Why I am getting out of snow plowing.

Different services will make more money in some areas while less money in others. That is just a simple fact based on the laws of supply and demand. Snow plowing is also effected by weather conditions. Certain areas will get hit with more snow than others and past snow fall rates do not necessarily help in the prediction of future snow fall amounts. All of this combined together has had an effect on a member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum when he told us about why he is getting out of snow plowing and into offering other services.

He wrote “This year I have finally had it with snow plowing. I can’t take it anymore and after some thought I decided to start a lawn care business next spring instead. As soon as the weather breaks, I am planning on going out and trying to get customers.

I think I will be starting with promoting gutter cleaning services, even before the grass starts growing. In my area, a lot of leaves fall and tend to accumulate in gutters until they get clogged and over flow with water during rain storms. People may not notice this in the winter months because of the cold conditions but as the weather warms, they will certainly want to make sure their gutters are cleaned.

To promote this service, I am going to be putting ads up at the super market and on craigslist. I will also be going door to door and sending out letters to my previous snow plow customers.

This year has brought me to the conclusion that I am not going to be offering any more winter services. I used to plow residential driveways and hated every second of it.  The main reason I stopped is because I just didn’t feel I made enough money for the amount of time and wear and tear I put on the truck. Plus the insurance I had to have for snow plowing was too expensive. Sure I did make some money but it just was not enough to continue doing it.

As I weighed out my options this winter I tried to come up with a figure I felt I would need to make in order to continue offering snow plowing. What I came up with is I would have had to charge probably $85 to $95 a driveway to make me want to do it again.

Being on call 24hrs a day. Not being able to schedule anything during the winter months. Being outside in the cold. Slowly destroying my truck with the heavy plow hanging off the front of it. I just hated everything about it. Don’t get me wrong, I was very good at snow plowing, I just didn’t enjoy it anymore. In my area, The max I was able to charge for a standard driveway was between $35 and $40.  I had about 40 customers to deal with and everyone wanted their driveway plowed at the same time.

Now instead of snow plowing, I am going to be offering lawn care. I will be able to schedule everyone out on a weekly predictable frequency and mow lawns all spring, summer, and fall. Next winter I will be taking off and taking it easy. From here on out, winter will be my time to relax.

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