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Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by jbart06, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. jbart06

    jbart06 Member
    Messages: 48

    dont know if this is the right forum or not but....what do you guys find to be the best form of advertising. BESIDES word of mouth. I used to landscape full time and plow in the winter for my boss in his truck. Last year I got a decent job non landscaping but went and bought a truck and plow and subbed for him last winter. This year same thing I will sub for him but with word of mouth I got myself 4 driveways to plow. I was able to get a chance to bid one apartment complex but lost the bid. my future goal= have full time work landscaping in the summer and my own contracts for plowing as well. I manage to pull some side jobs here and their doing landscape work and snow in the winter but nothing substantial...so besides word of mouth how do you guys advertise???
     
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Fliers,postcards,newspaper ads.
     
  3. jhall22guitar

    jhall22guitar PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,044

    Vistaprint.com has some of the items Grandview mentioned. Thats where I got my business cards and some flyers
     
  4. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,248

    There's always Craigslist
     
  5. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    I would not pit much faith in cl. I did direct mailing to business. Made a flier saying after a preliminary evaluation of your property, snow plowing would be $x plus salt. Please call me to discuss your needs in detail.
    That worked better than I expected. Direct mailing to residential properties did not work so well. Surprisingly, yard signs worked well for residential customers. But check your local ordinances before you order 100 signs like I did and had to take them down a week later.
     
  6. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,248

    C-list is a crap shoot but it's free, I have had some good customers come from it and some inquiries I walked away from too.
    I've done well contacting local property management company's, most of the time you can pull year round work out of them.
     
  7. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,551

  8. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    I did something very similar to your neighborhood mailing idea this year. Mailed about 250 postcards to 2 different neighborhoods. Got 3 calls, one of which signed. Probably won't ever do it again.
     
  9. CAT 245ME

    CAT 245ME PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,032

    One problem with sending out flyers to potential residential customers is that a lot of the residential drives are not doable with a plow truck such as in a town, often times they turn out to be an obstacle course, at least that is how they are in my area.

    I tried flyers years ago, like others have pointed out, just a waist of time.
     
  10. jbart06

    jbart06 Member
    Messages: 48

    I thought about the idea of putting flyers out only in neighborhoods i would want to plow, but everyone told me id see maybe a 1 percent chance of getting customers. Seems to me that residential driveways are the most profitable plowing to be done if the proximity of driveways are close together BUT that never seems to be the case. I mean 10 driveways in a row @ $20 each I could probably knock out in a 45 minutes or less but that would rarely if ever happen. So it seems again word of mouth and getting a scattering of driveways hopefully within my normal commercial route is the ticket.
    Whats the thought on getting commercial work?
     
  11. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,216

    I have my website optimized so that it comes up on the first search page. When the contract is up April 2013, I will not renew. The business it brings in does not cover the monthly fee that I pay. Others have mentioned post cards. I weighed that against advertising in a local paper with a monthly circulation of 13,000 and the exact demographics that I was looking for. The monthly newspaper was less expensive than the post cards. That "demographic" thing did not work out for me.

    I am still trying to figure out where to put my advertising money.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  12. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,216

    Getting Commercial work:

    Find out the decision maker for the property.
    Make sure they get a UNSOLICITED written proposal / estimate
    Hope for the best and do not wait for your phone to ring and work to come your way. Go out and sell yourself!!!!
     
  13. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,551

    Mmmmm why are you sending them a ad then?
     
  14. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,551

    I have 70 drives (down from 86) in a 3 mile circle. I did not get them by putting an ad in the paper. did that once got calls from ALL over town and the next town and for drives with no place to push the snow, and it cost me $250.

    Now I drive where I want to plow pick the houses I want to plow and sen THEM an ad not a post card, an ad. and I offer a steep discount for referrals 3 referrals that sign on and you get free plowing.

    You dont have to like my way, or do it, but it works I have 70 drives in a 3 mile circle.

    Of coerce you have to give great service if you want the referrals. :)
     
  15. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,248

    I think the common thread here is decide where you want to plow and go after that work, also when you do mass advertising you can find yourself with crap work or a big route.
     
  16. wondo

    wondo Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    I have tried flyers, CL, I have a website, and a facebook page for my business. I put out 750 flyers and got a whole 2 customers out of it. CL has landed me some misc. work (gutter clean outs, holiday lighting, sprinkler blow outs) which has been great since we haven't got any snow in my area but it is yet to land any plow contracts. Most of my new customers are by referral but I have had a lot of "drive by" customers that like the work I do. IMO the best way to grow is do good work, have clean well maintained equipment, and a knowledgeable respectful demeanor with customers. Sounds like common sense but there are a lot of "those guys" in my area.
     
  17. CAT 245ME

    CAT 245ME PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,032

    When I had originally sent them out about ten years ago, drives were a little easier to clear with a truck. Since then there has been a lot of new home construction and 90% of the new homes just are not doable with a truck and plow. Too many tree's, bushes & etc placed to close to the drive meaning no where to push the snow. For some reason people do not think of snow removal before construction is finished.
     
  18. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I advertise for plowing on my website only. Says commercial plowing only ,and I still get a ton of calls. So don't advertise for something you want!
     
  19. Jim74

    Jim74 Member
    Messages: 50

    Trying to learn more here so what do you consider the difference between ads and postcards? I was just combing a couple neighborhoods and would like to put something nice together, got me questioning the postcards I was putting together.