People have a love-hate relationship when it comes to snow. They love to play in the snow but hate it when snow blocks their roads. Here, the snow removal business comes into the picture.
Moreover, the snow plowing industry is likely to grow at a CAGR of 6.74% during 2022-2027. Therefore, it is an ideal time to start a snow removal business. In this blog, we will discuss everything in our step-by-step guide from choosing equipment to insurance, how to market your business, and streamline services.
Let’s start a way toward your successful ice removal business.
Table of Content
What is Snow Removal Business?
Basically, it is a business of removing snow after heavy snowfall. The purpose of this business is to clean snow; so potential clients have a clean space. During the winter season (around November-December), several countries witness heavy snowfall, and the demand for snow removal business arises.
It is a seasonal business. Few start as full-time businesses and some lawn care business owners start as a side hustle. Whenever you start a snow removal business, it is likely to flourish in any season.
How to Start a Snow Removal Business?
Here are 9 easy-to-adopt steps to start a snow plow business and make the most of the winter season.
1. Form a business plan
The first step of starting a business is to have a snow removal business plan. Every business requires a business plan, so businesses know where they are heading and what actions to take. However, there are certain following points to consider while creating a business plan.
- Executive summary: An overview of the entire plan; should be written once your plan is ready.
- Business description: List down your service offering in detail, your location, your vision, and the mission of your snow removal business.
- Business operations: It includes your company’s operational plan such as logistics, company’s assets, business location, and equipment.
- Market analysis: An overview of the target market, and service area, such as potential customers, snow cleaning in the parking lot, and size of local businesses.
- Financial plan: Your business expenses, startup cost, profit-loss estimates, monthly income, and cash show.
Also, there are two types of snow removal businesses: residential and commercial. So, before starting a snow business, it is essential to be clear whether you want to begin a residential or commercial one.
Opting for both is not right because it requires different equipment and has challenges in managing it. In residential, you need to clear snow for houses; whereas, in commercial, you need to clear snow near commercial premises. Residential contracts are for short-term and commercial contracts are for longer periods of time.
2. Register your business
No matter where your service is offered, you must register your business by getting licenses and permits. You have chosen a business structure and can register by:
- Choosing a business name: You cannot get a permit without it. If you already have a business, you can trade under the existing company’s name.
- Select types of business: Determine whether you want to register as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), or partnership.
- Apply for a business license: Register your business with the local registry. Also, you must pay a certain fee, for the company domain, Employer Identification Number (EIN), and trademark of your name.
3. Create a business bank account
A foremost rule for any business is to keep personal and business accounts different. The reason is that it keeps your income and expenses different, which eventually helps to tally the final amount.
Moreover, being small business owners you do not want to land in any legal trouble, your personal account would not be involved in it. So, do not forget to open your business account whenever you are starting a snow plow business.
Also, as a snow plow business owner, you should get a credit card to keep separate personal assets and business expenses all in one place. Moreover, with the help of a business credit card, you can raise money later on.
4. Get the right equipment
Equipment is a lifeline for the snow removal services as they cannot operate the business without it. Moreover, you just do not need to own the equipment but require the right equipment that helps you to function your business efficiently.
Here is the list of snow removal equipment you will require to start a snow plow business:
- Snow blowers
- Plow truckers
- Rock salt
- Plow blades
- Skid steer
- Salt spreader
- Snow broom
- Snow buckets
- Pull plow
- Snow pushers
However, keep an extra bunch of pairs of equipment, so if you face any obstacle, you would have a backup. For instance, snow plow business owners shared that they require at least 2-3 trucks because they have experienced how their pickup trucks got stuck many times.
5. Build your brand
If you are starting a new snow removal business or already own a snow plow business, you will require to focus on branding. The snow service is a business where the customer puts trust in the business owner.
For instance, potential clients allow you to clean their space and for that, they will choose someone they can rely on. Nevertheless, it would be possible if the company is a brand. Also, branding shows how your services set you different from others.
6. Get insurance contracts
Business insurance is a must in the snow plowing business as you need to protect your business. Snow can be a challenging business because of unexpected events that might impact your business.
There are different types of insurance contracts to consider:
- General liability- It helps to cover damage such as injuries and property damage.
- Worker’s compensations– Insurance for the workers who were injured during the job.
- Commercial insurance– To protect vehicles from damage during the job
- Business owner’s policy– It is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one policy that covers property, vehicle, employee, and equipment.
7. Use marketing techniques
You simply cannot run your business if your business is not listed online. For example, whenever it snows, a residential owner quickly searches “snow blower near me” because they want to get rid of the snow as soon as possible.
Also, the snow plowing industry is a competitive industry where you will require marketing materials such as social media marketing, digital marketing, and get listed on a search engine.
8. Manage your business cost
Snow removal is not an expensive business; however, you will be required to manage your cost. You need to invest in proper vehicles and hire employees with skills. Moreover, you need to fund your business with local and crowdfunding.
To run snow plowing services, you need a personal investment of between 15-20% as a good credit. It will help you to get a loan easier and faster to purchase the pickup truck.
9. Conduct training programs for crew
Another essential task is to train your crew to perform the job right. If snow removal professionals do not perform their tasks well, it will create a negative impact on business. Also, they should have specialization in their work.
For instance, a residential professional should know how to clean ice from parking lots and what to do when the ice melts.
Upper Route Planner
A simple-to-use route planner
that every one is talking about
Pros and Cons of Starting a Snow Removal Business
There are a few upsides and downsides in the snow removal business; let’s find out what-
Upsides of starting a snow removal business
- It is a scalable business, so you can easily measure and know where to improve with what actions you need to take.
- Once you invest in the right equipment, you are likely to generate a good source of income.
- It has a simple business model with lower risk. Moreover, you will require less startup income to start the business.
Downsides of starting a snow removal business
- Cleaning snow can be a challenging task. If you push it into the roads, the government will fine you for it.
- There is no specific working time; if the customer wants to remove snow in the middle of the night, you have to do it.
- Weather is unpredictable, so you will face issues while performing your job. For instance, you are cleaning, and again a heavy snowfall comes.
Minimize Your Working Hours by Using Best Service Routes on Upper
Whether you start a snow removal business or any delivery business, customers expect you to serve them as quickly as possible. Therefore, time is crucial for any business, and coming late for it will leave a negative impression.
In such a situation, Upper Route Planner can help you get rid of routing problems and help you to reach your destination in less time.
Route planning software allows you to plan and optimize routes for your snow removal company efficiently in a few clicks. Therefore, you do not have to worry about numerous appointments. With Upper, you can import multiple addresses directly using Excel or CSV files. Additionally, it helps you to edit and set priority routes; so you do not miss out on the important ones.
The route planner also helps to ease your service by scheduling routes in advance. Also, it will notify you about snow removal appointments on the actual service day.
Plan Snow Plow Routes Efficiently with Upper
Having too many snow plowing orders? Get Upper Route Planner and schedule unlimited routes in advance by importing addresses directly using Excel or CSV spreadsheet.Try it for Free
Starting a snow plowing business will cost you around $5000 to $14000. The price will be different in residential and commercial because of changes in equipment. However, only some equipment, such as trucks and shovels, remain the same.
You can get clients by marketing your snow removal company through referrals, social media, and search engine optimization.
Yes, a snow plowing business can be profitable even if you are an independent worker. Even though it is a seasonal business, you can easily earn $60 to $200 for snow removal.
Removing snow may seem challenging, but it is easy to set up with formal training, primary knowledge, and the use of the right equipment. Simply follow the steps mentioned above to start or make a successful snow plow business, and you are good to go.
To do so, you are required to provide efficient snow plow service by being on time to the customer’s destination. Here, Upper comes in and helps you to plan and optimize the fastest routes in less time. Sign up for a 7-day FREE trial and explore its benefits.