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Seeking Opinions

Discussion in 'Networking' started by gearyp, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. gearyp

    gearyp Junior Member
    from NWI
    Messages: 5

    Hey guys, I'm new here and have found a TON of great info. This is my first post so go easy on me:waving:
    We have been plowing for several years and a while back I purchased 888 PlowGuy and 888PlowGuy.Com (which we are currently redesigning)
    It has worked very well for us and I'm now thinking of spending the time and money in implementing a system where we can lease the number to different companies in specified areas or markets so they can benefit from it also. Basically the system would route the call to the closest office based on the callers phone number. We would also offer them a page on the website where basically you enter your zip code on the home page and it directs you to the page of the office closest to you. We service several nationwide accounts so our network of Plow businesses could also benefit in this way as well as targeted national advertising. Obviously there would only be a limited amount of businesses able to use this (geographically) so I was wondering if this is something you guys think would work or would it be a waste of time? It would probably cost each business $150 per month but that would include the phone, website, business contacts and National Advertising.
    Look forward to hearing your thoughts
     
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Seems like it would work if you developed a good business plan and thought through every aspect of your business. Like, are you simply acting as a lessor for the number or are you going to act as a National snow & ice control company whereby you write contacts with the customers and provide service through subs? If you're simply leasing the number, check if you can do that through the telephone co and have a good contract drawn up. What are the physical and service limits of your plan?
     
  3. gearyp

    gearyp Junior Member
    from NWI
    Messages: 5

    Mick,
    I think we are probably looking more at being a National snow & ice control company, because I think it would be more beneficial to anyone we brought onboard and that is ultimately our goal. We can see the benefit of this idea but want to make sure others do too. We have all the information on offering the phone number and the possibilities are endless as far as being able to offer according to zip code, area code, state, county etc... With the system we are considering I can't see too many limits as far as that's concerned. My only hesitation is the cost and effort, just wanted to see if others could see what I see in it.
    Thanks for your reply. I agree, a very thought out business plan is definitely in order!
     
  4. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Seems like a good idea to me overall. Some things to think about.......

    Let's say someone from my area goes to your site, puts in their zip code, and my name/number come up. Am I subbing from you? Do you take care of billing, responsibility for quality of work, insurance, etc? Or, are you out of the deal at that point? I just pay you a commision/fee for the lead?

    And how will you qualify who is a satisfactory contractor, that is up to your standards?
     
  5. gearyp

    gearyp Junior Member
    from NWI
    Messages: 5

    Good questions! I don't think you would be "subbing" through us, I envisioned you being able to market the number (888plowguy) and website and locally and any business you get at your location would be yours. That would be one of the benefits included in your monthly fee and as a "partner" you would benefit from any national marketing we did also. We would handle any billing, quality control, write contracts and handle billing ONLY for the national accounts we are actively pursuing. So say we get a huge retail chain and need subs for 25 locations we would handle all of the mentioned items and you as a partner would take care of your local locations plowing, but we would handle all of the paperwork etc... As far as coming up with a system to make sure the people we have are "quality", that is something we will have to come up for a plan. I would think the requirments are that you would need to be licensed etc.. have verifiable experience, and understand that the only way that this really works for you is to actively market the number and website, as we will be doing. Do you have any other ideas? I really appreciate the help you guys are giving me and I'm becoming more confident that this may actually work!
    I can't wait to brainstorm some more with you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    If the are "your"accounts, then you would be liable for performance. If they're "my" accounts, then why are you handling scheduling, billing etc? How about people who have different telephone companies? Are those companies going to let their customers use another co's number?
     
  7. gearyp

    gearyp Junior Member
    from NWI
    Messages: 5

    The only accounts that are ours and in turn handle the paperwork for would be the national accounts that we secure such as a large retailer. We would be responsible for the overall account, you as our partner would be responsible for your local location. You would still schedule (based on the clients requirements) and bill us, we would only compile all of the bills and submit to corporate for payment. As far as the phone number, the company we are considering is a third party administrator for 800's etc and explained that it wouldn't matter who your phone company is the way their software works is in real time as the call comes in, it is routed to the office we have specified based on the callers phone number etc.. So basically, as the call comes in it is routed to your existing phone number, this is all done real time and seemlessly. We tried the system out and there are no clicks or pauses, you have no idea that your call is being routed anywhere, it just rings and someone answers. That is the main holdup on us pulling the trigger on this deal. The setup is costly and requires maitenance, so I wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts or ideas on it.
    Thanks again for the great brainstorming