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How did you get your first snow removal leads?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by mafiaboy3, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. mafiaboy3

    mafiaboy3 Member
    Messages: 31

    How did you guys start off in the snow removal business? Im talking about the day you got your first customer that called you. REALLY from scratch.
  2. PlowOrDie

    PlowOrDie Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 164


    i dont mess with that anymore because you draw some of the CHEAPEST people
  3. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    Word of mouth is the BEST way to build an empire, though it can be the slowest. You know people, so use that to your advantage. The people you know also know more people, and so on. I started shoveling as a kid, then running a snowblower in my teens, and a truck with plow later in my teens, and many of my customers were neighborhood people, and it branched out from there over 5-6 years. I advertised once in 15 years of doing this, and I may not do it again until I decide to expand hardcore (done well by word of mouth).

    I responded in your other thread too

  4. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Like yardmedic said ...Wrod of mount is the best. Put up a flyer in places can be a help also.
  5. Brant'sLawnCare

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

    Do you try hanginging flyers in grocery stores? Does this work well?
  6. mafiaboy3

    mafiaboy3 Member
    Messages: 31

    i guess not. Alot of people know somebody who knows somebody that plows. People usually go for refferals rather thne some unkown guy on a flyer.

    how many of u actually have had sucess with flyers?
  7. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    lately ive been seeing lots of adds in the paper and people posting business cards and flyers in gas stations and so on.

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,554

    I started out by taking some contracts over from a guy that was getting bigger but didnt want to buy more equip. He offered a subcontract and I accepted however later he said why dont you just take care of them. I help him out still if he needs other things, but basically handed them to me, after I run them one year and everyone was happy.
  9. Stud Bro

    Stud Bro Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    New construction

    I'm i general contractor so if i build something i drop off an estimate for the snow removal. In your case if there building a new restaurant or gas station go talk to the manager ask them if you can give them a bid, but only do this in person not over the phone and don't under cut. If your thinking about advertising dont the only calls that your going to get are the cheap skates your first year will probably be slow but if you do good work and get it done on time your business will grow.
  10. rfed32

    rfed32 Senior Member
    Messages: 473

    i first started plowin at 16 for someone else...then at 18 i got an s10 and a plow and jst gave bussineses with small lots a home made biz card i printed out from my comp...and now i just plow for someone else...to much headach bein in bussiness lol...id rather plow and get my money a week later in cash instead of two mos later be chasin 50-300 bucks
  11. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    My Trucks, Phone book Ad, cold calls
  12. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    i drove into my driveway with a plow on my truck. neighbors saw it. asked me how much? them neighbors tell other neighbors, who tell other neighbors, and they all tell their friends. a friend finds out you are plowing they tell their friends. tell someone at work they tell other people at work and ask if you would quote them. people just talk.

    thats why i dont understand why people dont care if they start to get a bad reputation. IT CIRCULATES JUST AS FAST.
  13. Jbowe

    Jbowe Senior Member
    Messages: 167


    I get really good results from the newspaper. Believe it or not now that I take visa, mastercard, discovery and amex my sales have increase 30 percent. Esspecially during snows.
  14. mafiaboy3

    mafiaboy3 Member
    Messages: 31

    Umm I'm 15, heh...I'm going to do snow removal for people a decent distance away from my house. Not from the other end of the island, and I wish I had a credit card...

    if i went knocking door to door, would at least 1/15 people let me plow their drive?

    Also got news that my friend is doing it with someone else his age, also around 15 years old, only that these idiots are charging 5$ to plow the stairs and the driveway. I know this is very low, I'd say as low as people in India, haha for the job not per person.

    Although it did get me thniking, you see this 15 year old kid ring at your door with a shovel, you have no clue who he is, adults would charge between 20-30$ for snow removal, and here I am with no truck just a shovel, hardly any experience( just from my big driveway) asking if they need their driveway plowed for the same price.
    ( on other thread people told me i should charge 30$ for the size of the driveways.)

    If I charged 15$ people would be more willing to pay. If I could get 2 houses done in 1 hour, that's 30$ an hour on days that it snows. Beats the 8$ minimum wage here by almost 4 times!

    Plus I wouldn't be killing any other guys business because these people would already have their contracts by the time it snows a decent amount. Also 99% of people around here are sicialian Italians. They want good stuff for cheap, although on the flip side, 99% are also over 65 years old and pretty weak.

    Would you agree with the price? Would I get at least 1/15 people accepting me to plow their snow if I knocked on doors and presented myself properly?Any tips on how to present myself?
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2007
  15. Mick

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

    Sure, I went around at 15 with a shovel, knocking on doors of places that hadn't been shoveled. Made out real good. I got $3 for a sidewalk maybe 50' long and a short in-town driveway. But that was 1964. Made real good money for the time.

    Started again seven years ago with a truck. I got my first customers by putting an ad in the local shopper newspaper and putting a notice up at the convenience store.
  16. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    you have the will to work, so don't worry about it when you see someone still snowed in just go up and ask, they are moe willing to help a young man that a drunk dude in a pickup that throws beer cans in there yard, MAN THEY GET MAD WHEN I DO THAT LOL

    just from reading you post it sounds like you want to work i would love to hire you for sidewalk crew and maybe nextyear a tractor then a truck so maybe there is someone up there like me.

    why don't you post and see if anyone needs sidewalk hands in your area
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2007
  17. Diesel Sniffer

    Diesel Sniffer Member
    Messages: 46

    This year, I decided to expand a little in a certain area of my route. I decided to hand out flyers in that area hoping to get a 1% to 2% return on them. I handed out 375 flyers and got 15 accounts from them. Much better than I expected, but also very rare from what other members here have said. I consider myself lucky with a 4% return.
  18. mafiaboy3

    mafiaboy3 Member
    Messages: 31

    there won't be montrealers here, id say 85% of Montreal speaks French. I always liked shoveling the snow in my driveway, if i was bored..I'd go shovel!
  19. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    I got many, many customer from Craigslist.com. Some worked out really well, some didn't. I'd say 75% were good customers. You can tell the bad ones right off the bat. Just stay on your toes and you will be able to weed out the bad customers. My best customers came from Craigslist. It's free and easy, so there is really nothing to loose.
  20. nms0219

    nms0219 Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    word of mouth, and from our lawn mowing customers.