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dunn farms
04-29-2009, 12:11 PM
Hey Everyone

I am hoping to get a snow plowing business off the ground. I am new to snow plowing so I could use all the help I can get.

I look forward to seeing how everyone got there business going.

Steve
04-29-2009, 08:38 PM
Hi Dunn,

Welcome to our forum! Are you running any other businesses or are you focused solely on starting a snow plowing business?

dunn farms
04-29-2009, 09:46 PM
Hey Steve I am focusing on snow removal right now. I plowed some last winter, but did it as a sub. I would really like to do it for myself.

Nick

Steve
04-29-2009, 09:55 PM
Well here is my thought. If you can offer other services, you can hold those customers all year long especially if they are residential customers.

It makes it easier if you offer a full year's worth of property maintenance and include snow removal.

Are you focused on residential or commercial customers?

dunn farms
04-29-2009, 10:08 PM
What would you recommend? I would like to focus more on commercial, but I have not dismissed the idea of residential. The area that I live in is flooded with lawn care and landscapeing companies. I am affraid to invest a lot of money into lawn care if all the business is already absorbed.

Steve
04-29-2009, 10:17 PM
I plowed some last winter, but did it as a sub. I would really like to do it for myself.


What did you like or dislike about plowing as a sub? What made you want to do it for yourself?

dunn farms
04-29-2009, 10:30 PM
I didn't really dislike, I guess. I would just like to work for myself. Not to mention I can make more money plowing for myself. What is your opinion on being a sub or getting your own contracts? This is all new to me so any advice is very much appriciated. Also, do you have any recommendations on other year long services besides lawn care. I have thought about lawn care, but like I said it is a flooded market.

Steve
04-29-2009, 10:39 PM
These are all great topics we are discussing.

With plowing, the benefit of being a solo operation and offering your services as a sub contractor are you don't have to worry about signing up the clients. You don't have to market the business. You can harness your time and equipment and simply plow as a subcontractor and then when you stop plowing, you don't have to worry about anything else.

If you want to do this yourself, that is great too. You will have to start up your marketing engine and start reaching out to customers now to get them to know you so when winter rolls around, they will be comfortable hiring you.

If you want to do commercial plowing, are you ready to get the insurance they will require?

Depending on your contacts, it might be easier landing residential snow plow accounts. Now you could wait until fall/winter to market this but you would probably not do as well as if you were there for the customers all year long.

If you don't want to offer money, how about simple handyman services? Gutter cleaning, changing light bulbs, painting spots that need paint. Talking to your neighbors and asking them what they need help with may bring you a lot of new ideas. Can you clean up yards? Haul away trash accumulated on the property?

What's your thoughts on this?

dunn farms
04-29-2009, 10:48 PM
As far as the insurance goes, I have talked to some guys that plow commercially and they said that the insurance is not that expensive. Is this true? I really have no idea. I have done handyman work in the past and was fairly successful with it. My only concern is time. I work a "full time" job, by this I meen I work 24 hours on then 48 hours off. I have to keep this job to provide insurance for my family. In your opinion woudl this present any problems. One thing that I have thought of with being an independant plower is if I have to work I can have someone use my truck to plow, i.e one of my brothers, and I can take them along so they are familiar with the areas. As opposed to being a sub and not knowing where I would be called to go.

Steve
04-29-2009, 11:03 PM
As far as the insurance goes, I have talked to some guys that plow commercially and they said that the insurance is not that expensive. Is this true?

There are a bunch of factors that are involved and I wouldn't be able to give you an average price. But it wouldn't take more than a phone call to an insurer to get this resolved and know for sure.

I have done handyman work in the past and was fairly successful with it. My only concern is time. I work a "full time" job, by this I meen I work 24 hours on then 48 hours off. I have to keep this job to provide insurance for my family. In your opinion woudl this present any problems.

That shouldn't be a problem at all. Just schedule jobs when you are off of your ft job.

One thing that I have thought of with being an independant plower is if I have to work I can have someone use my truck to plow, i.e one of my brothers, and I can take them along so they are familiar with the areas. As opposed to being a sub and not knowing where I would be called to go.

I am glad you have the help to do that.

The big trick and where so many new business owners get caught is they fail to understand the difficulty in finding new clients. Finding lawn care clients is tough but the bright side is, you have them all year and most likely the next and the next year etc. With snow plowing, how many days will you plow? It's probably a small % of the total year time.

Now how to you get their attention and stay in front of them all year so they will hire you? It's tough and that is why it's good to offer other services to them.

Although who knows. This could be too much of a pain, in your situation and maybe instead you figure out a way to get a couple of trucks and get your friends and family to help you and you only market to snow plowing companies and you offer them your services as a subcontractor. If you are reliable and priced right, I am sure they will call you every year.

You could go at this from all different angles depending on what your big picture is and where you want to take it.

dunn farms
04-29-2009, 11:09 PM
Thanks for all of your input. One thing that I have thought of is contacting my uncle who owns an irrigation company and asking him if there would be a way that we could work together as far as me marketing myself to his clients. Do you think this would be a good place to market myself? We could work something out as far as using his company name or mine, and this would in a round about way provide year round service to these customers.

Steve
04-29-2009, 11:20 PM
Oh yea certainly that is a great idea!

You could do this many ways.

Run the idea by him and see how he reacts to it.

I'd love to hear more!

dunn farms
04-29-2009, 11:24 PM
Thanks again. I look forward to many more converstions on here. It has been very helpful. I will for sure let you know what he says.