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Company Name On Stakes?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by big acres, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    We were just debating on the pros and cons of marking properties with stakes that have your company name on them. What do you guys think?
  2. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,697

    I wouldn't. We don't advertise on our safety signs either.
  3. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    I'm with you... just curious why/why not?
  4. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,697

    We should go through 9,000+\- stakes...they're a little too skinny to put advertisement on them, and if cost let's say a quarter to put them on each one it that would be an additional $2,250.00 to accomplish this.

    For liability purposes we don't put them on our safety signs.
  5. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    TCLA -good point. I see a sponsor on here selling diamond shaped signs that clip onto your signs for like $6 each! Granted, you might only put a couple on the stakes at main entrances.

    I guess my point with the thread was to see what people thought of the advertising potential versus telling your competitors every property you have? We have seen this being done more here lately.
  6. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    Just curious what you guys are referring to when your talking about "safety signs?" And just for the sake of the post I would not put my company name on my plow stakes
  7. Silentroo

    Silentroo Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    Big Acres.

    I always appreciate when company do. It makes it easier to pass pictures on to property managers of the screw ups on their properties with out having to name names.

    In town a company who shall remain nameless has up a us verse them section on their site where they actually pictures a competitors truck.

    It also makes it much easier to sell against you on the property when I know the company and your pricing/business strategy. I know the buttons to push and the examples to use.

    So for you I think it is a GREAT Idea!
  8. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,195

    Interesting, when you are plowing are your vehicles lettered? If they are does the competition not know who is plowing what and where? If there are no signs could you not still take pictures of the property if it was done poorly, I am sure the manager knows who was plowing his lot.
    We do stake all the entrances with our name and phone #. I do a Tims, several thousand people drive into the lot every day, and my name is right there for them to see 24 \ 7. Now they drive into the grocery store lot, service station, walmart, cinema, video, bakery, bank, medical center you get the drift. Evertime they drive into and away they see my name & phone #. Where can you get that kind of visabilty dailly for free. JMO
  9. plowinginma

    plowinginma Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 326

    If you spell your name wrong on the stakes... You would know where the Lawyer got your name from...
  10. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653


    I think most threads here are duplicates... didn't know there was another going at this time.
  11. JR Snow Removal

    JR Snow Removal Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    I agree, if your quality of work is poor you wont need a sign to bring you down it will be word of mouth. I like the stakes Neige uses also
  12. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Neige -That is really what it comes down to. I have a hard time passing up on the opportunity for the name recognition.

    For you, a large amount of your portfolio is residential -where name recognition alone often wins out. For resis to see that you are also doing the big stuff just adds credibility.

    For purely commercial, I think reputation is the bigger factor. Sure commercial managers are people too (so they say) and seeing your name constantly helps, but they are less likely to call soley because they saw your name -my theory anyways.

    Would you do it if you only had commercial?
  13. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    True, the name is on the truck. I guess the negative of signs is that they are there 24/7 for every sales guy in town to see. If you are a higher end/higher priced service, this could have people targeting you more than if you didn't have the name on the stakes.
  14. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,195

    Thats a good question. I think I still would, I have been doing it for so long it would seem wierd not to. We pride ourselves in giving A+ service, never hurts for a name to go along with it.

    I think in the snow business we are being targeted all the time. Over the years we are always lossing and gaining clients. Personally I think higher end- higher priced service clients are a safer bet for you to keep. Sure others will go after them, and they dont need to know whos doing it, to give a price. Sometimes knowing who is doing it may be a deteriant, because of the quality of service they give. Lastly with your name out there for everyone to see, it will keep you on your toes. It takes years to build up a name, and can be destroyed in no time. JMO
  15. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    We start using "flags" on our stakes this year @ most properties. We do several Tim's & the owner asked us to take them down & swap stakes, which I did, said he was concerned about "corporate". Instead of a 48" fiberglass stake w/ a 5x8" flag, he got our HOA stake (26"X3/8") orange plastic tube.
  16. Silentroo

    Silentroo Senior Member
    Messages: 147


    Couple of things.

    1 often plowing on commercial is the middle of the night so no people don't know who does it. Often when trucks are about on properties I am a little busy. We are metro wide, which means for me to happen upon a property is a little hard. I have not been around the industry as long as some, but am starting to figure out who does what. Second often the name on the truck is the sub contractor not the contractor.

    2. Often a property manager 'forgets' some of the more minor concerns that they had by the middle of August. We know many managers who go back to the current guy who is more expensive and does a crappy job because he is the known choice. I just want to make sure they remember some of the issues they had. I never actually mention other companies, I just compare their issues to my perfect work. I want them to remember the pain.

    3. In commercial, especially the higher end. there is a very limited number of customers. a hand ful. bottom line they don't drive around looking. Yes if I were doing residential and smaller commercial I would advertise on every flag. However when you are targeting the top three companies and high end properties it is not a bad plan to keep your intentions from the industry as long as possible.

    4. I disagree about it being a deteriant if the current vendor is a high end /high quality provider. No one comes to me and says they do a sucky job. EVERY sub is the best. For many of us it makes the challenge more enjoyable. There are a couple of vendors in town that I love to sell against, I know there pricing and quality are both high. However their customer service is crap except in July August and Sept when they are your best friend. When I started I sat down with a couple of old timers who expressed the attitude you did about a number of property management companies. Guess what 4 years later they have changed twice. Bottom line is the whales are hard to change but you make a lot when you do. I have yet to sit down with a property manager who would say they have had 10 out of 10 service. Actually it is seldom they rate about a 7. They either have service issues or know they are paying 50-100% more than the lot right next door.
  17. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,228

    I do not know if it is true because I have heard of it word of mouth but.......

    I knew a guy in Michigan that stopped putting his name on the stakes because of a person that claimed on their insurance "damage from plowing" and it came back to him from the name on the stake.

    Again this was not me but I have no reason to doubt the person that told me this.
  18. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    This was also a concern of ours... makes it easy for every sue-happy person to connect you, and your worth to their possibly intentional slip-n-fall.

    I think TCLA might have been thinking this, as well as cost, when he said they "don't put their name on safety signs either"
  19. Silentroo

    Silentroo Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    Here is the problem.

    In the case of a slip and fall you are named as well. The property manager will add you to the suite the day it hits.

    If not it is day one of deposition. Yes it makes it easier however any lawyer with a year under their belt asks the property manager for the information in the conversation they have before they file the case.

    They are going after the building owner because they believe there is money there. You are an added 'Bonus' in most cases.
  20. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,195

    I am just saying if you are going whale fishing, you better be ready and equiped to haul it in. It better not be bigger than you can handle. My competitors know the amount of equipment I have ready to serve my clients (so do my clients). There is not one who is capable to haul snow within 24 hrs like me. So those are the clients I go after. I have lots of room to grow just in my service area, and I pick and choose the ones I would like to do.

    I have heard that also, makes living in Quebec easier.