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how can i get new accounts???

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by khalafms, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. khalafms

    khalafms Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    hi, i am new 2 the site and i like it alot,every body is seems very helpfull.so i need some help plz..i have been plowing for over 10 years but i always was a sub contractor so i never had to go and get the accounts,and now i am getting sick of working 4 some one els and trying to get my own accounts but every time i go to talk 2 a lot or a business owner i get the sams thing "we got a guy ,or we r alset" so what can i do 2 get some lots?thank you all 4 the help..
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I know a ;lot of people can't type. But if you talk to people like you type that's your problem. Other then that, take a few ads out in the local newspaper walk fliers to doors or send out blind quotes for your service and do a follow up phone call later.
  3. First off make sure you have insurance and good coverage. Also know what you can handle and what I mean by that is if there was a blizzard that dumped 24" or 30"+ can you handle the lots and their size. Then just get out and introduce yourself to all of the companies in your prospective area. Drop lots of business cards even to people that don't own lots because you never know who they know.
  4. khalafms

    khalafms Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    thank you grangview i know i cant type worth crap ,but i can talk real good to customers and i make sure that i look good when i go to talk to them.thank you all for the help.maybe i need 2 approach customers in anew way???
  5. bhmjwp

    bhmjwp Senior Member
    from kcmo
    Messages: 309

    I have to be honest with you. You are in the process of learning the business. Oh wait, Iv'e been plowing for years! Well thats half the business. Now your learning the the other half.

    Bidding-handling accounts-accounts recievible-schedualing, chemical and equiptment in the right place at the right time. This starts the other halh of the business. For us, jumping in the truck and pushing the lot is the easy part. We spend more time in the functions of running the business than plow time.

    Now you are realizing why there is such a spread between subbing and contracting. One of my subs went independent this year, great, mother and apple pie type thing,. 1 st storm, call to borrow money for chemical and gas. 2 nd storm, truck down, wanting to borrow back up plow. He knows how to plow, has sold accounts, but is still not ready!

    Tough business to be in to do commerical. Very little forgiveness!
  6. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 622

    I will assume you are young. So what you think is appropriate business wear, not that a suit is required, and what people that you are calling on may not think you are dressed for success. New jeans verses old, faded, torn, stained. Dress shirt or tee shirt, old dirt sneakers, leather shoes shined up.

    Also about tats and piercings? Take them out cover them up.

    Clean shave, haircut?

    You not only don't type well you do not speak well.

    How do I know this?

    From this: "i know i cant type worth crap ,but i can talk real good to customers"

    To impress customers one should use better adjectives then "crap". And one does not "talk real good but" but "I speak well".

    Do you have a family friend or relative running a successful business? If so have them evaluate your presentation/sales pitch.

    I feel a bit off a hypocrite for pointing out these things because I make mistakes myself. So don't take these remarks as an attack, just ways for you to present yourself better.

    As to getting customers you have to remember being turned down most of the times is normal. So just keep on trying. Eventually you will get some customers. These customers referrals will then get your business to take off. This is why it takes time to build a business.

    Remember you control your image. You have to make the effort to appear better then the competition.

    That's why you need make an effort to use the spell check before your submit your reply.
  7. stargazer

    stargazer Member
    Messages: 94

    You need a serious and workable backup plan. Trucks will definitely break. My helper broke the driveshaft on the first driveway on one storm this winter.

    Plows break often.

    You need to learn tax law and set aside and pay your estimated taxes. You need to keep excellent records and do billing and collection. You need commercial plowing insurance on your truck, personal vehicle insurance will not cover you. Prepare to pay two or three times as much for truck insurance.

    Why should anyone drop a proven contractor for an unproven, unknown, possibly unprepared newbie?

    Keep your subcontracting, and start small on the side. Gradually add customers, word of mouth will help if you do well. When I started in this area I was the highest priced, but I always -so far- did the job.

    If you take on jobs and are not ready (you don't sound the least bit ready), you will never get hired again. Word of mouth will work against you, as it should.
  8. NW Snow Removal

    NW Snow Removal Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    get new accounts by looking for snow plow jobs being done poorly, or with old outdated equipment, and then convince the owner that you can do a better job.
  9. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    I agree with 32vld, presentation is everything. So much to the point that during sales season, I make sure that my truck is sparkling clean. Some customers may not care but there may be that one big fish that takes notice. If they see clean, cared for equipment they will make the subconscious connection that I will take care of their property in the same way.

    You just have to keep going. In the construction industry, I get one out of every ten jobs I bid. You can't get discouraged by a few people telling you no.

    I have one account that I approached every summer for snow removal. I was brushed off for three straight years. I got a call from them for this season because they were finally fed up with their previous contractor.

    Check with your local small business association. They can get you started on the right track as far as tax prep and paperwork goes.

    Persistence pays off...eventually.
  10. khalafms

    khalafms Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Thank you all for your help and input. I will take your feedback into consideration. All of my equipment is brand new and my trucks are always clean and presentable, as am I (no piercings or tattoos). I also have general liability insurance....but all of you have valid points and I am sure it will help me out (no offense taken to any of your comments). Thanks again.
  11. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Some of the best advice you'll receive...Its true in every sense.

    More very good points

    I've done this in the past and still do to this day.... It works out well

    Very true
  12. JTVLandscaping

    JTVLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 862

    My appearance...kinda the other way. I don't look like I'm homeless, but I'm generally meeting with a client first thing in the morning or at the end of the day, so it's work attire. I find if I look busy, they figure if others hire me...I must be good. I don't even own leather shoes, it's work boots everyday. Except in the winter on my "going to the bank" day. Sneakers are ok for that.
  13. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    Funding...You need to have the reserves to support the expenses of your operation as well as living expenses, to carry you beyond the time it takes to get paid. Everyone, should have an emergency fund, generally 6-12 months is the norm. When your the one holding the paper, that requires the additional funds needed. Having a plan is essential, as to what you will do, should you not get paid in a timely matter, or in times like these where businesses are dropping like flies. Acquiring the work & being able to perform and deliver are just as important as being able to collect.

    Consider what you are capable of earning, but also consider what the prospective client is capable of paying. When you know what you want to earn, you still have to consider if that/those clients will even be able to afford the service, now more than ever.

    Personally, I now more than ever study the businesses most likely to fail in economic hard times, as well as those that tend to prosper. There is no worse feeling than showing up to service a property half way through the season, only to find their doors boarded up and padlocked.
  14. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    Do a good job on the accounts you have, and word will spread. After 3.5 winters of hard work, I have all the work we can handle with 4 trucks, and then some. Word spreads when you do a good job. Also, maintain and update your equipment. People like it when they know their job will be done, and they don't have to worry as much about a truck breaking down.