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Crazy Idea

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Armyman2007, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. Armyman2007

    Armyman2007 Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Ok here are my my two plans to entry into the snow removal biz this year. Quick background I have never plowed with a truck, but have used and have access to a snowblower. I have a 4X4 2001 Explorer, snowblower, gas cans, shovels, trailer and a little cash in the bank.

    Plan A
    Mail out a letter to every business in my target area tomorrow, call every local property management agency tomorrow, and place ads in all local papers tomorrow in an attempt to locate as many businesses as possible who do not have a contracted snow removal service yet. Make reasonable bids for these properties and THEN find equipment necessary to service them.

    Plan B
    Realize its too late to put a profitable route together, talk with local contractors and try to get a position doing walks/small areas and maybe a few residential driveways.

    What you guys think?
  2. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    you can try both, and maybe should, make arrangements to sub with someone, then send out your flyers, and phone calls, just make sure you don't solicite the contracts you are subing, contractors tend to get angry about that
  3. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Sub for someone to learn the dos and don'ts and the pricing structures. To many leave too much money on the table though inexperience.
  4. Armyman2007

    Armyman2007 Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Thanks for the replies so far. I guess my main question is would you guys bid on a property that you don't currently have the equipment to handle? And then once your bid is accepted you either purchase the equipment or subcontract the jpb out?
  5. Exact Services

    Exact Services Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    Plan B is my vote. Do you have commercial insurance? dba on file with the state? Back up snowblowers? Back up 4x4 vehicle? How much total snow fall do you get per winter in your area?

    What do you normally do in the winter and or summer? Is this a full time venture for the winter or part-time?

    Residential snow blowing the place to start out [less capital expense] however I really don't recommend it unless it somehow cross promotes another business plan during the growing season etc. Lawncare, sealcoating, roofing, painting, carpet cleaning etc.
  6. Armyman2007

    Armyman2007 Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Commercial Insurance - Not yet but will have before I start
    DBA on file - Yes
    Back Up snowblower - Yes
    Back Up 4X4 - Not yet but working on it
    Total snowfall - 22" a year I believe is our average (live few miles from Lake Michigan in NW Indiana)
  7. Exact Services

    Exact Services Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    Last year was my first year in snow and frankly I didn't have much clue what I was doing. I spent hours reading on plowsite trying figure out what to do. I had no true idea how productive my equipment would be. This year I passed on one of my commercial lawn accounts for snow removal. The parking lot is too big for my throwers by a factor of 4x. I don't have a plow on a truck but even if besides if I did it would not be worth it. I was freely told by the owner what the prior contractor was charging for snow. It was peanuts. Not worth it. Mowing the lawn?.... yes worth it. The lawn gets mowed basically every week and I don't have to do it in the dark on Christmas Eve. I've done commercial snow removal for a therapist office but frankly it wasn't worth the hassle. Residential is waaay less hassle IMHO.
  8. Armyman2007

    Armyman2007 Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    I am the opposite I guess.I am typically laid off in the late fall and winter and looking for something to do (and bring in a little cash flow). I don't mind watching the weather reports late into the nights or going out at odd hours to "play" in the snow.
  9. Exact Services

    Exact Services Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    22" of snow isn't very much per winter. Here we typically get 45+" average. Last winter was 100+".

    FWIW there is a real bleeding heart crisis mentality that I have come across in residential snow removal that I really don't experience during the growing season. Growing grass isn't a crisis but snow is. There is an expectation that people think you're just out there for gas money and to lend a helping hand.

    All the best :waving:
  10. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Most commercial bids will require an equipment list.

    I would look for some subbing work with the blower.
  11. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    See what happens with the flyers and ads. I wouldn't put out any bids yet but would wait on responses you get from ads.
    Talk to the big plow co's and ask if they need walks done too.
  12. Michigansnowkin

    Michigansnowkin Member
    Messages: 75

    continue with what you are doing, ads here and there don't put all you re money in advertising to get accounts u cant do. Get the truck and sub, pick up jobs as you go along. Good luck.
  13. snowguys

    snowguys Senior Member
    Messages: 708

    you need to double that 22 its more like 44' we get the past winters have been more like
    60" and with you being in nw indiana im sure you get more lake snow then we do in chicago just trying to let you know dont mean to talk sh@t
  14. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    22" of snow...just buy a high power back pack blower and be done with it! But my opinion, its probably too late to pick up commercial accounts and typically businesses dont contract out sidewalks, they usually leave that to the plowing companies, which brings me to my next thought...network with plowing companies who have commercial accounts and see if they are looking for sidewalk help. If its like everywhere else, no one wants to do sidewalks so the chances are good their still looking. Also, stick with local fliers for residential accounts.
  15. jimspro

    jimspro Senior Member
    Messages: 200

    i would try to sub out with other companies first, also if you put a plow on an explorer, you will most likely be doing repairs to it if it gets used alot, ok for some driveways, but big jobs might take its toll on it, as a thought
  16. rusty_keg_3

    rusty_keg_3 Senior Member
    Messages: 514

    plan.... b, i think its to late to try to sing contracts, find a plow, get the plow, mount the plow, and get the right insurance...