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How to Proactively Secure Snow Plowing Contracts for Your Landscape Company

Posted On Sep 26, 2019 9:00:00 AM By Nanette Seven, Vice President

Website-Snow-Image-1585x900-383900-editedIf you are not a snow-exclusive business and securing snow plowing contracts is not constantly on your mind, then you could fall into the trap of waiting until the last minute to start working on your snow sales. This happens to a lot of landscaping companies, so by no means are you alone. 

But that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with the ramifications.

The truth is, when you wait too long to plan for your snow season, you find yourself scrambling. You might not even be able to hire the right number of laborers or have all of the proper equipment lined up if you didn’t plan ahead. 

Fortunately, you can prevent a lot of headaches by starting the planning process now. 

Here are some important ways that you can be proactive when it comes to securing snow plowing contracts for your landscape company.

1. Think about the Gatekeepers

If you’re going after new snow business and trying to secure brand-new snow plowing contracts with customers that you haven’t worked with before, then you really need to know who you’re targeting. It isn’t always the property owner. Instead, sometimes it is another individual that we might call a “gatekeeper” who makes the decisions for that property.

Since a lot of your snow business likely comes from HOAs and commercial properties, you need to think about how to best target property managers, HOA boards, and even Realtors. Realtors are often engaged in trying to ensure a space-for-lease continues to look well-maintained. Networking with these individuals ahead of time can help you secure their business.

Be sure to think about their most pressing needs and touch upon those “pain points” in your sales presentation. What sorts of problems did they have with their snow and ice removal service provider in the past? 

There may be very specific requests that you’ll need to fulfill, such as keeping signage clear or avoiding excess salt around certain walkways due to plant material. Make sure that you are aware of these needs and address them accordingly, starting with your sales pitch. Show these prospective clients how you can make their lives easier. At the end of the day, you aren’t just offering snow plowing, you’re offering them peace of mind.

2. Market Your Services in Bundles

Convenience is so important when it comes to buying decisions. People are able to see value in services that are packaged in convenient ways, which takes the guesswork out of it for them.

If you can demonstrate that your snow plowing services will make life easier for your prospective buyer, you just may be able to obtain their business. This can be achieved by giving your prospect multiple options but packaging them into convenient bundles in which everything is included that they’ll need. 

After all, people do not like feeling nickel and dimed for everything little thing. Think about the way in which you are presenting your packages as a whole and whether it’s attractive to the buyer.

3. Utilize Highly Professional Snow & Ice Removal Contracts

Prospective clients are looking for a highly professional company. That can be proven with a highly professional contract.

The number one most important tip when it comes to producing a snow and ice removal contract is to be explicit in the verbiage used. Be incredibly clear about exactly what is included and don’t make any assumptions that your clients will know or understand the information you’re presenting without you spelling it out for them. Don’t worry about your contract being too long. Just be sure that you don’t leave something out.

In addition to including detailed information about the services being performed, also including site plans and push maps for your properties can be beneficial. This added feature eliminates any lingering questions by showing exactly where you’ll be working on site

4. Start Your Renewals Now

neave-group-outdoor-solutions-snow-broomWhile there might be an inclination to use this “early season start” to focus on new business, you should also be focused on renewing existing snow plowing contracts. You can never just assume that all of your existing clients are going to renew.

Focusing on your renewals now can be a way to demonstrate to your clients that you care about them. Focus your renewal pitch on the benefits that your customers will gain by renewing early. Explain the importance of getting on your service list now—not only because it may fill up, but because you want them to have the best spot.

Again, focus your language on the client. Even though it’s a benefit to your company that clients renew early (as it helps you prepare), make sure that you’re positioning your renewal pitch entirely around the ways in which early renewal will benefit them

5. Use Snow Plowing Tracking Software for Optimal Management 

Once you do obtain snow sales, you also want to be able to offer the best possible service to your customers while also maximizing your profitability. But the snow business can be complicated and there can be a lot of ways in which things can go awry. Everything from scheduling hold-ups to billing blunders can become significant problems.

Landscape Software Buyer's GuideBut you can prevent these problems with snow landscape business software that works in conjunction with your snow business. Software can help ensure accuracy across your snow plowing services. 

By being able to keep up with real-time data, you can ensure that you always have accurate record-keeping on everything from materials to equipment to labor. Accurate record keeping is absolutely vital in such a highly litigious profession as snow and ice management. GPS tracking, visual tracking with photos, a record of ground temperature, and other details are really important when it comes to combating slip and fall claims.

Software will also help you to be more profitable by allowing you to get billing out in a timely manner. That is absolutely huge when it comes to your clients paying more quickly for services. The quicker you can get your invoice out after a snow event, the more likely that it will be paid with no pushback. That’s because the event is still fresh in their mind, as are the services that you rendered.

Of course, all of this is appreciated from the customer perspective as well. By exuding a high level of professionalism with a business that is so clearly data-oriented, you’ll gain their confidence. That’s important when it comes to renewing those contracts later on. 

When everything does come full circle, and it’s time to renew again, software will help you there, as well. You’ll be more efficient as you will not have to re-enter your contracts each year. You won’t be bogged down by duplicate data entry. Instead, you can spend more time evaluating which of your contracts were profitable and renew them based on that criteria.

Choosing Software to Support Your Snow & Landscaping Business

Since snow is only part of your business, you want to choose a software product that can support your business as a whole. Ideally, you’d like a streamlined system that can do it all. A lot of businesses have a different software program for every function of their business from an accounting program to a scheduling program and maybe even a separate snow plowing software program. But this can mean repetitive data entry and a process that isn’t as efficient as it could be.

Instead of having multiple systems at play, Asset is that comprehensive solution that is not only snow plowing software but also a total system that can handle all facets of your landscape business. 

In the end, that will make your life easier when it comes to securing and renewing snow plowing contracts.

If you’re ready to see how landscape business software can make your snow plowing business better, let’s explore and see what our products can do for you.

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Image Sources:  Neave Group

 

Topics: Production & Operations, Accounting & Financial Reporting

Nanette Seven, Vice President

Written by Nanette Seven, Vice President

As a child, I was tasked with summer chores like weeding the rose garden, and helping to plant and harvest the vegetable garden. These childhood “chores” evolved into something I enjoyed. I have a passion for being outside, whether it is getting my hands dirty gardening, coaching and watching sports, or being on the Chesapeake Bay. Outdoors is where I would prefer to be. So, when the opportunity to work for a high-end residential design/build company presented itself, it seemed a good fit. I never imagined that almost 25 years later I would still be working in the landscape industry. I feel fortunate to have worked for Include for the past 20+ years. I wake up every day and do something that I truly enjoy, and with people I honestly like being around. I travel quite extensively to industry events to stay current on the changing needs of the landscape industry. Learning from our clients, consultants, and peers is also a focus of mine; I want to know what they need to help their businesses grow and thrive. This valuable information is used to help build and improve the software and services Include provides. I personally get great satisfaction knowing that what Include Software does as a team is unmatched in our industry. We provide leading edge software with top-notch customer service, and make a positive impact on people and their businesses every single day.