographic areas as well. But with snow, it's seems like it is hard to know for sure how many days of snowfall you will get and you could potentially lose your shirt on a fixed monthly price, it seems.

I wish I had a simple reply to this. I don't do much for marketing my services anymore. I have an ad in a local phone book and the rest for the past year has been completely by word of mouth. I am lucky in that the area i service is a small city of about 16000 people, with approximately 40% of the population being seniors. The city here has marketed itself as a wonderful community to retire in. I guess my biggest form of marketing are my clients that get together with their friends over coffee at Timmy's ... sounds strange, but they do more for my business than they realize. Got to love clients that are constantly referring new clients. The level of trust new clients have for my business/services still surprises me today. For example, a new client two months ago, referred from another client, gave me 6 months of checks after the first month.

I do have to agree about potentially losing your shirt if your area is unpredictable in your snowfall amounts. Here it is generally quite consistant in the number of days. When i quote a yard I calculate that i will visit the yard about 60 times for snow removal for the season. If it turns out less, then my profit margin goes up. The average here is about 50 days of snow per season.

I am very clear with clients that I anticipate to visit approximately 50 days during the snow season, they get a spring clean, mowing as needed to a max of once a week and one major fall clean included in my monthly charge. Any other work is additional charge, so if a client wants the yard cleaned up more than once, they pay extra for it. It has worked well for me, but I have realized that things are very different everywhere and what works for one may not work for another.

Lloyd
Blue's YardFX
Camrose, Alberta

Steve
11-24-2010, 09:42 AM
Lloyd,

Do you keep an eye and ear open how competitors in your area handle the lawn care and snow plow billing? Have you yet to see anyone else in your area handle it in another way that you thought would be better but you haven't been able to transition your customers to that billing method yet?

fieroboi
11-24-2010, 06:02 PM
Lloyd,

Do you keep an eye and ear open how competitors in your area handle the lawn care and snow plow billing? Have you yet to see anyone else in your area handle it in another way that you thought would be better but you haven't been able to transition your customers to that billing method yet?

I do keep an eye on the competion, but I can't say as I worry to much about it. There are a couple of other guys that bill monthly just as I do, some of them are cheaper in pricing than me. I maintain my price, and many times I find it is just a matter of finding out what is offered. Most of my competitors charge extra for spring and fall cleaning. They are not as consisitant in the quality of workmanship than I am. An example was one client told me a year ago last fall that he was going to try do his snow removal himself, so when I went to chat about grass again in the spring, he informed me he had someone for snowfall and he only showed up about 10 times in the whole season but had got paid in advance for the whole season. I found out that he tried him because he was $20 less per month than me. I made a comment about being reliable and asked if it was worth $20 per month .... well he is year round since!

I really like the monthly payment, it is really simple for people to understand and for the seniors, they can budget and don't have to worry about getting a huge bill. For me, I like it because I can budget and plan accordingly as I know what is coming in every month.

Lloyd
Blue's YardFX
Camrose, Alberta

Steve
11-25-2010, 08:44 AM
he informed me he had someone for snowfall and he only showed up about 10 times in the whole season but had got paid in advance for the whole season. I found out that he tried him because he was $20 less per month than me.

That could make for some good marketing material as a testimonial or an example of your company vs. your competitors.

It's stories like that, that can really help sales.