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Acquiring new commercial accounts

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by fartbox333, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. fartbox333

    fartbox333 Member
    Messages: 50

    I'm looking to find the right commercial account to provide a full 4 season lawn maintenance/snow removal service. How do you all go about finding new properties? I live north of Boston and have been a sub for most of the past 15 plow seasons. I've had some luck as a sub but mostly do all the work, then get nickle and dimed to death. Just trying to do the work and get paid. Don't think that's too much to ask. I'm interested to find out how you go about adding accounts. Thoughts anyone? Thanks.

  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Would be nice just to walk into an account like that.Takes time,you can try and trow out some bids or make phone calls to see if they are accepting bids.
  3. fartbox333

    fartbox333 Member
    Messages: 50

    Thanks for the input. Believe me, I understand that you just don't get lucky and walk into a dream account. I was just trying to find out everybody's methods. Good and bad. Any success stories?
  4. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Do good work on the resi side, and maybe you'll find a business owner who is not happy with their current provider. I've actually had two ask me if I could do year round service for their commercial properties that way.
  5. fartbox333

    fartbox333 Member
    Messages: 50

    I do not do residential lawn maintenance anymore. I gave it up 10 years ago to focus on the construction part of the business ie. new lawns, hydroseeding, as well as walls, and walkways. Residential referrals have worked for me in the past. Right now I'm just looking to get back into lawn maintenance, and snow removal of 1 good size commercial property. During the warm months I know I could dedicate 1 day a week for mowing and have a steady source of income 12 months a year.
  6. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    I hope you know your numbers good then, cause the bigger the account, the bigger the expences, also be carefull you are not putting to many eggs in a basket, cause if you lose that basket you may suffer.
  7. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

    Businesses call me up and I see if they fit my schedule and income needs. Then I call them back and tell them that I've either decided to accept them as a client , or 90% of the time I turn them down and refer them to someone else. I cherry pick the best.

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,556

    I like places that people don't think about
    Ones that might be out of the way or not so flashy

    Industrials are nice because you don't have the constant traffic of retail. You know when the employees shift change.

    I tried cutting "one" day a week. It always rained on that day. or the grass didnt need cutting that day.
  9. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    Just call around. Find some lots that are configured in a way that your equipment would work on. Then call or stop in and talk to the store manager. Ask if they are taking bids, he can at least steer you in the right direction. Good luck!
  10. fartbox333

    fartbox333 Member
    Messages: 50

    Thanks. Targeting properties that I can handle is my number 1 priority. I know what I can and can't do. Getting multiple quote requests would be great to cherry pick the best ones but I can't expect that. Lots of good advice. Any other words of wisdom?
  11. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,823

    Woburn is a perfect area for commercial accounts. There is a ton of potentials down there, without being in the thick of boston.

    You can't sit and wait for the call on commercial properties. Sure sometimes they will call you, but rarely. Remember, there is 1000's of other guys thinking the same thing you are. These property managers are approached everyday by potential vendors soliciting their services. With all that service provider potential in their face everyday, why would they look up and call you? I am a property manager now, and I receive daily phone calls from power washing, landscaping, snow removal, roofing, sealcoating/line striping, payroll, cleaning, and carpet vendors.

    With that said, you need to be just as present and in their face as all these other people. But more importantly, you need to be unique and stick out from the crowd. To do that is one of the hardest questions most business owners will face on a daily basis. Ask yourself, why would they hire me? What is it about my company, service, and personality that would promote someone to hire me for snow removal? Surely there are many other qualified and better equipped contractors in your area who are already servicing or are willing to service the sites. And at the end of the day, we all put steel on the ground and move the snow. So what does that leave to sell based on? An answer that will obviously be unique to each person.
  12. fartbox333

    fartbox333 Member
    Messages: 50

    Good points. I will approach potential sites offering my services making sure the ones I choose are a size and location that I can handle. Have others had success doing this?
  13. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,823

    I built an entire business doing that. Its how its done for the most part. Sure, once your established and known for quality you will have managers tell their manager friends about you and possibly pick up a few calls, but other than that it will be left up to you to do the leg work.

    The other method is becoming a pre-qual bidder with property management companies. But even then, they need to know about you somehow first and that will involve cold calls, cold e-mails, and cold visits to the office. Issue with bidding lists though is that it is 100% based on price until you have a seriously tight relationship with the management company.
  14. snowbrothers101

    snowbrothers101 Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    New work? The old fashioned way. Knock on some doors, put together a low-cost but consistent marketing plan and most importantly, stay committed to what you are selling.