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When to give up?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by cgillispn, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. cgillispn

    cgillispn Member
    Messages: 38

    Hi, me and my father have been plowing for our town for years but this year we are trying to start our own business with driveways and parking lots. So far we only have a few driveways with three trucks and a sander. The trucks are signed up to plow for the town as a backup because the business is not looking too promising. We have an add in the local newspaper and we have submitted 7 or 8 commercial lot bids. We havent heard back from anyone yet. When should we just give up and pull our add from the paper and plow for the town?
     
  2. jpunlimited

    jpunlimited Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    not yet

    I am on cape cod but grew up near you. think of it like this you have airconditions to sell and it is not august yet. I would let this winter play out and make the call this summer whether or not to shut down the business. nobody wants to think about snow in our area until it is on us and to late. but once it hits charge them hard. it seems to me that the winters go further into the spring than when I was a kid but don't even start until mid Dec.
     
  3. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    Yes winter is no time to quit. You might re-evaluate your bidding too.
     
  4. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Okay, you have three trucks and a sander. Is the sander a separate truck? I'll assume you only have three trucks between two people, you and your father. How about do both. That is what we do. My brother and I have a landscape business. We don't "rely" per-say on plowing but we attempt to keep money rolling in during our "off" months. One of us contracts ourselves out while the other plows our customers. Do you have the ability to do this?

    This will suffice (I think) until you can get a solid client/customer base, which could take a few years. That way you can keep money coming in. It should at least cover your expenses to minimize running at a loss. Just my 13 cents worth.

    Did you consider paying someone to run the third truck while you and your father still contract yourselves out with the township?
     
  5. M&N Maintenance

    M&N Maintenance Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    HI, I HAVE BEEN PLOWING FOR ABOUT TEN YEARS NOW, AND WHAT I'VE LEARNED IS THAT YOU NEED TO BE AHEAD OF THE GAME. MEANING THAT YOU SHOULD TRY TO SEND YOUR CONTRACTS AND BIDS OUT EARLY IN THE YEAR, ie AUGUST, SEPT. BY NOW MOST CUSTOMERS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE ALREADY HAVE CONTRACTS SET. ALSO THE SNOWPLOWING AD NOW WILL ONLY INITIATE CALLS BEFORE, DURING , OR AFTER AND YOU WILL FIND THAT THESE ARE ONE TIMERS. I WOULD PLOW FOR THE TOWN NOW AND START PLANNING FOR NEXT YEAR. THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT YOU CAN'T PICK UP ANY NOW BUT THE ODDS ARE LOW. :) :)
     
  6. larryjlk

    larryjlk Member
    Messages: 66

    Have you called the people you quoted? You can say something like you haven't heard from them and you want to be sure they received the quote and ask if they had any questions. It's good practice when you are trying to build up a business to talk to prospective customers as much as possible. I'd keep doin just what you are doin. Plow for the city untill your client base gets so big you can't do both. Since the city job is only standby you have nothing to lose by building your own client base.
     
  7. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    M&N,

    Welcome to the board. You might want to turn the caps off, Its considered as shouting and its hard to read be some of the members....Rob
     
  8. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    Just a small idea to get business.


    Have you tried contacting the chamber of commerce in your area??

    These guys are right about existing people signing up by Sept or so, but if there are any new businesses in your area, they might have been too busy to get setup already. Also, if people don't have contracts and just called someone for the first storm, they might be unhappy with their work/attitude---don't give up, give them a call....they can only say no if not interested. Remember ne thing...busineses who are really busy don't like solicitation..so just leaving a business card for the facility manager is a possible way to get noticed. I've NEVER hired anyone who came to the door and brow beat me...but I have hired a polite guy who was a startup lawncare guy who went way out of his way to get his name in my face. For a business--always ask for the facility manager, or at least their contact number. You could get lucky.

    Also, I don't believe you get a lot of snow in your area....so some people might be out of sight/out of mind on the snow thing. You might pick up some work after the first snow.

    Keep your chin up...getting going is tough. :waving:
     
  9. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 Member
    Messages: 84

    3 years...

    imho it takes 3 seasons to get your self established. nothing happens overnight.

    look, it is a known fact that thomas edison tried over 10,000 ways to create the filament for the 1st light bulb till he succeeded. when asked why he didn't quit, he replied, 'i just found 10,000 ways it would not work."

    so, keep with it. the financial rewards are there for those who perserve.

    brian
     
  10. RON66106

    RON66106 Member
    Messages: 53

    All the above replies are great advice and should be taken into consideration. The only thing that I would add is keep your overhead as low as possible. If you want or need something try to anticipate the need or want and work to afford it without busting the budget.Independence is the key and if you have payments hanging over your head you lose it. It's like working for the man ( pushy a## hole with an attitude you don't need ) So now that I am done rambling............NEVER GIVE UP! always look for the opportunity for your company to service someone. Look for the little ways to improve your service and it will come back to you 10 fold. Ron
     
  11. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    Most importantly, you need to keep a cash or credit reserve so that if you break down you can get it fixed quickly. New is not as important as is the quality of maintaince of your equipment new or used.