Hello everyone. I'm currently not in the business, but me and a buddy of mine of jumping into it next winter. Can you guy's give me an idead of how to get started (startup costs, typical gross income, finding clients ect). Asumming buying one used plow and truck.
2. A plow (anywhere from $2000-$4000 depending on model)
3. Insurance. You need to have plowing insurance on the truck, and it's also a VERY GOOD IDEA to have business liability. Usual coverage is $1,000,000/$2,000,000
4. If you want to spread salt, you'll need a spreader. If you're gonna sand, you need a spreader capable of spreading sand. Costs start around $1000 and go up from there.
5. It's a very good idea to have some sort of warning light on the truck. Some prefer revolving lights, others prefer strobes, some have both. Don't get me wrong, people will still cut you off and get in your way, but at least you warned em...
6. Extra cash in case of a breakdown.
These are basics. I'm sure someone else in here will fill in anything I forgot.
Finding clients - start as soon as possible letting everyone you know, and come in contact with know, that you are looking for plowing jobs. Make up some business cards on your computer or from a print shop. Make up some flyers. Advertise in a local weekly paper. Some people like to make up door hangers. Don't over-commit yourself. Stay on this site and you'll learn a lot fast.
Yes... a big no-no... don't over-book yourself. Only take on as much as you KNOW you can handle. Also, keep in mind if you have a break-down. Will you have someone to cover your butt, or will you be makin apology calls to all of your customers?
Depends on how much money you have to spend. I started very small mainly doing sidewalks for other plowers. I still invested close to 20k, but it paid off. I think if you looked around for a good used truck and plow and a small snow blower you could be in business for around 12k.
I have a small shoveling business and the best advice i can give you considering what you are doing is much different than mine is to keep your customer base low in the beginning and as your business gets better add on to it