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New to this part but not to snowplowing

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by cod8825, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. cod8825

    cod8825 Member
    Messages: 91

    Let me give a short story about myself to help with your responses.

    I have been shoveling snow for three years as a sidewalk crew as a subcontractor. It has payed very well and been extremely profitable for me. In a typical 1 to 4 inch snow I will make about 800 with only a 8 hour route if that so I can't complain. My only issue is that I put close to 100 miles on my truck per time. This year I will be responsible for about 40000 sq ft of sidewalks but there on accounts that are iffy in that we are not sure if they will use them every storm like the properties last year.

    I have a snowblower and access to an ATV with plow. I am thinking about starting my own business with my own name. My insurance costs for an ATV for me are pretty low about 300 a year. I do not want the hassles and troubles of trucks and plows. I know what the market price for the Kansas City area for snow removal. Actually let me phrase that differently I believe that I know what they are.

    My problem is and this is where I need your help. If you read books about starting businesses they talk about market research. What did you guys do when you started to make sure that your time was spent in neighborhoods that have as good a chance as possible for my services. Second if you had to do alot of selling what where some of the things you said to quote unquote seal the deal. Any other thoughts would be appreciated.

    Matthew Case
  2. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    So for next year when you begin doing this (because you couldn't possibly be thinking of trying to get this going THIS year)....

    You will do some searching on sites like this one, reading, reading, reading what hundreds of seasoned veterans have presented for you. You can do searches on Plowsite for everything from trucks to plows to billing to marketing to contracts, and that only touches the surface of what's available. You will see what the general response is to flyers, classifieds, cold sales, and so forth. You will find that word of mouth is extremely important while trying to gain more customers, and that those referrals are much easier to sell.

    So like I said, clean your glasses, put on a pot of coffee because you're in for a busy winter, spring, and summer reading & planning for next fall when you'll have things finalized for the 08-09 winter. And after you've done a fair amount of reading (it will be obvious in your postings), feel free to write with the questions you can't seem to find anywhere. Best of luck!

  3. cod8825

    cod8825 Member
    Messages: 91

    Thanks YardMedic I have been searching a little bit and yes this is definitely for the 08/09 winter. I will answer any other questions people might have as well.
  4. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    If you are making 800 a storm. Stick with it. It's a jungle out here and you wont make 800 doing it yourself after all your expenses.

    So my advice is never leave your parents house and keep the gig you have! lol
  5. cod8825

    cod8825 Member
    Messages: 91

    Snowpower that is funny except the fact that I am 29 have my own house and have been married for six years and have three kids 4,2, 11 months:D :D :D :D

    Keep the comments coming
  6. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Well you never should have left their house. See? Now look at ya. Wife, 3 kids. Now 800 is chump change but if you were living at Mom and Dads and single youd be stylin with 800 a storm, but you wouldn't listen. Oh no. You thought you had all the answers.

  7. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    don't worry about SNOWPOWER, Mathew he just want's the attention.....LOL.

    he thinks he knows the K.C. area AIN'T THAT RIGHT SNOWPOWER?. About the $800 per storm my Q' is how do you charge, by the hour or by the foot or what? i charge by the linear foot up to 6'wide etc. and i charge $.65perfoot per year,

    if you have something that's working for you don't mess it up. you are making about $100per hour and i am charging about the same, we don't use quads i don't think wal-mart would like it? idunno
  8. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    We know. wesport
  9. cod8825

    cod8825 Member
    Messages: 91

    Powerjoke thanks for the reprevive but I am pretty thick skinned and a comment like that doesn't bother me much at all. Besides I wouldn't trade my wife and kids for anything.

    But to answer your question I am a subcontractor and am given a route and prices and told basically what to do. I have thirteen accounts and generally scrap most of them twice in a storm and salt twice so I get paid 200% on about everything. I turn everything in in a nice little excel spreadsheet and then get paid fourteen days latter. The reason that I am looking at this in an expansion mode is that I will never make more than what the thirteen accounts pay period with this company. This company pays better than the others I have checked.

    My thought was stay with plowing drives at fair market price keep extremely tight routes while doing the commercial and stay as sub to one company and have sidewalks on side. I know this difficult to do but I would be willing to have arrangements with several other LCO's doing snow removal and act as broker to make more per storm. Just a thought