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Is buying a plow route worth it??

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by fireman444, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. fireman444

    fireman444 Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    I have a buddy who is selling his plow route because he sold his truck. I just bought my new truck and i am looking for some business. He has about 15-20 driveways close together and wants 1000 bucks for the route. The route averages about 500-600 dollars per storm. Granted plowing is reliant on weather, is it worth it to spend some money for the garunteed driveways, and hope to make it all back and more in the end, do should i go out and find my customers on my own and not worry about the extra hassle of buying someone else's, or do i buy garunteed customers?
  2. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,415

    Unless he already has signed contracts, they're not guaranteed customers. I have people appraoch me with deals like this every season. I usually tell them that if they want to send a letter to all of their customers, referring them to me for service, I will pay a referral fee to them for every customer that actually signs a contract. In my area, when a guy gets out of the business and his customers hit the street, I'll wind up with half of them anyway. No way I would pay $1000 for 15 to 20 customers... I get that many new ones every week this time of year.
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    You could just go get your own and spend that much on advertise or pay him. But I would maybe send out a letter to his people and explain whats going on .Then see how many come back and give him the 1,000if you get 100% signed up. And if less start knocking off a %.
  4. snowguys

    snowguys Senior Member
    Messages: 708

    2x on what grandview said
  5. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    You would be buying a "hope" if they haven't signed a contract with him and even then the contract may be no good if he sells the business.
  6. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    Doesn't sound like much of a buddy...
    Anyways, I had a simular scenerio except mine was auto detailing I told the guy to get lost cause sooner or later people will seek you out ...
  7. Silentroo

    Silentroo Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    Personally his asking price is a little high. Not sure how many pushes you average but 1k might be high.

    I buy/sell/trade/sub accounts every year in both grass and snow. Generally guys want 25-30%. That's More than a lot of guys make doing the work.

    I tend to try to get guys to share the risk. Meaning he get a straight percent of what I do on those accounts.

    Meaning if you plan on plowing 12-15 times, and it is 500-600 per go Give him 50-65 a time. Make him wait on his money.....

    Often it says a lot about the accounts when they are unwilling to wait for anything.

    Now the flip side is to get 15-20 Driveways how much time do you have to put in. Is it cheaper.

    I know here it would be.
  8. zerolatency

    zerolatency Member
    Messages: 81

    It depends on how hard it would be for you to pick up those 15-20 accounts on your own. You have to figure out what your time and any advertising materials may be worth and weigh it out. If you decide to pay i second the idea Silentroo had ...... make him wait for his money, if the accounts are good enough he'll still do it, and it keeps your initial investment down. (this is all provided he already has the contracts signed)