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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Folks,

I am new to all this, so please give me some time to catch onto all the details, and get familiar with this website.

I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, so we are no stranger to snow. I am currently working a part-time job and starting college full-time later this month. I wanted to inquire about the possibility of starting my own snowplowing business, where I live we average 218 inches of snow.

A rough outline of my business plan is as follows:

Truck $20,000
Boss V-Plow $5,000
Extras (Lights, etc.) $1,000
1 Year of Commercial and General Liability Insurance $4,000

I am estimating my monthly expenses as the following:
Maintenance $420
Accounting $100
Fuel $500

What am I missing?

I want to know how many accounts you think I could handle (I am thinking just residential), and what you think my revenue, and profit would be. Also, what software is good for planning the routes, and keeping a log of times, conditions etc?

Here is the truck I was looking at: https://www.keweenawautomotive.com/.../Used-Truck/Houghton-MI/13098983/Details.aspx
 

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Are you financing the truck or paying it all at once?

As far as how many drives you can handle would depend on how needy the customer is and your ability with your school schedule and seepy time/ down time, distance between accounts.
For planing routes, keeping track of customers, etc id start with excel and then venture into quickbooks.

Do you live there year round? Or are you going MI tech?

One thing about the UP versus everywhere else, the income is much lower as there’s nothing up there, even less in the winter.

It may be more advantageous and lucrative for you to contract with another company that is established up there, let them know your schedule etc.

As far as profit, plan on being in the negative your first year or couple years
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm going to Gogebic Community College I live here year round, so I was thinking of running a lawn care business during the summer months. I would take out a business loan to get this started.

Attached is my school schedule.

Would a typical driveway still get you $35-40 a crack?

Rectangle Font Parallel Screenshot Number
 

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Wow that’s a full course load.

No idea if that price is good or not, down here, that’s about the low end for a driveway per push.

I’m going to guess your school doesn’t close much due to snow? Or does it?
 

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Whatever you or the customer wants it to be, since you get so much snow, you probably don’t need to get their drive down to wet pavement
 

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I'm going to Gogebic Community College I live here year round, so I was thinking of running a lawn care business during the summer months. I would take out a business loan to get this started.

Attached is my school schedule.

Would a typical driveway still get you $35-40 a crack?

View attachment 195228
I think you're in the ballpark for driveway pricing.
Also, people in the UP are used to driving through a little snow, unlike other areas where they expect dry pavement in the dead of winter.
I have friends who plow in the UP. One does condos at a ski hill, among other things.
You might want to try to get some cottages, where the people aren't always there. They just need them cleared to get in.
There have in the past been such people looking here on PS for just that. Maybe search UP to find some. I'll look for one that I believe had a place outside of l'anse.
$5000 for a good used boss V-plow is about right.
Nice looking truck by the way.
 

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Its nice to see a younger contractor planning things out. Hell we get guys way older on here asking far more with fewer details.
I am not a fan of borrowing all your start up capital for what ifs. You seem ambitious to learn and have a sense of what it takes but everything is predicated off of weather and people that a re e just as unpredictable.
I vote subcontract for a bigger company
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Its nice to see a younger contractor planning things out. Hell we get guys way older on here asking far more with fewer details.
I am not a fan of borrowing all your start up capital for what ifs. You seem ambitious to learn and have a sense of what it takes but everything is predicated off of weather and people that a re e just as unpredictable.
I vote subcontract for a bigger company
If I go that route (sub-contracting) will the company that I go through provide the truck and everything I need?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sub contracting you provide your own truck and equipment and get paid a set fee(by hour/lot/storm etc) . Im sure there are many companies looking for drivers of equipment as well but then youll be an employee.
What is the point of sub-contracting? Is that just so I don't have to worry about getting my own accounts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
They take care of the book keeping, line up the customers, take most of the risk associated with the work while you learn and refine your skills on their dime
That is another question I have for you: I wouldn't consider myself a veteran of snowplowing. The most experience I have is plowing with my four wheeler, but it couldn't be that hard right? Do you think I could catch on quick?
 

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That is another question I have for you: I wouldn't consider myself a veteran of snowplowing. The most experience I have is plowing with my four wheeler, but it couldn't be that hard right? Do you think I could catch on quick?
If you have common sense, you could learn relatively quickly. It took me a couple seasons, but I wasn't even old enough to drive when I started plowing. Main thing was not getting stuck, or hitting something.
 

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That is another question I have for you: I wouldn't consider myself a veteran of snowplowing. The most experience I have is plowing with my four wheeler, but it couldn't be that hard right? Do you think I could catch on quick?
I hate answering questions with questions but do you still have the ATV with plow? If yes that could be another option for drives to reduce start up cost.
And I wouldn't want to rely on quick learning to make loan payments.
 

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No it's not hard to plow, mostly you will be wind rowing, You have to learn to be efficient. Meaning not leaving wind rows to pick up, putting the snow in a good place and not wrecking anything, equipment or property and not getting stuck, stacking.

I do agree with subbing till you get it down and familiar with it. Most of all make sure your debt is manageable.
 
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