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-   -   Biggest business problem you are dealing with? (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=13112)

Steve 12-17-2010 02:37 PM

Biggest business problem you are dealing with?
 
What is the biggest business problem you are dealing with at the moment?

CFD192 12-17-2010 06:21 PM

whether or not to take on snow plowing as an additional service. At this years end of season for mowing, I sent out surveys and asked about snow removal. Well beyond my belief, 80% of my customers said that they would be interested in snow removal. I have a Ford F150 and now with everybody asking about snow plowing, I am wondering what to do. One, do I just put a plow on my personal truck to make it through the year, or do I try to purchase a used plow truck and hope that even though it is used, that it will make it through the winter. Next year, I should be able to purchase a truck, however, I was wanting it to be a dump truck. So that is what I am dealt with. I also am in between a dump truck or not a dump truck?

MAKLawnCutter 12-17-2010 06:58 PM

Okay, a few questions and suggestions...

"Snow Plow" - How old is your pick up? Is it a 4x4?

"Dump Truck" - They have kits for this!

Depending on the year and dependability of your current truck, you might want to consider keeping it and just modify it as needed.

http://www.northernhydraulics.net/du...FSda7Aodnxm4pg - pick-up conversion kit

http://www.truckaddons.com/Catalog/s...r_polarpro.htm - this snow plow hooks into a 2" receiver installed on the front of the vehicle. Cheapest of the 5 i have seen

Its all in how you look at the situation, i bet you could make your current truck work till the wheels fall off ;).

Matt

CFD192 12-17-2010 07:29 PM

current truck is a 2007 with 30,000 miles and 4x4 on it, crew cab. the only downfall is this is my personal vehicle, i am just using for business purpose for this year. Also what are some suggestions for pricing of residental driveways per plow, under an hour of work.

MrLank 12-17-2010 09:57 PM

Biggest problem I'm having is receiving payment for snow removal. I mean it's not like mowing where customers can just set payment out before I come on their day. So I'm either having to make another trip to pick up payment or wait for them to send it. Them sending it would be alright, but it seems like it slips their mind rather easy.


CFD: I don't drop my blade for under $35 a drive. Most drives take under 10 minutes to clear if you want to do a good job. Now if you're going to have someone clearing walks, then I'd make it $45 a clearing. If you're doing it yourself, depending on the size of walks I'd mark up to atleast $40.

jklawncare 12-17-2010 10:03 PM

get a cheap plow
look on craigslist for a used one
you can find one to make it through one season for 500 and under im sure..theres about 4 around here alli n pretty good condition except for a little rust on the back or on the mount.

if you could get a truck next year go for it

you can get a dump bed kit from the site MAK sent you too but i know
there is one other place that has been mentioned on the forum and im saving up for one of there kits

no fabricating or anything is needed just some bolts and they work great..

stealthdumptrucks.com

then you could even get some side pannels to go around the bed..like the truck caps but with no top..i havnt seen anything like that..maybe some of you have..

but..i think i just got a fantastic idea on making something if it hasnt been made before..this way..for all of those that use open trailers with no sides..or enclosed trailers..you can extend your bed capacity..ill look into it..if its not done..i think im gonna have to start making some prototypes :D

jymie 12-18-2010 04:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrLank (Post 80998)
Biggest problem I'm having is receiving payment for snow removal. I mean it's not like mowing where customers can just set payment out before I come on their day. So I'm either having to make another trip to pick up payment or wait for them to send it. Them sending it would be alright, but it seems like it slips their mind rather easy.


CFD: I don't drop my blade for under $35 a drive. Most drives take under 10 minutes to clear if you want to do a good job. Now if you're going to have someone clearing walks, then I'd make it $45 a clearing. If you're doing it yourself, depending on the size of walks I'd mark up to atleast $40.

Can you set them up on autopay with thier credit cards? That way the day you do the driveway, you can process the payment and not have to chase them down to get paid. OR have them pay for the season up front. Of course you take a chance on getting way to much snow and not getting as much but at least you have the money up front. The plus of that would be if you dont get as much snow you make out if the payment is up front.

wellbiz 12-18-2010 08:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve (Post 80979)
What is the biggest business problem you are dealing with at the moment?

Great question. Besides my small collection issue with a few clients that I was talking about in another thread, my biggest problem is what direction I want to take my business next year.

I want to consolidate my routes and increase my weekly lawn clients. So after the hoilday I need to spend some quality time with my marketing/business plan and fine tune it for the 2011 season. I also need to purchase another mower. I currently run a 36 Ferris walk behind, but I took on some larger residential lots the end of the season and I think I could really benefit from a small zero turn or a larger walk behind. I also need to consider hiring a part time employee. I wanted to stay solo as long as possible but if I can continue my growth rate I will probably need to bring on someone by early June.

I really would not call these problems, but more of a challenge when growing a business.

wellbiz 12-18-2010 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CFD192 (Post 80985)
whether or not to take on snow plowing as an additional service. At this years end of season for mowing, I sent out surveys and asked about snow removal. Well beyond my belief, 80% of my customers said that they would be interested in snow removal. I have a Ford F150 and now with everybody asking about snow plowing, I am wondering what to do. One, do I just put a plow on my personal truck to make it through the year, or do I try to purchase a used plow truck and hope that even though it is used, that it will make it through the winter. Next year, I should be able to purchase a truck, however, I was wanting it to be a dump truck. So that is what I am dealt with. I also am in between a dump truck or not a dump truck?

You might not even need a plow. Not sure how long/big the driveways are in your part of the country, but where I am they are all very small. I wasnt planning on doing any snow removal like yourself, but I had alot of my local clients request it. I went out and purchased a nice snowblower and can do a small driveway in 7-12minutes. With drive time I can average 3-4 an hour. Pricing is competive at @$25-35 a drive. I would like a plow and a new truck, but it wasnt a feasable purchase for my business this season. I have a pretty good client base but picked up 3 more clients earlier this week when we had a big snow. All were word of mouth or neighbors who came out and inquired. I am hoping to add a few more as the winter drags on and maybe turn some of them into lawn clients for the summer.

Steve 12-18-2010 03:41 PM

Quote:

my biggest problem is what direction I want to take my business next year.
What different options do you feel you have ahead of you that you could choose from?


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