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Starting up in the snow business again. Looking for thoughts

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by PRCS, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,653

    I too have dealt with a lot of healt issues and injuries. So I know how you are feeling starting from scratch but having a failure is not an option attitude. No one here wants to talk you out of doing this. I for one started my business with extremely low overhead cost, and zero loans. Please just make sure you really think a $80,000.00 loan is best way to start off. I'm not saying it's not. Just make sure you do at least a 5 year plan, and try to find a way to keep the primary equipment busy all year.
     
    CAT 245ME and FredG like this.
  2. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,775

    Can I have some? If there's a problem customer, he's been here today. And why do people come in for the first time, and expect credit. Didn't mean to derail the thread
     
    ktfbgb likes this.
  3. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,090

    You need this:
    image.png
     
  4. FredG

    FredG PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,629

    OP, Do you have a plan on a way to earn money in the summer months? All contractors have different business models. Are summer months are majority of our earnings. Working everyday running from job to job. The winter months are not that simple.

    If your a decent size player in the landscape biz where you have more contacts by servicing there property it's a little easier in my region. At this stage of your thinking you got all your eggs in one basket sorta speak. Have you considered some small commercial mixed in? Do you have at least one plow truck with a pull behind and a spreader? Have you got material storage Salt or similar deicing material? Do you have a Contractor to back you up that can handle it in a timely manner?

    I been injured sick too. Glad to here your back on your feet, If you die trying to get a business going is just flat out not worth it. Do you have or going to get a CPA to look at your numbers and investments. Not trying to be a :terribletowel:my opinion is you need some counsel or take all the advise here you can get here. Besides a little banter lol members here only speak on years of knowledge. Maybe you should start out with a pickup plow and pull behind and maybe a small deere tractor with blower you can go after sidewalks too. Yes the numbers all look good now and you can make it happen. This is not a perfect world.

    Have you considered starting back where you left off with the other biz? Just seen a lot of guys come and go because of to much debt and did not have there ducks in a row.
     
  5. FredG

    FredG PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,629

    Self entitlement, In your biz I would have to know you pretty good or be a minci etc to extend credit.
     
  6. PRCS

    PRCS Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Hello Fred,

    All good questions. I'm still weighing options looking at all the possibilities. Some of which lead to ownership. Others that don't, at least not year in 1. Some had suggested taking money for a lease and putting it towards ownership. Again all things that I'm looking at.

    I'm employed full time, and also work in the construction field (electric, and finish work) in my off hrs. Which is a lot of time available for my construction work.

    I'm looking at the feasibility of this as another line of work I make available to the customer base. I'm known well enough to those around me, that If I'm on a job I will get the work done in a manner that is efficient, and done correctly.

    While I may not clearly explain everything here in my head and it may look like over thinking it is part of my planning process. It is how I get through decisions to find out expenses, profits and deal with afterthoughts while maintianing profitability.

    I came her to ask questions and take on the responses. This isn't my only source of info. I'm working with dealers, to talk with them about others and the possibilities that lay ahead. Including finding those that are local operating in this manner and speaking to them.

    While I said I was looking at a loan with my father involved, I was looking at that from a position of how to decrease risk as much as possible. I know to buy a machine before a contract is to count an egg before it's hatched.
    My process right know is to find out how many eggs I need after they hatch to make this work. Then my goal would be to start hatching eggs. And counting them.

    Having spent some more time with a different dealer I found a much better lease than in the beginning of this thread. Making startup much easier. I'll be here and there. I have a lot of things going on. Have a good day guys
     
  7. FredG

    FredG PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,629

    Whatever you decide, Good Luck Thumbs Up.
     
  8. shooterm

    shooterm Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 272

    Short and sweet, when you get big snowfalls you plow with the storm. That may mean blowing through lots, driveways and leaving scraps. You may end up doing them twice. If a big storm slows me down say x3 maybe by doing them twice I save time.
     
  9. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,489

    There's that there's that mysterious plow with the storm advice again.
     
    FredG, CAT 245ME and ktfbgb like this.
  10. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,090

    Yes...

    Can someone please tell me how to "plow with the storm" when the storm is 2 inches an hour for 6 hours.

    Oh, and you've also got to explain how to sell work at the pricing the amount of equipment you'll have to dedicate to keeping up with said storm.
     
    FredG and Mark Oomkes like this.
  11. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,653

    Well you are plowing with the storm at those rates. No one ever said we were keeping up with the storm lol.
     
    FredG, Randall Ave and Mark Oomkes like this.
  12. shooterm

    shooterm Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 272

    I guess I don't understand why you w
    Why, if you bid a job to remove snow you do it. If I charge the proper amounts its accounts for this.
     
  13. FredG

    FredG PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,629

    How about just completing your route and repeating. No one said you would be home snoring and eating in 8 or 10hrs. I have a fog attitude, I like per trip and so do the clients in this region. It's nice when your sitting home when the snow don't fall. Not so nice when your out there for 20+ hrs and stacking the next few days or over salting because of some cry baby.

    This is just me, Not recommended for young hustlers with considerable amount of debt and young family's no pension etc. Not that I don't need money it's just easier to make it when your young so when you fog you can lay back some. lol
     
  14. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,653

    Exactly. We had a weird winter this year. We got our annual average this year, but it was in 5 storms. I didn't have a storm under 12" this year to push. So they were all the 20+ hours non stop behind the wheel, with days of cleanup after the storm. I was never able to keep up this year, even just blowing through trying to keep main drive lanes open. I have too many accounts, but so does everyone else around here. So although all the customers call non stop during a storm asking when you will be back, at least they understand there just aren't enough providers to go around. By the end of the season you wonder why you do it, and think about throwing in the towel, and then a month later you are already daydreaming about the next season and what you can do to take even more accounts and make even more money.

    A lot of new guys just don't realize that this is how it can be, and have never worked more than 10 or 12 at a time.
     
    Randall Ave and FredG like this.
  15. FredG

    FredG PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,629

    During a storm nobody can keep up with it exactly to a 1, 2'' trigger. The schools are closed business are closed state federal offices are closed, The highways are basically closed at least the thruway and the highway guys no this and are basically shaming the OT. They have break downs to.

    You clean one out and the state truck fills the entrance back in etc. During a storm if I get there in 4'' instead of 2'' so be it. Most with a half of brain will understand unless your seasonal then you need some extra men and equipment to keep them from crying. If it gets to bad you can always place a backup loader somewhere and road it.

    As long as the emergency vehicles can get in and salt present and they tell you on the news only necessary travel give it a break and let us do our job. I don't know of any emergency vehicles that can't battle 4'' around here. Even the guy that got the hospital only cleans the emergency entrances only during a storm till he gets caught up. I'm to old to be some snow wizards punk. lol
     
    ktfbgb likes this.
  16. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,090

    I should add, my above post doesn't mean I don't add equipment and machines if a large storm is forecast. I have no problem renting loaders/skids/tractors/whatever if the forecast is enough to make me nervous.

    We don't have much issue with anything under 12 inches the way we are set up. Over 12 inches in a 12-18 hour period it becomes a little more difficult to keep everyone from bitching.

    The expectations are also different from year to year. Light years, it'd take an act of congress to keep some from complaining we aren't there enough. Heavy years, most don't say anything as long as emergency isles and fronts are cleared and salt is spread occasionally.