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Developing a Business Plan and an example

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Mick, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I have often posted regarding the need for a formal Business Plan, but have never shown how. So I decided it was time for me to "put up". The first link is to the Small Business Administration web page describing the elements of the Plan. Then I'll post an actual Business Plan of a start up snowplowing business. This was developed a couple of years ago and has been modified drastically, but that is the point of a Business Plan. It's not intended to be set in concrete. It provides a guide and changes as you go along. But it does provide something to show if you're making progress and meeting goals.


    Formatting doesn't always follow, so you may have to give some allowance for that.

    (company name)
    Business Plan

    Company Name
    Town, State, Zip Code

    Using the latest industry technology and techniques, xxxx Snow & Ice will offer:

    1. Snow plowing and ice control to consist of sanding or salting.

    2. Repair services for snow and ice removal equipment. This will include diagnostic

    advice and ordering of parts to be delivered to customer‘s residence.

    3. Using the existing location, a rest area for snow plow operators will be available for

    rest breaks, coffee and snacks during storms.


    This Plan has been developed to provide the owner with a planning and operating guide.



    xxxx Snow & Ice Management will offer snow plowing and sanding/salting services

    primarily to commercial customers, repair of snow plowing equipment and refreshments to snow plow

    operators. Primarily, plowing and sanding services will be offered to the (towns, counties,

    states) areas. Emphasis will be on (commercial customers). Repair services will be offered from

    the xxx address. Primary source of parts will be through Internet providers. Delivery will be to

    the customer's residence, if desired. A supply of common items such as hydraulic fluid will be


    The target market will be commercial areas and private roads. Further emphasis

    will be on sanding and salting services.

    Currently, there are many providers of snowplowing services in the target market.

    Further, many potential residential customers are provided snowplowing free from family, friends

    or have their own snowplow. There are two competitors for sanding services in the xxx area and

    unknown number in the (town) area. In the xxx area, there are only two providers who maintain the

    requisite insurance to pursue commercial customers. There are no providers of salting service.

    There are no retailers for repair parts or service. There is no place for a snowplow operator to

    take a break before 5:00AM. At 5:00AM the closest place is three miles away.


    Currently, modern technology and products are not used in this area. Sand is the

    common product used for treating ice. I will introduce the use of salt and treated salt where

    appropriate, plow edges of both steel and other materials, promote the advantages and techniques

    of regular maintenance.

    Emphasis will be on personalized service in all areas to meet the needs of the


    Plowing will be based on $125 per hour with a minimum of $30.
    Sanding and Salting will be based on 2x cost of material.
    Parts and supplies will be based on cost plus 10%.
    Labor based on $50 per hour with ½ hour minimum.
    Delivery will be based on $1 per one-way mile from business address.

    Initially, a letter will be sent to known providers of snowplowing services

    introducing the company and the aspects which would be considered non-competition, such as

    providing an area for rest and coffee, ordering & delivering parts. An ad will be placed in the

    local shopper/newspaper. Letters will be sent directly to potential commercial customers

    requesting specifications for bids. Residential customers will not be solicited, but considered

    on a case-by-case basis.

    It is expected that most business will be referred by current customers.


    ‘90 Dodge 1500 $5700 -0-
    ‘96 Chevy 3500 16000 -0-
    ‘00 7 ½’ plow 3800 -0-
    ‘96 9’ plow 2000 -0-
    ‘01 8’ sander 3800 -0-

    80 gallons Magic -0 $200 -0-
    4 yards Salt $200 -0-


    There will be no costs for land or buildings as these are already owned. There

    will be no equipment needs other than those noted above and already owned.

    Insurance - Building, vehicle and commercial liability is current. There will be

    no additional costs.

    Office equipment and supplies - These are available. Computer has been purchased.

    Additional costs in this area are expected to be minimal.

    Advertising - $300 is budgeted for advertising the first year.

    Loan payment on ‘96 Chevy 3500 $370/mo
    Supplies 10
    Repairs/Maint 50
    Vehicle ($1100/yr)
    Liability ($870/yr)
    Advertising ($300/yr) 25
    Utilities 25

    (Name) will be sole proprietor and operator. If plowing business warrants,

    Independent Contractors will be hired.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2004
  2. SteveVB

    SteveVB Member
    Messages: 66

    You want comments on that?

    Most business plans Ive seen have projections- expenses for 3 years or so, sales for 3 years or so, break even projections etc.

    A tip- put in some graphs with projections for expenses, revs and profits so anyone who scans it can get a fairly clear picture without reading too much.

    I dont mean to pick at it, but to be helpful to others who may read this.

    I would seriously recommend that anyone who needs to write a formal plan check out their community college, or even some of the online universities (like www.UMUC.edu) for a class in business plan writing. Be worth the 500 bucks or so.
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Yes, I wanted comments, Steve. I wanted to keep it simple for the person who is just starting to have something they can "cut and paste". I agree, as you develop it, you will want to show projections and breakeven points as Steve said. But just doing this will allow you to get an idea of how much business you need to begin with, which is often the point of questions asked here.

    Like you said, a class would be "well worth the $500 or so". But you get what you pay for. :waving:
  4. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    Good info for everyone mick :nod:
  5. JustUsDe

    JustUsDe Senior Member
    Messages: 181

    You really have contributed to the forums with your research and knowledge on the business end of snow management. Thank you for all the information you have shared with the group and with me in private. If the newbies really want to do it right and are in it for the long hall they can benefit greatly from your information.

    A business plan is a must. Rather it be real simple or complicated it still is a must to keep you on track of your goals and accomplishments and failures. It might always need updating or changes but it keeps you focused.

  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Thanks, Chris and Ray.
    Ray, long time no hear. Glad to hear (from your post about insurance) that things are going so well. :drinkup:
  7. JustUsDe

    JustUsDe Senior Member
    Messages: 181

    I hope things go well. So far all the money is going out, not in. I will feel more at ease after I have a couple contracts signed that are real inportant to me. I have had a ruff spring and summer health wise but I am doing better and my outlook has changed on life,family and where I want to be when it comes to working. I'm taking some calculated chances to get where I want. Hopefully it works.
  8. mikekinney

    mikekinney Member
    Messages: 33


    Hey thank's for your input on your business plan. And your time to post it for other's, such as myself . It gives me something to guide me along the road.