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Getting over feeling bad for "stealing" work

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by trod81, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. trod81

    trod81 Member
    Messages: 73

    New guy here just starting out. I have 2 clients. I work construction in the summer and get laid off in winters. Just put plow on this year. I was thinking of going into some businesses and handing out business cards and offering estimates but I can't get over the fact that I'm "stealing" work from someone else. But, If I don't go knock on doors or walk into businesses, I know they are not going to just come to me. I live in a pretty small town of about 5.5k people. What the greater area is 100k plus. Is it morally wrong or unethical? If it is, I don't know any other way. 99.999% of businesses already have someone plowing it.
  2. wondo

    wondo Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    As long as you're charging a fair price and not lowballing you're not stealing anything. There are a lot of reasons a potential customer may be interested in a new contractor. Most businesses will probably be in a contract with their snow removal company. If it were me I would take note of properties that are serviced poorly and put them on the top of your list to contact.
  3. alldayrj

    alldayrj PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,108

    Its a little late in the season, and the good customers will probably be on contracts already. But alls fair in love war and business(which is both combined)
  4. MattR

    MattR Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    I totally agree with that advice. It works for residential too.
  5. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 622

    When I put out flyers for my landscaping business and I see a Landscaper working at a house. I will skip that mail box.

    Though it may not make sense because I have no idea if the other houses I leave flyers at have a landscaper or not.

    Also I advertise in the local paper. Will I get someone else's customer? Yes. Though I did not deliberately single any contractor out.

    A contractor gives a customer good service they will not replace them. So you will not be stealing customers.
  6. GONZO911

    GONZO911 Member
    Messages: 41

    In order to succeed in todays business climate, we need to:
    Do things others cannot do

    do things others wouldn't do

    do things others haven't thought of.

    Found this quote awhile back and have been using it in my "one year old business"

    my tax person was surprised we did so good the first year.

    Good luck!
  7. OldSchoolPSD

    OldSchoolPSD Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    I always start with the notion that all the work is mine and I "allow" the other guys to pick up the scraps. Kinda like your dog when a piece of steak falls on the floor.

    My ambition is to control the market. I sleep like a baby. You can't worry about what the other guy is doing, just put out a good product and don't lowball. A little competition never hurt anyone, it just keeps everyone from getting complacent.
  8. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079


    Did you think the current contractors that have the business/customers were born with it?

    Contractors come and go. Create a way to stay and everyone's happy.
  9. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    If your charging real world prices, and doing quality work.


    I know my lots are bid on all of the time.
    Haven't lost one, some are even over priced.
    but I show up and do quality work every time.

    They tell the prospective bidder , no thanks we like our guy.

    if your bidding lots someone else has it or is bidding on it, how did they get it, if it not a new lot.
  10. Lcmains1

    Lcmains1 Member
    Messages: 33

    If your planning to plow commercial lots with 1 truck your asking for trouble. What happens when you break down? It will happen and usually happens when there is a 6"+ snowfall. Just something to keep in mind
  11. trod81

    trod81 Member
    Messages: 73

    This site is a lot of help. Thank you guys very much. I guess I never though about having a business relying on me and my 1 truck. Maybe I will stick to resi this year. I am still thinking about just going and plowing for $50 an hour for another guy. Seems like it would save a big headache as I have a full time job from April to December any way were I make $40-$60 an hour depending on pay scale. Thanks
  12. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care Senior Member
    Messages: 552

    I agree with this as well.
  13. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    A couple questions for you. Do you have liability insurance? This will be required on commercial properties, most home owners probably wont really care in reality. Do you have a company set up or is it just in your name? What kind of truck and plow do you have? I think for this season, which is almost over try and sub yourself out like you were saying, learn a lot then next year hit those businesses
  14. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,980

    drive around and find the worst looking plowing jobs and try to sell them!
  15. FurFishGame

    FurFishGame Member
    Messages: 35

    this has gotten me all but 1 of my places i plow..all coffee shops, mom and pop stores etc.