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What to do when there's no snow?

Business Management

The weather outside is warm and you can still see the ground. So what's a snow fighter to do? Snow columnist John Allin offers four productive activities to do in between prayers for snow.

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December 16, 2011

As we approach the holiday, I imagine many of you are looking out your windows at green grass and dry pavement, ponder what you should do with no snow to keep you busy.

There are ways to be productive in between prayers for the white stuff.

Here are four says to keep you busy and productive.

Plan
Planning comes immediately to mind. This kind of forethought can be tough as you keep looking out the window waiting to generate some revenue, but too many snow contractors go along, being busy “working” the business with no real thought to planning for the future. I’m not talking about retirement planning, but planning for next spring, summer, fall and even next winter. 

Planning for spring renewal activity is not wasted time. Lay out who needs their contracts renewed, place them in order of importance and outline how you will approach each. Actually, printing out the contract renewal form/proposal now saves a heck of a lot of time come April.  

Equipment assessment
A thorough equipment review and an assessment of what will need replacing at season's end are productive activities. Gathering information on the actual equipment you might replace -- even if it's just a computer -- takes time. Keep in mind, though, that this might an irrelevant activity if this is a low-snow winter since your equipment will last another year if not abused during a blizzard this winter.

This may seem basic and simple, but start up your trucks and work the hydraulics to ensure everything is in working order. The same goes for making sure the chains still work properly on the salt spreaders. Actually drive your trucks down the street a couple miles since tires can dry rot if left to stand too long in the dry wintertime air.

And how aggravating is it when you finally muster the troops to hit the street to fight the storm and one or two of your plow drivers start whining about no defrosters or heat in the cab?  Check it all now so you don’t have that issue arise when the white stuff starts falling.

Developing this check down as your between-snow routine saves you from some tremendous heartburn when it finally starts to snow.   

Marketing and branding
Reviewing marketing plans for next spring/summer/fall takes time. Pull out everything. Lay it out on the conference room table (or the kitchen table as the case may be) and just look at it with a critical eye.  Does it appear up-to-date?  If the colors have faded, does it need replaced?  Does it still tell the story you want to have out there now, as compared to when the message was first developed?

Stay busy
Most importantly – do something.

Don’t watch TV all day long, moping around feeling sorry for yourself about the lack of snow. Keep active. Go to Nautilus and walk the treadmill. Inactivity leads to the mind not going in good directions.  Read the trade magazines you’ve been letting build-up in the corner of the bathroom or on the toilet tank.

And finally, be careful what you wish for. When/if it finally begins, it may not stop for a month.
 

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