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New in the Business in Massachusetts

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by jmdregs, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. jmdregs

    jmdregs Junior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 3

    I run a small lawn care/handyman operation and in November I decided to get into snow plowing as things are pretty slow for me in the winter. I started lurking on this site at that time and picked up quite a bit of information. Before now, although I've had years of snowblowing experience, I had never plowed in my life and was somewhat apprehensive about it.
    Given my lawn care experiences, I'm always committed to using the best equipment I can afford. After looking at a number of used plows, I decided to spring for a new Fisher 8' HD and after a few mishaps mounting and unmounting it, I've got the thing pretty well figured out. Going into the business, I decided to get the additional insurance for plowing ($ 2,000,000 policy), require contracts and not make any low ball offers. I put an ad in both the local paper and Craigslist in mid-December. I got almost no response (two clients) until it finally snowed on Dec 27th. Then my phone didn't stop ringing and I finished the day with 16 contracted residential clients....mostly from the newspaper ad.
    I've plowed three times now and at first found plowing to be more difficult than I thought it would be, but I've gone slow and seem to have picked it up OK...having the insurance also gives me a certain degree of comfort and hopefully I'll never need it.

    Anyway, the several things I've learned include:
    1. Advertise but don't get discouraged if your advertising doesen't give you good results initially.
    2. Don't lowball....it just kills the job for everyone. I won't drop my plow for less than $35. I was at first surprised when people immediately agreed to prices that I thought were pushing it.
    3. Get insurance and properly register your vehicle.
    4. Put auxiliary lighting on your truck if you expect to be out plowing in the dark.

    This site has been a great help and I'll continue to monitor it and contribute.
    3. Get insurance and
     
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Wow,your twin just posted the same thing!:)
     
  3. geer hed

    geer hed Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    Welcome and good luck. Thats the way to do it, just take it easy. Don't get over confident in yourself, thats when you usualy get cought. Another idea is with that many accounts, try to team up with somebody that can help you out if you have a mishap. like broken equipment, For some reason it never breaks in the summer when it's stored, it's allways when you need it most. Again good luck.
     
  4. Morrissey snow removal

    Morrissey snow removal PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,799

    welcome and good luck
     
  5. eastcoastjava

    eastcoastjava Senior Member
    from Boston
    Messages: 165

    Good luck man, Love to see your tip about no low balls. I work for a guy doing snow removal and plowing last storm i ran into a former client, and she got a new guy to plow her driveway at a cost that was absurdly low. Went buy later that day guy pushed all the snow right in front of the garage and backed over her mail box, so you get what you pay for. Show customers you care and go out of your way but dont kiss ass, and remember you are always replaceable "put your finger in a bucket of water and pull it out and see how fast it fills in".
     
  6. gpservices

    gpservices Junior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 29

    All good points and good idea buying a new fisher it will serve you well. Also be sure not to just have 2,000,000 in liability but also commercial auto insurance. Had a friend learn the hard way. Liability only covers you when someone tries to sue you. Lets say you hit a clients garage door. So you call your buisness insurance agent, they tell sorry not our problem and they will, cause thats not what they cover, so you call your auto insurance, as soon as they find out your using your truck to plow in a drive other then your own YOU ARE NO LONGER COVERED, SO BEWARE, first things first call a commecrial auto insurance comapny and brace yourself, my rate for my 06 chevy 2500 went from $800 a year to $1800 for commercial insurance and i have a perfect driving record and im over 25 years old, guess what my minimum went from $30 to $50 overnight.