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learning the business

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by snowman91, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. I'm curious how you all learned the business of snow and ice management. I'm 16 learning the ropes of plowing and was wondering how to start a business later on, and was curious how you all learned how the billing, taxes, payroll, hiring process, and all that other stuff that goes along with starting and running a business
     
  2. Mick

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

    Bought a plow. Installed on truck. Started plowing for people.

    Experience is a great teacher. Some things you learn quick and only do once. Human teachers can talk and talk until they're blue in the face and the student forgets, misunderstands or says "I can do better". Experience gives a lesson and it is never misunderstood, forgotten and really doesn't care what you think.
     
  3. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,556

    At 16 your still in High School?
    Most High schools have classed that will teach you what you want to know.
     
  4. 440trk

    440trk Senior Member
    Messages: 112

    And when school is closed for a SNOW day, why not make some money? There's nothing wrong with a 16 yr old wanting to start a plowing business. Although I'd hate to see his insurance rates....:eek:


    :waving:
     
  5. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    Plow Plow Plow

    Im kinda Lucky I grew up around plowing
     
  6. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    isn't that the truth
     
  7. svelasquez

    svelasquez Member
    Messages: 63

    Tell me and I forget.
    Teach me and I remember.
    Involve me -- and I learn.

    Benjamin Franklin
     
  8. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    We got 5 or 6 18 and under memebers here who have bought thier own plows and started plowing. I started when I was 12 with my dad jd 214 garden tractor plowing driveways and now I with my partners take care well over 125 acres of parking lot. You can learn alot from this site. What do you have for a truck?
     
  9. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    When it comes to doing the work you are in the business of doing, it can take very little time to be good at it. (Longer to be great)

    But the business end of it is where most people fail.

    Insurance: what to have and at a good rate.
    Accounting: Keeping track of the money coming in and the money going out.
    Taxes: Quartley taxes, Sales tax, employee taxes & w-2, keeping track of if your state is starting a new tax that will effect you,
    Vehicles: Maintenance, Fuel, Repairs, DOT #,
    Communication: Talking with customer, suppliers and piers and leaving a good impression.
    Bidding Jobs: Making sure that what you are getting paid to do the job is enought to make a profit at.

    The list goes on and on. Check at school. Some teacher (maybe econimic) can point you in the right direction. At your age I would say, start doing the work (snow plowing) and learn it. Get insurance, because there is nothing worse that loosing everything because something happened. And keep track of the money.

    Good Luck
     
  10. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    You can go work for a company and learn the ropes there, or try and do it all yourself. A lot of people here, including myself are self-taught, but that school is not for everyone. Stay up on this site here, which you can learn A LOT from. Ask reputable guys questions, and go out in snow storms and watch what is going on until you have your own accounts. Drive around and figure out what time people are getting done realitive to that particular snow storm, and watch how trucks attack driveways and such. Once you get up some money or financing, get the right truck and plow set up and give it hell. It will be something you either pick up instantly or not, like anything else. Good luck.
     
  11. TaylorMade

    TaylorMade Junior Member
    from MPLS
    Messages: 13

    One small but important thing for you to remember. You are not in the business to plow snow. Thats what you do! Your in the business of taking the inconvenience of snow out of their life. Make them feel they are the only client you have your on your way.
     
  12. thanks for all of the input
     
  13. cod8825

    cod8825 Member
    Messages: 91

    Snowman91 first I want to say that most of us here admire your admiration for wanting to do this right and just do it period. My wife teaches high school math and to say the least you stand out for wanting to do work in the first place.

    A couple of thoughts
    1) Remember that when you start this you are the owner of your business not an employee of it run it like, think like, and act and carry your self as an owner. When you are talking to people about what you do don't say you plow snow say you own "Snowman91 plowing" or whatever you want to call it and that you do plowing or snow and ice management. Don't take away from what you are but don't say you are something your not.

    2) Search your local library for books on taxes, business structures LLC, d.b.a, C-Corp, or S-Corp. This will help you begin but you will soon need to get professional advice from lawyers, C.P.A. most of us here have at least a C.P.A. if not lawyer with retainer. If any of the above acroynums your not sure of go to the library

    3)Last I believe this will help you get off to a fast start write a business plan again the librart will have help with that or the internet. My business plan covers five years every year I update if it needs it but think of it as an accountability factor.

    4) Constantly be learning every year in this industry their are new products and inventions learn about them to see if they will help you to run your businesses better. ASK! ASK! ASK QUESTIONS?

    Matt