I often see on here comments like, " i got a call from xyz company wanting me to bid on a property" how do you guys get your name out there? Is it because of affiliations to SIMA or something? I mean i just scope lots that I would be interested in and call them directly...but how do I get a chance to bid on the big boy lots, where equipment gets involved...I would love to grow from a 4 truck company to something that actually has the potential of bringing in some good money??
Look forward to your comments and suggestions
Thanks Guys (and have a safe upcoming plow season)
serously i get alotof my calls on my reputation, i am not in the phone book, and really do not do much advetising, so make sure the places you plow are done properly and if they are happy maybe they will refe you to other customers , signs on your trucks help too
Just because your busy with nationals doesn't mean your making $. Do a search on here and dont say I didnt warn you. IMO your time is better spent actually putting in the effort and calling all the places your interested in plowing that are non nationals and making a great impression. Good luck!
I hear what you guys are saying. Just looking to grow, didn't know if there was a list out there where businesses actually refer to to look up plow contractors. I figured a majority is from cold calling and referrals, but I just want to know when places are coming up for bids so I can get involved rather then people coming to me.....if that makes any sense?
I'd second the "be careful what you wish for". Alot of the national companies are handled by a second party management company, then you being third. Ever hear of the saying that sh!t flows downhill?
Post cards work great for commercial. alot of it comes with a good reputation, people seeing your trucks around, and just simply from being around the block a couple of times. Longevity will grow any company if you do a good job.
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Something to add. With nationals they go up for bid every year and have no loyality to you. You need to be the lowest (generally speaking) every year. If you put in the effort and find quality accounts they get to know you and if you provide them with great service , its easier to get multi year deals. This frees up valuable time to look for more quality accounts and in turn GROW YOUR BUSINESS.
I don't think I want to have nationals calling me. You are better of building a solid customer base, and expanding slowly! I have had many of the same customers for going on 4 years now, or in other words, since I started! And I know for a fact, there are cheaper companies out there. You customer service says a lot about you, and your potential.
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They just call me out of the blue. I do a lot of on- line marketing. Most of my clients dont live here year round, and its the most effective way for them to find me. Now for the nationals, do what you want but my experience with them has not been very profitable. For every hour on the road you will spend that in paper work so keep that in mind. Office time is billable. Look at the lot, if it takes an hour to plow then plan in your bid for 1 hour snow removal and 1.5 hours office time. They will beat you to death with paper work, photos, phone calls. The phone calls are what killed me. They would call and ask if my trucks were ready, then call and say service the account. Great but it hasent started snowing here yet, give it another two hours. Trust me if you want to build your business, the nationals are not the way to go.
"Just looking to grow"....do it the old fashion way, hard work over time will pay off. I can honestly say I dont think I could have done the lots we are doing this year, 3 years ago. There is much to say about experience, not only experience actually plowing, its much more than that. I'm talking about experience in bidding, other vendor's for supplies, and just general running a business. I love the recent posts in here about "just picked up 3 Walmarts where do I get salt?"....Are you kidding me? Or "can I plow 3 Walmarts with 4 trucks". These are perfect examples of guys who have no business doing these lots.
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The only national that i have ever made money with is sms assist but again becarefull i have turned down work that they sent my way. Only you know your cost and what it will take for you to make money. As others have said do your homework. One company I can tell that you will never see money from is Amazing Contractor(s) out of Oak Park IL and the reason that you won't make money is because they don't pay. So now that I am done with my rant just becareful! Hard work, long days and late nights are something else that you should get ready for.
I have done plowing and snow removal for many national corner stores, restaurants, and government agencies. They do have some loyalty if your pricing stays fair, but plan on writing for your money. Many of them do not pay within the standard 10 - 30 days. You are better off to find a good property management company to do work for.
Pretty much every national's website has a vendor sign up page..
LOL...They will call you for sure.
MileHigh I'll assume Denver if I'm right I have some business to discuss with you. I just started a snow removal,landscaping company up. Above Denver near Idaho springs. Email me email@example.com