The NFL post season has ended but the Snow and Ice Management post season is right around the corner. Many companies are hoping for that “Super Bowl” of storms to dump a foot or more of the white fluffy stuff to end the year strong. What you do in the months following your last event can greatly impact your organization the following year. Many businesses that perform snow and ice management also perform other services during the other 3 seasons. If you, like many others, jump right into landscaping or construction in the spring, don’t forget to set aside time that you can invest in the snow off-season. The following are some areas to focus on to help kick start next winter and make it the most profitable one yet.
Post season walk through: It is just as important to do a post season site inspection as it is to do a pre-season one. It is important to note any damage and whether or not it was caused by your organization. In your pre-season walk through you should have noted all pre-existing damage and gotten the property manager to sign off on it. This will make it easier to determine what, if any, property damage your company is responsible for.
Marketing/Sales: April and May can be the best times to attract new customers. If they had a negative experience just a few months earlier it will surely be on their mind and they will likely be open to speaking with another company that will hopefully provide them with a better experience. This is also a good time to get out and see your top customers and prospects. This is where you can strengthen existing relationships and cultivate new ones.
Customer list review: Businesses are always looking to expand. The best way to do that is to go out and obtain more contracts to perform your services. This is also the time to review your contracts from the previous year and decide if changes need to be made. Sometimes you sign a contract that turns out to be less profitable than you thought and you have to make a business decision whether or not you want to continue that business relationship or search for a more profitable one.
Education: Spring and summer is a perfect opportunity to educate yourself and your employees. Trade associations like SIMA and ASCA have multiple events that bring the snow and ice management community together. These events not only provide educational seminars they also provide an atmosphere where contractors from all over the state and even country can get together to network and share ideas. This time of year is also great to educate yourself with online classes. Both SIMA and ASCA offer online certification programs. These certifications make great marketing tools.
Insurance: Snow and ice management insurance is getting increasingly more difficult to secure which in turn keeps premiums rising. It is important you speak to an insurance agent who understands the snow and ice marketplace and understands what makes companies more attractive to the insurance carriers. Renewal dates are also important. Ideally you want to have your insurance renew in early to mid summer (June/July). This allows you to know how much your insurance premiums will be BEFORE you sign contracts for the next winter. All contracts should be signed no later than August. If your insurance renews after August you run the risk of having an unexpected increase in premium which would lower your profit on all contracts.
These are just some of the things to remember in the off season to make your winters more profitable.
Have a strong end of the season and remember to give me a call with any questions you may have.