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New to Snow Plowing

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by TKB, Dec 4, 2014.

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What do you think of this post

Poll closed Jan 3, 2015.
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  1. TKB

    TKB Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Hello,

    I am new to snow plowing. I want to start my own business now for the last couple of years and have been working on a business plan. I have been in the customer service field for the last 8 years. Now that I am 25 years old and graduating from college I want to get started snow plowing in 2015

    I don't work for a lawn care company as most plow drivers do to offset the work for change of seasons. I just want to do this as a seasonal business. I have been approved for a $10,000 loan for my business.

    I have a few questions for all of you.

    1. What is the best way to get a plow? I have a 2003 Ford F150 4x4 that is my personal truck that I want to put a plow on.

    2. Were do I start getting clients? I have a background in Marketing and business management, that I think might help me.

    3. I just want to know what I can expect when I start this business?

    4. Is it Cheaper to Get General Liability (GLI) insurance for my business? Can I register my truck under the business? Is it cheaper to Put GLI on my truck then have regular full coverage on my truck?

    5. What is a fair price to charge customers? I don't believe in the hourly rate unless it is a business. Is $30 per push cheap enough? or Do I have to go up in price? I want to charge a reasonable price but not overly expensive were I loose clients.

    6. Business discounts. Is giving a discount to an elderly person a good thing to do? charge a lower rate to them since most are on a fixed income. What are some ways to run a promo for most businesses.

    any answers to the questions will be great. I have a business plan started and in progress of getting funding. I appreciate any feed back that I receive.

    Thank you!
     
  2. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,863

    Hello, welcome to plowsite, I'd suggest doing alot of reading on this site, make sure to put your BS detector hat on, but there is lots of VERY good info here, you just got to find it, you'll soon see that alot depends on your plan, location ect.
     
  3. TKB

    TKB Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    I have been doing a lot of reading on here. I just want to get anwers so that i am not making a mistake. I want to answers to finish my business plan.
     
  4. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    1. What is the best way to get a plow? I have a 2003 Ford F150 4x4 that is my personal truck that I want to put a plow on.
    If you are just plowing driveways, buy a 7'6 because that's the most your truck should handle, search for distributors, you want one that is close to you and they all have distributor locators on the sites, i recommend boss but its all preference. look for fisher, western, boss, meyer, and blizzard. thats all i can think of i know theres a couple more.

    2. Were do I start getting clients? I have a background in Marketing and business management, that I think might help me.
    Honestly you are a little late in the season to get clients, most people that want to have their drive plowed have already signed up so you might be outta luck for 2015, usually you want to advertise in like september and be all signed up by end of october at the latest. i recommend finding a trade to do in the summer and start you plan now for that so you are ahead. a lot of people here landscape in the summer.

    3. I just want to know what I can expect when I start this business?
    expect to be up long hours and get used to not sleeping, getting screwed by people you have been loyal too but in the end it pays off. It's a great business to be in

    4. Is it Cheaper to Get General Liability (GLI) insurance for my business? Can I register my truck under the business? Is it cheaper to Put GLI on my truck then have regular full coverage on my truck?
    that you'll need someone with more knowledge on, i dont want to guide you in the wrong direction

    5. What is a fair price to charge customers? I don't believe in the hourly rate unless it is a business. Is $30 per push cheap enough? or Do I have to go up in price? I want to charge a reasonable price but not overly expensive were I loose clients.
    For drives you want to set a minimum and 30 is alright, i see some set it at 35 but i do all lots so im not great with pricing drives. You want to base it off how long it will take you. you also want to figure where you will charge per push and bill that once a month or if you will find out the average pushes in a year and charge a seasonal price.

    6. Business discounts. Is giving a discount to an elderly person a good thing to do? charge a lower rate to them since most are on a fixed income. What are some ways to run a promo for most businesses.
    Honestly we have never experimented with discounts so not to sure about that although if i had a vet that wanted me to do his drive i would definitely give him a discount, they deserve it most of anyone.
    hope it helped but again try reading up on the business aspect because there is just so much to consider.
     
  5. TKB

    TKB Junior Member
    Messages: 12


    Thank you. I am used to being up long hours since i am a volunteer firfighter. I am not in th landscaping business since i have a full time job now.
     
  6. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,974

    Try working for a plow company for a year or so, get your feet wet then go from there
     
  7. TKB

    TKB Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    I dont have a plow.
     
  8. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,974

    You can drive there equipment...or use there heavy equipment
     
  9. TKB

    TKB Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    O i didnt know thay
     
  10. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,974

    Yep start searching the want adds, and c.l. bet you find quite a few
     
  11. dstifel

    dstifel Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 188

    Just bought a western HTS (half tom series) that's does about 60 driveways a snow for me highly recommend it if you have a good western dealer. Insurance your best bet is to talk to an agent and then talk to about 10 more and get quotes they will tell you what you need. $30 seems little cheap my average drive is 45$ but all depends on your market.
     
  12. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    so you have a full time job and a volunteer firefighter?

    So how do you feel about leaving your clients snowed in while you go and fight a fire? because that should be a priority right?

    You have a full time job, so its snowing during the day and old Mrs. Jones has a medical emergency and needs to get out of her house but the ambulance can't get in or an EMT slips and falls trying to get to her because you are sitting at your job and can't leave work.


    just a few things to think about?

    oh and what happens when your truck breaks down…cause it will...
     
  13. TKB

    TKB Junior Member
    Messages: 12


    I am allowed to leave work when there is a fire call. I am not an emt so i dont worry about medical calls. I will plow on my days off and when i get off of work. I have a freind that is willing to plow with my truck when i am at work or on fire calls
     
  14. jimbo64

    jimbo64 Senior Member
    Messages: 194

    I think the best advice so far is to spend at least one season working for someone else to learn what's involved. You can't get into this business and expect to keep customers if you already have a full time job.
     
  15. TKB

    TKB Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    I plan on working part time during plowing season.
     
  16. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Did you ever plow before? you might not like it and then be on the hook for that cash.
     
  17. TKB

    TKB Junior Member
    Messages: 12


    I have, i only helped a freind out once since he needed a driver to do a large mall parking lot.
     
  18. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Best like others said,hookup with someone and put a full season in and try for 2016. What was your major in school?
     
  19. TKB

    TKB Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    I have an associates degree in marketing. I have a baclors in Native American studies and business management.
     
  20. TKB

    TKB Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    When i say 2015 i mean late 2015.