As the temperatures rapidly drop and a frost seems to arrive overnight, you know that winter will soon be upon us. And while winter brings some amazing sights and opportunities to enjoy with family and friends, it also means snow–and a lot of it. Now that we’re in the age of the internet and instant gratification, many are looking for an alternative to shovelling their own driveways. It can be beneficial financially for anyone to establish their own small snow removal company and plow the driveways of those seeking such assistance. Find out the steps to set up your own business and how much you should charge to potential customers.
How much to charge
Many variables go into establishing the cost of snow removal. A good rule of thumb when determining what you should charge for snow removal is to look at your competitors and use their prices as an initial template to follow. Firstly, you should know that most people charge different amounts for snow plowing services. Some charge more than others. This is especially true with those who have written articles on this topic before. However, it is essential to know that it doesn’t matter if other people do not charge the same amount of money for their snow clearing services. Whether you can justify the amount of money, you are asking for your service matters. Secondly, you should know that the snow removal industry is very competitive. More than enough snow plow companies provide snow removal services in your area. Thus, you will have to do some marketing and advertising as well so that people know about your services.
It would be best if you were also careful when choosing the right equipment for your service. You must take this into consideration when you are deciding on a particular pricing structure. If you have the right equipment, then it will be easier for you to get more customers. And because this is a very competitive industry, you should also know that pricing and customer satisfaction are very important in the snowplow industry. This is why you should make sure that your prices are reasonable and that your customers are satisfied with your services. Finally, it would help if you also had an idea of what other people charge for similar services in your area. This way, you will be able to be more competitive with your pricing. If you know what others charge for their services, then it will be easier for you to determine whether your pricing is reasonable or not and if your pricing will eventually entice potential customers.
Establishing your small business
Setting up a snow removal service involves the following steps:
- Establishing that you are a professional within the snow removal field: Obviously, you’re going to need evidence that you’re a professional through documentation and online presence. You will likely want to have some sort of proof of license or other documentation of your work. This should include services performed in the past three years or so, if possible. These services should be actual invoices that allow for a detailed description of all services performed by you and your contractors.
- Gather your equipment: This can include plow blades, a tow motor, and even a dump truck if you don’t have room to haul snow away. If you’re not sure what you need, contact customers you’ve marketed to before and ask them what they want. They will be able to tell you what kind of services they’re looking for.
- Establishing your service areas/clientele: This is the area in which you will plow, clear, or otherwise service. You may want to include boundaries that encompass your home and nearby neighbours, especially if you use the same equipment for both.
- Be sure to provide adequate liability insurance: This will give you a lot of protection in case any accidents occur. It’s also a good idea to have some type of bond set up with your local government as well. These bonds or insurance will protect your customers in the event that anything goes wrong.
- Marketing: Don’t be afraid to use your friends and family as a social marketing method. Set up social media to advertise your business and create a website using free or relatively inexpensive tools.
- Pricing: Pricing will vary depending on the area, customers, equipment purchased, and other factors. There is no set price for snow removal services. However, you will probably have to set a benchmark in mind of what you’re willing to accept per hour.
- Take care of your customers: Stay with an accessible and fair range with your pricing throughout the entire season. You can always adjust your rate if need to be. You can change the rate after each season as well. Try to meet with your customers and friends in person, especially those likely to ask for you again.
The steps to go through to establish your own small snow removal company can take some effort, is often tedious at times, but is undoubtedly rewarding. Setting up a price range, acquiring equipment, and beginning to market your business will help you reap the benefits of plowing your communities driveways in financial ways and earn you the gratitude of your community.