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Help selecting a advertising method

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by doomxz670, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. doomxz670

    doomxz670 Junior Member
    from 45459
    Messages: 19

    I'm 20 but have been plowing since I was 16, I've got all the insurance and that covered have a snow ex 1075 spreader and boss 7'6 plow, I have some commercial properties and a few residential properties but am looking for some ways to advertise, I've passed out about 100-150 flyers and got nothing back have a add on Craigslist and got a call or two, what other ways are you guys advertising?
     
  2. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,854

    make a facebook page, it's free also. Then post it on your local fb buy & sell groups, Put a sign up in your yard(if you have one) Pass out more fliers(usualy fliers only have a few percent call rate)
     
  3. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 711

    It's a little late in the season to be picking up new contracts.

    But there are always places that wait till the snow is coming down to get a company in place to plow snow.

    Make a list of properties you are interested in and go knock on doors and see if they are interested in a bid for snow plowing for commercial places.

    As for resindential, send a notice to the people you are plowing and tell them they can get 10% off their first couple of storms for plowing if they recommend someone else and that person signs up.

    There you go, two ideas to help expand your business.
     
  4. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    As far as residential work goes, you need to consider how people think...You know how the media will show people flooding the stores when a storm is coming. They all of a sudden will sell out on shovels, blowers, windshield washer fluid, etc. because of the mass panic that the media created.

    This late in the game, you probably need to ride the same train. Pound out those fliers again before a storm hits. People need it put in their face many times over before it will register to call you. A few might put it on the refrigerator, but most will get lost in the shuffle.

    People for the most part, don't take action until there is panic. Look how many plowers wait until the snow is falling before getting their equipment up and running...and for most it's their livelihood, not just an inconvenience.

    I like the Facebook page idea & tying it back to your flier. Refrigerator magnets are a great way to go also. People like emergency contact info stuck on their fridge & tend not to throw them away. They always know where to find your number when they need it.
     
  5. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Here is an idea that worked for me. Lets you target what you want.

    Go get a couple hundred sandwhich bags, business cards, and sand/salt/icemelt.

    Put some icemelt or similar product in the bag, along with a card, and throw into the end of driveways. It works alright for residential at least. Same returns as flyers though, don't expect an extreme amount of calls.
     
  6. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    I do 3500 leaflets in the fall delivered across my community to all detached dwellings, it takes a couple of times getting in peoples face before they remember you. Can you put up posters at the hardware store or grocery store, can you access community television. Facebook page good idea,caution do not get into pricing online lots of tire kickers. I give some work away as gift certificates for fund raisers some time it take awhile to come back to you but it put your name out there in a positive way. Good luck.
     
  7. doomxz670

    doomxz670 Junior Member
    from 45459
    Messages: 19

    I hadn't really thought about facebook yet, i have a few yard signs but am having a hard time finding places to place them that they will be useful, as far as passing out more cards or flyers etc should i hit up the houses that ive gone to before too? Also i have my plow vehicle lettered but i really only drive it during a storm or maybe once or twice a week my personal truck i drive everyday isn't lettered is there any benefit in people seeing a car with your name on it around town?
     
  8. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    I get the best response from yard signs. Even picked up a few commercial accounts with them. Focuse a little more on placing yours at intersections, stop signs etc. As others have said, it's a little late to start marketing yourself. You may pick up a few clients yet. Good luck
     
  9. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,854

    Yes a lettered truck can be your biggest & best ad, depending on how big of an area you live in, me I have all me trucks & equipment lettered, I dont drive personal vehicles, only company ones, I live in a area of 30,000 so I'd say close to half have seen my trucks,trailers ect. If you in a big area, that not as effective. I too give certs. to my local charites & it can pay off, try the rotery club, or lions club(they full of local business owners & influential peeps)
    pass out the fliers in an area you want to work the most, or neighbors of existing customers, try making a nice looking sign yourself on your comp & putting it it local places you can, that will only cost you printing then, make them colour too. Yes I dont post prices other then min charges aka starting at. Think free or as close to free as you can, above all always do a great job, cause people notice & talk, the bad is always remembered more then the good, so you got to do alot more good to be remembered, but the good thing is word of mouth IS the best advertising!!!!!
     
  10. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Beanz I have to ask how many calls do you figure that generates? If I saw some one through some thing in my yard I would depending on my mood through it back at them, maybe it works it doesn't sound right to me but that is just me.
     
  11. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    I through out roughly 150 of them, and got roughly 20 calls or so. Of that, probably half were "Interesting advertising, whats your price?" calls, and 10 that I actually met and went over, 8 of them are now mine.

    So for a cost of $5 I got 8 accounts, can't complain.
     
  12. doomxz670

    doomxz670 Junior Member
    from 45459
    Messages: 19

    when passing out cards at residential properties do you put prices on them and throw them in there drive or taped to the mailbox or no price?
     
  13. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,169

    My advice whichever form of advertizing you chose is consistency. Remember that people aren't shopping for your services when you expect them too, you want them to remember your ad and be able to find it when they are thinking about it.
    It is why you always hear people say "Newspaper advertising doesn't work, I placed an ad and got no calls." Papers get read and thrown out, you have to be there again the next time when they're looking for you. The same goes for magazines, bulletin boards, etc. I used to buy my advertising for a year at a time and get discounted rates on the ads, it's building a brand and being consistent about it.
     
  14. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Tossed into the drive in a bag with icemelt. Only ones I put a price on was EMT, Fire, or Law Enforcement persons houses, and that's only to say "Mention your EMT/Fire/Police and get a discount on price."

    Grandview says to put price on, next fall I will print some cards that say "Seasonal prices starting at $XXX" just for driveway throwers, he says it "keeps the tire kickers away." But I've never tried it so couldn't tell you.
     
  15. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    Web site that shows up when they google search snow plowing in your area. #1
    Big Sign in my lawn with a plow truck behind it. #2
    This year I did not put my sign out and put on my web site that I was full and they still call.
     
  16. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    If you do fliers at the door,put the price right on it. People that are interested will call,Keeps the tire kickers away.
     
  17. doomxz670

    doomxz670 Junior Member
    from 45459
    Messages: 19

    I see only one of you guys suggested a website, is that just something people dont look at?
     
  18. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    i have thought of a web site and think it would have a number of advantages just have not had time to do it my self.
     
  19. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    IMO, a website is a good idea, but only if you have enough material to hold a viewers interest & it needs to be well designed. I see a lot of cheezy sites out there w/ typing / spelling errors & poor grammar. You'll see a lot of lawn mowing sites w/ not much more than pics of mulch jobs and the same lawn striped from three different angels. A one man show doesn't need to show pics of his lawn mower, blower, edger, trailer and trimmer...some things are assumed, unless there is something special or unique about it that will help build interest. A website isn't going to get you work next month, not to mention the time and costs associated with getting it up and going.

    Business cards are good also, provided they are professionally done and not from your printer. A magnetic business card may very well stand a chance of going on the fridge, along w/ all the other emergency magnet numbers...poison control center, pediatrician, veterinarian, pizza delivery, etc.

    If your lucky, your magnet will get to hold up the grand kids artwork or the post card from the family trip to Hawaii...the one where grandma got left behind to fend for herself in that nasty blizzard. Then when the daughter in law's hubby is out of town on business, because he's got to make up for that trip to Hawaii that went way over budget...Susie homemaker is calling grandma for the number on that guy's magnet, that's holding up the kids turkey hand drawing from a school art project...because she can't get the kids to school, because her hubby isn't around to clear the driveway. Later that night, grandma decides she wants to go to bingo and calls you because her daughter in law did & her son who usually takes care of it is gone longer than expected, because his secretary went with him on the business trip.

    Which brings me to another point...baby boomers, elderly & single mothers. Depending on which statistics you follow, the divorce rate is somewhere between 50-60%. Centers for support groups, nursing homes, senior centers, grocery stores, bingo halls, Moose lodges, etc...many have bulletin boards where you can post your flier for free. Just make sure it's something they can peal off and take w/ them. Some places have raffles or prizes (like bingo). That could be an opportunity to offer a coupon for one free service call. Then they can attach that winning coupon to the fridge w/ that special refrigerator magnet.
     
  20. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    Mine is by far the best advertising I have used. When it snows my phone will not stop ringing with people that need plowing. It most likely depends on where you are. Here Epic is close and every one is running around with there smart phones looking stuff up. I come up # 2 in my area. I made and run it my self and cost less than $200 a year to run. payup