If you own a business in Michigan, you know how much heavy snow can affect it. Customers not having access to your parking lot or feeling unsafe entering it can really cut into your revenue during the winter months, not to mention being a safety risk to both customers and employees. Choosing the best Michigan commercial snow contractor is vital. You need a reliable snow removal company you can trust. Here’s a list of questions you should really ask a Michigan snow plow company before you hire them.
1. Do you have a documented system of policies and procedures?
Most contractors don’t spend much time with documentation. However, by investing in snow systems 24/7/365, a dedicated snow removal company is best equipped to handle ANY size snow or ice event. The cream of the crop snow and ice management contractors are ISO 9001 / SN 9001 certified. This just means they have been rigorously tested and evaluated by a third party and meet the quality management standards that work in conjunction with the existing ISO 9001 standard. Learn more about ISO 9001 certification for snow contractors here.
2. How do you ensure I will get the snow and ice management I need?
If for any reason you’re not satisfied, how will your concerns be addressed? Is the company organized enough to implement effective solutions in the busyness of the winter season? We always recommend signing a formal contract for your snow removal services to be sure you know all your services, options and rights. A verbal agreement such as “we’ll make sure your parking lot is clear,” while nice to hear, is not binding and should never be accepted as a guarantee of future work or quality. Get specifics, and always get it in writing. You may need more than snow plowing – you make need large piles of snow relocated to avoid visibility hazards and you may need a snow removal company that includes proactive ice management. This just means that deicing begins before the storm hits for the best results.
3. What is your emergency response plan for a heavy snow storm?
Regardless of the type of business you’re running – as in, open 24/7 or open only during strict business hours – it’s often a good idea to ask about the response time of any business you hire to keep the entry and exit ways clear. It is also important to note that with some Michigan snow removal companies, you may not be first on “the list.” Make sure that the company you hire isn’t going to take too long to service your property regardless to how many clients they have. Make sure they have an emergency response plan and the equipment needed to service you in a timely manner.
4. Can you provide a variety of references?
Talking with others who have used a snow removal contractor’s services before is a great way to help determine whether or not you would be comfortable trusting them with managing snow and ice removal for your business. It’s generally best to get a range of responses, rather than simply listening to the first two or three people on the list of references. This will help you get a more accurate picture of the way the company handles its business and whether or not you want to work with them long-term.
5. Are you licensed, certified, insured, BBB accredited, etc.?
While this may seem like a common sense question, many people neglect to confirm their snow contractor’s business details before hiring them, especially if they’ve heard of the company before, or if the price is too tempting to pass up. Occasionally, this oversight can have disastrous results. Taking time to make sure that the contractor has any and all required insurance and licensing will go a long way toward ensuring that you’re happy with the finished job and safe from lawsuits.
6. What is The Cost/How is Cost Calculated?
Pricing for snow removal doesn’t always come from a well developed pricing system, which can leave your contractor, and therefore you and your customers, in a tough situation if a mistake is made. Make sure you understand costing so there are no surprises down the road. Ask and understand how the price was determined. And as with any contractor, be weary of low estimates. The old adage, “you get what you pay for,” certainly applies to professional snow removal too!
Of course, there are many additional common and useful questions that it would be a good idea to ask of a snow contractor before hiring them, but these 6 questions should help you get a much clearer image of a snow removal contractor before you hire them.
If you have other questions about commercial snow contractors in the Grand Rapids or Lansing, MI area, don’t hesitate to contact us at Sneller Snow & Grounds.