When the first snowfall of the season arrives, the graceful way it falls from the sky is beautiful to watch. But once it begins to pile up, it can be dangerous and lead to costly property damage. Commercial snow removal services help minimize these issues and ensure that your business can keep operating smoothly during the winter.
While you may be a snow removal expert in residential settings, it takes a whole new set of skills to work on a large scale commercial job. Keeping large areas like parking lots, sidewalks and entryways clear of snow and ice is essential for any business that needs to keep their employees, customers or visitors moving seamlessly throughout the day.
In addition to having the right equipment, you also need to have the right team of people in place. This includes not only your experienced crews, but also your administrative and support staff who will need to be available when you are plowing and salting so that you can answer questions, provide assistance with billing or take a phone call from a customer with a question.
The contract you sign with your client will dictate what types of services commercial snow removal are to be provided. This can range from a simple snow plowing agreement to a complete service that addresses all aspects of a site’s snow and ice management. For example, a comprehensive snow management service can include a combination of snow shoveling, deicing, pre-treatment and plowing.
You will also need to determine whether you will be working under a per-occurrence or seasonal contract. Per-occurrence contracts offer more financial stability for both you and your clients as they establish a set price that is not subject to change based on the amount of snowfall, time or labor. Seasonal contracts, on the other hand, are more common in many regions as they allow for a fixed-fee agreement for the entire winter.
Both types of agreements can be good for your business, but it is important to clearly define what each entails and what services you will provide for which type of contract. This will help prevent any confusion for you or your clients, as well as provide you with clarity in planning for the upcoming winter.
In addition to addressing what type of snow and ice removal services you will provide, it is also a good idea to include a detailed list of what you will not do for each agreement. For example, if you are providing plowing and salting services to a large medical facility, you may need to specify that you will not remove any snow from the fire hydrants in front of or beside the building, as well as any sidewalks leading to them. This will help to reduce any potential safety hazards for those visiting the site and to minimize your liability. It is also a good idea to clarify what types of insurance you carry. You will also want to include any additional fees that you will require your customers to pay for the use of your equipment. This could include a “ready” fee that covers the cost of keeping your equipment on site to streamline snow and ice management processes.