In the United States, the average annual pay for individuals who plow snow is $49,365 a year, and this works out to be approximately $23.73 an hour, $949/week, or $4,114/month.
A good number of people who plow snow see annual salaries as high as $93,000 and some as low as $21,500, however, the salary of the majority of those who plow snow currently range around $36,500 to $52,500 with top earners making about $67,500 annually across the United States.
Indeed, not everyone is equipped to remove his own snow, and if you know how to efficiently use a snowplow or snow blower, and are willing to add the little effort needed, then you can very well make money snow plowing.
Whether that money serves as a side income or a dependable source of income depends on a number of factors. However, before you start passing out business cards for your snow removal business, consider how much snow your area receives each winter.
A couple of storms a year might help you earn a little cash, but you can’t count on a snow plowing business for significant income. Howbeit, if you live in a part of the United States where snow covers the ground for four or five months, then you have a viable market of people who will require your services. You will also need to know your competition.
It is also advisable that you check in the local phone book and count the ads for snow removal. Take your time to check the local paper, talk to friends, neighbors, and local businesses to find out who plows their snow. If you don’t find a lot of competition and you hear people complain about the lack of a trusted snow plow service, then you already have potential customers that require your services.
Have it in mind that the business of plowing snow requires certain heavy-duty equipment. A snow blower made to plow a residential driveway won’t survive the stress of winter due to heavy use on multiple driveways. Experts in this field tend to use truck-mounted plows or Skid Steers with blades to adequately move larger quantities of snow in little time.
If you already own this equipment, maybe because you have a landscaping business or a construction company, then you can easily start snow plowing. However, if you still have to purchase commercial-grade equipment, then you should expect to spend thousands of dollars before you’ve earned one dime from plowing.
Reach out to your neighbors, or call the competition and pretend to be a potential customer, and find out what they are charging. Note that you don’t want to charge more than the going rate, however, dropping your prices too low can have an impact on you too.
Factors That Influence the Income You Can Make Plowing Snow
Have it in mind that some people earn more money plowing snow than many earn in a full year at their full-time jobs. Note that it is not uncommon for a business in this field to earn $50,000 or more during a single winter! Nonetheless, the amount you can make will vary depending on certain factors, and they include;
There are numerous methods you can make money plowing snow. One of these methods is to use Residential Snow Removal Contracts. These contracts more or less work by agreeing to clear snow for the entire year for a fee.
You may also choose to use Commercial Snow Removal Contracts. This contract is made with local businesses and you would be tasked with plowing parking lots instead of driveways. These will ensure you bring in more money because you will be charging more.
Frequency of Service
People who have a low tolerance for snow will always demand more services, and therefore their contract values tend to be higher than clients needing just basic services. Note that the lower the tolerance, the more you will work and the more money you make. If you have the capacity and privilege to work for these clients, seeing to their needs may be worth the investment.
However, simply because a client only requires basic plowing service and may not be a high gross profit customer, also doesn’t entail that they may not have higher margins, which can justify keeping them on the books if it doesn’t in any way affect your higher-margin clients. Completing the route with higher-margin service work is better than no work at all.
There are various expenses that you will sustain when running and managing a snowplow business. However, the amount or cost of these will more or less vary depending on if you are working by yourself or employing a crew. Expenses for snow plowing includes the following:
- Wages (If you have employees)
- Vehicle Maintenance
Multiple Lines of Business
For individuals who offer clients more than just snow services, their revenue has the potential to expand. Note that the gross margin will notably vary between the lines of business; but if they are lucrative generally, even with lower margin work they are still contributing more to the amount of money you are making from the business.
According to experts, a returning client adds value each year. Multi-year agreements — if you can sign them — give you the opportunity to plan your operations further in advance and become more reliable. Also note that you can become more competitive on pricing and still excellently increase the margin for the multi-year client.
Having clients that are influencers either in their industry or community and can introduce you to prospective clients is a blessing every business should aim for. Referrals, without doubt, can help reduce your selling cost and improve your overall margins.
Most times, referral clients are looking to make a change from a current provider maybe since they are not satisfied with their services.
Increased Sales Due To Expansion
Without doubts, a client is more attractive if they are growing and expanding, either growing the scope or size of the work at the present site or adding sites that you can add to your portfolio. If, for instance, the additional sites fit into your service mix and routing, it can be a real plus.
If the needs of your clients vary and extend beyond your geographic comfort zone, you can choose to partner with other qualified service providers that may offer you the geographic reach so you can still service the client without negatively impacting your business.
Have it in mind that the key to snow business profitability is to find a system that will help you better manage your snow operations while also maximizing your profits. Note that the snow business can be very lucrative and it does offer great margins, but if it is not run with a good system in place, then it can create a whole lot of issues.