Snowplowing is one of those double edged swords where you either love it or hate it, and there is not much in between. 2017-2018 marked my first snow season on my own, under the Lonestar Landscaping brand. Was it worth it? Did you love it? Did you make money? All of these questions are ones I get asked daily from anyone I talk to who asks what I do in the winter.
Lets start with the most commonly asked question; do you love it? Depending on what time of day you ask me and how much sleep I've had from the storm the night before, I may tell you I love it and I also may tell you I hate it. Do I enjoy pushing the white stuff around for, what sometimes seems like, endless hours on end? Yes, I do enjoy the work. It is rewarding, you are working towards a common goal with a team and at the end of my route, I do feel satisfied with myself. Do I love not being able to get a decent amount of rest in before having to head out at midnight to start a 15 hour snow pushing marathon? Not so much. There are a lot of aspects in my life that this season puts stress on solely due to the hours we run. Thankfully, my support system at home relieves a lot of this pressure, so I can do my job to the best of my ability. Without that support, I would not be in this business.
This brings me to my favourite question, do you make money? This year, not at all. With the amount of times we have had to be out and all the extra fuel that wasn't accounted for, I did not take much home. It is hard to guess every year how much you need to make. This is my first year in my own equipment, and I am only running a plow truck. I did not invest in a salter, which is apparently where the money is. With that being said, this winter season has really opened my eyes to the opportunities to make money in this industry, which I plan to expand on in the snow seasons to come.
Finally, the golden question, was it all worth it? For me personally, I wouldn't hesitate to say yes. I made enough to support my family, I gained valuable experience and it gave me the opportunity to grow my business. Isn't that why we business owners get into business? To support our families, challenge ourselves and grow as people and as a company. To say it was stressful would be an understatement, and there are many things next year I will do differently. Everyday is a learning experience and that alone makes it all worth it.
As a landscape business owner, I believe you love or you hate the winter season. Did snow plowing this winter work for me? Will I continue to snow plow and salt in years to come? Absolutely. I learned a lot this winter season and am looking forward to many more winter seasons in the future.