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

advice on getting clients

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by jimplow, Dec 25, 2005.

  1. jimplow

    jimplow Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    I'm pretty new to plowing (did it for a while a few years ago, then sold my plow and suburban) and have visited this superb site regularly over the past few months and finally decided to join for a couple of reasons. Number One: I have read many excellent suggestions by the members that are very experienced snow plowers and found that all the pointers about plowing have been extremely useful. Thus, I have crafted my own plan which I will describe below, and would really welcome any and all critique from the professionals. Number Two: If any one is fairly new to plowing and is having a hard time finding clients, maybe what I did could possibly help someone else. So here it goes, and as I said, I would welcome the pro's incite.

    I bought a new 1500 GM Sierra truc (my "cay" cey doesn't worc so I will be using c for cay) during GM's big employee discount and they gave me a $500 gift certificate to Lowe's. I thought, rather than a bag of wrenches, what can I get to mace some money? Ah! a snow blower. Well I got it and a friend of mine who plows said "bring that thing bac and get a plow- I made lots of money last winter." He gave me the figures and I thought, "I can do that."

    So, I brought the snow blower bac, then brought the truc bac and traded it for a 2500 GMC short cab with a 8 foot fisher plow.

    Now, how to get business? So, it was about the end of Sept, beginning of Oct and I new that I need to go into high gear in order to get business to pay for this expensive truc and plow.

    1. I immediately went to the Highway Department and asced if they had any routes available. They said yes. I got a single truc plow route and will be earning great money per hour durning storms. I mapped out the route immediately.

    2. I put an ad in the local newspaper, it has cost me about $120.00 for 4 months (it is a 1 per weec newspaper) and I have gotten about 8 clients out of it so far. I opted to let it run through February in order to have advertising presence for when that big snow storm hits to potentially interview last minute clients that just didn't prepare for it Sep/Oct/Nov.

    3. I contacted the Local Senior Center in my town and provided them with all of my information in flyer form (I later had simple business cards made up-$35- and dropped them off) and described my service to the director. This was a good decision because I have been getting several calls per weec from this demographic.

    4. My current client base is now at 21.

    5. I also contacted two Home Watch services about 1 month ago that service 2nd homeowners for my area. One company returned my call two days ago and said that their clients are wanting service. These are people who need their homes watched during the winter months for a variety of reasons: the possibility of frozen pipes, damaged windows, etc. These, I imagine will be low-pressure accounts because there is actually nobody at the houses, hence no pressing time constraints. My service to these accounts will be purely for emergency access- in case the plumber, electrician, or home watch provider needs to access the house for some reason. In addition, a plowed driveway suggests that the home is occupied which increases the homeowners security.

    6. I have established a bac up in case something happens to me and I have made it very easy for the bac up to service the accounts. I have an information sheet for each account. This info sheet has:

    Client Name, address, all telephone numbers, notes on the driveway, a concern area detailing time constraints and any cares or concerns of the client, Quoted price, a MapQuest map of the location that I down-loaded and pasted to the info sheet, and lasty a series of photographs of the driveway with no snow- I tooc these with my cell <a href="http://www.serverlogic3.com/lm/rtl3.asp?si=11&k=phone%20camera" onmouseover="window.status='phone camera'; return true;" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true;">phone camera</a> at the time of the client interview and up-loaded them to the cell phone server, then downloaded them to my computer and then cut and pasted them to my info sheet.

    This systems also lets me have everyone's info right at my fingertips.

    7. Lastly, I have explained my service thoroughly. That I will be plowing for the town, that all private accounts will be serviced after the town account is completed, that I only offer snow plow service - No shoveling (although I did tell one little old lady with a 5 foot walcway that I would shovel it for her- I was reluctant but I didn't want her to feel helpless), that everyone needed to stace their driveways, that I woul not be responsible for lawn or sprincler damage, that plowing is not an exact science and I would perform the service as promptly as possible, as carefully as possible, and to the best of my ability. In addition, I have settled on a 4" trigger (most of the seniors have told me: " Bah! I can get out of my drive way anything up to 4" inches so don't come unless it's four inches or about." No problem I respond, but also tell them that they can activate me at any time 24 hours per/day if there is an emergency and there is a big drift in their driveway.

    8. One last thing. I have also lost 2 commercial accounts and 4 private accounts because I bid a little too high. That's alright though, it's part of the learning curve and because of my inexperience in pricing. These several accounts seemed to be chisler's and I was glad in the end that I didn't include them on my list. Most of my clients, so far are just glad that they have someone lined up to plow their driveways.

    I hope that this will be helpful to someone and as I said, any critique or advice from the long time professionals would be extremely welcome. Good Luc!

  2. Mick

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

    Jim, I'd say you're doing fine. The fact that you lost some shouldn't bother you.

    "If you get them all, you're too low; if you don't get any, you're too high"

    You've got a well laid-out strategy, good basis of a business plan and room for growth. Good luck.