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Free plowing as advertisement?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by de03x7, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. de03x7

    de03x7 Junior Member
    from Alaska
    Messages: 7

    What are your thoughts on plowing a driveway for free and leaving a flyer with a price for seasonal plowing and a per push price.
    The driveways are 15 feet wide and 25 feet long. The units are rentals and the tenants are responsible for taking care of the own snow removal. I will be signing a seasonal contract at one of the units in the next day or two and will need to plow it at that time. I use a skid steer to plow the snow and one of the driveways takes about 2 minutes start to finish.
    Most of the units will not have anyone home when I am there and I believe if they come home to a clean driveway it would be much better advertisement than knocking on the door and trying to sell them service. If they don't decide to use me to plow then I am only out a couple minutes of time and a little fuel.
     
  2. jmac5058

    jmac5058 Senior Member
    Messages: 428

    Not a good idea , I think thats tresspassing . What if you damage something and open yourself to lawsuite
     
  3. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,929

    Yea.....Not a good idea at all. Ask first
     
  4. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    Except for the car you hit or that thing you backed into. Horrible idea.
     
  5. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 733

    If they're outside shoveling, you could talk to them first and see if they want a freebie. Otherwise, like everyone us saying, you're just asking for trouble. It's unfortunate the way society is today....
     
  6. Citytow

    Citytow Senior Member
    from phila
    Messages: 548

    whats free about it ?

    you just used your truck, equipment ,your time and fuel with no compensation ? sounds rather expensive .
    im sure you can come up with a more lucrative strategy . Good Luck !
     
  7. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    This.......
     
  8. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Like other guys said, bad idea. I quite doing "free stuff" many years ago with landscaping and plowing, even the poor little old lady out shoveling. I know it sounds bitter and cold but a few things lead up to this a looong time ago. Believe me people love free things but the minute you peel up a lawn, damage anything, your the bad guy.
     
  9. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    This too...
     
  10. Mike_

    Mike_ Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    I'm not in the plowing business, I have an UTV and just clean for friends, family, and elderly neighbors on a fixed income for free. Most people I talked to ahead of time but I cleaned one neighbor's drive only to find out he already hired someone for the job, that guy came by on a tractor only to find the drive clean. Not only did I take money out of his pocket I wasted his valuable time, lesson learned! DON'T DO IT

    Your best option would to be leave a flyer saying "give me a call your first cleaning will be free". Also remember even homeowners may have an yearly agreement with the same people that mows their yards and could require the use of a poly or rubber edge to keep from damaging their drives. Plow with the wrong edge and you could be installing a new drive.

    I'm new plowing only been it about 3-4 years and only do it for fun I'm retired from my main job. I've learned a lot and hope to learn more from this site and someday supplement my retirement just doing some small jobs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
  11. shark78

    shark78 Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    One way is to offer a "good neighbour" discount. Get your customers to sign up their neighbours and each neighbour they get on contract with you gets them $5 off their contract until it's free....but only for 1 season!
     
  12. DERHNTR

    DERHNTR Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    I used to give 1 free plow to new full time residential accounts. I landed lots of new accounts that way. Some of these accounts I have had for 28 years. I still offer a 5% senior citizen discount. These folks pay as soon as they get the bill. I bill monthly and hate sending out 2nd and 3rd notices.
     
  13. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    So your paying customers are waiting to be plowed while your out giving freebies!
     
  14. Defcon 5

    Defcon 5 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,673




    The best thing you can do is get some legitimate paying customers in a certain area...Give them Great service at a good price....

    Pay attention to the driveways around those customers.....Flyer or talk to those people and sell your service to them......


    Do Not Do Anything For Free.......
     
  15. Citytow

    Citytow Senior Member
    from phila
    Messages: 548

    a classic Thumbs Up

    this is the place for the learning curve

    go get em payup
     
  16. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,213

    :nono:.....

    Since you've landed one in the neighborhood it shouldn't be long before neighbors start approaching you on there own. When you see one of them outside shoveling wave, smile and given the chance say "Hi some weather", it'll give them the feeling you're approachable. I did this very same thing in a subdivision that was new to me. I had one driveway and by the 3rd event of the season I had signed 3 more on, the following year I picked up 4 more.

    Also FWIW vehicle and personal appearance are the what people use to make there first impression, always present yourself as being a professional and people will be more apt to hire you.
     
  17. de03x7

    de03x7 Junior Member
    from Alaska
    Messages: 7

    The snow storm ended Monday and all contracted customers were plowed then. I have a couple customers who call me after every storm but do not want to sign a seasonal contract. They understand that my seasonal customers have priority.

    I went today and signed a contract with the customer. The couple driveways next to her that had not been cleared when I drove by on Wednesday had been shoveled by hand when I was there today. I dropped a flyer off to let them know what service was available now I just need to wait for another storm.