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Customers vs Bids

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Katzman, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. Katzman

    Katzman Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Anybody out there have any statistics as to how many snow plowing customers you receive vs how many bids you submit? Lawn season was about 1 per every 15. Snow season seems to be slower. Any recommendations? 60 degree weather predicted here this week. Does it pick up after the snow season starts? This is our first year in the professional snow removal business (have done it as a one man show in years past). Any help you can give would be appreciated.
  2. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    I close 70% of the estimates I give, and my response rate to the postcards I pass out is about 1%. 10/1000 Thats for Lawn care.

    You're right.

    Snow removal is much harder to get.
  3. Katzman

    Katzman Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks for the input. Do you think it's due to people knowing their lawn is going to grow and taking a chance that it's not going to snow? Or are they hoping the plowing will have to be done so infrequently they'll take a chance and grab anyone who is available?
  4. EnviroTeam

    EnviroTeam Member
    Messages: 71

    My response rate to door to door fliers seems to consistently sit at about the same rate..1 per 100 and I close on about 85% of them.
  5. bbrsq

    bbrsq Member
    Messages: 56

    Around here we are seeing more companies and guys getting out of snow removal due to the lack of snow or unpredictability. Some guys are also raising their rates trying to make up for that lack or they just can't produce when push comes to shove.

    This year I would say we are running 85-90% of what we are putting bids on. I don't do anything with fliers or going door to door. Only ad I have is a small one in the yellow pages and the rest is word of mouth.

    Do a good job and be reliable, you should have no problem keeping or getting new work.
  6. Katzman

    Katzman Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    So your yellow pages ad paid off? We didn't do that this year because we wanted to use the money to upgrade our equipment, but without customers, equipment does you no good. We have a good reputation as a lawn crew, but haven't established ourselves yet as a good snow plow crew. Breaking into the market is difficult. We don't do flyers, as much as direct mailings to potential customers. Part of our problem is we are not known in the community and people must be going with the better known snow removal providers. You have proven advertising is a good investment. Thanks!!
  7. B&K LawnCare

    B&K LawnCare Member
    Messages: 68

    Man around here snow plowing is alot easier to get. We dont even advertise or try to get any snowplowing contracts. I am 19 and will be running 4 trucks this year.
  8. 2moresleeps

    2moresleeps Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 131

    Um, I'd say do a little more research before one suggestion becomes the gospel.

    Check with your area, find out what works for the competition? Do you see alot of their flyers etc.....don't rush in and get a yellow pages ad because one person said "We have one tiny yellow pages ad and the rest is word of mouth"....tymusic
  9. Andy N.

    Andy N. Senior Member
    Messages: 236

    I find the reason that plowing / salting accounts are harder to come by is this:

    1. People are in denial that owning a parking lot / business and having it serviced for snow removal is a cost of doing business. They don't want to pay the dough for the snow.

    2. Once it snows, everyone is a snow removal expert. Remember, electricians, roofers, concreters, builders, asphalters, painters, remodelers etc. all can't work when it snows, so they do the next best thing....plow. In the spring, summer & fall, we all do our respective trades, but come winter, the market can't handle the quantity of contractors looking for work. The next thing to happen is LOWBALLING!
  10. bbrsq

    bbrsq Member
    Messages: 56

    Yellow Pages ad

    I didn't say that my ad pays. I said I have an ad. My ad is a freebie as part my advertising program for my landscaping business. 95% of my work is word of mouth or referral just as with the rest of my work.

    As other have said, you need to find what your market dictates and plan accordingly.