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-   -   Question For Everyone about their Snow Plowing/Blowing Services (http://www.bikeforums.net/foo/142067-question-everyone-about-their-snow-plowing-blowing-services.html)

hi565 09-27-05 06:43 PM

Hello All!

I have a question for everyone about their snow removal services. Well before I do that lemme give you some background.

I recently bought a snow blower and my dad and I are thinking of ways of getting some profit off of it. So I was thinking about sending out flyer's and saying that I will only take about 4-5 people and give them unlimited amount of service for Snow Blowing their drive and walkway. I have to say making a buisness plan is mucho easier when your dad is a consultant :D . Here is where the question comes to play. I haven't decide what to charge. That's what I was going to ask you guys/gals.

What do you pay for your snow removal services? And is it pay for each time? or unlimited? Or you pay for like 5 visits?

It would be greatly appreciated to share what you pay so I can get some idea of what I should be charging.


PLUS, maybe if you want to say what you would be willing to pay.


Thanks a lot everyone. :)

madbiker555 09-27-05 07:12 PM

No idea...Im thinking that it's quite a bit less than the average price of lawn cutting services...$10 a plow? Not sure.

And why do you speak of winter when it's only september? :D

hi565 09-27-05 07:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by madbiker555
No idea...Im thinking that it's quite a bit less than the average price of lawn cutting services...$10 a plow? Not sure.

And why do you speak of winter when it's only september? :D

Planning my friend, Planning!

I was thinking a good amount more than that. I mean If I did it each time (which I probably wont) it would be int the 20-25 range.

spindog 09-27-05 08:26 PM

Depends on where you live. Is there an "average" size driveway? My neighborhood has driveways from short to VERY long and wide. Also, some people want their sidewalks done and some have town owned street walkways that must be cleared of snow also.

If I were you - I'd have your Dad get a few free estimates from snowplow companies for your own driveway. This will give you an idea of what companies are charging now that the price of gas is greater than that of gold. For example they might charge me $35 a storm. Someone else with the same size driveway? You might say, "hey- I can do it for $18" or whatever.

Charge by each time you do the driveway - not the whole season. Also, take into account that it might not be wise to charge by the storm per say. ie: we get a giant blizzard and three feet of snow all at once. Your sorry a$$ snow blower is not going to do that in one pass. Especially when we get the New England wintry/slush/sleet/crap. You might have to do the driveway 3 times during that storm.

My friend tells his customers up front that anythiong over 10 inches will require a second plow and he'll usually will do the second pass (same storm) for about 30% discount off the regular price.

What people paid last year is likely to be different this year. Gas prices have doubled.

Want to make a difference? Help out the elderly. Have them present you with written estimates form snowplow companies and cut that price in half. You will be helping someone out who will truly appreciate you and you will be getting a workout just clearing snow for them.

Jerry Garcia 09-27-05 09:50 PM

40$ and the driveways up here are super short, usually just long enough for 1.5 cars. Easy money.

megaman 09-27-05 10:39 PM

Around here here $20 would take care of a 30ft driveway and 100 ft of sidewalk. That however is for only up to about 8 inches.

HWS 09-28-05 03:29 AM

$65 for 14" of snow on a 90 foot driveway and another 50 feet of side walk. Thats what I paid a couple of kids last year. It was worth it to me.
Charge what ever you can. You would be suprized what people are willing to pay for not having to shovel themselves.

KingTermite 09-28-05 05:50 AM

Haven't a clue...it hasn't snowed in Tampabay, FL since I was 7 years old (1977).

TexasGuy 09-28-05 07:34 AM

We've yet to get enough snow to need to plow here in Texas. Occassionally in NM we would get some bad snow every other winter or so.

Big R 09-28-05 11:31 AM

You're charging WAY too much... I'd say unlimited service for the season for about $40 seems fair...oh, and I'm happy to sign up as your 1st customer, my address in Wayland is.................:)

hi565 09-28-05 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big R
You're charging WAY too much... I'd say unlimited service for the season for about $40 seems fair...oh, and I'm happy to sign up as your 1st customer, my address in Wayland is.................:)

really? Pmed.

hi565 09-28-05 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hi565
really? Pmed.

or maybe not. :)

telenick 09-28-05 12:26 PM

Great idea to utilize a resource. Things to consider:

consider seasonal maintenance agreements vs. call in requests (the first being less $$ than the second)

How many cleanings per 24 hour period?

North facing driveways will hold snow longer than the south facing ones. The sun might do your work for you in some cases.

Some less powerful snowblowers don't handle heavy, wet snow or old consolidated snow very well. what's you backup plan for this? At your elevation, anything less than 7 hp. is going to cough and wheez. Where I live a 13hp engine is the norm.

How much snow needs to fall before you are engaged?

How close to the garage door are you going? Be careful of damage.

Damage to landscaping ...think about it.

Consider the slope of driveways and walkways. This can really affect the amount of work required to get 'er done quickly.

Will you scrape the ice that tire tracks make when they drive over the snow?

Will you clear the berm that is created from the government plow trucks? Sometimes this is more of the problem than the few inches on the driveway. A home blower isn't going to tackle a packed berm.

Blowing snow into the street is usually illegal ...but that doesn't stop most people. You're going to have a business ...better watch out for this.

What about insurance? Do you think you'll need any?

Portis 09-28-05 12:43 PM

I think you will be far better off charging by the job. There are many reasons for this:

1. Your work load may vary.

2. YOur time may vary.

3. You may have equipment malfunctions.

4. Snow storms can vary widely. A 6' snow storm could wreck you in a hurry.

5. You may need extra money, so that job you may want to charge a little more for.

6. You may be flush with money, after many recent jobs, so that you can be a little more reasonable and acquire even more jobs.

As far as charging, i manage a business where i have a parking lot in front. What i do each time it snows varies widely. IF it snows just a little, we just remove the snow from the sidewalk and let it melt out of the lot.

If it snows a lot I will pay someone to clear the lot. Usually i hire some guy with a plow on the front of his pickup. He can clear my lot in about 20 minutes. Pay usually is around $50. So he is roughly charging $200 per hour. Not Bad!

That is what you need to do. Figure out what you need to make PER HOUR to make it worth your while. This includes ANY time toward removing snow. i.e. getting dressed, preparing snow blower, transportation, etc. If it takes 1 hour and twenty minutes to get to one job BEFORE you even start to blow snow, than factor that in.

TIME IS MONEY.

I do many side ventures throughout a year to supplement my income. My rule is that if I can't make $30 per hour or more, than it isn't worth my time. I'd rather spend that time with family or on the bike, etc. So come up with a magic number for you and figure up the time required. That will tell you how much to charge.

BostonFixed 09-28-05 01:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by telenick
At your elevation, anything less than 7 hp. is going to cough and wheez.

Uh, Wayland, Ma's elevation is 127 ft.



How will you get from job-job? You can't really walk, unless you only do your neighbors' houses. You will need your pops to drive you, and the snowblower, etc...

How will you put the snowblower in the car? Do you have a pickup or station wagon, etc?

What happens if you get a snowstorm and school isn't cancelled?

telenick 09-28-05 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BostonFixed
Uh, Wayland, Ma's elevation is 127 ft.

What's your point?

hi565 09-28-05 05:15 PM

thanks all!


And dont worry, I ahve power, lots of it!
I ahve a 10 HP toro that I got mad cheap from a friend. It was in great shape its int the shop getting an oil changge.


I can understand everyones thoughts about the different situations.

thanks

CastIron 09-28-05 07:40 PM

If I were in your shoes I'd just give a flyer to the neighbors saying if they wan't help with snow removal to call/write/smoke signal you. You can say no, adjust price according to individual need, and walk to the job sites. No contracts or agreements just a kid making a little extra tuition coin. Most folks will respect that a bit more and consider calling 'the nice boy around the corner' of mutual benefit than business.

hi565 09-28-05 08:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CastIron
If I were in your shoes I'd just give a flyer to the neighbors saying if they wan't help with snow removal to call/write/smoke signal you. You can say no, adjust price according to individual need, and walk to the job sites. No contracts or agreements just a kid making a little extra tuition coin. Most folks will respect that a bit more and consider calling 'the nice boy around the corner' of mutual benefit than business.

Honestly, I think I will go with this. From all the points that have been given, I really cant handle the Real Buisness aspects of the idea. Although it sounded nice, I may just do that. any else want to comment on what they pay?

thanks


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