Winter is coming! Not the one from GoT (Game of Thrones), but the real one. Winter is just around the corner, and snow is about to fall on us.
If you are one of the hard-working individuals who try to find new ways to make extra money, especially while helping solve other people’s problems, we have just the right business idea for you:
Start a snow plow business (a.k.a Snow removal and ploughing service)!
The snow clearing industry is valued at about $20 billion this year. And, you can be a part of this very lucrative and promising service-based business vertical. All you need is a few essential tools and a strong will to earn money.
Today in this blog post we will be discussing in detail and orderly fashion, how you can start your own snow removal business, and also some very useful tips collected from existing businesses that will help you avoid the mistakes of your predecessors and build a lucrative solution.
So, without wasting any time, let’s check out how you can launch your own snow plow service business in the winter of 2020 and beyond.
Steps To Start a Snow Plowing Service
1. Find the Perfect Location
The location of the business plays a vital role in the success or failure of the company. Your business can rake in millions or dry out within a year based on the location.
The logic is simple, would a snow plow business work in a city where there is snowfall for only a month or even less? Obviously not.
So, you need to make sure that you start a snow plow business in a location where there is a good amount of snowfall and a large population that will hail your snow removal service.
2. Get the Right Inventory
A snowplough business is only as effective as the inventory you have to run the business. The inventory consists of everything from a vehicle like a pickup truck to snow removal tools like plough blades, rock salt, shovels, etc.
Ploughing snow is a very heavy-duty activity which takes a toll on the vehicle as well as the equipment. All this equipment needs regular maintenance if you want to use them in the long run.
3. Get the Precise License
Every business falls under certain laws and regulations that it has to follow to run the business legally.
Starting a snow plow business also needs you to acquire certain licenses and permits. These licenses and permits would be for the vehicles and ploughing equipment you use, business running license, registering to the IRA, etc.
There are certain government bodies like the SBA (Small Business Association) that are created to help you through the technicality of acquiring these legal documents.
4. Always Have a Backup
People who have to go to offices, schools, shopping, etc. but are stuck at home due to snowfall are some of the most pissed-off customers. So, if you fail in serving them with your snow removal service due to any issue with your snow removal vehicle or equipment, you are in trouble.
You need to make sure that you always have a backup of such equipment in case of any malfunction. If you fail at this, you’ll lose more than one customer as they will be telling you about your lack of service to their friends and family.
5. Market Your Services
Once your snow plow business is ready to launch, you need to ensure that enough people know that your snow removal company exists. You need to advertise your snow plow services for people to know, remember, and hail your services.
There are several ways to market your snow removal services like posting ads in the local paper, sticking posters and flyers across the city, running local ads, etc. But the most effective way to advertise your snow removal service would be by running ad campaigns on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
6. Have An Off-Season Plan
There is hardly any place in the world that sees snowfall all around the year. So, you may earn handsomely in the winter, but choosing a snow plow as your primary business wouldn’t be a good idea.
In the off-season, when there is no snow, you can offer pickup and logistics services using the same pickup truck. Probably partner up with local stores to deliver the goods and products from their warehouses. You can also give out your pickup truck for rent to people and businesses in need of such vehicles.
How to Start a Snow Plow Business? Tips To Follow
Every business makes some kind of mistake. That is how you learn and upgrade. We can help you a bit by letting you know of the most common mistakes that your predecessors made.
Make sure to avoid common mistakes in the snow removal business by following these tips.
1. Talk To Your Clients
Always remember to communicate with your customers. A business with a “not good” idea can do well if it communicated with the clients and pivots the business approach, but a business with an “amazing” idea can fail if it doesn’t communicate with its clients.
Simply said, you need to learn what your clients need or look for in your snow removal service and provide that in the best way possible; better than your competitors.
2. Pay Attention to Weather Alerts
Snowstorms are your bread and butter, so you need to keep track of weather updates and be prepared when a big storm approaches. A snowstorm is the biggest payday for snow removal services, you should have all your equipment and vehicles ready to go during such weather occurrences.
3. Don’t Buy Used Equipment
In most businesses, people would advise buying used equipment and vehicles to save on capital investment, but that is not the case with snowplough businesses.
Snow plowing is a heavy-duty activity, and it takes a significant toll on the equipment as well as the vehicle, breaking them both down in time. So, it is always advisable to pay the extra money and get new and high-quality snow removal equipment and a pickup truck.
4. Train Your Team To Use Snow Equipment
The team that provides the service is as important as the snow removal equipment that you use. So, provide proper training to the team on how to use the equipment. If possible, hire experienced professionals with years of experience under their belt.
5. Always Document Everything
Running a snow removal company is a risky business; several things could go wrong. There could be some unintentional property damage, slip and fall lawsuits, or road-side accidents.
If you wish to keep your liability down, you must document every time you drive onto your customer’s property.
Digitization: The Key To The Future of Snow Removal Business
We are entering a new decade and the strongest weapon in any business’ arsenal will be technology, especially mobile technology.
If you wish to become more than just a local snow removal service and grow exponentially as a business, then you need to get build a snow removal service app.
Here are the most promising benefits that your business will enjoy if you launch a snowplough app offering your snowblower services:
- A fully mobile experience for your clients with no hassle in booking service or payment.
- Keep important business details organized and accessible 24/7.
- Get accurate analysis and reports on your entire snow plow business via the solution.
- Organizing business tasks and routes for working become easy.
- Outsource jobs to other snowplough drivers registered to the app and earn from commissions.
- Get paid easier and quicker via digital payment means and also manage the invoicing.
- Alternate revenue source from showing ads on your app platform.
How Does a Snow Removal Service App Work?
The process of offering your snow removal service offline and online follows a similar format.
The only difference is that through the mobile app the customers get constant updates and you get to manage your entire business from a single digital platform.
Here is how a snow removal service app works:
- The app user requests a snow removal service through the app.
- The service request is placed in the job queue of the day.
- A notification is sent to the snow removal service provider closest to the customer’s location.
- The snowplough driver views the job using the app and taps on the job to see the details and accept it.
- Now the customer is sent the snow removal expert’s details and the ETA for the snow removal job.
- The service provider reaches the location, clears the snow off the property, and updates the customer by posting a photo of the location within the app.
- The customer is billed for the service and asked to review the work done.
Time To Start Your Snow Plow Business
Now you know how to launch a snowplow business, what to do, and what not to do while starting a snow removal business.
It is time to find the perfect technology partner to build your digital snow plow service platform where your customers will come to request your services.
Polly (a tech journalist), is an expert in trending technologies but also a jack of all trades when it comes to business reporting. She understands that the perfect mixture of the latest technology and unique business idea can lead to a big innovation. Polly is always eager to share new stories and business opportunities just like she talks about the snow removal business in this article. Her passion is in becoming the idea seed for new entrepreneurs in starting and growing their business.