In landscaping, there are seasonal conditions to consider. This often means extending partnerships to outside resources. During the winter, many landscapers choose to hire a snow plowing subcontractor, rather than deal with the expenses of modifying their business to include plows. This saves on money but provides ongoing service to clients year-round.
At Arborgold, we work with a variety of field-based companies from landscapers and lawn care to pest control and snow removal, so we know a thing or two about subcontracting. Here, we have compiled some helpful tips to guide you in your efforts to hire snow plowing subcontractors of your own.
Line up Talent in Advance
Snow is a tricky business because even during the winter months, you never know when it will fall, or in what quantities. For landscaping businesses looking to hire snow plowing subcontractors, this means having a team in place before the first sign of flurries.
There is nothing more frustrating than finding that snow has come early this year, and your usually dependable services are falling short of customer expectations because you were ill-prepared.
By reaching out to subcontractors early, you are guaranteed a dependable team come winter. Try searching sites like:
Be sure to use keywords for your city to rule out long-distance contractors. Not only is hiring locally better for your community’s economy, but it ensures those individuals are nearby when the snow falls.
Get the Word Out to Clients, Colleagues, and Friends
Job banks are not the only way to hire snow plowing subcontractors. You might be surprised to learn that many contractors seeking work are referred by friends or family members. You can use your personal or business social media to find local snow removal contractors. You can also chat with friends, neighbors, and local businesses to learn about which snow removal contractors they prefer.
One of the great advantages to searching for a snow removal subcontractor via friends and family is that you can hear opinions on personal experiences with the contractor prior to hiring. Much like reading reviews online, word-of-mouth experiences paints a clear picture of dependability, affordability, and availability.
Once you get a list of suggestions from acquaintances, check reviews to see what others have said about that contractor. This will let you narrow your search and get a broader scope of their abilities and workmanship.
Set Clear Job Expectations
When you hire snow plowing subcontractors, no two are exactly the same. This means making your job expectations clear is especially important. When you interview potential contractors, ensure they understand your company policies and procedures. This should include subjects such as:
- Schedule adherence
- Communication standards
- Job parameters
- Equipment usage
As you educate future subcontractors on their new role, be certain to include company policies on timeframes to attend to a snow removal site, and your choice of service and payment. Some snow removal services are paid by the hours, others by the size of the snowfall, and some are paid a set fee for the season.
Keep your Offer on the Table
Putting an offer on the table is one thing but keeping it there amidst a sea of alternative offers is another thing altogether. When you begin the process to hire snow plowing subcontractors you will likely have a set figure in mind for scheduling and payment. Be aware that this field gets competitive, especially close to winter, and your subcontractor may have other offers on the line.
To keep your offer valid and active, be sure to keep in touch with subcontractors in the offseason. A good seasonal subcontractor wants to find stable employment year to year. This means building strong relationships with those who hire them. If you keep your lines of communication open, and your bottom-line firm, you can often depend on the subcontractors you select to work with.
What Makes a Good Plowing Subcontractor?
Now that you know a bit about how to hire a plowing subcontractor, you might want to think about what to look for in a snow removal professional. Some of the key features of a high-quality plow operator include:
- Clear criminal record
- Clean driving record
- Insurance for operation of plow
- Ownership of proper plowing equipment
- Solid references
- Reasonable rates
- Clean vehicles (organization is an important part of this job)
These are just a few of the qualities which suggest a reliable subcontractor. You may also get a vibe when you meet them in person which speaks to you personally or professionally. Trust your gut, as personality can play into the type of business relationship you will build with these individuals.
Work with More Than One Subcontractor
As you hire snow plowing subcontractors consider the types of plows you’ll need access to, and whether one subcontractor will do the trick. Your client’s homes and businesses are likely shaped differently. This means different plow attachments may be needed at various times throughout the winter season. Some common types of snowplows include:
- Box plow
- Straight plow
- Full-trip plow
- Bottom trip plow
Each of these plow fixtures comes in a variety of sizes. Depending on the size of a customer’s plot of land you may need a small and large plow attachment. Parking lots and other immense paved areas clear more quickly and evenly with a large attachment, while long narrow private driveways may require a narrow plow.
Hire enough plow operators with the correct types of equipment to service all your customers, and you can be sure nobody will be left in the cold.
Try Arborgold Today
At Arborgold, we work hard to develop the best software for field-service businesses across North America. We are constantly updating our platform as businesses like yours expand and evolve.
If you are a landscaping or lawn care company looking to grow your brand and incorporate a team of subcontractors, our software can help. From operations to payroll to communications, Arborgold has your back.
Manage your snow plowing scheduling, workforce, invoicing, and contract billing all in one system with Arborgold. Learn more.