If you live in a snowy area, then starting a snowplow business may be the right choice for you.
As compared to other field service industries, the snow industry is entirely different as it is seasonal work. Being an entrepreneur, if you have planned to invest your money, but don’t know how to start a snow removal business, then you are at the right place.
In this article, we have highlighted the core points on the snow removal business and a step-by-step guide that will help you start your snow plow business from scratch. So, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Basics of Snow Removal Business
Snow removal business or snow plow business offers services to remove snow from the front of the residence, lawn or commercial buildings.
As per the recent survey by IBIS World, it has been found that the snow plowing industry collected on an average $19 billion last year. Moreover, the industry carries on to enhance by 0.7% every year.
Snowplowing business is a boon for someone, mostly outdoor contractors, to enhance their business productivity in the winter season. Here are the steps to start your own plowing business.
7 Steps Guide to Starting a Snow Plowing Business
Below is the list of steps that will make it easy for you to start your own snowplow business from scratch.
1 Make a Cost Prediction
The first step in starting a snow removal business is to predict overall startup costs. The snow removal businesses’ owners need to spend many upfront costs just before starting it.
So, you need to make sure that your budget is well-maintained and then anticipate all the costs mentioned below:
- Snow removal equipment: For the snow removal business, the biggest constraint is purchasing equipment. The equipment is very costly, and the small business owners need to buy it as per their business needs. For example, a snowplow, snow blower, salt, and salt sprayer are the most expensive equipment.
- Transportation: Unless you or your crew decide to offer door-to-door services, transportation and gas become mandatory for your business. You need to consider the cost of vehicle maintenance and fuel, especially in the winter season.
- Insurance: Buying an insurance policy is mandatory for business owners. Generally, it is for liability purposes, but you can also opt for your equipment and operating vehicles’ policy.
- Personal weather gear: To perform the job, you or your snowplow driver needs to dress for the job. You need to consider a reliable uniform like a pair of boots, gloves, and coat. For additional body protection, warm-weather gear is a must while performing the job.
Apart from these costs, you, as a business owner, need to decide on the service charges you will take from customers.
2 – Select For an Appropriate Business Type
Generally, you will come across multiple business types to choose from. However, some common business structure types can help you select the best one based on your business requirements.
- Sole Proprietorship: In this business type, there is only one business operator, and that is you. You have complete responsibility to make small and large decisions on your business assets, liabilities, and other management.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC): A business owner can quickly grab the benefit of limited liability. It means that owners can get some tax benefits and exemptions in their snow plow business areas.
- Corporation: This type is specifically for someone who has large-scale and more established industries. Even this business structure involves taxable employees.
Nowadays, many organizations are adopting either LLC or a Corporation business structure. The most exciting part is that you can even navigate LLC to a Corporation if you are willing to do that.
3 – Make a List of Services You’ll Offer
Once your legal formalities are completed, you need to select services that you are going to offer to the clients. If you are unaware of the services, you can do market research to identify the top benefits the competitors run in your local area.
As a business owner, you need to find out the amount of snowfall and ice you get every year and about your area distance. If you know about these, it becomes easy for you to include the services that can remove snow or ice in that specific area.
Moreover, you need to decide on whether you are going to provide residential or commercial properties. Do not make a mistake to cover both of them in the initial stage; instead, select only one that suits the best for you.
Once everything goes okay, enhance the services and expand your business. Remember that residential and commercial snow accounts require different equipment types, so if you opt for both services together, then your costs may increase.
4 – Name Your Business and Apply for Business Registration
The next essential step is to give a business name. Searching for the name is one of the most tedious tasks as it affects your business performance.
When you are planning to give a name to your business, keep in mind the following points:
- Your audience and target market
- Buyers’ appeal
- Innovative qualities
- SEO and branding awareness
- The permanence of the name
- Clear representation
In short, whatever name you select, it must be such that every time the customer thinks of snow removal, they should contact you on priority.
Once your name is ready and available to use, it’s time to register your business with the government or secretary of state. It is also essential as you need to file for taxes and the legal process.
- Filing a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name is the first and foremost metric you need to perform. Once everything is fine, it’s okay; otherwise, you need to do the paperwork again if your business’s name is different from your legal name.
- The next thing is to do the filing for business structure so that the government can verify that your business name is legal, unique, and no one else can use it.
- Finally, you can also apply for trademarking your businesses from the government’s business agency to grab full protection.
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5 – Obtain a Business License and Essential Permits
As a part of legal formalities, you need to obtain the necessary license requirements based on your state or country. You need to check and verify with the local government about the legal laws related to starting a snow plow business.
For taking the permits from legal authorities, you need to consider the following aspects:
- First, you need to do market research to identify the work location and type of vehicle, whether a three-wheeler or a four-wheel drive will be required for plowing or shovelling.
- You can even search for the local neighbourhood to check whether no one is disturbed by plowing or shovelling. If such constraints are taken care of, then it’s the right place for you to start.
By considering the metrics mentioned above, business owners can easily opt for applying for business permits.
6 – Construct Your Client Base
Having a strong client base is the primary motto of any business. So, you need to offer interactive snow removal services for your clients.
As a business owner, you must know how much snow removal work your service team can accommodate in a day. It can be calculated based on the following parameters:
- You need to define the approximate amount of available time specifically in hours per week to perform the jobs.
- As per your working job time, you must have high-quality equipment to provide the best services to clients.
- The total number of staff that are available to solve a lot of issues as arises on the job site.
With such parameters to be taken into account, you can easily enhance customer satisfaction to a great extent.
7 – Market and Launch Your Snow Removal Business
Now, you are ready to showcase your business and services to the public. One of the greatest places where you can advertise your business is getting online.
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps you to get more clients by using the impressive website of your business. In addition, by having a Facebook and Instagram account, you can do marketing on your website.
Word-of-mouth is another way of marketing to enhance your brand awareness among the customers in the local area. You can talk with your friends, neighbours, and even perform door-to-door advertisements of your services.
You can even make professional business cards, flyers, signs, or newspaper advertisements by including your service areas, business location, and even contact information.
Using such advertisement and marketing strategies, you can quickly catch the eye of local residents. The important thing to note is that your information should be more concise and easy to read for any customers.
Finally, you can now introduce your business to your clients by sending an open invitation. During the inauguration of your business, you can offer some discount coupons on snow removal services during the winter season and even off-season.
These were the leading steps that can help you to start your snow plowing business from scratch. However, many questions will be still arising in your mind, so in the next section, we have introduced frequently asked questions.
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Your business’s average cost typically depends on your business requirements, tools, and equipment to be used. However, if you consider a plow, a simple snowblower, and a salt, it may cost around $3000-$10000 approximately.
After adequately analyzing the competitors and other factors, the business owners need to make an active decision on charging the customers. Typically, for residential snow removal, it costs $38-$53 for one visit and snow blowing, you can charge $40-$75.
One of the most well-maintained ways for generating revenue in the initial stage is to make use of a single person and a plow truck. Often, multiple methods are available to make money, but the best one is to use Residential Snow Removal Contracts.
Starting a snowplow business is a tedious and time-consuming task but if applied with proper management, no one can stop you to make it with ease.
So, take your valuable time to view every step and tip mentioned in the blog and we wish you all the best for starting your new snow removal business.