Do you want to start a snow removal business? If yes, you have landed at the right place. Here in this article, we provide a list of important steps to be followed in launching a snow removal or plowing business with costs, equipment, legalities, and much more.
You must have faced the problem of snow-filled streets snow in front of the grocery store. However, the removal/plowing of snow from these places can be a good business idea for you.
Snow removal/plowing business is an essential service during the winter months. House owners, as well as commercial property owners, need this service as most of them do not prefer to do it themselves. Hence you can have a big client base.
You will need certain equipment for snow removal/plowing business. Along with that, you have to do good research on the area where you want to start your business. Then you can get an idea of the prospective clients of your business.
Keep in mind you have to plan a good and effective marketing strategy for your snow removal/plowing business. Follow the different steps one after the other and become successful in your business.
12 Steps to Start a Snow Removal Business
1. Choose the Area & Research
This is your first step. Choosing an area of your neighborhood is an easy option since you must have certain personal contacts there. However, before starting your snow removal/plowing business, you need to do some research. First of all, find out the number of residential and commercial properties in the area.
Secondly, find data about the snow plowing services offered in the area. Thirdly, get to know the demand for snow plowing services. Next, you have to know the economic profile of the people in the area. Also, get knowledge about your competitors.
2. Define the Nature of Your Service
Before starting your snow removal/plowing company, classify the type of services you are going to offer. You have to decide whether you are going for residential properties or commercial properties. Will you provide snow removal or ice removal or both? To start with you should serve both sectors and provide both kinds of services. This will increase your client base.
This business has different kinds of services at varying rates. One can charge snow removal services per hour, per season, per visit, per event (like storms, etc), or per inch. Let us look at the most popular snow removal services that you can offer to customers:
- Roof Raking
- Salt Spreading
- Commercial Complex
The types of services and charges vary according to the area as well as the extent of snowfall.
3. Write a Business Plan
After the primary homework and research, write down the business plan for your snow removal/plowing business. Put the details and each stage of the business in this plan. It should contain the following chapters:
- Vision & Mission of the Business
- Area of Business
- Services you will Offer
- Rate of Service
- Equipment Needed
- Funds Needed for the Business
- Source of Funds
- Expected Profit
- Marketing & Publicity Plan
Be very realistic about all the points in your business plan. This will help you in doing your business structurally. Along with that, it may help you in getting funds. If you want, take the advice of a banking or financial expert in writing your business plan.
4. Choose a Business Name and Domain
Now, it’s time to find a suitable name for your snow removal company. Don’t be over-creative in naming your business. Rather, find a simple and appropriate name, enough to describe your business. Very big and complicated names are not suitable.
Also, you have to get the website domain in the name of your business. If the domain is not available, change or alter the name. Getting the domain is very important.
5. Create a Legal Entity
Register your snow removal/plowing company and give it legal status. If you are planning to start this business in the United States, explore options like Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, LLC, or S Corp. Choose the one that suits you and register accordingly.
6. Licenses and Permits
Getting the necessary licenses and permits are very important for your snow removal/plowing business. There are different types of permits that are required at the Federal as well as State levels. So, get them at the earliest for a hassle-free business.
7. Apply for Taxes
Register your snow removal/plowing company for the applicable taxes. Also, apply for the EIN or Employer Identification Number.
8. Buy Insurance
Get your snow removal/plowing business insured to protect it from all incidental damages or accidents. Apart from General Liability Insurance and Workers’ Compensation Insurance, you will also need Commercial Auto Insurance and others. Talk to an insurance expert about the insurance and coverage you need.
9. Open a Business Bank Account
Start your snow removal/plowing business’ banking operations by opening a bank account in your business’ name. Along with that get a business credit card. It will help you in getting short-term credit facilities.
10. Buy Equipment Needed for Snow Removal Business
You have to purchase the equipment needed for the snow removal/plowing company. This equipment includes a truck, snow blower, plow, salt, and salt sprayer. Learn about the brands and their prices before buying them.
11. Arrange Fund
You will need a reasonable amount of funds to start a snow removal business. The major investment will be for leasing or purchasing trucks.
If you have savings or investments, you can invest that. Otherwise, you can apply for bank loans. Getting private loans from family members or friends is another option. You can also try to get funds through crowdfunding.
12. Have a Marketing Plan
Plan your marketing and publicity strategies very well to get maximum earnings from your snow removal/plowing business. You have to follow several strategies covering the maximum number of people in your campaign.
a) Create a Mobile App
People in this digital age prefer to use apps for getting services. Hence, hire an app developer and make an app for your snow removal/plowing business. Publicize this app through digital ads and affiliate marketing to get a better response.
b) Create a Website
Use your website as your marketing and publicity medium. Attractively design the website. Carry articles about snowfall, difficulties faced during snowfall, the importance of snow removal/plowing, etc. Along with that, specify the types of services you offer and the respective rates.
Put up ads in newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV as per your budget. This will let many people know about your business.
d) Posters, Banners, Hoardings
Print attractive posters, banners, and hoardings and use them in various prominent places. Also, do not forget to create a catchy logo for your snow-plowing business.
e) Flyers, Pamphlets, and Brochures
Distribute flyers, pamphlets, and brochures at various strategic places along with your prospective clients. All of these must-have your website link.
f) Personal Visits
Personal visits to different houses and commercial centers will generate more interest in your snow removal/plowing business. Distribute brochures to them.
g) Get Listed
Enlist your snow removal/plowing business name in local service directories and yellow pages. This will get you many clients looking for such a service.
h) Digital Ads and Social Media
Give ads in digital publications as well as audio-visual media. Use the social media handles for advertising and publicity of your snow removal/plowing business. Create pages in the name of your business with the latest updates, pictures, and links to your website.
i) Referrals and Word of the Mouth Publicity
Satisfied clients will give you a lot of contacts as referrals. They will also spread your name adding to the publicity of your snow removal/plowing business. Therefore, try to satisfy the existing clients for getting more clients.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much is the Cost to Start a Snow removal or plowing business?
You will need approximately $70000-75000 to start your snow removal/plowing business. This includes the fixed cost as well as the variable costs for a year. The price of a truck will cost between $40000 and $45000. The cost of the plow, snow blower, salt sprayer, and salt will be approximately $7000-$10000. Along with that, you have to add taxes, license and permit fees, insurance premiums, the salary of staff, fuel, and maintenance.
Instead of buying a truck, you can take it on lease. In that case, your start-up costs will be lower. However, it is better to buy a truck for long-term benefits.
Is Snow Removal/Plowing Business Profitable
Your snow removal/plowing business is very profitable. Per-hour rate of your service may start from $25 and can go high up to $150 or $200! Therefore, if you have a good client base and operate in a heavy snowfall area, you can earn between $50,000 and $ 150,000 annually. This is a good income and even after all the expenses and payments, you have a good profit. Within a year or two, your income will increase further with the addition of more clients.
The snow removal/plowing business area is vast and money-making. According to IBISWorld, the market valuation of this business in the USA is $20.8 billion and is expected to rise in the coming years.
Being an important public-utility service, the snow removal/plowing business has a lot of income opportunities. If you can choose the right area and work hard, you can reap the benefits.
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their businesses.