Business Overview

While many cities and states have their own snow plows, most individuals and businesses don’t have specialized, heavy-duty snow removal equipment. While snow can be cleared from driveways, walkways and (small) parking lots with shovels or snow blowers, many people would rather have someone else do it. They either don’t want to, aren’t physically able to or don’t have time to clear snow themselves.

Snow plow businesses specialize in removing snow from personal residences and commercial properties. From 2011 through 2016, IBISWorld reports, the snow plowing grew at a rate of 2 percent annually. It’s currently a $14 billion industry.

Who is this business right for?

Anyone who doesn’t mind driving and is enjoys being alone for extended periods of time may be well-suited for owning a snow plow business. Snow plowers spend hours alone, driving from client to client.

Starting a snowplow business while maintaining another job that has regular hours is difficult, if not impossible. Clients expect snow to be cleared promptly, and snow plow drivers often head out whenever a storm begins -- regardless of whether it’s the morning, afternoon, evening or middle of the night.

What happens during a typical day at a snow plow business?

A snow plow business owner will spend most of their time driving to client’s locations, where they plow driveways and parking lots. They might also shovel and salt walkways. When not plowing, business owners may work on growing their business, collecting payments from clients and getting their truck maintained.

Work for snowplow drivers often comes in bursts. A driver may pull long hours during a storm, and then not have much to do until the next snowfall.

What is the target market?

A snow plow business’ ideal customer is an individual or business that’s located in a metropolitan area. Because people and businesses in cities are close together, business owners can spend more time plowing clients’ properties and less time driving between clients.

How does a snow plow business make money?

A snow plow business makes money by charging clients for snow removal services. Clients may either pay on a per-plowing basis or enter into a season-long contract.

What is the growth potential for a snow plow business?

Most snow plow businesses serve one specific area. A business might bring on additional drivers so it can serve more clients, but hiring employees significantly increases a business’ operating expenses.