wjr business beat

WJR Business Beat: Snow Removal is Big Business (Episode 354)

On today’s Business Beat, Jeff Sloan talks about the growing business of snow removal and how it reminds us that sometimes the most basic businesses that rely on a little hustle and hard work are some of the best examples of entrepreneurship.

Tune in to the Business Beat below to find out just how big the snow removal business is:


Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

Good morning, Paul! Well, given that the biggest winter snow event of the year is bearing down on us, it’s only fitting on the Business Beat this morning that we focus on, well, what else? The business of snow removal. Now, while there are many big operators, certainly in the region, many snow removal businesses are small businesses. Some even part-time yet in the aggregate snow removal is big business. The total U.S. market size for snow removal businesses is roughly $20 billion and growing. Now residential makes up about 34% of the market while retail’s at 27% and industrial is around 25%. Geographically, the Northeast is the biggest market for snow removal services in the U.S. at 27% market share and coming in at No. 2, Paul, a 25% market share in the Great Lakes region for snow removal businesses. The market is made up of roughly 110,000 providers in the U.S. today. Again, ranging from sole-proprietor operators in the aggregate comprising about 80% of the total market, all the way up to big behemoth businesses with many trucks rounding out the balance of the operators in the U.S. The typical revenue size on average is roughly $152,000 per year per operator and profit margins hovered around 24%. And as I mentioned, the industry is growing, Paul, at a clip of roughly 3.5% per year. Now so much focus these days when we think of business and entrepreneurship is tied directly to the next big idea, right? The next disruptive innovation that’s going to shake up industries and change the world, but there’s something really comforting in knowing that that’s not really entirely representative of what entrepreneurship is all about. That scraping noise you hear out your bedroom window on snow days like this morning, it sounds so familiar to all of us in the Great Lakes region, reminds us all that sometimes the most basic businesses that simply rely on a little hustle and good old hard work and are just, well, some of the best businesses in America. I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of startupnation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on this snowy morning right here in the Great Lakes region on WJR, the Great Voice of the Great Lakes.

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