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How do YOU get new accounts?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by G.M.Landscaping, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. G.M.Landscaping

    G.M.Landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    I went today up and down a main highway soliciting new accounts. All 30 said they have someone already. Snow doesn't fly ususally until mid Dec here, so I thought this was an early jump. Advertising in the local pennysaver here with a nice big heading of "Snow Plowing" and the usual info is $87 a week. Is this worth it.

    So what's the best way to get new accounts this time of the year?
  2. millsaps118

    millsaps118 Senior Member
    Messages: 702

    Depends on who your targeting. Comm'l or Res. An add in the local penny saver is going to generate mostly homes. Usually comm'l properties are already signed this time of year. When I'm out bidding on comm'l plowing I do it in April, right at the end of the snow season. It's still fresh in there minds. Not only that I offer them a bid on lawn care for the following summer, unless they haven't already signed thats when I try to kill two birds with one stone.

    To try to answer your question...there really isn't a good way to get plowing account right now. IMO all the medium to large facilities are already signed. just my 2cents.
  3. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

  4. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Actually. Im holding off now on any marketing and am blitzing with some signage close to Thanksgiving and or at the first storm.

    Customers are proactive and reactive. More are proactive but Im hoping to score a few people that are procrastinators and dont have service.

    Keep the faith bro. Im in the same boat as you and maybe worse as far as my own accounts. Luckily I have a sub deal.
  5. dmjr77

    dmjr77 Senior Member
    Messages: 225

    I had my 52 repeat accounts all signed back up for this winter a week after Labor Day. I then sent out contracts a week later. I was able to keep the same price as last year, which everyone was very happy with.
  6. G.M.Landscaping

    G.M.Landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 362

  7. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    how about residential accouts then, what is the best method YOU have found to get them?
  8. mike33

    mike33 Senior Member
    Messages: 335


    Its tough to start out. My first winter in business 94-95 i had the brain storm idea of buying a bobcat for plowing snow. I begged kissed ass etc., and had only 3 accounts. Then the first plowable snow did not come to feb. 1 after previous winters were pita for a lot of snow. Then with in 2 years got a few more people started calling me seeing i was doing good job at it. Now i have around 30 with 3 pieces of my own and 2 sub drivers with there own truck. This could be you have patientce it might take a while. I also went to yellow page ad this works real well but a lot here will disagree.
  9. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    I read the real estate transfers for all of October and November. Show up at those houses on the first storm, plow them out. Send them a bill. They call me up saying we didnt hire you, I say oh I used to do the last person that was there, sorry, they say well, you did do a good job, and since its only $30, keep doing it since we just moved in and things are a mess here.
  10. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Slick, what's your average of no pays?
  11. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    Fifteen Percent
  12. Lawn Care Plus

    Lawn Care Plus Senior Member
    Messages: 135

    Slick-Thats called conning.

  13. ALarsh

    ALarsh Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    So you plow random people that have never called you?
  14. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    I dont plow the people, I plow their residence. You have never plowed the wrong house by accident? No big deal, that person just gets a free plow for the day. I run 5 trucks here. We are not a 1 truck operation.
  15. TPC Services

    TPC Services Senior Member
    Messages: 875

    I just tell you tuff crap and not pay ya and would not listen to your store. I would also tell you if you did any damage that I would be calling you for restation of damages in the spring because you where trespassing!!! do not care if you did not know if the past people moved thats not a reason sould had called in my mind to make sure I wanted your services this year.
  16. NASConst_land

    NASConst_land Member
    Messages: 54

    We did all of our bidding in August. We only plow commercial and all the management companies want to get the contracts as soon as possible so they dont have to worry about it. 3 years ago when we started plowing with multiple trucks we found the lots that we wanted to plow. Found them on an Real Estate Auditors web site, found out who owned them, and just simply called them and asked to bid.Everyone said yes to a bid.

    The year after that, we just found the places we wanted to plow, and sent bids with our company info in the maill addressed to the property manager. This worked very well. We figured out that we got about 1 contract for every 8 letters we sent out. That is not a bad ratio.

    This year we just rebid all of the stuff we have had, they asked for us to bid more of their properties, and then went in and asked local restraunts and stuff, we are getting a ton of calls now but we are full. We have about 45 truck hours of plowing to be done before 7 and about 15 truck hours for after 7 (lock it ups, restraunts)

    I would say for the bigger stuff you are probably late on, and dont go around asking what they have contracted and then do it for 20 bucks less a plow, thats just bad business how would u feel if someone did that to you. Your best bet is to sub for a company, make sure they dont have contracts u want to bid on next year they will make you sign a no compete claus most likly, and if you bid on them next year and they find out. You will end up in court if you get the contract and they dont. Good luck
  17. TPC Services

    TPC Services Senior Member
    Messages: 875

  18. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Man that aint right.
  19. tom718

    tom718 Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    This is my 4th year of plowing. What I did was purchase 3 signs and holders and stuck them in the few acounts yards that I already had. OMG did it work! purplebou I've picked up over 34 new acounts commerical and residential. And adding more each day I bought a tail gate sander and spreader this year. I've found that most customers want there walks done too. My helper will be doing most of then. :D I include them in the price of the drive. Remind you guys I am already General Contractor fully legal business owner. But for 200$ worth of signs really helped me this year for sure. The winter months are slow in my trade so it's a nice extra income for me.


    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I had all mine singed since the end of August. I don’t actively look for more contracts. we have a 2 contracts with ERA real estate agents, plowing homes that they are building or have listed, as well as I/R listing and leases.

    I have never plowed the wrong place ( knock on wood) Yet!

    It is smart to post your illegal dealings at a place like this. I see you don't have the "nads" to go back and hand them a bill. I bet you have them jobs for more then one year "NOT"