Should I offer snow removal services this year?

There are certain services you will find a joy to perform while others will be a grind. Snow removal services requires tough work, in a cold environment, at odd hours, so it’s no wonder some simply don’t want to get into it. But what would you do if you were presented with the opportunity this member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum was? Would you decide to go for it or pass on this great growth opportunity?

One lawn care business owner wrote “I find myself faced with a very tough decision, some may laugh and say just do it, but let me give you the background.

I want to be careful and not mention any company, so let’s just say I do very little work in my community which is true. No reason other than I love working in the community that is about 30 minutes from my home and it’s where most of my business is in.

There is a lawn care and snow removal company about two streets over from me. They are massive, with at least 8 trucks with trailers, and are very, very professional looking in every respect. Sometimes we meet at the local coffee shop in the mornings.

This is a father and son operation. The dad is a bit older than me and owns the company. The son, who I would guess is 25, basically runs it. This year and I think dad has his eye off the ball as I have heard from many that the son has a substance issue. I don’t get into the gossip but I keep a log in my head and I have heard this a lot.

Starting this past Tuesday something strange happened. I started receiving a lot of emails for snow removal quotes. I would guess close to 30 last week, all coming from my website all in my area. Previously I had been subbing all snow jobs for the past few years, to a neighbor, for the simple reason that I have plowed for over 20 years and I simply am not interested in it any more. I am tired of it. I have been enjoying my down time in the Winter months to recharge and come out strong for next spring.

Anyhow on Wednesday I had a call from a lady about 5 minutes over from me. She lives at a different lake than I am on and the development is about three years old. I honestly haven’t been over there since it was developed. She said that the whole side of the lake is private lanes with 5 to 6 homes each. She told me the provider, the guy above, increased his rates 50% for the snow season and 35% for the lawn season next year! Same story from speaking with other prospects later in the week and yesterday.

Anyhow I did quotes yesterday, all within 15 minutes of my home, for a total of 31 places for snow removal. Now the decision, do I do this myself and yes I have the gear, in an effort to get their lawn and yard care??? I saw piles of work yesterday, mainly tree cutting and chipping, although my buddy will do a good job with the snow removal, it won’t be my company name these people will see, that is the issue in my head.

This has nothing to do with money, it’s all about being in the eyes of the client and I am so close to all of them. I am really tempted to do it myself but my downtime will suffer. I really wanted to get out of snow removal, I don’t find any fun in it anymore……oh boy this is going to be a tough call.”

A second lawn care business said “a solution may be to have your sub-contractor, if he does not advertise his own business, possibly put a magnet sign on his trucks with your business information. If he does great work, there would be no fear of him ruining your company name or causing any types of disturbance.

Explain you would like their business for lawn care and want your name going up and down their street hundreds of times this winter. It sounds like the pickings are there for the taking. These people will be looking for their replacement lawn care and plow service very quickly with the rising prices of the company in question now. These close accounts may also allow you to maybe cut loose any farther away accounts or complainers etc.”

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