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Legitimate Home Based Business: Snow Removal Business

What It Takes to Start a Snow Removal Home Business

By Ron Dicker

(LifeWire) - Overview of the Snow Removal Business

For entrepreneurs in colder climates, a snow removal home business can be a legitimate way to earn respectable seasonal money with a home-based business.

Snow-removal specialists can go door-to-door with a shovel, offering to clear driveways for $25 a pop. Or you can step up the operation with a snow blower and charge $25 and $75 an hour for larger properties. You can also opt for the most profitable jobs: attach a heavy-duty plow to your four-wheel vehicle and clear driveways, or even commercial lots, and earn more than $100 an hour in your legitimate home-based business.

The beauty of the snow-removal business is that you can start small, sealing neighborly deals with a handshake. If business is fruitful, then you can make a bigger commitment. The size of area to be cleared, terrain and depth of snow determine clearing rates. If you graduate to plowing public spaces, a municipal license might be required. Keep in mind that it can take up to 12 months to receive a municipal license.

Pros of a Snow Removal Home-Based Business

  • Snowbound residents and business owners are often desperate for snow removal services.
  • Bad weather will require you to revisit a customer frequently, greatly increasing your income.
  • A snow removal home-based business can be combined with another home maintenance business, such as lawn care or gutter cleaning, in warmer months and during the fall

Cons of a Snow Removal Home-Based Business

  • Your income is largely dependent on nature, rather than on your own efforts.
  • When weather conditions are at their worst, it's time for you to go to work.
  • Snow removal liability issues, such as property damage that can occur while plowing residential or commercial areas, or injuries that occur on sidewalks you've cleared can be a factor.
 What You Need to Get Started in a Snow Removal Home-Based Business
  • Basic snow removal equipment such as rock salt, a shovel or heavy-duty plow attached to your vehicle.
  • Cold-weather gear, especially warm, waterproof protection for hands and feet
  • A friendly attitude in going door-to-door
  • A license and insurance might be required, depending on the scope of the job. Even if insurance is not required, you'll want to consider it carefully
  • For a more formal venture, contracts/invoices that spell out services and rates, especially if you decide to provide commercial snow removal services

Snow Removal: Real-Life Example

Tom Okapal, owner of the Sharper Edge in West Toledo, Ohio, says in an article in the Toledo Blade that his fleet of six plowing trucks needs to generate about $150 per hour per truck to keep business profitable.

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LifeWire, a part of The New York Times Company, provides original and syndicated online lifestyle content. Ron Dicker is a New York-based freelance writer who covered sports for the New York Times from 1996 to 2005.

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