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Too soon to worry?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by croche1260, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. croche1260

    croche1260 Junior Member
    from 02131
    Messages: 25

    I have put out various ads and I have received a few calls, and landed a few jobs. However, I have not received as many calls as I hoped.

    Is it too early to worry? Should I expect to get more calls when we get closer to a storm? I am in Mass and its my first season plowing for myself.
     
  2. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,983

    What's your target number of jobs your looking to get
     
  3. croche1260

    croche1260 Junior Member
    from 02131
    Messages: 25

    I would love to get 10.
     
  4. 2006Sierra1500

    2006Sierra1500 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,758

    Once it starts snowing, people will start calling.
     
  5. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,983

    And you have how many now?
    What accounts are servicing now
     
  6. croche1260

    croche1260 Junior Member
    from 02131
    Messages: 25

    4 now, all small residential. Shoveling sidewalks, plowing small driveways, salting. I want to get bigger driveways and more.
     
  7. croche1260

    croche1260 Junior Member
    from 02131
    Messages: 25

    I'm disappointed in onl having 4 to this point and that they are small.
     
  8. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,983

    Well, as plowing for yourself for the first year. What's your backup plan if something goes wrong?
    And as was said, you should get more when it's coming down
     
  9. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,177

    Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere. It is getting late, but some of my best closers for price are from the procrastinators....
    Keep up the advertising, and be consistent. It's nice to grab an ad and get a few calls but people need to know where to find that ad when they need you...
     
  10. jimbo64

    jimbo64 Senior Member
    Messages: 194

    When I first started I did the same as you, posted ads and rec'd a few calls and worried (which doesn't do any good). First big storm got a couple of new calls and also picked up a few from neighbours of the customers I did have. Each year things picked up until I began to worry if I could service them all in a reasonable amount of time. There are lots of people plowing, some come and go. Do a good job, throw in a few no charge extras...shovel a short walkway especially if it's a senior and clean out in front of their garage door (s). Make sure you let them know you did it for no charge because you appreciate their business and you will be surprised how fast word travels. Worked well for me and I also ended up with new lawn mowing accounts.
     
  11. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,983

    No charge services....Not a great idea. Then everyone will want something for free
     
  12. croche1260

    croche1260 Junior Member
    from 02131
    Messages: 25

    Was planning on contacting a local plow company in case my truck fails.
     
  13. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,983

    And are there prices the same or less then yours?
     
  14. jimbo64

    jimbo64 Senior Member
    Messages: 194

    ...and what is wrong with making a customer feel they are getting their $ worth. While you can't do it for everyone it worked for me when I started out. I have a lot of loyal customers which relates to the best free advertising a person can get, which is word of mouth.......at least in my opinion!
     
  15. CowboysLC_DE

    CowboysLC_DE Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    With only 4 driveways you shouldn't need to call someone else for your back up plan. Just shovel or use a snowblower.

    Totally different market here so I can't help you out in any aspect.

    Are you a seasonal worker or do you have an office/normal job? As a LCO I had to make sure I would be fine making it through the year before I spent $6,000 on a plow. I just shoveled my first year, bought the plow my second and the salt spreader my third year. Then, replaced equipment as needed.

    Michael
     
  16. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,983

    So you shovel for ms Smith for free and she tells me that, but I'm paying for you to shovel for me? How is that fair?
    You shovel for free, and damage a garage door, who pays for it?
    Your shoveling for free, but I'm paying you to plow me out in a timely manner, but your not there yet?
     
  17. jimbo64

    jimbo64 Senior Member
    Messages: 194

    That is how I started out, I had very few customers so I gave them a little extra service especially if they were seniors. If they had a short walkway I would shovel it for them as long as it took less than 2 or 3 minutes of my time and would quote them an extra price for anything that would take longer. I still do that today for my senior customers that don't mind being on the end of my plow list and after all these years I've still to damage a garage door with my shovel !
    Keep in mind the purpose of this thread is to give a guy starting out with few customers some tips on how he might increase his client base.
     
  18. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,983

    What happens when they all want free services is what I'm getting at
     
  19. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 711

    My first year starting out, I only had two contracts and spent the other time subbing out to a larger company.

    2nd year it picked up and I had enough contracts I didn't sub out.

    One thing is follow up calls.

    After you submit a bid, give them a call in a week or two and see how it's going.

    Also advertising on Craigs List is free and that can pick you up a few more.

    Good luck.
     
  20. jimbo64

    jimbo64 Senior Member
    Messages: 194

    It never happened , ever ...mrs. smith tells mr jones you did a great job plowing their driveway and even shovelled the walk. Mr Jones asks how much do you charge to do mine and so on and so on. I've never had anyone say you did so and so's for free. It's always "how much to do my driveway and/or shovel my walk? " and I quote a price for the driveway and one for the walk or sometimes one price for both. Now does that mean it's free? If the customer is happy and I am happy then we both win. Mind you this was when I first started out. I seldom get asked to shovel now except maybe by a senior.