As a business owner, it’s not unusual that your daily to-do list gets hijacked once or twice throughout the day. Permanently remove an item from your list by hiring a professional snow and ice contractor. Whether you have retail customers or just need to maintain walkways for employees, it is expected that your lot is clear and salted after each snow event. This reduces the chance of slip and fall incidents and guarantees safety for everyone on your property.
Like any type of seasonal service, it’s best to schedule in advance before contractors fill up for the season. This also gives you the opportunity to gather a few estimates before deciding on a provider. Keep in mind, the lowest bid isn’t always the best choice. Finding a reliable contractor you can count on with proper insurance and a good reputation is usually worth the extra cash.
1) Convenience & Peace of Mind
When you have 99 problems, do you really want one more? Dealing with your property’s snow and ice control is a big responsibility to take on when you already have a full-time job running your business. Mother Nature is far from dependable and requires you to constantly keep an eye on the weather, even if there’s only a slight chance of snow. Winter events can take place overnight or mid-day so in either case, you need to be ready in a moment’s notice to clear your lot for the morning or evening commute.
When you hire a professional contractor, you gain peace of mind knowing that your property will be cleared on time and done right. The last thing you want to do is frustrate your customer with poor conditions before they even enter your store. Contractors understand that timeliness is a key factor for companies and will work around your business hours.
2) Equipment Cost & Preparation
Some people like to roll up their sleeves and get the job done themselves, but in this case, it might actually come at a higher cost. In order to perform winter services for your own business, you need the proper equipment—and well-designed products that can withstand a harsh winter come at a premium price. You probably thought of the essentials like a reliable vehicle that can mount a plow but you may not be aware of all the additional costs and the fact that not every plow can go on every vehicle so finding the right match is vital.
Although used equipment could bring down the initial price, making the DIY route seem desirable in the short term, you have to think about the long term cost. Ongoing maintenance, wear on your vehicle, unexpected plow repairs and the additional insurance requirements are only the beginning. You also need to secure salt up front before it’s gone. Not to mention, time away from focusing on more important tasks for your business. When you add up all the expenses, most businesses don’t want to deal with the hassle of doing it themselves.
3) Breakdowns & Liability Risk
Snow business is a hard business and not as easy as some might think. There is a lot of work done behind-the-scenes to ensure a smooth process and a huge list of unknowns that could disrupt it. Even if you have a brand new truck and plow, winter storms can be brutal and cause a lot of wear and tear on equipment. A certain level of expertise is needed to protect the lot surface and your equipment from damage. Snow and ice contractors plan for the worst and have backup equipment and replacement parts on hand in case something fails. Preparation is the key to being successful in this line of business.
Documenting each time winter services are performed is critical to avoiding slip and fall lawsuits, common in the snow and ice industry. A photo is worth a thousand words when you are trying to prove proper care of the lot. Mitigating risk and improving safety need to be top of mind. You must ensure city ordinances are followed as well—failure to clear sidewalks early and often could result in a fine.
Forget the contingency plan by hiring a snow and ice contractor to take care of your property in winter. Allowing you to get back to what you do best—running your business.