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Need some advise

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by BLinindoll, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. BLinindoll

    BLinindoll Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Hi. I'm 18 years old and want to start a small residential plowing business using my Honda 450 Foreman and a 54" warn plow. I am also about to buy a Blazer and a trailer so that I can load the quad and haul it to where I am plowing. I have plans on posting an add in a local paper in Albany, NY. I live right outside of Albany. My friend knew someone who used his plow on his quad one storm and made $400 in a single trailer park in my area. Does anyone know if my ATV insurance would cover the things that are needed? Should I even be worrying about insurance for residentials? Is my plan even worth my time? Also, how should I price my plowing? I was planning on charging $20 per push with a 4 inch trigger for any size driveway (within reason) What do you think? :help:
     
  2. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    I have insurance no matter what. Residential or not, if you hit something/someone or tear something up on thier property, you better have insurance or you could end up in big mess. As far as pricing, you have to figure on the size of the driveway and how far it is to get there. Good luck.
     
  3. BIG M

    BIG M Member
    Messages: 51

    $20.00 a push in 4 inches of snow..on a quad.. hauled in the snow on a trailer....
    Am I missing something here?
    Buy the blazer and put a plow on it.
    You don't want to be pulling a trailer in the snow.
    Well i don't want to.
    Get the insurance.... Like they say you never miss it until you need it.
    Good luck with your new business.
    MJ
     
  4. BLinindoll

    BLinindoll Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    I recently changed my mind from a 4 inch trigger to a 3 inch trigger. And I also changed my pricing increased it by length of driveway. 1 to 199 foot drive $20 per push; 200 to 299 foot drive $25 per push; and 300 and longer drive $30 per push. I will only be pulling the trailer around my small town. I wouldn't be traveling over 1 or 2 miles, if that. I'm hoping most of my customers will be in a high end housing development within riding distance. That way I wouldn't need to trailer it. Thanks for your advise so far guys, and keep it comin!
     
  5. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Raise your rates! Here's mine for driveways and I'm not pulling a trailer.

    1-25 ft. $25.00
    26-50 ft. $50.00
    51-100ft. $75.00
    Over 100 ft. $150.00

    Never had any problems getting contracts at this price. If your pulling a trailer and have to load and unload your 4 wheeler, I'd definately raise those rates!payup
     
  6. BLinindoll

    BLinindoll Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Is that per push?! Damn, that's a few buck right there. The problem is, I don't think people around here would be willing to pay, well... let's see....

    Lets say 110 foot drive. That's $150 per push.
    Lets say i get a storm around 1.5 feet. (won't be an uncommon storm around here this year)
    With a 3" trigger.
    That's 6 pushes.
    6 x $150 = $900 FOR 1 STORM!!!! THAT'S NUTS! :dizzy:

    FOR A 110 FOOT DRIVE?! THAT'S NOT EVEN THAT LONG! Seems a little unreasonable. But if it works for you, more power to ya! Damn, I wish people around here would pay that. I wouldn't have to go to college! LOL. I actually probably would take your advise and raise them a little more, but I want to be able to push the fact that I have a very low overhead, which means low price for the customer. Not to mention I already printed out a lot of flyer's to distribute around my neighborhood. Thanks though for the advise.
     
  7. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    I wish we would get hit hard like you guys always do!:)
    That's why I charge what I charge because we rarely get a storm over 12 in. But, I tell my customers that if we get a foot or more, I'm going to come twice.
     
  8. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    You guys got it all wrong. To determine your pricing you need to decide how much profit you must make. All your expenses(Amoritized cost of equipment, fuel, maintenance, estimated repairs etc.) add to this your desired profit. Divide this by the number of plowable hours you have. This gives you a minimum hourly rate. Approach price with business sense and you will make more money. This formula puts our rate at $110 per hour per vehicle. Good Luck.
     
  9. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Your formula is a good one for commercial accounts but that's not what we're talking about. We 're talking about driveways. Should we try to get $125.00 per hour for them too!:eek:
     
  10. BLinindoll

    BLinindoll Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Yeah, it also helps to know how much your expenses are, how long it will take you to do a driveway, how long it will take you to get there, and how much profit I should want to make.... None of which I know :confused: I don't even know how long it will take to plow my OWN driveway! I've never done it! lol
     
  11. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    This formula does work for residential too. Once you have determined your hourly this will also apply to residential. We actually average about $150 an hour doing residential as long as we keep drive time to a minimum. Personally we try to avoid residential. We go after larger commercial properties. Less drive time, less things to hit & 1" triggers. Money in the bank. Liability is greater though doing commercial. Either way make sure you have good insurance.
     
  12. BIG M

    BIG M Member
    Messages: 51

    Or if you want...
    Say $150.00 First Push
    $75.oo Second Push
    $40.00 Third and all following Pushes
    Thats Only $305.00 For 12 inches
    Very Reasonable.
    Theres lots of ways to break it down by the push so try them out and see what works for you and your customers.
    MJ
     
  13. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    We charge the same for residential as commercial. My drivers hourly pay doesnt change from residential to commercial , the fuel and everything else are the same. pricing is bases on what you need to make and what the market will bear. It has a lot to do with supply and demand , If the demand is high and the supply of plow trucks is low the price is high, If everybody has a plow truck and few people want their driveways plowed you are going to fight for a 75 dollar driveway.
     
  14. BLinindoll

    BLinindoll Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Ok guys. I took your advise and increased my rates as well as printed up all new flyers. I talked to one of my firends who plows and he helped me out to determine some new prices. My prices are now as fallows...

    1 to 49 foot drive $20
    50 to 99 foot drive $25
    100 to 149 foot drive $30
    150 to 199 foot drive $35
    200 to 249 foot drive $40
    250 to 299 foot drive $45
    300+ foot drive $50

    That's each push with a 3 inch trigger and every 3 to 5 inches thereafter. Sound better?
     
  15. gpin

    gpin Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    Sell the quality of your work, not your price. Stress your reliability and put in a little value added such as shoveling the walk. If you are the best at what you do you deserve to get a good return for your efforts
     
  16. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    I agree gpin!:waving:
     
  17. SNOWPIMP

    SNOWPIMP Member
    Messages: 89

    I get about $300 an hour for mine and all I do is this in the summer! Also free drinks, hotels, travel expense's and groupies! However I don't think I could get much snow pushed this way hahaha

    mvc-010s.jpg
     
  18. SNOWPIMP

    SNOWPIMP Member
    Messages: 89

    HIGH chairs

    mvc-016s.jpg