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How to Transition Your Landscaping Business in the Off-Season

pickup truck plowing snow | Transitioning your landscaping business in the off season |Adrian Steel

While landscaping is a lucrative business in spring, summer, and autumn, work dries up during the cold winter months. Some landscapers use the off-season as a time for an extended vacation, but many can’t afford to take that much time off. If you’re a landscaper looking to make additional income during the winter months, transitioning your landscaping business into a snow removal business might be the right fit for you.

Why Snow Removal?

Transitioning from a landscaping to a snow removal business during the colder weather is a sensible choice. Like landscaping, snow removal consists of the outdoor work so many landscapers love and also involves the use of larger trucks and equipment you may already have on hand. Snow removal is also quite lucrative if you build up a solid client base.

Types of Snow Removal

There are several types of snow removal contracts you can obtain, with variations in both necessary time investment and income potential. The top three snow removal job options are:

  • Residential – The easiest to obtain and least time consuming of the options, residential snow removal can be conducted in a couple of different ways. Jobs that are small and based on walkway removal can be completed with merely a shovel and ice removal salt, while larger driveway jobs utilize a truck and plow. Income potential for residential snow removal contracts can run anywhere from $30-$75 per hour, depending on the amount time and equipment needed.
  • Commercial  Commercial snow removal jobs include clearing snow and ice from business sidewalks and parking lots.  A more time consuming process which involves the use of larger equipment, commercial snow removal has an income potential of $100-$150 per hour.
  • Municipal – The most lucrative of all snow removal job options, municipal contracts are also the most difficult to secure, as well as the most involved. Local, state, or federal rules and regulations may apply, so learning the requirements is imperative. However, because of the rules involved, municipal snow removal contracts are also the most profitable, with income potential running $150-$200 per hour.

Starting a Snow Removal Business

Interested in transitioning your landscaping business into a snow removal business during the off-season? The first step you’ll need to take is obtaining a DBA. Even though you already have one for your landscaping business, it’s a good idea to get a new one under a different name to differentiate your companies. This will also help you obtain larger, more involved commercial and municipal contracts.

The next step you’ll need to take is to purchase all of the necessary equipment. While you most likely already own the larger trucks needed to operate snow plows, it is essential that you purchase good, reliable winter snow tires for each truck you own. Other equipment you will have to obtain includes:

  • Snow Plow
  • Snow Blower
  • Heavy Duty Shovels
  • Ice Remover
  • Salt Spreaders
  • Warm Winter Clothing

After you’ve gotten legal and purchased all of the necessary tools, you’ll need to get the word out about your new business. Use direct sales in your community to build up a residential client base. Don’t be afraid to knock on doors and offer your services in person! This will help people put a face to the name and make your exiting landscaping customers aware of your new venture.

Finally, develop relationships with local businesses and government offices to begin building a commercial and municipal customer base. While larger cities most likely already have established snow removal contracts or employ their own drivers, smaller cities and towns frequently give smaller contractors the option to bid. With a little effort and investment, you can build a profitable second business that will keep you financially secure when your landscaping contracts are on winter hiatus.

Snow Removal Upfit for Your Work Truck

Now that you’ve transitioned your landscaping business to a snow removal business, it’s time to upgrade your work truck. Adrian Steel offers several trade packages designed to generate ideas as you combine Adrian Steel shelving, cabinets, drawers, and modules that fit your specific needs.  Contact us at (800) 677-2726 or find a distributor near you to get started!

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