1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Where do I start?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by CTAYLORPLOW, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. CTAYLORPLOW

    CTAYLORPLOW Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I've had my '87 Dodge Ram and Meyer plow setup for all of a month. I got the truck running well and flushed the hydraulic system and inspected all if the solenoids and cylinders. And set up a commercial insurance policy. I have been plowing for my current job for a couple of seasons with their gear. So mechanically I guess I'm set. Business wise I'm not so confident, I printed up business cards made and hung some flyers. And now I'm basically waiting for a call. Do any of you more experienced folks have any suggestions?
    Thanks Chris

    '87 Ram 318ci
    Meyer E-47
    8' Meyer Plow

    P.S. Does a site like this exist for those interested in landscaping or grass cutting?
     
  2. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    lawnsite.com
     
  3. CTAYLORPLOW

    CTAYLORPLOW Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks :salute:
     
  4. JPMAKO

    JPMAKO Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    Chris,

    Just stick with it, get your name out there.
    Put flyers in stores, stuff them in news papers, go door to door if you have to. If you have the drive and determination you can make it happen.

    Jason
     
  5. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    I'm starting all over again after 9 years out of the business. In addition to flyers, church bullitan and news paper classified advertising I've been networking through friends, neighbors etc. I landed over 15 contracts this way. Once your started always and frequently ask for refferals from your current cuatomer base. People who are reffered to you tend to be less price sensitive, and like the fact you know someone they do, so they stay with you and rarely are a problem.
    Dont give up, the first season is the toughest.
    Ken
     
  6. CTAYLORPLOW

    CTAYLORPLOW Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks Guys, as you probably experienced after dumping alot of time and cash into your business with no result to speak of yet I'm sweating a little. I'll be happy once I can drop a plow and get to work. :salute:
     
  7. 042500hd

    042500hd Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    Local Paper

    In the Buffalo area we have a paper called The Penny Saver. it's a weekly paper that advertises garage sales, services offered and items forsale. You may have something like this in your area also that's where I advertised. I picked up all but 2 of my 21 accounts this way. I ran the ad for at total of 4 weeks. It worked well for me. Good luck.
     
  8. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    Did you use a display ad or just a line style?
    I used a liner and got bubkis :confused:
     
  9. 042500hd

    042500hd Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    Ad style

    Ken I just used a standard ad no bold print nothing. I think with the penny saver where the ad is in the paper plays a big part. My ad was closer to the front so I got alot of calls. I work full time and plow on the side so I couldn't always answer a call but if a message was left I'd get back to caller within 15 minutes. Everytime they said they already found someone. I think people tend to go with the first person they speak with. Do you plow full time Ken? I get some calls from people in the lakeshore area and turn them down, I'd be happy to refer anyone who calls in the future to you if your're still taking customers.
    Ray
     
  10. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    Hi Ray
    Yea I'm a full time operator, my other business is street vending and that closes down just before plow season cranks up .... usually it's fairly seemless ... unlike this year ... so I plow 24/7.

    If you know anyone in need I have openings ... what other areas do you service? I pretty much keep it to Mt. Vernon, Cloverbank, Wannaka ...

    It seems the first guy to call back gets the job, I think around here at least were all on the same page with pricing. All the drives are the same length and nobody's going throat. Thank God! I strictly use a cell phone so theres no chance of missing a call, it's always with me.

    As for my ad, I pulled the plug and have been keeping up with networking among friends, neighbors and customers, I've turned down some stuff just because it was in an area I really didn't service, like Boston, Angola or Eden. I may be able to send you a few as well. I'm just back in the biz after a number of years out so I'm trying to build a solid local base before I go too far. Also this is my first season with a mid-size truck and a snow-way. I must admit i really missed the plow biz.

    You can reach me at 867-8836.
    Thankx Ken
     
  11. 042500hd

    042500hd Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    Ken this is my first year in the biz on my own I've plowed for friends in the past. So this year will be a learning experience for me. I've also turned down a lot of people from Eden, Angola area. I service Hamburg Village and Mckinley Mall area as well as Lackawanna only because all my Lackawanna customers are within a half mile of each other. I'll keep your number if I get anymore calls for your area I'll refer them to you. I'm booked right now 21 accounts plus full-time job don't want to spread myself thinner than I already have. I'll also be doing some sub-contracting during weekend storms. A buddy of mine referred me to guy who he's worked for the last four seasons. He says he pays kind of slow but he pays good and you always get paid. He'll also work around my schedule. Anyhow good to know someone else in the area if you ever get in a pinch don't hesitate to call I'd be happy to help out. I live right off 75 so I'm close.
    Ray
    698-5129
     
  12. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    Ray
    If you ever need any help or advice just ask man i live off rodgers on Morgan and my cells always on ... i'm doing the sub thing too this season. It's been a slow start for me and I started real late (Mid October) with getting accounts. Years ago when I first started out in this business I had only 10 accounts and let me tell you those were the 10 cleanest driveways in all of Lancaster hahaha. I think 21 is pretty good for your 1st season. It took me about 3 years to build up to 75, mostly driveways a few small parking lots. I'd like to try to get more commercial, right now I only have 1 small Docs office lot. :cry:
     
  13. 042500hd

    042500hd Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    Thanks

    Ken,
    Thanks for the offer I'll be taking you up on that advise. Hey on another note I just gave your number to a woman. She's from Lakeshore area so expect a call.
    Ray