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Starting my own Company

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by 04fivefour, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. 04fivefour

    04fivefour Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    My wife and I would like to start our own snow removal company. Our family has many different businesses so the legal side would be taken care of pretty well. I really just need to know the ins and out of the business its self.

    1. How do you determine pricing? Do you call a few local companies and see what the going rate is? Is there a difference in commercial and residential pricing? Do you charge by the hour or area? What constitutes an emergency rate?

    2. How do you get new clients? Do you send fliers or just stop in to places and leave a card?

    3. At what point do you start plowing? Here in Ohio it usually snows for hours at a time. Should you wait until it stops or plow multiple times?


    I am going to have a bunch more question I just can't remember them all right now. :dizzy:


    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    question #4, I have/have not plowed before.
     
  3. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,980

    So your gunna have plows and tks. Or are you basically gunna be a paper company?
     
  4. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Go work for someone else and learn the ropes.

    Just saying I want to start a company is a great way to fail.
     
  5. TKLAWN

    TKLAWN PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,579

    Yeah, go sub or work for a local reputable company for Atleast one season and learn as much as you can then decide from there if you still what to go ahead with it. Plowing can be difficult on yourself and your family.
     
  6. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    1. How do you determine pricing? .5-3 , 3.1-6 , 6.1-9 , over 9 inches per hr. That would be a local market thing, it is all over the place, I get $90 hr, But average 2x that on bid prices

    Do you call a few local companies and see what the going rate is? You could, I do not. I am told I am high. So I know I am good

    Is there a difference in commercial and residential pricing? Yes, here I get 2-3 times more for Residential , but you have to get out and do hand work.

    Do you charge by the hour or area? Area / unless over 9 inches

    What constitutes an emergency rate? I don't have one I am full , they are SOL

    2. How do you get new clients? WEB Site linked with Google, sign by the road

    Do you send fliers or just stop in to places and leave a card? No, tried flyers 1% return rate, I let them come to me

    3. At what point do you start plowing? Depends on how much it will snow, time of day, kind of snow, how long it snows ..............I just let 5" pile up last night but it was Sunday and very light snow. if it was wet snow I would have been out at 2"

    Here in Ohio it usually snows for hours at a time. Should you wait until it stops or plow multiple times?depends on what you sold for service
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  7. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    While I understand starting involves many questions and can me difficult I'm not sure you're asking the proper questions. You say you or family owned many businesses...obtaining customers, determining prices, advertising, etc, is basically the same formula for any business. They may be your best bet for those questions.

    Every area has much different prices so unless you find someone on here from the area you plan to service your pricing will not most likely not be competitive. On a side note, i have never heard of an "emergency rate".

    Like others have said you are MUCH better off working for someone before diving into your own business. I assure you it's not as glamorous as it seems :)
     
  8. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,591

    Grandviews #4 question is a great question, and I feel that subbing for someone a couple years is the best learning there is.
     
  9. South Seneca

    South Seneca Senior Member
    Messages: 474

    When to plow really depends on what the customer needs too. I have many retired folks who don't care if the snow accumulates overnight. They just want to be able to get out in the morning. I don't plow them until just before daylight unless we are really getting hammered with snow. Then I open them up during the night and go back in the morning and clean up where the road plows plugged the end of the driveway and put the finishing touches on the driveway.
    During the hours when folks want to get out I plow on a 3" trigger.
     
  10. 04fivefour

    04fivefour Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    I have plowed before, I worked at a car dealership and had to remove a lot of snow.
     
  11. 04fivefour

    04fivefour Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Not sure what you mean by this.
     
  12. 04fivefour

    04fivefour Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    I appreciate the advice, I have plowed before but have never been on the behind the scenes side of it. There is not really a way that I could go join anyone because I manage one business during the day.
     
  13. TKLAWN

    TKLAWN PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,579

    ^^think he means trucks.
     
  14. 04fivefour

    04fivefour Junior Member
    Messages: 20


    Thanks for the input. This is the information I am after.
     
  15. 04fivefour

    04fivefour Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    What does he mean by "be a paper company"?
     
  16. 04fivefour

    04fivefour Junior Member
    Messages: 20


    Well our businesses are in the accounting and finance world so our client base is a little bit different. But that's what I am trying to find out is how others have got their clients. We have a marketing program that brings in most of our new clients at our other business but you are right about things being the same formula. Just have to find a way to connect with the potential customers.

    Starting a new company is always a scary/tough thing to do but I know I can do it. I'm not wanting a large scale operation either. It's just going to be me and my buddy. So i'm only going to have a minimal amount invested.
     
  17. 04fivefour

    04fivefour Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Thanks for the input. I figured it would mostly be what the customer wants type basis.
     
  18. FurFishGame

    FurFishGame Member
    Messages: 35

    i believe he means, are you doing the plowing your self, and running the buisness end of it, or just running hte buisness end and hireing sub contractors to do the plowing?
     
  19. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,010

    Paper contractors don't use tools other than their office supplies and their brains. They hang up the tool belt so that others can do the physical activities.
     
  20. poopdeckpappy

    poopdeckpappy Member
    from KC,KS
    Messages: 32

    If you wanna push snow, make a decision early on about how much extra time you have in order to satisfy contracts and keep your customers happy. Limiting yourself to between 5-10 lots per truck, depending on your skill level can keep your customer base willing to sign on with you the next season.While your redoing his contract, his buddy might need a bid also!! Remember that storms come during the day also. It only takes one failure to lose a customer.

    If you want to learn about pricing in your area.Look in the phone book and set appointments with plow guys in your area. Go to a lot which would be comparable to what you are wanting to do and get their prices for that lot. Not only will you be able to compete, you will also be able to determine how pricing in your area is done. Some could easily frown upon such a thing, but there's nothing wrong with being smart in business and competitive. I do free estimates year round and consider it a means to an end. If you don't sell jobs you don't work.
    When it comes to finding willing customers to sign you have alot of options. A business card handed to a potential client in person speaks volumes. Hit the bricks and the fast food joints in August or September in order to put your name early in the minds of clients. Around here most clients are signed on by the end of October.
    Last but not least, tell your clients that you do competitive pricing and could possibly meet or beat the prior years contract pricing. If they give you their numbers for last season, ask to look at a copy of the contract. If they are not willing to show you, you must redirect and use your initiative in order to seal a deal. With competitive pricing, top notch service, and good equipment, you will more than likely succeed.