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Ultra Small Sidewalk Rates?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by LightningBG, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. LightningBG

    LightningBG Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Hello all. New here. Great info, thanks to all the members.

    So....I'm thinking about starting a small snow removal business.

    This is kind of out of necessity. I live and work in a smaller town (20K, but near a metro area) which has a historic downtown area, probably 5 blocks x 3 blocks.

    Understandably, none of the plow companies are too enthused about doing sidewalks in our town without having a parking lot to go with it, which most of the businesses don't have.

    So, there are people out shoveling in their dress clothes or often times the snow gets so packed down and nasty that its impossible to shovel. When there is a big dump of snow 9+ inches, the whole downtown turns into a disaster with little paths going to and from businesses, because nobody has the equipment to do anything about it.

    Why I say that this is out of necessity, is that I own a couple of the businesses downtown and I cant find anyone to do mine! I have a small single stage blower that I keep in the basement, that is a POS, that I'm sick of using.

    My thought is to get a nice 2 stage blower that can handle 6-12 inches of snow and either keep it at home and bring on snowy days, or keep downtown.

    I'm the boss at all of my businesses, so dipping out during the day to make a run wouldn't be a big deal. I'd also do most of it in the morning before I start. I'm thinking start at 7 am or so to get all the places best possible by 10 am when they open. The town is basically vacant from 7pm to 10am. I could also work on walks after I'm done at 6pm.

    So....If I'm going to do this, how should I figure out what to charge? These sidewalks are small, most are probably 30-40 ft long and 8 ft wide. The snow gets piled on the edge of the sidewalk nearest the street and city comes by with a FEL to pick up the piles when they have time. (normally not for many weeks)

    I've seen a lot of numbers as far as price per linear foot, but with such a small area, it would end up being a tiny amount of money, which I'm not willing to work for. I'm a professional business person and I'm not going to go in early for $50, even if it is for just an hour of work.

    I'm thinking seasonal would be best, because I don't want to deal with people bickering about snowfall levels.

    I'm also no stranger to business insurance, but I'm not sure what type would be appropriate for just a snowblower? But I can always call my insurance guy and find out.

    Thoughts? Ideas? Stupid Plan?

    If things didn't work out, I'd just use the blower at home, as the blower on the JD tractor is getting tired. Everything would be paid in cash, no borrowing for anything.

    I'm in MN by the way.

    And all income would run through one of my companies, so taxes would be paid appropriately.
  2. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    The more jobs you can group right tight together the lower your minimum cost can be. Doing your own is one thing, running just a snowblower you don't have many costs.....but how much is enough to make you want to get out of bed early when it snows?