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Drive-by Plowing

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by natimp, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. natimp

    natimp Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Here is a question for everyone. I am new to the plowing business. I only have a few customers right now. 5 to be exact. During my free time I have been dropping flyers around the neighborhod but I have gotten to many calls. During a storm is it likely I might get a few more calls from the flyers? And how often do you guys get flagged down to plow a lot or driveway when just driving around? Just curious.
     
  2. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,533

    I got flagged down 3 times the last snow. They are not regular customers just ones than need some help now and then when we get to much snow for them to handle.
     
  3. Rappa

    Rappa Member
    Messages: 84

    I have found that I get calls from my flyers when the snowfall is significant. Unless you get 10+ inches, I wouldn't expect too many. That's why it is best to get those flyers out early in the season so you can set up your client list ahead of time. The people that call you in October/November, are the people you want to deal with because they will want you every storm, as opposed to the people that will call you once. That is what you are looking for. I figure that if I send out 500-600 flyers every year, I will get 20-30+ estimates out of them. And I usually land at least half of them. It is tough way to get business and you need a nice professional flyer which can be expensive to print. But it works, and will allow you to target the neighborhoods you want. If you pick up a big storm, and people call you, tell them that you usually only plow drives that sign on for the entire season. Many of them will just bite the bullet and do it if your price is right. As of flag downs, I used to do them, but now I just drive right by. Don't have the time. Only flag down I stop for is if another plow driver is stuck and needs help or and elderly person is out shoveling and needs help. Good luck kid!
     
  4. Up North

    Up North Senior Member
    Messages: 921

    I get flagged down anywhere between 1 & 4 times per snow event. Depends on how much snow we get and how tired people are of shoveling...:D

    You'll gain more customers as time wears on. And from what I've learned, nobody thinks about hiring someone to plow for them until it's done snowing, then they'll call. Keep you chin up, by the end of the season you'll have a full route.

    Buck
     
  5. douglasl330

    douglasl330 Senior Member
    Messages: 356

    Very good advice UP North---You could try putting fliers out in new developments to drum up work --Just a thought.
     
  6. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,228


    You may be right for some new home buyers. Believe it or not though there are studies about this very thing. I use to be in sales and I still like to read some marketing advice as it can apply to many things in life.

    I was always taught that most new home buyers are the ones to stay away from for many things. Service contracts being one of them. The reason is their debt ratio. They then go out and buy new things for the house. Lawn mower/tractor, vacuum and floor care items maybe have a fence put up or a play area for the kids. Before they realize it they are filling bankruptcy. You can guess who is last in line for payment in these cases. That is if you even get a contract with them to start with. New home buyers are often young. Some have kids and look at snow removal as something that is just not needed or something that is exercise for themselves.

    If you are serious about targets then look at older 15yr+ neighborhoods or retirement communities. Most times these are more stable and have less debt. Not always as in everything in life of coarse there are exceptions to the rule. But in larger percentages the above statements are true.
     
  7. douglasl330

    douglasl330 Senior Member
    Messages: 356

    You bring a valid point up Reap!!!!!!!!
     
  8. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,137

    We get flagged down a decent amount...more so with the wet heavy snow the the light fluffy stuff.Keep some of your fliers in your truck and some business cards with you at all times.Always tell someone when they do flag you down that you have room to add them to your route every time out if interested.If not have them call you when ever they need service,they will see how easy it is to make a phone call or pay a few bucks compared to spending an hour or so out in the cold doing their drive.
     
  9. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    If its a big storm people will flag me down, otherwise it does not usually happen. You will likely get more calls from the flyers when it snows and people decide that they dont want to shovel, they dont call until they have to.
     
  10. natimp

    natimp Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    With the other businesses I have had oveer the years i've seen that you need to put out flyers at the right time. I usually put out flyers when I have some spare time but ALWAYS find a local mall (even though it is tech. illegal) and put out a few when a storm is coming. Anyone ever do this?
     
  11. golden arches

    golden arches Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    Best advertising.. your number on the side of the truck.

    Personally, I don't stop for "flag downs". At least when they call you, you have a call back number. Too many wiedos out there (besides us!).