Power Sweeping and Complementary Services

Sweepers can benefit from adding related services

Although the North American Power Sweeping Association’s members are focused on the niche of power sweeping, most have complimentary services that can fulfill many needs and expand the value of the company.

While some services simply don’t make sense for this industry to offer, there are some services that keep staff employed year long. At the 2017 NAPSA Best Practices session during NPE, industry professional shared their ideas and lessons learned. Scott Duscher, the managing member of Agua Trucks Holdings LLC in greater Phoenix metropolitan area of Arizona, offers insights from that discussion. Attendees reached consensus that the best choices for complementary services “dovetailed with existing services or didn’t require the purchase of large, expensive equipment,” said Duscher.

Top 5 Complementary Services

The top five ideas for adding on complementary services that yielded the best profit for the least financial outlay include:

·        Parking lot striping

·         Pressure washing of sidewalks

·         Porter services

·         Bulk haul-off

·         Asphalting and seal coating.

Parking lot striping and pressure washing require minimal additional training for employees and do not require significant investment in additional equipment.

Porter services can be offered as a less expensive alternative than hiring a large truck and crew. One or two employees and a pickup truck can be assigned the task of emptying trash cans or handpicking trash from small areas.

Occasionally, inconsiderate persons will dump large items, like furniture, in a parking lot. Offering as-needed bulk haul-off makes life easier for the client—who doesn’t have to call a separate vendor to haul away someone’s discarded sofa or refrigerator—and enables your crew to earn a few more dollars.

Asphalting and seal coating go into maintaining the surfaces your company is paid to clean, because a smooth surface is easier to clean than one filled with potholes.

Added Service Failures

Adding complementary services can be a costly venture if not thoroughly considered. Duscher shared the most frequently cited errors in adding complementary services.

·         Landscaping

·         Snow removal

·         Pothole repair

Landscaping focuses on a different niche of clientele and requires a specialized skill set, meaning that the vendor must either hire new staff or invest in considerable training for existing staff, not to mention the additional outlay for equipment and inventory.

Snow removal carries liability issues regarding slip-and-fall accidents, although in some areas it’s perfectly viable to maintain cold season operation and employment. It requires the pre-season purchase and stockpiling of inventory (e.g., salt, brine, etc.) that may go unused if winter weather doesn’t cooperate.

In areas with an active freeze-thaw cycle, pothole repair suffers from impermanence and cannot be warranted as a permanent fix.

Final Suggestions

Relating an anecdote about a NAPSA member who added the installation of temporary fencing for event to his repertoire of service, Duscher advised industry professionals to exercise creativity in the addition of complementary services. He also noted that added services should fit the locale, because the expense of equipment, inventory, and training must be recouped. The smartest choices for adding complementary services use existing staff with little or minimal additional training and make dual use of existing equipment.