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do you take a risk or wait

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by disantolandscap, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. disantolandscap

    disantolandscap Junior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 19

    ok so im new to landscaping and snowplowing kind of. Mostly new to snowplowing. My question is I dont have a plow for my truck yet, but i can get one installed for 3000.00. Now im in the process of trying to get my grandparents to co sign a loan for me to get this plow. Would you take the chance and go looking for contracts now even with out a plow and hope that some of the accounts pay you up front using the contract or would you wait and not bother this year and save up to buy one in the spring with the mowing money? I really want to make this work and get out of my full time job where i only make 300 a week. thanks for the advice.
     
  2. bradlewislawnca

    bradlewislawnca Member
    Messages: 59

    according to your posts in lawn site and here.. be careful. take residentials with a snowblower. you'll make more money after costs. blower costs $500-$1500 and you won't destroy your truck. you can get $500--$1000 on most seasonal residentials so it doesn't take much.
     
  3. disantolandscap

    disantolandscap Junior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 19

    yes i have a brand new snowblower and the neighbor hood i live in has about 400 driveways but i want some commercial work as well, so i didnt know if i should take the chance and bid and if it comes down to it, sub out the plowing, because i have a clause for that in my contract.
     
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    First you need to keep your landscaping and snow plowing separate so to speak. Each season should pay for its self. Just how old are you? Ar you so legal for your company? I would save up the money and still try and get a loan by yourself or co signed if you have to. Then take the money you saved up and make a few monthly payments then pay off the loan,this way you start building credit for yourself.
     
  5. disantolandscap

    disantolandscap Junior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 19

    yes my business is legal, i just only have three mowing accounts that i got this season, i have 1 million insurance coverage and where i am we dont need to a license, I am 25 and screwed up my credit so a little bit so now i cant by nothing. The past couple of weeks i picked up some odd jobs by word of mouth which is good, but not enough money to do anything with. Plus i am having a hard time at my full time job with the way they are running things, and the way they treat people. I really want out, and on average we get about 85 to 100 inches of snow during a winter, so pricing is kind of difficult, but i got some prices in my contract, which hopefull arnt to low. but will adjust as i go. Thanks
     
  6. Remstar

    Remstar Member
    Messages: 44

    Just from first impression... Managing subs at this point is very likely WAY outside the scope of what your operation is capable of. When it comes to subs and commercial accounts you have to have money in the bank. Can you stand holding account debt for 30 days and processing payroll at the same time? What if something breaks? Sad reality here is you need money to make money....and 3k alone let aside from it being dumped into a plow isn't going to cut breaking out with a commercial account.

    Why not just take the residential work. That is obviously what you are capable of handling, the money is there. Everyone always looks at the glamor of commercial work, reality is margins are smaller and pressure is way higher to preform.
     
  7. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    If I were you, I would look into subbing for someone, OR just pursue sidewalks or driveway's with your snow blower. If I could start all over again I would do nothing but sidewalks and would have built up a huge business by now. Some of the guys even around here are making bank just doing sidewalks. If I could find a company who just did sidewalks they would be doing all of mine! You figure, a snow blower (1,300.00) a decent ATV with plow (7,500.00) and your set. These guys are making anywhere from 20-35/hr and always busy. I know a guy who he and his brother did sidewalks for a company who had Wal-Mart and a few other big box stores right by each other and a couple season's ago made over 7k in a January.payup
     
  8. disantolandscap

    disantolandscap Junior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 19

    so the question i was asking is would you take the chance and bid on some jobs with the clause they pay up front for the whole season for a set price and use the contract to fall back on.... around here i was told you can make up to 100k no problem from mid november with icing over of drivewaysand parking lots so salting, and plowing from dec to end of march. would you take the chance to get the work. not if i can handle it or not,
     
  9. disantolandscap

    disantolandscap Junior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 19

    basically i have one commercial mowing job that i do and i know i could win that for plowing because ive had this account for 4 years, and theres a few more that i can get for sure. just trying to decide how many commercial accountswill pay up front for the winter season.
    say i try to get a bank, and i offer to plow for the whole season for 5k with sidewalk clearing, salting, and plowing. would they pay that much. etc
     
  10. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    I guess it depends on how much you get up front. This isn't rocket science here. if you only can bring in 3k on seasonal's after you buy the plow how are you going to put gas in the truck, bank some money for repairs and pay yourself. Just about everything is a risk when your self employed. As far as 100k salting and plowing....yeah, maybe if you have a fleet of trucks, a few with spreaders and some big accounts. I seriously don't think your going to reach that dollar figure with one truck. I guess what you should ask yourself is can you afford to take that risk.
     
  11. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    How do you know you could get it? Just because you mow it doesn't mean anything. Some businesses do pay up front. We do a few like that but you better be able to budget your money, 5k doesn't go very far these days. If it were me and I knew I was able to handle long days and nights and keep pursuing more accounts then yes I would go for it but I would def. have a back up plan.
     
  12. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    If you go with your train of thought ,I think you will lose out. Are you planing on quitting your other job or try and do all this plowing in between? As for seasonal pricing and getting paid monthly that's fine but be ready to wait 30-60 days for that first check,no business is going to pay up 5k in advance,They may not even go with you if they find out that you never plowed before.As said,grab a few driveways to get your feet wet.
     
  13. disantolandscap

    disantolandscap Junior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 19

    im not saying that i am going to make 100k in a season, i dont know how to say what im trying to say. im just saying working 50 hours a week, right now i only bring home 300 a week. I mow lawns haul junk metal, and do other odd jobs as well to get extra money. Im just saying that i can get a plow installed for 3 thousand, and know i can make that back no problem, i got one account for sure if i want it 50 bucks ea time it snows, because he told me i could. i just dont knwo how to say what im trying to say to get my point accross. I know what im thinking, just cant say it right.
     
  14. D&FServices

    D&FServices Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Here's a small issue I think you may want to investigate. Your general liability insurance will not cover a slip and fall. It may cover if you damage property while plowing but will not cover slip and fall lawsuits. If you want to get into commercial I would suggest being fully insured as to not lose out big time should you be named in a lawsuit. My general liability insurance has the rider with it to cover slips and falls and it is called "Completed Operations" on the policy, just this little addition alone was more than 5 TIMES what my general liability cost me for a year. It appears as residential is the way to go now days where I don't advise it but you can probably get away without slip and fall insurance. Just my .02. By the way I'm new to the commercial plowing scene as well and I've already sunk several thousand into the business just on insurance, license, accountant fees, etc. That's not including the several thousand I've spent on the equipment. Oh I'm starting to feel dizzy now thinking of how much money I've got into this venture. Good luck with whichever way you decide to go.
     
  15. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    We know what your saying, you have to spend cash to make it. You just don't know if you should buy the plow first or get the contracts first. If you want to go the contract way ,make a general proposal form with the price on it and get it singed,this is just so you both agree with it. If you get all the business go buy the plow.But you better have some reserve cash. If your really going to get your grandparents to sign for a loan ,tell the back you need 5k instead and put it away for just in case.
     
  16. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Well sorry but I don't know what else to tell ya. If you "know" you can make that back and afford to keep plowing then get it, if your unsure then don't. Even if you plowed the 50 dollar lot 40 times is only 2k, then take fuel and other expenses and now your down to about 1500.00 so your half way there.
     
  17. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Don't forget you quit your job you need to make up that 300 a week your losing to.
     
  18. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    This is what I would do if I were in your shoe's...get set up with an established plowing company who is looking for subs, buy the plow and at least your somewhat guaranteed making some money back and if that company will allow it go after those couple businesses. By subbing you have a back up plan which can pay for fuel and minor repairs if needed and "your" places will be more money in your pocket.
     
  19. disantolandscap

    disantolandscap Junior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 19

    ok so lets just say that i am going to take the chance and try to find the contracts, whats the best way to do it if i have to work 7 to 5 everyday, would you call these places and ask if they were excepting plowing bids, stop in and ask for the manager, or how would you do it?
     
  20. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    It's tough plowing if your at another job. What happens when it's still snowing and your not done in time to go to work?