Even though fall lawn care and landscaping jobs keep you busy, you still need to transition your green business into a white one in time for winter.
Depending on where you’re located, you might’ve started the transition in early September.
Since bidding begins in October, you should be getting your bids ready soon. Commercial contracts are up in November, so it’s smart to get prepared as quickly as possible.
But wait until October to send in those bids.
If you’re new to snow and ice removal, you may want to subcontract with a larger company to get your feet wet. Conversely, if you have some small commercial accounts, you can use the following tips:
- Build relationships all year long: No matter what industry you’re in, you need to look at the big picture as well as the present moment. To succeed as a four-season business, you should be developing relationships with your lawn and landscape clients. Then, it’s easier to sell them on your snow and ice removal services.
- Consider a mixed bag of per push and seasonal contracts: Don’t stick to one type of contract with your customers. Instead, your contracts should be a mix of all season or year (if you’re a four-season company) contracts as well as per push contracts.
- Present yourself as a four-season business: Many HOA’s and other companies want one contractor to handle spring, summer, fall and winter services. It makes paying bills and dealing with one point-person a lot easier than dealing with multiple contractors. It’s a win-win for you too. You have a consistent income coming in all year long with established clients.
- Stick to smaller commercial properties: When you’re starting out, it may work better for you to stick with more mom-and-pop type businesses. You can take the time to get to your clients as you handle their lawn care and snow removal services throughout the year.
- Market and advertise your snow and ice management services: Once you’ve exhausted your established contacts for snow and ice management this winter, you should consider advertising and marketing. For example, you may want to buy ad space in your local paper and a local HOA newsletter. You can also have postcards and brochures produced that highlight your snow and ice management services. And don’t forget about your website’s blog. You can start posting blogs inviting sales prospects to check out your winter services.
Next Step: Preseason Visits and Preparing for Winter
Business owners and property managers are very concerned about liability—particularly in the form of slip and fall accidents. So, you need to make sure you have the right insurance in place.
Also, you can protect yourself and your landscaping company when you conduct a preseason visit—even if you’ve worked on this property in your landscape business.
When you go on a preseason visit, you’re looking at the layout of the parking lots, roads and walkways. Plus, you want to check for areas where there is any damage, so you don’t get billed for that in the early spring.
You need to ask where you should pile the snow and make sure that melted snow won’t drain back on the parking lots or in areas where pedestrians walk. And you need to look up at storefront canopies and signs to see if snow will melt and lead to slick sidewalks.
Next, you need to get your fleet up and running for winter. If you’re a lawn and landscape company, you’ll still be using your fleet and equipment well into late fall. However, you can start getting your trucks, skid steers, and front loaders ready on a gradual basis.
And, you need to get your crews prepared for the change over from a green to white business. Tailgate and lunch meetings are great times to go over safety, customers, routes and other snow-related business.
Turn to Snow Wolf for All of Your Snow Removal Needs
Stoikes, Jessica, “What Snow Removal Equipment You Should Add to Your Landscape Business.”
White, Patrick, “Make More Money in the Fourth Season.”