I've done some research and have lurked in this forum for awhile. I just have a few questions/comments if you don't mind. I notice when a newbie member of this forum asks a question about starting up a snowplowing buisness, you seem to recommend that they work or sub for another company. I have to disagree with that, I've worked in many small service buisnesses and there's one common theme, THEY DON'T TELL YOU JACK ABOUT THE MANAGEMENT/SECURING OF CLIENTS portion of the buisness, which is the MOST important portion of the buisness, if you don't have clients, their aint no buisness... For example, when I worked for a courier service back in Illinois, I was hoping to learn about the courier buisness, instead they just told me to go from point A to poing B, you never learned anything about the buisness, it was just non-skilled labor. Also, you might say you need to know how to operate a plow, true, but anyone who can drive can operate a plow with enough practice(theirs exceptions of course), I was not very good at plowing when I used to work for my uncle clearing his 2 miles or road in his private cabin drive, but eventually I got the hang of it. I have zero interest in residential accounts because of saturation of the market by little kids/old timers/previous construction workers/people with snowblowers who will work for peanuts, plus, finacially, commercial is where the money is. From reading previous posts, $150 an hour seems to be the going rate with seasonal prefered because of being able to figure out your budget, but harder to get. The area I'm in is hartford suburbs. Anyway, now my questions: 1)HOW DO YOU GOT ABOUT BIDDING for small companies like gas stations, small convience stores, condominium complex's ect? I want to start out with small companies to start, not wall marts. I'm assuming if I underbid everyone, I'll get the contract 50% of the time, especially with cheap propery managers? I'd have to underbid because I have no other competitive advantage to established companies with references and a history of doing a good job. 2) Are advertisements in local papers a good means of getting buisness? 3)The local competition apears to be STIFF and the market somewhat saturated, but not without opputunity, I looked in the yellow pages and their must have been 30 landscaping companies covering 10 towns, I'm sure at least half do snow removal. I still think if I underbid, I can capture a share of the market? 4)I have limited capitol, so I'm thinking of upgrading my mini van with special springs and putting a plow on it as my backup truck.. LOL so if my f-350 breaks down I have something and this way I don't have to buy another truck. Do you think if I used a van to plow, I'd ruin my reputation and my clients wouldn't take me seriously or is all they care about price and quality service? I'm sorry this was so long, I really appreciate any intelligent responses, thanks ahead.