How To Open A Snow Plowing Business - 10 Detailed Steps to Success
When it comes to the idea of going into business for yourself this can be great. Working year after year for someone else and seeing the profits from your hard work can definitely be painstaking. As a person new to the business side of things there are steps you should take to be successful. Below we will provide you a list of steps that will help you to best plan for your upcoming business venture!
10 - Steps on How To Open A Snow Plowing Business
1. Make a Business Plan and Plan Structure
Take the time and make a business plan. This will allow you to have goals, needs, and plans all in one place. This will also be your guide to success as you make choices to build your business. You will also use this to define your snow plowing business. Are you going to provide residential services or commercial only? Or maybe you want to provide both.
Planning your business structure is essential. Below we will provide you a list of line items you will need to get out of the way 1st!
- Business Name
- Business Structure
- Insurance Provider
- Tax Laws in Your State
- Licensing Laws in Your State
- Where You Plan To Operate
2. Plan for Startup Cost
Plan for your startup cost and be sure you cross your T's and dot your I's. Startup cost can be overwhelming so we figured we would give you a shortlist of needs!
You Will Need:
- Equipment ( Truck, Shovels, Salter, Stock of Salt or Ice Melt, Plow, etc)
- Insurance ( Each state is different but for your own good insurance is a must)
- Marketing ( Website, Google Business Page, Flyers, Ad's Etc)
- Phone ( Always separate your business phone and personal phone)
- Business Structure ( S corp. LLC, sole proprietor, etc)
- A name / Branding ( Your business needs a name and proper branding)
3. Pick an insurance provider
Planning for your business needs is essential. Picking a proper insurance company is key. We highly suggest looking at a minimum of a $1,000,000 liability plan with a $2,000,000 blanket coverage on the back end. This as a minimum will allow you to get commercial and large residential deal bids.
4. Plan Your Targeted Service Area
Planning your targeted service areas is essential. As a snow removal business owner you may feel like you can take on the world, but in any case, no matter your size building a plan for route density is essential. For instance, you may pick up some great clients but traveling 15 miles between stops causes costly time lapses. Staying on target though it may be painstaking can lead to a more focused and solid structure for your business. We always suggest focusing on a 5 -1 5 mile radius depending on the size of towns and cities near you.
5. Talk To A Few Veteran Snow Removal Business Owners
The best advice no matter what the field it is coming from those who have tried and tested the business models and that have prevailed. We highly suggest speaking to business owners in the field. If you know someone great! If not the world of social media can get you networked easily! We suggest joining a few online groups and asking questions! Below we tagged the top 5 Snow plowing groups to learn from!
Top 5 Snow Plowing Business Groups:
List Of Snow Plow Brands
6. Planning For and Purchasing Proper Quality Equipment
Planning for and purchasing proper quality equipment is a mouth full right? I know you're probably thinking this is a no brainer but honestly, this line item can make or break any service business. Year after year we see new snow removal business open and close just as quick due to failing on this one line item. Why you might wonder? Well, frankly there are 2 scenarios here that cause this failure.
A. You as a business owner take out massive loans and buy all new high-end equipment planning for huge success and hit bumps on the way causing late payments and a spiral of costly late fees and possible repossession of equipment, trucks, etc.
B. You as a business owner start your business with the cheapest option in attempts to keep cost low and you run into snags such as repairs, breakdowns and hard to use and maintain equipment.
Planning this part of the business can be essential. If you know your brands and equipment and how to find the best deal great if not below were going to give you 5 tips to help pick the best snow removal equipment.
5- Tips For Purchasing Snow Removal Equipment:
1 - Buy new with warranty if possible but budget-friendly.
2 - If you have to buy used ensure your do your research and even take someone more experienced with you for evaluation prior to purchase.
3 - Check into top brands and ask other professionals what they like about each brand, you would be surprised how some brands offer tools that can reduce time, cost, and limit repairs.
4 - Do not ever overbuy. Just because someone offers you a great 3 for 1 deal does not mean you need 3 plows. be sure you plan for what you need only.
5 - Ensure you know how to use the equipment you buy, please... I can tell you from 1st hand experience there is no worse feeling than having a tool you do not know how to use.
7. Plan For 6 Months Ahead
Plan for your business needs for 6 months ahead! Doing this is essential! Setting your goals such as cost, sales goals, target ROI on spending, etc will allow you to know what you are in for. More than we like to admit we fail to plan ahead as entrepreneurs and it can really be a good idea to plan at least 6 months in advance.
8. Set up online marketing ASAP
This may sound like a silly 4th step but online marketing is the quickest and most effective way to build your business. Of course, word of mouth and print are key but preparing an online launch is essential. Below is a list of immediate online marketing things to set up and move on as soon as possible and why.
Website - Snow removal business with a good website that is well maintained receives 63% more revenue than those without. If you need help with this you can (Click Here) and get a FREE consultation.
Google Business Page - Developing your Google business page is essential! If done right and posted on regularly you can grow very quickly. It is a proven statistic that businesses who utilize their Google business listing properly receive 40% more organic traffic and 25% more online sales than those who do not.
Facebook Page - You must have a solid Facebook business page prepared for marketing. This tool will be used to generate leads and to educate viewers. Do not try to start this page based on sales, use it for educating and Branding.
Power Listing - A power listing is where you pay a listing business to get your business listed on search engines.
8. Find a Good Source For Weather
Yes, Yes we know the local weather channel and websites are there but it is always best to find the most on-target source for weather updates possible! Finding a trusted source is essential. Make sure you're utilizing an accurate tool to keep up.
9. Find a (CRM) Customer Management System
Find yourself a good customer management system for your business. Having this technology can be great for your business! Tracking invoicing, client contact data, product usage and more can be done with a proper (CRM).
10. Set Your Pricing
Setting your new plowing business pricing is a difficult task unless you already know the industry well. For this, we suggest getting a local market study or simply calling around and getting base quotes from other businesses on a handful of properties. Do not however start to high or low. It is always healthy to start in the middle ground with deals on service for early sign up etc to grow best.
We really hope this step by step GUIDE on how to open a snow plowing business. If you still need help feel free to contact us by clicking here and sending us an email! If you have the basics and simply need help with marketing geat a FREE quote from our team today by clicking here!