First year snow plowing wish me luck

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Jacksonpowers, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. Jacksonpowers

    Jacksonpowers Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    my name is Jackson this will be my first year snow plowing I’m completely new to the game. I’m 26 i live in Michigan I just financed a 2003 f350 6.0 dual rear wheel 108k miles it came with a 9’ straight boss plow thats all I have for equipment I will be buying a 2 stage snow blower. I have two full time jobs and want to replace both with snow and ice management and lawn care landscaping. I have 2 properties Both gas stations owned by the same people I’m only plowing them. one is very small the other is mid sized both for $100 on call right down the road from my house. There’s lots of new homes being built in my area and there’s some industrial parks near me that I have dropped off business cards with quotes on them already they are very large for $200+ per push.I have “SnowPlowing” decal on my truck with my phone number. How should I go about getting more business? I have no problem going door to door. I really would just like lots of volume in one area should I charge same rate for a whole subdivision? What is your advise
  2. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,605

    You have insurance correct ?
  3. cwren2472

    cwren2472 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,907

  4. OP

    Jacksonpowers Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Car insurance only. How should I go about getting insurance for my company?
  5. cwren2472

    cwren2472 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,907

    "Hello, Mr. Insurance Agent? This is what I'm going to be doing..."
  6. OP

    Jacksonpowers Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    thank you!!!
  7. framer1901

    framer1901 Addict
    Messages: 1,074

    Two full time jobs and we're gonna plow snow on call.... Hmmmm Let me know how that works.

    Snowplowing is a lifestyle if you want customer retention.
  8. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,188

    How are you bidding work without knowing your operating costs?

    How did you come up with the numbers you're bidding?
  9. OP

    Jacksonpowers Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    I’m trying to run the truck at $100 per hour
  10. OP

    Jacksonpowers Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    hustle!! That’s how!;)
  11. Leland Lawn

    Leland Lawn Member
    Messages: 56

    Word of mouth and the quality of work will be your best advertisement. When the snow starts flying, everyone starts talking about who can help them out.

    Grab a few good "anchor" properties in your area that aren't super complicated (gas stations are the worst btw). Nice repetitively open 1-2 acre lots with minimal light poles or islands, and fully commit to those clients. That you will serve them as best you can and you won't let them down. Places where your 9' plow will shine and your work will be seen.

    You'll be known and asked about quotes more that way then any door to door or flyer could even do. Let your work prove your worth.
  12. BlueGuy

    BlueGuy Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Having signs n your truck is big for marketing. Marketing is all about getting them to contact you or respond to your contact. Being out there doing good work and making customers happy will be huge. You could try craigslist too if you want. I used to drive around in the plow truck with a tow chain in the back when it snows, just looking for people who are stuck or people struggling to open the driveway skirt. Those can be easy money in the moment and if you have signage and maybe a business card, that could lead to regular work.

    I have a lawncare business and I make sure to always drop a bid for all of my services when I get a request. For example, if Joe Shmoe wants mowing, I look at the lawn, the driveway, the trees, gutters, bushes, beds etc. and come up with a bid for any type of work that I do. I put all those in the email and maybe 50% of my emailed estimate responses yield some kind of work, often a good deal of work.

    Keep a positive attitude, entrepenuers are, by definition, dreamers, so dream big and work for those dreams.
    mitch2150, Kevin_NJ, Chineau and 3 others like this.
  13. BlueGuy

    BlueGuy Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    By the way, have you looked up your local laws? In my area we are required to have a strobe on the truck (not that I wouldn’t have one anyway). Little things like that can get you a ticket, so be aware of what the laws expect and follow all of them.

    Also, keep records. Know where you were, what you were doing and when. Know how much snow there was, how cold it was, when you salted (do you salt?) etc.
    Kevin_NJ and Jacksonpowers like this.
  14. fireside

    fireside Addict
    Messages: 1,610

    first off welcome to the rat race. You said you have two gas stations. I would rethink that they are the most difficult things to plow not to mention the liability plowing them. All those little covers cost big dollars when you pop them off like 2k plus.

    Insurance get a good person you need liability and comm auto insurance
    Kevin_NJ, Jacksonpowers and dieselss like this.
  15. Avalanche 2500

    Avalanche 2500 Addict
    Messages: 1,026

    Just make sure u are sitting down, when Mr. Insurance hits ya w/ a price $$
  16. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,188

    Don't take this the wrong way, I'm only trying to help you succeed and survive here.

    You aren't ready to quite your jobs yet, and jump in head first. This is also something that can't really be done with 2 full time jobs. One is even pushing it.

    You need to take a step back and learn about business first. Read, watch, and listen to EVERYTHING you can about the industry, business, sales, business, marketing, and did I mention business? You need to sit down with a CPA and an attorney, and see exactly what you need to set up, how it should be set up, and figure out a game plan moving forward.

    Before you set that up, see if you have the funds to operate a business full time. Can you make your truck payment, insurance costs, pay for your accounting software, gas, marketing materials, equipment repairs. Can you afford to go two, three, six months without a paycheck while you throw everything you have into your business to give yourself enough operating capital to function without being desperate?

    Then sit down a write a business plan, and figure out your operating costs. What do you want your salary to be, how much gas will you use, what do you expect in repairs, what does your phone cost, what does insurance cost, what do your office supplies cost, what does your truck cost, etc.

    From there you can figure out your average storms, and figure out how many hours per storm you'll work. Using your actual numbers listed above, figure out your hourly rate. Add your markup if you have any and profit.

    I'll let someone else jump in from here. Just don't hurt yourself long term. If you need to be charging $125/hr, you're better sitting at home than loosing money. Cover your butt with insurance and starting an LLC or incorporate. And learn as much as you can
  17. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,449

    Make sure you no where all the tank fill lids are. If you tear one up, you will wish you had insurance. Also gas stations suck, grandma always pulls in behind you in your blind spot.
    jonniesmooth and Jacksonpowers like this.
  18. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,649

    Randall's grandma has been warned by virtually everyone on the site and she won't listen to reason, she just keeps doing it ..
  19. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    Matt just gave you quite a bit of solid advise here... Thumbs Up:nod:
  20. Defcon 5

    Defcon 5 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,932

    When you talk to your insurance person...Those two gas stations probably won’t even cover you bill....
    Philbilly2, Randall Ave and dieselss like this.