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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by stiffysteele, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. stiffysteele

    stiffysteele Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I'm am starting out this next season on my own. When do you normally start advertising. Is june too early? Personally I'm scared S!@#less. Worried about all the little things that can drive a small buisness owner MAD ! Any advise would be most appriciated. I'm just starting out with residential driveways and small areas like that.
  2. Mick

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

    One main question - Do you have another full time job? If so, I wouldn't worry too much about trying to get as much work as possible the first year. I don't think June is too early for your area. Get a few small drives this first year and use them as a learning experience. Don't worry too much if you're too high or too low. If you're too high, you won't get them. If you're too low, you'll learn better for next year. Besides, it's doubtful you'll be all that low.

    You've got the right idea, so put an ad in the local shopper, maybe a notice on a bulletin board at the local convenience store and let friends/family know you're looking for the drives to plow.

    Just do the best you can to meet the customer's expectations. Do you have any experience in plowing snow?
  3. kl0an

    kl0an Senior Member
    Messages: 215

    I don't know if I'd jump in without any experience.. I spent last winter drivin other peoples trucks and equipment and I think I learned the techniques pretty well, now I just gotta learn the business end of it all..

    Mick has good advice there, start out slow. Even this coming winter, I plan to work full time and maybe get a few commercials as a sub so I can plow 6-8 hours from midnight on until it's time to go to work..

    If the jobs come in heavier than that, I'll have my son start running the truck on a few of them so he can get experience and make some money too.. Then we'll see how it goes.. If it's good, we buy him a truck next season, etc, etc..
  4. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,815

    its never too early to start putting things together for the following season
  5. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,815

    its never too early to start putting things together for the following season
  6. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    Remember insurance;)

    And aslo as was mentions subing(using your own truck) is a great way to get some experience without really having to worry about all the other biz stuff. Do that or work in someone elses rig or see if you can do ride alongs or be a shovler or the like.

    If you go for the in with both feet aproach then i would really recomend starting smaller than you think is small. You dont want to get a bad rep in the begining. Chuck Smith and some others have good books out there. Also searching around here and the rest of the net will give you lots of info. And plenty more reading material.

    I kinda prefer bigger lots myself especially in a bigger truck. You have fewer cusomers to worry about making happy and I find it a royal PITA. Depending resi can make more $$$ per hour but you need a efficient set up/route. A mix is alright but using a truck that is set up for drives in a bigger lot or viceversa can be a pain and isnt the way to be efficent. Better figure out what you will be doing before you pick a set up of if you have a set up then you better pick what you do to so your set up works best. I'm a big fan of the right tool for the job, anything can get it done but the name of the game is being efficent.

    Also I would recoment hooking up with anouther contractor so if one of you guys break down or have a problem you can cover each other. That way your customers are always clear!

    In the end you need to sell yourself as an excellent service provider. Maybe not the cheapest or not the most expensive but a provider of excellent service. Search "lowballer" and you will find alot of heated "hater" type coments but if you sift through most of that you will see why many believe its the provider of high service that sticks around and thrives.
  7. wfd44

    wfd44 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 369

    Ratlover - you mention picking the right jobs for your set up/right set up for your jobs. How about a run down of what set ups people think are best for what types of jobs?