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Introduce Yourself Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!

A little about All Set


Introduce Yourself

Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
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  #1  
Old 01-05-2013, 01:30 PM
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Post A little about All Set

Hi there. My name is Kay and I along with my husband Charlie run our Landscaping business. We have only been in business for a little under 2 years but find it rewarding at times and hard to handle at others.

We do just about anything that has to be done outside from pressure washing decks, restaining, cleaning of gutters, there is not much we won't do. We consider ourselves very honest and fair with our pricing and with my husband being a perfectionist in everything he does, he normally goes above and beyond the call of duty. Have to get on him sometimes cause he cuts into the profit for the company. We love what we do. So "when you need it done, you're All Set!"

Thanks for reading

Kay
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:26 PM
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Hi Kay,

Welcome to our forum!

For those that might be struggling along with their business, you mentioned

Quote:
and hard to handle at others.
What kinds of situations have you found yourself having to deal with that were difficult and how did you get passed them?
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:04 AM
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Default Its funny that you ask

We are currently dealing with people who "DO NOT" want to pay. With this last storm we had to charge for 2 plows instead of one and when we spoke with our customers we told them anything over 6" would require another plow since we are responible for our equipment, payroll and insurance we thought it fair, well according to our customers, not all mind you, but some, we are trying to "scam" them out of money. This is to the point that my husband does not even want to plow next year.

I know times are hard, we are all living it, but honestly, you would think that "people" would consider everything that is involved in plowing and understand. I would love to live where we could drop the plow for 60 dollars a driveway, but we fight for $35.00. Anyone who has a truck and plow goes around and does it for 20 or 25, its very hard. We keep both our trucks going but we are not making what we would like.

Well I have ranted enough to bore people so I will let it go for now

Regards
Kay
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:13 PM
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I think that is a very good point you bring up and we just saw this discussed in another post as well. It seems residential customers don't want to be billed for two pushes, but depending on when the snow falls and when they want to get out of their driveway, sometimes two pushes is unavoidable.

Do you find that to be the issue or do you feel it is more that these are cheap customers that will need to be replaced next year?
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:36 PM
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Default oh yes

As I said in another post, my husband is seriously considering getting out of plowing. We have never ever had this much problem with anything, so either they sign a contract next year and follow through with it or they just won't get plowed. We keep our rates as low as we can, our goal is NOT to screw anyone and if it was up to my husband he would do everything for free. I guess I am the "money hungry" one of our duo. Explaining to him about insurance, taxes, payroll etc is just as hard. He would rather get his hands dirty and be done with it. So when bidding he has to bring it to me for finalization cause he never takes anything into a count.

But yes I am thinking seriously of finding different customers. There are some that are not bad but there are many who are unbearable and just make me cringe when they call.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:50 PM
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Have you at all found that where you market or what method you use to market effects the type of customer you attract?
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:52 AM
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Default Most definately

We live in a small town, with small town values etc. We advertise via flyer with tabs at the bottom. Everyone here is trying to save a dollar, winters are the worst time of year for everyone. A lot of businesses shut down for the winter months. We are a tourist state. All of the money comes in the spring summer and fall.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by All Set View Post
We are currently dealing with people who "DO NOT" want to pay. With this last storm we had to charge for 2 plows instead of one and when we spoke with our customers we told them anything over 6" would require another plow since we are responible for our equipment, payroll and insurance we thought it fair, well according to our customers, not all mind you, but some, we are trying to "scam" them out of money. This is to the point that my husband does not even want to plow next year.
Do you explain to your customers prior to these type of snow events that there would be an extra charge?

We let our customers know if we get more than 10", the rate is automatically double. This is to avoid PER INCH charges, none of them blink an eye. If you were to explain or show them how charges could be or look, I think you could avoid or weed out the NON PAYERS.

Example for a residential:


2"-10" ~ $30 or

2"-4" ~$30
4"-6" ~$37
6"-8" ~$51
8"-10" ~$65

Even the wealthiest would love to save $5 per snow event.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringahding1 View Post
Do you explain to your customers prior to these type of snow events that there would be an extra charge?

We let our customers know if we get more than 10", the rate is automatically double. This is to avoid PER INCH charges, none of them blink an eye. If you were to explain or show them how charges could be or look, I think you could avoid or weed out the NON PAYERS.

Example for a residential:


2"-10" ~ $30 or

2"-4" ~$30
4"-6" ~$37
6"-8" ~$51
8"-10" ~$65

Even the wealthiest would love to save $5 per snow event.


incremental pricing is the best approach and that is what i do.

this way whether you plow the snow one time or multiple times in a storm you are covered and you don't need to be bothered with submitting a bill for one push, two pushes or what ever.

for some strange reason the simpletons we call customers don't understand that the more snow we get the more work it requires and it is easier to make a couple pushes in the deeper snows to keep up with it then wait till it is over and deal with it in one shot.

i do only commercial properties now and even when i did do home owners years ago i never wasted my time pushing snow for them and even before i did my own commercial properties i worked as a sub for the big boys.

so my advice for you all set would be to find a big contractor that has a solid reputation and push for them by the hour.
pound for pound the money is better then home owners and it is much easier to put your truck in drive and drive forward all night long in a parking lot and never have to get out of the truck unless you broke something, need to use the bathroom or run into the store to get a cup of coffee.

doing driveways sucks and most of your average driveways are too small and you end up having to get out and shovel all the areas that you can not get the truck to.
the only pitfall i can come up with in working as a sub is it might take a few weeks to get paid because you have to wait for the contractor to bill the job out and get paid themselves.
the contractors i worked for had hundreds of subs and sidewalk crews so it would be a little wishful thinking to expect that they have a couple hundred thousand dollars laying around to pay everyone.

i would rather wait for my money a little longer if it means i don't have to deal with some @zzhat complaining about 40 bucks and not paying me as well as busting my butt for chump change.

plus with commercial properties they need to be kept up with so their employees and customers can get in and out of their businesses and with most contractors assuming all the liability they will have you out there after the first inch is on the ground and they are not gonna take the chance of doing a large home depot lot after 10 inches is on the ground nor can they wait till then to do it.

i feel your pain and i know the state of maine is a beautiful state but money is tight there and the average joe up there is just squeaking by.
i have a close friend who sells fisher snow plows here in NJ and he also owns a large piece of property on swan island and is best friends with the people who own fisher inc and that is what they tell me all the time.
my friend is 68 years old and is the third generation in his family to own that property up there and his family has ties to the state of maine for the last 100 years so i take his advice as well as the people who own fisher that i also personally know very seriously.

hope that helps and best of luck to you and your second half.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:56 PM
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Default Fantasy Landscaping

I think in a magical and perfect world, everyone would agree and pay thier bills, but I am not so lucky. I am going to take all of your advice into account. In the spring I have lots of higher end customers that are willing to pay and I will handle the plowing differently. I am actually surprised with the way these customers are handling all this. We do a 500 ft road with 3 driveways for 150.00 now in my opinion that us super cheap and my husband being the perfectionist he is makes sure that all areas are taken care of. They flat out REFUSED to pay for a second plow, so he told them fine, we will wait until it stops snowing and if my truck does not move because the snow is to heavy then so be it, you will just be snowed in. It is just frustrating and I feel his pain, I honestly do. He hears is from me because people do not want to pay and then he hears it from his customers that refuse to pay so he gets it from all ends.

I love showing them that they could save that 5 dollars. But I honestly think we are going to turn commercial. It is way less hassle then with Joe homeowner.

Thanks again for the responses, keep them coming cause I am taking some from each one and combining them to form one contract that everyone will sign be it for per storm pushes or monthly. I will have it in writing!
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