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HEY VETERANS: Please take this newbies poll!!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by harrisbw, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. harrisbw

    harrisbw Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    OK all you old timers that have been plowing since this days of "horse-drawn fishers" and "mule-pulled meyers," take a moment, if you would, to let me know the three most common mistakes made by people new to snow removal. Also, any tricks of the trade that most people don't know that will save me time and $$??? Thanks for your time!
  2. GSE

    GSE Senior Member
    Messages: 108


    Sorry, someone had to say it....

    In all seriousness, I know a lot of people who have tried and failed at this business because they come into it thinking they'll make a quick buck. Not many people do a lot of research and see what this industry is all about. There is so much to know, it really can be overwhelming. The best advice I can give to anyone starting in the Winter Management business is to go talk with some established contractors in your area about doing some subcontract work. Get your feet wet and see what it's all about. This helps you to gauge a few things and give you experience:

    1) Is this something I really want to be doing? Once the snow starts to fly, it's a 24x7 commitment that you need to be willing to accept.
    2) How long does is take to plow a lot? What's the most efficient place to stack the snow?
    3) How much salt is needed to melt X amount of ice at X degrees?
    4) Are there more efficient practices I can employ to improve my productivity?

    From what I've learned over the years, the key to this business is efficiency. If the lot is X many acres, how big of a plow or how many plows will it take to complete in a satisfactory amount of time. As the lots grow, so should the equipment you use. The old saying "Time is Money" has never been so true. In the end, it all comes down to knowing your true costs to do business, and determining what an acceptable margin is to suit you. Oh, and a big one is never bite off more than you can chew! There's nothing worse for business than disgruntled customers.

    With the help of places like Plowsite and Sima, the Winter Management profession is really starting to mature. We all need to continue to educate our customers what this business truly is all about. Push things like liability reduction to help convince customers that salt use is essential. Same thing with lowering those trigger depths, to get you on site earlier.

    Hope this helps.