Add Snow Services to Your Lawn and Snow Company

Published on January 12, 2024

Have you ever been stuck on how to make your lawn care business profitable during the off-season? 

For many lawn care owners, the answer is to add snow services to their lawn and snow company which allows you to:

  • Increase client lifetime value
  • Keep loyal clients happy throughout the year
  • Give your best employees better wages and benefits
  • Continuously make money throughout the entire year
  • Keep your best employees (rather than laying them off for the winter)

Unlike when you first started your lawn care business, you already have clients and a team, and it might not be as hard as you think to pivot to a lawn and snow company.

Here’s how to transition your lawn care business into a snow removal business during the winter:

1. Protect Your Business With Bonding and Insurance

As a current lawn care business owner, you probably already know that you need to be bonded and insured, and this is also important for snow and ice removal services

In the snow business, there are way more risks, hazards, and liabilities than in lawn care, such as:

  • Property damage
  • Client and employee lawsuits
  • Injuries from equipment use
  • Unseen hazards covered by the snow
  • Accidents on the job (e.g. equipment failure or severe weather)

There’s a significant increase of risk when operating heavier machinery and hand tools during extreme weather conditions.

Due to this substantially increased risk, you’ll likely need to add or change the current insurance policy you’re using for lawn care.

This is because many insurance providers require higher coverage to provide insurance for snow and ice removal. 

Make sure your business is ready to cover this additional cost as well! 

Don't forget to check with your insurance provider to ensure you’re completely covered under your policy.

2. Increase Snow Pricing to Meet Profit Goals

In snow removal, your costs are astronomically HIGHER compared to lawn care services.

Not only are you going to require more expensive equipment and tools, but you’ll have to pay your team more.

Depending on your local laws, you might need to get the team certified for snow removal. 

Plus, based on the area, you might have to pay the team overtime for increased work time.

That said, you should charge clients more to account for these additional costs.

Make sure you talk to your accountant and tax professional before adding new services and pricing!

As you determine how substantial your expenses are, remind clients why they’re paying top dollar for your snow removal services.

Let them know that while you may charge more than your competition, there’s way less liability - potentially saving them more money in the long run.

Also, you need to choose how you’ll charge your clients, for example:

  • Per inch
  • Per push
  • Per event

As always, check to make sure your snow pricing is set high enough to meet profit goals.

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3. Buy Snow Equipment As-Needed

Since you’re going to require additional snow equipment, it’s always a good idea to start small.

In other words, when you’re first getting started, don’t offer too many services at once… and you’ll want to add equipment after you’ve sold a few smaller jobs.

If you’re just getting started you can get by with a few shovels and a handheld salt spreader.

Do you remember how many services you offered when your lawn care business was small? You likely started out with just mowing and weed eating.

So pick just a few snow removal services to hone in on during your first season, and you can always add more services as you go along.

For example, you might offer driveway shoveling, sidewalk snow removal, and ice treatment during your first year.

Also, don’t forget about the learning curve.

You and your team will need proper training and certifications to offer these services.

You can prepare for the certification exam by studying early - use helpful resources, such as SIMA’s online CSP Study Guide (Certified Snow Professional) 

Remember, not only do you need to check with your state’s laws on certifications, but you should also account for this cost in the clients’ prices.

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4. Begin Marketing to Existing Lawn Care Clients

Here’s the great news: You already have clients who love you, so you ideally won’t have to spend as much money on marketing or new clients.

For example, consider leaving snow-specific business cards or flyers at your best lawn care clients' houses around August or September.

Generally, marketing around two months before you begin snow services is a good rule of thumb.

Then, follow up when the first snow is in the forecast (when people are worried about snow). 

This is a great opportunity to push fence-sitters over the edge and turn them into customers.

Plus, think about leaving an “exclusive offer” to existing clients, so they might be more open to additional services.

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5. Provide Referral Offers to Your Best Clients

As a business owner, one of your main goals is to clone your best clients, and using referral offers is one of the best ways to accomplish that.

Remember, as you pass out magnetic business cards to your best existing clients, be sure there’s a referral offer on there!

Even a small referral discount can make a customer feel special! 

While you should try to make the offer as appealing as possible, don’t be afraid to give something small. Here are some ideas if you are on a budget:

  • $20 off their next service
  • $10 off their next service AND the new customer’s service
  • A $10 gift card to a local coffee shop

Keep in mind that a referral offer is a relatively small price to pay when considering CLV (client lifetime value).

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6. Start Bidding on Snow Contracts in October

Once you’ve got your snow business removal business going and want to take on bigger clients, it is wise to consider commercial clients.

That said, you should start bidding early which is usually October for most snow removal businesses.

This gives you enough time to make bids, conduct preseason visits, and assign clients to teams before the season begins.

Bidding this early ensures you won’t be as overwhelmed when the busy season starts.

Plus, it gives you somewhat of a headcount for the number of employees, equipment, and materials you’ll need.

7. Take Advantage of Pre-Season Snow Visits

Pre-season snow visits help to mitigate liability and protect the lawn and snow company from liabilities like:

  • Pre-existing damage
  • Potential “trouble areas”
  • Unforeseen obstacles and hazards

Not only do preseason visits protect you from potential liabilities, but they also boost the team’s efficiency and allow you to establish client expectations early on.

Don’t skip out on the one thing that can save your lawn and snow company hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars.

Maximize profits this snow season by completing preseason snow visits early.

TIP: If you are going to be servicing existing lawn care clients, knock out pre-season surveys when you are already there providing lawn services! 

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Continue Year-Round Revenue With Your Lawn and Snow Company

If you’re looking for tips to maximize profits this year, these steps will help you to meet profit goals and continue year-round revenue in your lawn and snow company.

When you take the proper steps, the snow industry has the potential to be highly profitable for you. 

Take advantage of these useful steps to grow your business into a lawn and snow company while becoming even more successful!


Related: Seasonal Snow Removal: 5 Ways to Dominate This Winter


Originally published Dec 10, 2019 7:00 AM, updated Jan 12, 2024 8:07 AM

Alyssa Sanders

Alyssa is the Team Lead of Creative Marketing at Xplor Field Services. When she's not writing or creating content, you can find her watching a new sci-fi series or shoving her nose into a book.
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