Chris James, owner of Chris James Landscaping, has offered full landscaping and snow and ice removal services for residential and commercial clients throughout Northern New Jersey for 30 years.
James, a Certified Snow Professional through the Snow & Ice Management Association, says he focuses on snow and ice services throughout the winter months and is always looking for ways to improve his business.
“I require dependable equipment to keep up with the severe weather conditions in recent years,” he says. That means durable equipment that doesn’t break down frequently to keep operators on the road. “THE BOSS is my product of choice for snow and ice removal equipment.” James is also president of Snow and Ice Solutions and teaches a snow removal management course at Rutgers University.
Q: How important is THE BOSS dealer to your business?
A: Snow and ice are hard on equipment, and my purchasing decisions come down to how well the product is supported. My BOSS dealer, Showalter’s Equipment in Florida, N.Y., is on the front lines. He really backs me up and provides the support, stocks the products and has the technical expertise to guide me through any issues. THE BOSS’ strong parts inventory is crucial to the success of my snow and ice removal business.
Q: How did you handle this year’s winter season?
A: It was brutal. We had nine large snow events in 38 days. This area averages 30 to 40 inches per winter, and last year we experienced 60 to 70 inches. Each event ranged from 6 to 30 inches and really tested the equipment and operators. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have reliable equipment with top-notch maintenance support. We pushed equipment 12 to 18 hours per day. One commercial job required 40 straight hours, with two employee shifts working
around the clock.
Q: How did sales reflect the record snowfall?
A: We had all-time, recordsetting net profits. It was our biggest winter and single largest gross sales in 30 years. We budgeted for about $450,000 and generated $750,000.
Q: What was your client feedback?
A: A roaring success. Every client renewed by June 1 this year. I attribute the excellent client feedback to our quality BOSS equipment and strong dealer support.
Q: What advice would you give to a landscaper getting into the snow removal business?
A: Treat snow removal like a profit center. Don’t overextend yourself. Sometimes you have to pass on an opportunity in order to take care of the clients you have. Saying yes when you can’t deliver is a sure way to lose good customers. Buy equipment early and establish meticulous maintenance schedules. When you buy, don’t base the decision solely on price point. Make sure there’s a rock-solid dealer network like THE BOSS has that you can count on.