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got a question about SIMA?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ultimate lawns, Sep 25, 2002.

  1. ultimate lawns

    ultimate lawns Member
    Messages: 92

    hey all,
    i was wondering what is SIMA? What does it have and what can you do on the site when you become a member? Is the price worth it?

    ultimate lawns and more,
  2. karl klein

    karl klein Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    everyone knows how i feel.
  3. Mick

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

    I'm assuming you've gotten Private Messages from others by now. I think the short answer to your question would be: Join SIMA if you want to grow your business, want contacts in the industry, want access to potential contracts with national chain stores and/or want information related to the industry not found on PlowSite.

    However, you might want to consider saving your money if none of the above apply. If you're happy with your current business situation, but still want to network, you could do that on this site and pay the non-member prices if you decided to attend SIMA functions, etc.

    Not trying to start a war here, that's just how I see it. Like others have said many times "SIMA is not for everyone".

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    The only way I could answer the question "is it worth it?" is by telling you "that depends".

    Some more info about you might be helpful for me to answer that question.
    What kind of work do you do (commercial/residential, both).
    How much time can you devote to the job? (part/full during the winter)
    How many trucks do you have?
    Lastly, what are your goals in the industry?

    My personal opinion is if your just doing this for a little extra income in the winter by plowing 20 or fewer drives then you might not get that much out of the orginization. But if your goals are to grow from that point on then IMHO you would be a good canidate for learning a great deal from the website and it's members.
  5. Lawn Lad

    Lawn Lad Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    The website is helpful, the forum is very helpful.

    The organization as a whole is even better. There are many benefits to membership beyond the website, though that may be the only one you choose to use.

    I may not give the best synopsis, but it's different for every memeber what they get out of it. But I look at it in this way. Plowsite is a community. Everyone shares ideas. Now, bring that community closer together and the opportunity to meet in person and be a part of growing organization with increasing benefits and resources and now we're just beginning.

    I called a SIMA member out east the other day - big contractor, and he spent 45 minutes with me in the morning answering some basic questions for him (very imformative for me) and another hour later in the day. Could this happen on this site? Sure. Does it? I'd assume so. But with SIMA you have an organization of individuals, both large and small, that share similar goals and interests which leads to intensive sharing of ideas, concepts, etc. Members are very willling to help one another because they realize several things... first, if they help a fellow member that member will in turn help another. What goes around comes around. Secondly, you get out much more than you put into it. Bottom line, as individuals we all benefit if the industry grows and develops and that happens at the individual company level.

    You can choose to use the organization as much or a little as you feel comfortable. But for $175 (for those companies that generate under $250 K a year in snow sales), I can't imagine a better $175.00 spent/invested.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2002
  6. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    JD and Mick's replies showed up when I previewed what I had written below. Both good opinions. Neither of them suggested what I was suggesting though:

    As with most other subjects here on PlowSite, do a search and you'll find it's been discussed a number of times. Karl's reference is, in fact , to a relatively recent discussion that was specifically about SIMA and it's cost/benefit....

    (And I went to preview the above and LawnLad had replied too....)
  7. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    The SIMA site, per se is not going to be what helps to improve your business. Networking with fellow members (as simple as looking up someone in the SIMA directory and placing a call) is what is really going to give you some ideas to improve your business. There are seminars (many of which you don't have to be a SIMA member to attend).

    There are SIMA members that make millions of dollars a year doing snow removal. Even if you never want to do that kind of business, doesn't hearing that make you the least bit curious???

    You see, I really do like snow and ice....but the money I make keeps me happy at 3:52 A.M. when a rain/sleet mix is changing over to heavy, wet snow. :D

    Again, SIMA is no magic pill. However, I have benefitted greatly by learning how some of the most successful contractors in the United States do business on every level from predicting weather to documenting service to avoid the potential for liability.

    I don't suppose your life savings and everything you work for in the future would be worth being a member? I'm exaggerating a bit here. Truthfully, though, SIMA will even help to protect you from being sued, even in the case of frivolous lawsuits.

    Yes, you may want to buy some instructional tapes, attend some seminars that will cost some money, buy some books from KNOWN experts in the field these are all where the value is. Of course, you can lead a horse to water.... If you put in the effort and have the desire to make snow a (more) profitable part of your business, I cannot recommend any better avenue.

    ***Just being a member, having a bumper sticker and reading the SIMA forum from time to time is not going to yield much IMO. ***

    I just spent about $400 attending the seminar in Naperville, Illinois that John Allin spoke at last weekend. The hotel was just under $100 for the night. The Seminar was just under $150 with a tasty lunch included. I bought his book and CD which was about $50 or $60 as part of a combination deal. I had to spend some money on gas and food, too. Overall, IT WAS AN ABSOLUTE STEAL! Invest a little in your business, and see if it doesn't pay off. You are an entrepreneur, aren't you???

    Also, the CSP (Certified Snow Professional) designation is of value for marketing your business. If you believe that any aspect of your business could use a little improvement, SIMA can benefit you.
  8. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    I need to add this thought. Karl's issue as expressed in the other thread had to do with what he preceives as a lack of direct benefit to him for the cost involved. What I think he might be missing is the fact that as Lawn Lad points out, the industry as a whole benefits from the existence of such an organization. The voice of the snow removal industry SIMA provides may not seem like a direct benefit to an individual member, but it potentially has indirect benefits that may far outweigh the direct ones. The dues paying members are bearing the cost associated with providing that voice.

    Anybody remember when John Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what *you* can do for your country."?

    Similar principle....

    PINEISLAND1 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 664

    Dont underestimate the marketing value of a trade organization either. Put it on all your bids, all your letters, etc, and tell your customers what it stands for. Spend $40 on the glossy brochures and hand them out with bids. It does make a difference.

    Now, what its really worth to me-

    I have gotten a single referral off the site from an out of state prop management company which doubled the size of my business that year.

    I met people in the organization, who I now consider very good friends. Just this week one of them has offered to me thousands of dollars of potential jobs. Three of us have gotten together ordering large amounts of bagged deicers, and saved all of us thousands. We exchange info about prospective customers, and help each other out with tough bids.

    It has meant $$$$ to me, literally, and to tell you the truth, the value of what I have " learned " has even more potential for my future in the industry.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2002
  10. ChicagoSnow

    ChicagoSnow Senior Member
    Messages: 231

    Fantastic investment!

    Gives you a pathway to snow and ice management professionalism, that otherwise is a long road traveled through trial and error.

    The choice.................... it should not be a choice!

    Go for it and watch you and your business grow.


    RYAN SMITH Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 15

    If you are serious about snow and ice i would say becoming a SIMA member is a must.
  12. ultimate lawns

    ultimate lawns Member
    Messages: 92

    thanks guys,
    i have 2 trucks im running a ford f-250, 1995. A dodge ram 2500,
    1999 with western plow and western tail-gate spreader. Planning
    on buying a 2001 chevy 3500 dump soon. I have 9 commercial accounts and 11 residential accounts. All my customers come first in plowing. even though i got a full time job at dominicks, i just call in sick and the lazy boss get's pissed cause he haves to do some work. Am I a big enough company to become a member?
    does it sound like i do enough snow removal for me to join? I only have 1 guy that helps me out and another if the other guy cant.
    thanks guys,

    ultimate lawns and more,
  13. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    As a guy who started out as a one man show three seasons ago, the only right answer is "yes!" This season I cannot believe the successes I am having. Any size operator with any size operation can benefit. But I started out with one truck and have grown considerably.

    I have become a serious player in my market and I owe much of that to guys like Jeff Tovar and John Allin. Jeff told me, half jokingly, that John Allin had taught him all he knows about the snow business. Jeff had me up there to visit last year and he taught me so much in an afternoon that it would boggle your mind! I have duplicated some of his successes and put them to work for me.

    Could you become a success without SIMA? Sure, you could. I just think that using every avenue available to better yourself helps to shorten the road to success. That has held true for me, but I cannot speak for others.