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Im 15 and I need help starting snow removal business. Please Help!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by xlostx999x, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. xlostx999x

    xlostx999x Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    Hello there.
    I am a 15 yr old High school student who is in need of part time job. I live in the suburbs of Massachusetts. New England. I recently read of stories how teens my age started out businesses but financed it through snow removal. Anyone want to give me opinions on my situations?
    If it snows and the driveways are covering my potential customers' driveways. How should i remove it when I have school at 6:45 EST. Should i ask them to wait for afterschool? But what if their cars need to get out?

    Can someone give me some tips please?
    I plan to buy a snow blower or those hand plows
    I will get a car before the coming winter.
    I need help please.
     
  2. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    Well, first off I am not going to be much of a help. You need to take everything really slow, do not take on too much all at once. You will get far behind in school if you start ditching school to go plow 45 driveways every time it snows. I am 17 and need to be at school by 6:30. If it snows, I' am up at 2 AM and start plowing. I then go to school and continue on when I get out at 12:30. Kind of makes for a crazy day! I would recommend letting al your customers know your situation. I have had no complaints yet. Good luck!
     
  3. Mick

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

    Sure, you can start by cleaning local driveways. You want to have a plan in place before you start - called a "Business Plan". It doesn't need to be as extensive a plan as if you were starting a multi-million dollar manufacturing plant, but it should contain enough information to guide you and keep you on track. For an example, so to the Small Businss Administration web site. This is also something for you to look over and answer those that fit your situation: http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?t=25275&highlight=snowplowing+101
     
  4. flykelley

    flykelley 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,124

    Welcome to our world.
    1- Do what you will do
    2-Do it when you say will do it. (If you tell customers thier drive will be done by 6am make sure you do that no matter what it take's, and yes there will be some LONG day's)
    3- Do it for the price you said you would do it for. Even if you screw up and it takes you longer than you thought. I call this being a adult and learning about life and this snow buisness.

    If you do these 3 things above you will have plenty of work. Also take it slow and do not take on too much work.

    Good luck mike
     
  5. 00 Ram

    00 Ram Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    couple of things to keep in mind:

    they cancel school around here at the drop of a few flakes, these days. Typically, if there's enough snow to plow, there probablly won't be any school.

    maybe you can work out some sort of "work study" program with your guidance councelor(s). It'll probably take some kind of creative scheduling, considering the unpredictability of your potential work hours.

    on a more negative note:
    You may have noticed that most of the people doing this professionally are in it because their primary business is seasonal in nature. They already have the machines and the labor that would otherwise be idle in the bad weather, so it only makes sense for them to plow snow, when they are able. Still, it takes quite an investment to obtain and maintain a reliable plow vehicle. Thats not a problem for these people, because they're in it for the long-haul. If there isn't much snow this year, or next year, they'll make it up in other years, because this is what they're going to be doing for a long, long time. You, on the other hand, have a couple of years of highschool left...then what? on to other things, perhaps. Do you want to make the investment in the plowing equipment, only to then find that the next 2 winters are the least snowy winters in recorded history? that could happen. then what?
     
  6. Mick

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

    I would agree, in your circumstances, with what the others are saying. Like 00 Ram is saying, limit your expenditures. Maybe do what you can with a shovel. Yes, you'll make more with a snowblower but you might not make enough to cover the cost of the blower in the first place. Test the waters with a shovel an a couple driveways and you'll have a better idea of what there is out there for business and what it'll take to get your share of that available business. I doubt anyone is going to wait till after school, especially if there is like 5" or 12" of snow to get through. There are a couple of options. Most of us start at around midnight or 3:00AM. And that's to get done before they go to their full time jobs. Another option would be to find accounts that don't care when they're done (maybe retirees, empty houses). Just let them know from the beginning that you won't be there until evening. Whatever you do, like flykelley says - do what you say you'll do. It's a lot easier to get a reputation than it is to change it.
     
  7. me1223

    me1223 Member
    Messages: 70

    I plan on starting out next year and I'm in a similar situation to you, however school here starts at 8:35am, so I can still have a decent route (I figure) and get it done by the time school starts if I get up at 4am. If the snow even continues I can always take the day off. We average here (according to past records) 13 snow falls per year greater than 3cm, and less than ten greater than 5cm, then take into account holidays and weekends. So if I work it out logically (I know it doesn't always work this way) 6 snowfalls will be on school days and 4 will be on weekends/holidays. But even if I take 10days off school its not a big deal, my grades are high so it won't hurt my grades too much, especially since I'm semestered and the first month of a course is BS review anyways.
     
  8. bikeluver43

    bikeluver43 Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 84

    I'd say wait until you have your license before you start. If anything, if you get the day off of school because of a snow storm, go door to door asking if your neighbors want you to snow blow their driveway for $20. There's no way you'd be able to start a business with accounts unless you had transportation to get there- is your mother/father going to drive a truck with your equipment on a trailer and wait for you to get done to drive you home? Just stick to helping out neighbors during your days off from school, that way when you get your license and a truck, you'll already have a nice client base.
     
  9. PORTER 05

    PORTER 05 Senior Member
    Messages: 449

    i can help you here!

    ya i started shoveling when i was about 14.....just walked around likea looser and started shoveling peoples walks....no snowblowers nothing, just shoveling....did about 5 places.....then when i got my lisense i got a plow truck and took over the places i started shoveling....they told there freinds word got around and i had about 12 accoutns when i was in highschool, and i dint try to get them , meaning i dint put any flyers up or anything....it was nice...as far as school gos....1st who cares....skip....2nd when ever it snows youll have a snowday for sure, 1 of my shovelrs is in high schoo, and ive never had a problem at all, wehen ever it snows hes there 70% of the time hes off, like they call it of and the other 30% he skips, but i mean somtimes this kid works all day all night then gos to school the next day like stays up for 40+ hours......any how after highschool , when i got seroius and quite my commercial fishing carrer, i started a landscape buinsess, and the accoutns came flying, ive got 49 plow accoutns know 2 trucks and im only 21, making about $2,000 on a 6" storm and +++++ more than that as more snow falls...!good luck.....and save youre $$$$$ and buy somthing nice, and dont get payments, buy our-right!!!!
     
  10. Mick

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

    I don't see how anyone industrious enough to get out and earn some money in an honest endeavor can be called a "looser" (I assume you meant "loser", though).
     
  11. dirt digger

    dirt digger Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    completely agree...kids now would rather flip burgers then get their shoes muddy. I started shoveling at 13. Pushed a blower up and down the street to jobs when i was 14, and 15. Got a truck at 16 with ramps. Been doing sidewalks in town and small driveways when i was 16,17, and 18. Now I work full time in the summer and during breaks from school in the winter at an excavating company pushing with an f-350 and backhoe. I love outdoor work and feel bad for anyone who is afraid to get a little dirty.
     
  12. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    The key is you have to start small. I started shoveling when I was 11, got a blower when I was 13, got a tractor with plow when I was 14, and then finally worked myself up to a truck this year. It was worth the wait!:D
     
  13. me1223

    me1223 Member
    Messages: 70

    another huge benefit of starting young is that you have no real bills to pay, like your parents pay for food, clothes, heat, hydro, etc. So even if you get going and business is slow for a month or two, its not like its going to have a huge impact on you.
     
  14. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    I'm 15 and have been doing this since i was about 10. I just let the people know that if school is canceled i will be around durring the day closer to morning, and if its not, ill be around after school. They fully understand.
     
  15. Kentuckydiesel

    Kentuckydiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    I think I would buy a used snow blower when you have the cash on hand. When you do get a car, don't, get a truck. Cars are useless unless you want to only haul people. If you want something to help you, older trucks are inexpensive. Good luck,
    Phillip
     
  16. addicted

    addicted Senior Member
    Messages: 128

    How much $$ are you looking for?
    I'd say pester your parents to buy a snowblower that you can use. Make sure that they can get out of the driveway first, and start with just the houses on the block. I know that when i was 15, $100 was a lot of money. At $20 each, that's only 5 driveways.

    Good luck, and listen to the advice that has been given. Start small, and KEEP YOUR WORD.

    -Mike
     
  17. DESTEFANO3782

    DESTEFANO3782 Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    well i started out much like you, with a shovel and a will. i was 15 then im 19 now i have 3 trucks 2 bobcats and a handfull of headaches. do what you tell people your gunna do and when your gunna do it and those words are worth there weight in gold. chances are if you know your customers and they know you, just say listen i wanna take care of your driveway but i have to get out of school first so il be here at 2:30. witch shouldnt be a problem becuase most people arent home yet so youll be able to get them in from work. if it snows through the night and we have 6 inches by 3 or 4 am youll have to bite the bullet and clean them up before school if it isnt canceled. what i ended up doing witch isnt a good example but when i was a junior in high school i was to big for my britches and ended up either leavin school early or not showing up because i had lawns to cut or parking lots to plow. just take it slow and steady. theres alot of people on this site with alot of knowledge who can really help you grow.
     
  18. JET enterprises

    JET enterprises Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    as i started by own business this year i was basically told by my parents 'your doing this around school' which i have been doing as its been snowing mostly during school and can plow after but today i woke up at 6 and made it to school before the bell at 8.. but say its big storm they said i could be dismissed and if you ever heard of lynnfield you will never see it on school closures.. so if you work hard enough and put in enough effort you can do it however you want and im going to say that skipping the entire school day or going in late for a little storm with a small amount of customers isnt the best idea
     

  19. A education is more important than plowing at 15. There is a lot of experienced guys on this forum. But not a lot of guys make a good profit from plowing. And I realize "good profit" is not the same meaning

    As stated in other posts most people get into plowing to keep their summer equipment busy during the winter. In my case, it is totally the opposite. I purchased all new CAT equipment just for the snow. My CAT's never see the dirt in the summer....

    Make school number one..... And work around school if it does not take away from your grades. Good Luck......

    Pro Workz LLC.
    www.proworkz.com
     
  20. mulcahy mowing

    mulcahy mowing Senior Member
    Messages: 718

    I'm with this guy^^^^ I'm the same age as you some days you'll have to wake up at 4am and git'r done just go to bed on time! you can do it if you get enough sleep the night before, plow school,plow my freind. just done spred your self thin.

    ware in mass are you?