John Janes | Landscaping Marketing Manager
This year has been a whirlwind of changes, and you may be facing tighter client budgets for snow and ice management this winter as a result. While tighter budgets do make things a bit more challenging, there are budget reduction strategies you can use with the services, equipment, and tools you have to make the most of your client relationships and budgets.
The last thing you want to do going into this winter season is to not be prepared for possible budget discussions with your customers. Having a game plan for these talks can help you be ready with alternatives for them if they want to talk about reducing prices.
Here are some things to do before you have these discussions:
As you start your budget discussions with your customers, it’s a good idea to ask them what their budget reduction looks like before you talk about what can be adjusted. Do they need to reduce services slightly or significantly? Knowing this can help you decide what service adjustments actually need to be made. You may find that they are really looking for a slight scale back and it’s something you can easily accommodate.
During your talks, it’s also a good idea to make it clear that these budget adjustments are temporary and that prices will be back to normal next winter. That way clients can know what to expect from you in the long-term.
If you and a customer do agree on a budget reduction, it’s even more important to be as efficient as you can on the job site, and that’s where your machines and attachments can help. Many compact wheel loaders, for example, have power train modes designed for snow clearing which reduce the torque sent to the wheels and prevent them from spinning on ice. These power train modes can also allow you to use regular construction tires without the addition of tire chains.
And don’t forget attachments – things like V plows, snow plows and pushes, and snow blowers can all help you remove snow and ice more quickly than using just salt alone so that you can maximize your time on the job site.
Budget discussions don’t have to be a scary thing – if you come prepared and have a plan for both during and after your talk, you’ll be well-equipped to handle the snow removal season this winter. Want more helpful industry tips for your snow and ice management business? Check out the SIMA Snow Talk podcast for insights from fellow professionals.
Landscaping Marketing Manager
John Janes has been bringing his diversified expertise to sales and marketing initiatives at Caterpillar for more than a decade. Not only does he hold an LIC certification from the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), CSP and ASM certifications from the Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA), but Janes also serves as an American Concrete Institute (ACI)-certified concrete flatwork technician.