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starting out

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by skinut2234, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. skinut2234

    skinut2234 Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 57

    Just starting out with my F250 and 7.5' arctic plow....
    I was out a few days ago playing with the plow and getting used to it- Did a few driveways in the neighborhood

    I'd like to pick up a few small lots around town but do not kow how to begin- I don't want to "steal" any business away from other guys- but how do I proceed??

    Do I try and contact some of the guys out there already plowing- or do I just pull into small businesses and try and deal that way-?

    I want to do the right thing
  2. GSE

    GSE Senior Member
    Messages: 108

    I'd suggest finding an established contractor and doing some hourly subcontract work for a season or two. Get your feet wet, see if it's something you really want to stick with, and try to learn the business. There's so much more to this gig than plowing snow; the business side of the house can get pretty complicated.

    Just my $0.02.
  3. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    First thing to learn is that this is business, not friendship, and the rules are different here.
    Getting a new account that used to be someone else's is not stealing, it's competition. You can learn alot from watching that show "The Apprentice", it's amazing how much the importance of "marketing" is in any business. You have to be able to sell someone on giving you a shot at a job. You have to convince them that for a reasonable price you'll be able to deliver reliable and consistently above-average services they were not receiving from their previous contractor. So, don't even bother starting in this game if you're not hungry to compete with the intention of winning.
    I also agree with the other post about maybe getting your feet "wet" first working as a sub or start out doing residential. You need to get the feel for dealing with snow and dealing with people I think before you start getting into bigger commercial accounts. For one thing, you'll need the proper insurance to get the contract for a lot and you'll probably be expected to salt and/or sand in addition to plow. In some scenarios maybe even snowblowing or shoveling walkways.
    Obviously, you're now looking at alot of expensive equipment and a committment by you to be there when they want you there. It's alot of responsibility. I suggest you search around on PlowSite. There are alot of old threads out there about this which you really ought to read before you go farther.
    I'm not trying to discourage you, you just need to know what you're getting into. It goes far beyond just attaching a plow to your truck.
    Good luck.
  4. Triton Snow Systems

    Triton Snow Systems Banned
    Messages: 79

    I agree, get a little time in and then plan your start in advance of an upcomming season.
  5. scuba875

    scuba875 Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    I did exactly that this year. Even though I plowed for about 6 years when I was younger it was always in another persons truck and all residential work. I purchased a truck this year and subbed for a guy. It was a good experience they are very nice people to work for and I learned what the pit falls can be as far as repairs and expenses. Not that I am an expert by any means after one season but it gave me a rough idea of what one could expect.

    I will probably still work for them for another season or two just to get a little better idea but I am going to take on some residential work and put out a jeep next year. The commercial stuff is a different ball game all together and that is what I do when I sub. I think this is the only way to go if you are just starting out plus you might make some good friends in the process.
  6. TriCountySnow

    TriCountySnow Member
    Messages: 34

    Tri- C

    I strongly agree with the other post get your feet wet, worst thing to do is jump into the deep end with out a life jacket, like others said plowing is the easy part dealing with the papertrail is the hard part, Most commercial cleints will want at least 300 thousand dollar insurance policy, big expense for a newbee. secound this is a cut throut business trust me i didnt be come a million dollar company be mr nice guy to the competion, they will stab you in the back just as fast as they can, Never ever under No curcumstances discusse the price that you charge. that is your business. Learn to Control the truck and plow dont let it control you.