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  1. I know this is a private topic for many, but for those willing to share. What kind of income payup did you experience in years 1-5 of starting your plow/lawn care business? And as a backup question, was this your dedicated profession or second job (kind of gives an idea the time available to put into starting it up)????
     
  2. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Maybe you could make this a poll so know one really has to say
     
  3. Mick

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

    Well, I've said it before - The first year I didn't even make enough to pay for my liability insurance. It wasn't until the third year that I actually made a profit ( as a second income). I plow only (no summer lawn work). Before I retired to doing this full time, I think the best year was about $5-6,000 profit (at the 5-year mark). I've kept growing every year either by expanding area, gaining customers and/or adding services. Always looking for something new.
     
  4. scjjcj

    scjjcj Junior Member
    from Boston
    Messages: 20

    Dodgeball!!!!!!!!!
     
  5. Added Touch

    Added Touch Member
    Messages: 34

    Ist year in Business Projected vrs Actual

    I started in July this year and have averaged from $1500 to $3700 in sales form a base of aprox. 15 customers. sales have dropped significantly this month, basically lawn cutting has dropped off and I haven't hussled to get other business which is why I am venturing into snow removal. I have projected about 40 k in sales 1st year, actual wil lbe closewr to 25K. This should double next year. started this year with full time job and worked into this, now comitted full time to my business. if anyone here is in the Niagara area On,would like to discuss strategic relationships.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Thanks,
    I'm just looking to see what some real expectations would be. I'm a Ford Motor Employee that is looking extremely seriously at taking one of their buyout's. If I do, I will get 50% pay for four years and have to go to college for 4 years full time. I'm trying to establish what a realistic expectation would be as far as income. I understand that it all depends on how hard you hustle and things like that, but I guess I'm just trying to get a very vague idea if I can realistically supplement my income doing lawncare & snow removal.
     
  7. glenspot

    glenspot Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    From a dollars and cents aspect its like any other business. ... It all comes down to the customers. If you can get them, you can make money. If you have a hard time getting customers then you're not going to make money.

    I know that seems REALLY simplistic. But, there is a BIG difference between punching in at 8 and out at 5 and collecting an hourly rate.

    Here is a small list of things that you will need to have/purchase before you start seeing any checks in the mailbox.

    1. A truck (even at A-Plan...thats a good chuck of change)
    2. A plow
    3. Commercial Auto Insurance
    4. General Liability Insurance (a good idea, but not REQUIRED to operate a business.)
    5. Money for advertising.
    6. Money for business cards
    7. Some method of invoicing (computer or hand written)
    8. The financial ability to replace/maintain any part on the truck or plow as needed.
    9. Acess to a dependable back-up truck.
    10. At this point you know approx. what your start-up costs are, and you should get a general idea of how much you want to charge.
    11. Time to devote to organizing & operating your business.
    12. Time to devote to driving around giving price quotes to people who don't sign contracts.
    13. By the first snowfall, you also need to have ALL THOSE CUSTOMERS....

    Its entirely possible that you can go through steps 1 - 11 and sign only a small handfull of customers. After all, you are a new face, and a new name. And SOMEONE is taking care of the snowplowing needs of the general public.

    (which is another option, by the way. You have the option to buy out another existing snowplowing operator and buying their contracts)

    That said, however.....I GROSSED around $10,000 my second year... But it all depends on how you operate your business. Other thoughts:

    Is your truck going to be your "daily driver"? If so, then your snowplow business doesn't need to be responsible for the entire payment, or all of the gas or insurance expenses.

    Do you already have a truck and plow that are paid for? Then you're in good shape.

    Are you going to take a SALARY? or just "have access to the company money". ..

    I can ramble on forever (obviously)... but my whole point was to make clear that even after all of your work to establish a snowplowing operation. You may not even get a single customer. You just don't know. And then what?

    Edit:

    After going on my rant, I re-read your signature and realize that you already operate a landscaping business. So you know what its like to start from scratch. I didn't mean to insult your intelligence. I also see that you have 2 vehicles with plows already. I should have been more careful before I ranted. My mistake.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2006
  8. Thank You

    Thanks... I didn't take it as an insult, but yes I feel the pain of all the financing already!
    Yes the vehicles will double as family transportation. I only intended on enough work for one truck this year, but fell into ALOT of contracts through advertising and had to add a lightweight plow to the expedition for one particular account. I am having a very lucky year, I guess I'm just nervous about the prospects for summer. I never could have imagined having this successful a winter, but it still leaves me with a need to generate a certain amount of summer revenue.

    This winter fell into place so well I'm on the search for shovelers and possibly even a sub to add to the 2 vehicles I already have if a couple more calls come through.

    I guess the appropriate thing for me to do would be to post the same question on lawnsite.com......

    Thank you for your replies, I appreciate your time and anyone else who may have insight to add to this.
     
  9. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,873

    it sounds like youre doing really well and are pleased with the outcome. that is great especially if its your first year. its also my first year in the snow game but i am having a difficult time with finding enough customers. i live in howell and do work all around livingston county so im kinda right around the corner from you. if you dont mind me asking, how did you get ahold of your customers. this area has been good to me landscape wise but not snow removal, so i guess im just asking what marketing strategies did you go with that yielded customers.
     
  10. Advertising

    Newspaper (Press & Argus) has been very well received. And I get the truck away from the house and into town as much as possible.. I have it all lettered up & salt spreader mounted. I did some mass mailings (targeted). When howell had the "Legend of sleepy howell" for holloween I even carved the company name in a pumpkin (150lb pumpkin) as well as putting business cards on toothpicks stuck into it, I entered and won... I have gotten a call for a quote every other day for the past month to 6 weeks, some big, some not. I have about a 40-50% closing rate on residential and 20% on commercial, but got some that count payup. So far, So good. I'm going to pm you my #. Being as I have to make a major life decision I would love to talk to you on the phone and get some input as to your success timeline in lawn care and I will see if I can help you out with some of the things I've been doing for plowing. May even be able to share some work if things continue the way they are...
     
  11. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,873

    got your pm and pm'ed ya back:)
     
  12. Added Touch

    Added Touch Member
    Messages: 34

    Great Marketing Idea!!!!

    Hey MIke, Just gotta say that I am gonna "borrow" your pumpkin idea. Thanks and good luck!
     
  13. Image

    It's all about image. As marilyn manson once said: "I am who I say I am" or another quote "Go Big or Stay Home". Be who you want to be.... Whether it's snow plowing or anything else. Play the role. Exposure, exposure, exposure. Qualtiy, Absolutely. That forms a long lasting business without a doubt. But to begin, put it out there. Be who you want to be. Fill the role. Just make sure you can do just that, fill the role. Cause a bad rap will ruin you, and a good one will make you. But to get your name out, if you want to be big, act it.