How to Start a Snow Removal Business [8 Step-Guide]

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Snowfall is exciting for everyone, but not every time. People often struggle to move out of their houses or commute during heavy snowfall. So, the need for snow removal professionals during the winter season is inevitable. 

Between 2017 and 2022, the snow plowing services industry has grown by4.3% per year. Also, the current snowplowing market size is $20.8 billion, and the growth rate is expected to increase by 1.8% in 2022. 

Are you excited to start your snow removal and looking for practical guidance? Then keep reading to find out the best step-by-step guide on how to start a snow removal business.

📝Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to start your own snow removal business in eight simple steps.
  • Get a better understanding of what it takes to make this business stand out with the business fundamentals and scale your business quickly.

How to Start a Snow Removal Business in Simple Steps

1. Plan your snow plowing business

Plan your snow plowing business

Every business starts with a well-planned business plan. Because as a business owner, you get the direction and better idea on how to improve your odds of succeeding in the snow plowing business, despite the competition in that industry. You can even get capital from an investor with a well-curated plan. 

So, what must your snow removal business plan entail?

Cover page

This part must include your snow removal company name, logo, role, and contact information.

Executive summary

Your income and expense forecasts, a clear explanation of what makes you stand out from the competition, and how much funding you need must be given here. 

Tip: You can fill this part once you write the entire business plan. 

Business overview

You can describe the business’s technical details, including the business structure, business type, and trading name(your business name). 

Business description

Now, list what snow removal services you will offer, the location you will serve, your mission statement, and your short and long-term business goals.

The location of your snow removal business is more important. Are the snow plowing services located in a certain city or across a state? Does the city or state need a snow-cleaning service? How big are you planning the business operations?

Answer these questions to get the bigger picture.

Market analysis

Now, it’s time to review your service area and target market demographics. 

Since it’s snow-removing services, you must check if there is an opportunity to serve places such as parking lots, local businesses, residential driveways, and sidewalks.

Also, check

  • The size of the property 
  • The average income of your target market
  • What charges your competitors offer

This will give you an idea of what going rates are in the market and what to price for your snow removal services.

Business operations

Even if you are starting as a solopreneur, you must streamline your snow plowing business. So, write down everything required to run your snow removal business, including

  • The equipment and tools
  •  Software for field management
  • Estimating and invoicing for snow removal contractors to ease the hectic work 

If you plan to hire employees, consider the business operations you need to do. 

Financial plan

List the cost of everything you need and create a monthly expense and income forecast to know how you will price your services. 

Once you have your business plan ready with the business name, operations, and pricing strategy, you must register and launch it.

2. Get the right license

The next crucial step is registering your business and getting snow plow insurance.

The next set of steps to follow is:

  • Register your snow plowing business
  • Get the right license to remove snow
  • Ensure your business is bonded and insured

Though registering the business only entails these steps, it is crucial to know the type of business before you register it.

There are three main types:

  1. Sole Proprietorship: You will be the sole person operating the business and are personally liable for all assets and liabilities. 
  2. Limited Liability Company(LLC): This type provides limited liability to the business owner with a few tax benefits and exemptions. 
  3. Corporation: This type suits large businesses with taxable employees. 

The registered business type is necessary for tax purposes, and you can change your registered business type at any time. 

You can also check with your local government for more details on registering your business, licenses and permits, and your tax ID number. 

Once done, you must sign up for your bonding and business insurance. 

Why business insurance?

If any equipment or property is stolen, insurance can protect your business. Also, to purchase insurance, you must have a bond first. Bonding and insurance are great ways to justify your higher prices to your clients.

3. Open a business bank account and credit card

It isn’t recommended to use your personal bank account for your business. Because when you mix your personal and business accounts, it will create chaos when your business is sued for some reason. This is why having a dedicated business bank account and credit cards is essential. 

Also, you must learn how to build business credit and get credit cards and other financing in your business’s name, and grab the benefits of better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and much more. 

Open a business bank account.

When you open a business bank account:

You can easily apply for business loans.

It separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which are needed for personal asset protection.

Eases the accounting and tax filing processes.

Get a business credit card.

When you get a business credit card for your snow removal business, you can separate your personal and business expenses. Also, build your snow removal company’s credit history, which will be useful to raise money later on. 

4. Use snow removal contracts to protect your snow business

Use snow removal contracts to protect your snow business

Contracts in business are important because they guarantee a standard procedure and thus give clear clarity of the requirements for you and your client. So, before you start with your client service, draw up a contract.

Also, signing contracts is likely to help protect you from any misunderstandings as everything about the work is left transparent. 

The snow removal business contract must contain:

  • The date of the contract
  • Contract expiration dates
  • The name of all parties or entities involved
  • Payment amounts and due dates
  • The details about what will be done for breach of contract, missed deadlines, or incomplete services

If any dispute arises between you and your clients, a contract can help you avoid potential legal discrepancies. 

5. Choose the right snow and ice removal equipment and tools

Another important step while starting a snow removal business is choosing the right snow and ice removal equipment and tools. Without efficient tools and equipment, you can’t operate an efficient business. 

The equipment you will be investing in depends solely on what services you want to provide. For instance, you want to provide snow plowing or snow removal services or a mix of both. Based on that, you invest in them. 

You will need tools and equipment such as

  • Snow blowers
  • Snow throwers
  • Snow shovels
  • Generators
  • Rock salt
  • Ice melt
  • Ice scraper
  • Plow trucks (transport medium)
  • Plow machine
  • Wheeled snow pusher

6. Market and launch your snow removal company 

Once you have registered your snow removal company, start to market it. Initially, as small business owners often struggle to bring out their brand. Marketing your services will make the customers aware of your products or services and help them make a buying decision. 

So, if you are ready to showcase your snow plowing business and its services, you can follow the below-given ways:

Some old-school ways:

You can print business cards, flyers, and door hangers and distribute them to the locals. Especially, the business card has more potential than you think. You can quickly hand over the card whenever you meet potential clients, and you never know when and how the lead might convert. 

Digital marketing:

We know it’s the digital era, and you can quickly reach potential clients via platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Because when there is a snowplowing need, people search online for the services, and if you see your business profile, they can choose your services. 

To boost your profile on Google, it is essential to do SEO. You need a proficient marketing team to assist you in this matter. 

Word-of-mouth marketing:

This is another effective way of marketing. Since you are just starting, you must get referrals from family, friends, and the community and spread the word about your business. 

Email marketing:

Email marketing is the next best option after the social media platform. However, your email marketing campaign will be successful only when you have an email list. When starting out, you may lack one, but with time, you can collect emails from potential clients.  

Run Ads: You can run Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

Marketing your services is of utmost importance because always remember, the one that shouts the most sells. So, advertise your snow removal services to your target audience in the localities you wish to serve. 

7. Invest in the best software 

Invest in the best software

To make your snow removal business more efficient and easier to manage, invest in field management software, invoicing, and estimating software. Curating professional-looking invoices or estimates isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Also, as a snow plow business owner starting out, you need some help. 

So, we recommend InvoiceOwl, a robust estimate and invoice software that can help you create invoices within minutes without hassle. 

Create Your First Estimate or Invoice

InvoiceOwl is the best estimating and invoicing software, making your invoicing job easier than ever.

8. Have an off-season plan

You know that the snow removal business is a seasonal business. So, you must be prepared for what to do during the off-season. You can use this downtime to maintain your equipment and tools. If anything needs to be repaired or maintained until the next winter season rolls on, then do it. You can also start marketing your business when the winter season is nearing to grab more clients.

However, if you have more time, try other commercial jobs. For instance, you can do freelance logistics jobs such as helping people move small furniture, giving out your pickup truck for rent, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Is plowing snow profitable?

    Though the snow plowing business is seasonal, it is still a profitable one. In the US, the average annual pay for individuals who plow snow is $49,365 annually, and this accounts for $23.73 an hour, $949/week, or an average of $4,114/month. Some might end up earning as low as $21,500. 

    However, the average salary of the majority of those who plow snow ranges from $36,500 to $52,500 across the US. Overall, we can say that the snow plowing business is profitable.


  2. How to get snow removal clients?

    Some practical marketing ideas to promote your snow removal services and get clients:

    • Use social media to promote your services
    • Create newsletters to remind people about the arrival of winter and get the attention of new prospects
    • Set up a website to reach a wider audience
    • Word of mouth works best if you have an existing company
    • Distribute snow removal flyers
    • Google local service ads and Facebook ads

  3. What equipment is needed for the snow removal business?

    Some must-haves for snow removal equipment:

    • Snow removal tractors
    • Telehandlers for snow removal
    • Snow trucks
    • Plows and salters
    • Blade
    • Skid steers for snow
    • Snowblower

  4. Why is snow removal insurance so expensive?

    The snow removal insurance policy price is higher than other types of businesses because this business has potential safety risks such as slips and falls.

Conclusion

We know that the snow plowing industry in the US has increased faster than the economy overall. If you want to start and run a successful snow plow business, follow the above-given steps. Starting a snow removal business may seem overwhelming and require more work and effort, but you will succeed with the right business model.

So, put your effort into creating one, and the rest will fall into place.

Once you start, focus on what you have and try to retain and generate a genuine stream of new clients by marketing to the right audience.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel
Founder

Jeel Patel is the Founder of InvoiceOwl and is the main curator & writer of the content found on this site. With ideals of quality, commitment, and perseverance, he believes in creating lasting business relationships with the clients.

United States

Ashburn

US