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Starting business and want to know Fair prices

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by NEUSWEDE, Mar 13, 2003.

  1. NEUSWEDE

    NEUSWEDE Senior Member
    Messages: 949

    I am in the process of starting my own business of plowing and lawn care and curious what to charge for plowing a driveway. I am new and don't really know prices, I would be plowing and doing all the ways and sidewalks and all that. So what is a fair price ? how do you guys decide this??
    Thanks
    Dylan
    Future Business entrepuner
     
  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Find out what others in your area are charging.Phone around,and act like a customer.This will give you a ball park idea,so you won't be out to lunch when quoting.Don't price too low,or your customers will always expect it cheap.It's much easier to lower prices if your high,but difficult to raise them when you realize your not making enough.

    Don't forget about salting too,very profitable :)

    I'm sure more guys local to your area will chime in to help here.Some more info on the type of driveways you will be targeting will be helpful,ie long private drives,small single car residential,etc.
     
  3. NEUSWEDE

    NEUSWEDE Senior Member
    Messages: 949

    I will be doing mostly suburbs

    Thanks for the help I will call around, I will be doing some semi long drives but mostly suburb driveways and do all paths and and sidwalks with a snowblower. I would do salting too. Do people do salting seperatly from plowing or do you offer it along with plowing at an extra cost?
    Thanks for the help
    Dylan
     
  4. Mick

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

    NEUSWEDE, welcome to PlowSite. First, I'd like to know how knew to snowplowing and business are you? As a general rule, for the Portland area, you want to figure how long a job will take and use $100 - $125 an hour as a base. Salting/sanding is an add-on item, usually. If you're really knew to plowing, there are a lot more consideration than just setting the price. Actually, pricing should be about the last area of concern in setting your business strategy and in setting up a plan for plowing a particular area.
     
  5. NEUSWEDE

    NEUSWEDE Senior Member
    Messages: 949

    Brand New Basically I am a Virgin you could say

    I am a brand new to this, I won't start plowing till next winter but I am in the process of getting everything together for next winter. I am starting my own business so I was just curious about what to charge. What else do I need to consider before prices?? I know I need customers and I am working on marketing to get customers and all that. I plan on doing lawn care the rest of the year.
    Any advice is welcome
    Dylan
     
  6. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Another possibility is to do some sub work for a larger company,so you get a feel of how long stuff will take,and get some experience too.
     
  7. Mick

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

    Things to consider in starting a snowplowing business (besides pricing).

    1. Do I have the time to commit to plowing? If you are unavailable during particular times of the day or periods of time, you’ll be severely limited in the types of accounts you can take on.

    2. What equipment do I have now? What will I purchase/lease before beginning to plow? If you only have a pickup and plow, you won’t want to go after accounts that need salting. If you have a ¾ ton pickup with an 8’ blade and a tailgate spreader, you won’t go after a 50 acre mall.

    3. What is my market area? The closer together the accounts and closer to your business office (likely your home), the better.

    4. What type of accounts will I pursue? Residential? Commercial? Industrial? Each will affect several things including type of insurance and equipment needed.

    5. Do I have the expertise and equipment for this type of account? (obviously you’re asking this when you look over a proposed job).

    6. For any particular job, you will need to consider - How am I going to approach this job, where am I going to push/stack the snow and will there be enough room for future pushes? What is going to be affected by where I plan to pile snow? Will I need to have snow removed from the site? You need to have the equipment for snow removal or arrange for it.

    7. A big consideration: How am I going to handle the inevitable equipment failure? Do you have friends you can call on to fill in for you? Do you have backup equipment? How about if you’re sick and can’t get out? This is a real problem - even people using brand new equipment can tell you stories of how their $35,000 brand new truck bit the dust and spent the next week in the shop. In the meantime, they missed out on thousands of dollars because they didn’t have a backup truck.

    8. Do I have the required insurance for the type of accounts I’m pursuing?

    This is just a partial list. I’m sure others can chime in, also. Notice I have not even mentioned looking at how much to charge. Another good resource would be to develop a Business Plan. For an example of that, visit the Small Business Administration web site.
     
  8. plowman777

    plowman777 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    just jump in

    learn by doing, thats how i did it, just reading here gets u the basics and thats enuf to get started