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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Michael M, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. Michael M

    Michael M Member
    Messages: 80

    When do most of you guys start to advertise for snow removal? How do you target the larger accounts? I have ads out now on the internet, I also have letters out to condo associations, etc. Thanks for the help.
  2. f250man

    f250man PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,124

    I advertise all year long on the side of my truck. Got calls in june for contracts. People making sure they were on the list. Steve
  3. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Large accounts, large accounts, large accounts, every body is always trying to land these near impossible properties when in fact a lot of these places are more trouble then their worth. Lets see, one larger sized commercial account, with two trucks plowing, lets say it takes you 2 hours to plow curb to curb equaling 4 truck hours, (around here) it might pay $80.00-$115.00. The average driveway (again around here) pays 15.00-25.00 and it takes you at the most 10 minutes, and you could realistically get 7 done in an hour and take an average of 20.00per driveway, that equals $140.00! x 2 hours= $280.00!!!! and thats only for 1 truck! Yea, you can have the big commercial accounts. To me its just not worth it. Hours on the phone trying to find the right person to talk to, phone call after phone call trying to set up a meeting...on and on, no thanks.
  4. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    most of my accounts are smaller ones and I average $150 to $200 per hour. So I don't try for the larger ones.:drinkup:
  5. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    Compare those small residential dw's to a zero tolerance commercial account that needs a lot of salt and de-icing. If all your accounts are residentials then chances are you have no work under 2-3'' of snow.

    There are usually WAY more residential DW's and few zero tolerance accounts, but if you find a few they'll keep your business running durring the harder times. Mix them with the residentials those guys are drooling over and you have the best of both worlds.

    Now larger commercial acct's that don't contract de-icing, are a waste of time.
  6. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,917

    I spend $0.00 on advertising. I run my business name and # on the side of my trucks and that is all.(more of an requirement than advertising);)

    Fliers are a wast of money and time the return rate is very low about 1-2% at best.
    Next place is the news paper (a want add) these people usually only call after a big blizzard for a one time plow job.

    You need to personally contact the facility manager/ grounds manager/ business owner/ home owner, word of mouth.
    I bet someone you know, knows someone that ownes a busness.
    What ever the title is of the person that makes the decision .
    This can some times mean a couple of phone calls, some foot work and knocking on doors.

    You need to try to meet them face to face.:D

    I plow 99% commercial lots. if you are not making over $100+ an hr for just plowing you under bid.

    Next it is easer to keep commercial accounts happy than it is residential accounts.
    Fewer boss per dollar earned.

  7. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    Hey snow Farmer, you hit the nair on the head. I send out letters (right now) to places I would like to plow then go around in a week or so and introduce myself. Works OK. It seems like the first year I did it I had a huge return then every year after is less and less. Oh well, I have enough to keep myself and another guy hopping. payup

  8. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    don't send letters, they are often ignored.

    I drive around and phone every phone number on every plaza, stripmall, shopping mall, real estate sign, apartment complex and ask who is in charge of winter contracts. I think go hand them a package and talk to them face to face. This way you have no worries it was lost in the mail.
  9. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    Letters actually worked for me very well for the first couple years. I averaged about 150 and from that i got anywhere from 10 to 20 calls from them, per year. Also not a ton of money to send them out.

  10. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    Most of my work comes from referals. It works well, every year i have more requests for contracts then I want. You can only service so many people. I only take zero tolarane accounts and service them well. Quaility work will get you more jobs then any advertising.

    Build on what you have, if you do a site well and the one next door is poorly done and the customer's unhappy, they will find your name and call you. The question is will they pay the cost of your service or are they getting the quality of work they are willing to pay for.

    Every year i price at least one job where they call me back and say "we want the quality work you do but your exsisting guy is 2/3 the price. can you do it for the same price?" my response is always the same, "No, you get what you pay for."

    SNOWLORD Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 610

    I have never advertised! Let them come to you