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how to get more business?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Xxwhiteneonxx, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,447

    I always go with the intent of loosing whatever I bring. That way I don't try to chase it if I have a bad night. But ya been there done that. Usually give the wife half to waste on slots, she does have a good feel for them though and has hit some big ones. Then I use the other half to make up what I give her on blackjack lol.
     
  2. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,708

    Because of being a sub for companies in the past who say I can't have signs or anything on the trucks, I've never invested the money to decal the truck. How much business would you guys say you've received over the years with your name on the side of the truck? I'm going to get it done sometime maybe this spring, but it's a little more pricey than I thought. I don't like the looks of the magnates, maybe it's because guys out here who have them all have the cheap Vista Print ones and not good one. Just curious what the average return on investment is on them. I figure if I can get a job or 2, they pay for themselves. I was just a little sticker shocked (pun intended) by the quote I got back this morning.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
  3. FredG

    FredG PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,272

    LOL That's what I used to do, Somewhere along the line I got stupid with age. They make it so easy to get money. For some reason I don't like to lose.
     
  4. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,447

    So my truck has nothing on it. My tool trailer does. Company name, phone number, contractor license number etc. I think in the last 4 years with the trailer stickerd I've received 2-3 calls from it. Snow plowing may be different, but I'm so busy I don't want anymore calls lol. With the trailer, I certainly get comments on it from clients about how it made them feel better meeting a contractor for the first time show up with a nice truck and a trailer that indicates I'm a professional. I think most of all the trailer lettering lets me get away with parking certain places that other would get towed since they see it's a contractor working and not Joe Schmoe just parked there. I'll look up the place I got mine. Had the lettering made up then applied myself. 4 years later no peeling, or fading.
     
  5. FredG

    FredG PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,272

    It takes about $600.00 Vinyl here to get your logo and DOT #'s on your truck both sides if you don't go crazy. You got about 10 years before they look a little ragged. Not where you have to replace them yet. I personally like the reflective vinyl just to cheap. Yes some will get your number off your truck, You will see people parked by your truck getting the number.

    You will even see them getting the number when the truck is parked at your home if you live in the City. I can't comment on how much business or opportunity it will give you. Never paid much attention it's the law here. Would I want it on my truck, Yes, I would not put them magnets on, Makes you look like a fly by night not a serious player. No offense intended for guys that do use magnet.
     
  6. LogansLawnCare

    LogansLawnCare Member
    Messages: 84

    We have found over the years that the money we have spent on lettering the trucks and trailers has been the best marketing money we have spent. Not only does it get potential customers to write down your phone number, but it also gets your name out there. I cannot tell you how many people call or come up to us and say "I see you guys all over". We are a 3 truck company so nothing huge, but every time we add a tuck or trailer we make sure to have it lettered as soon as possible. We have a friend who owns a sign company and he does all of our signs and lettering, we trade services so that saves us a lot. You may be able to swing a deal with the owner at your local sign shop and trade services to save $$ like we do.
     
  7. FredG

    FredG PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,272

    Some Contractors got there own cutter for there own equipment, Sometime you can get them to do it reasonable. There office staff can do the cutting. You can put it on yourself. Clean the area good with goo be gone it will stick nicely.
     
  8. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,884

    Get some spray paint....

    And tag et....

    Put one of thoes light up billboards in the box or on a rack....


    Buy a 5-10second add on your local TV station sponsoring the evening weather report.

    I used the cheep magnetic signage as its nice to go incognito when embezzling/ steelng / I mean barrowing the company truck.
     
    shawn_, JMHConstruction and FredG like this.
  9. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,708

    Thanks guys. I think even if it doesn't get me calls, it looks more professional to walk to the door after pulling up in a lettered truck. I'll probably pay the guy to do it. He's great, and does EVERYONE'S including law enforcement in 4 counties I think he said. With the way things have been working out for me lately, I better let him do it...
     
  10. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,447

    I totally forgot about you guys having to put DOT numbers on the truck. That blows.
     
  11. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,708

    Yes I have to now with the newer truck:(
    I didn't with my old one because even with a load I would have been under 10k lbs by law, but the 3/4 ton is a different story... I haven't looked into it yet to be honest. Need to get that straightened out.
     
  12. FredG

    FredG PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,272

    Been a long time since I applied for DOT #'s. Not very much money small amount but a PITA. Can't remember, FOG
     
  13. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,447

    We have it nice here. In order to be a commercial vehicle it had to be used to make money itself for more than 1000 hours in a registration year to have to pay for a commercial plate if you have a 3/4 ton truck or lower. ($4 fee)

    In order to have to register for DOT number you have a GVWR of 10,000, which I do, AND be involved in interstate commerce. Never leave the state much, never for my business. OR, have a GVWR of 18,000lbs, which I don't, and participate in intrastate commerce.
     
  14. MichiganMark

    MichiganMark Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Cody,

    You're getting some great advice here. Love the mention of doing a Craigslist add. All good stuff.

    I was where you are a couple years ago.....just starting out. Here's my .02....

    - I befriended a few nearby snow management providers, & offered to take them to lunch. I showed them a copy of my plow contract as it was a work in progress, and asked them to pick it apart. I asked them what they've done right....what they've done wrong....& what they'd do differently if they had the chance. I compared notes and then went ahead with making my plan.

    - The single biggest thing I did for garnering business was something I'd never considered before....one of the guys told me to get a bunch of those small, road-side advertisements.....found a deal via Vistaprint for $150 for 75 of them, but you can find them anywhere. I put them out at major intersections locally. My phone rang within an hour....& after a few days I had to take them down due to too many calls. If you do this, keep it real simple.....I only used one color/font....put "SNOWPLOWING" in bold at the top.....the phone number also large & bold....and the company name (smaller). In short, I was blown away at how effective those stupid signs were!

    I was over-booked that first season....& have worked to decrease the geographical area, while keeping the same amount of customers. As I've cut some of my previous customers out (sent them thank you letters, with names and #'s of 5 other local guys), I now have a route that doesn't venture more than 6 miles (East-West) & 3 miles (North-South). All my previous customers renewed (with a few exceptions), and have referred neighbors (started with 2 on one street....turned to 4 last year....turned to 6 this year!).

    Granted, the majority of my calls were for residential......but I acquired 3 private drives (along with a few of the residents on them).

    Best of luck.....& agree with many on here about face-to-face contact. I go meet everyone I quote before giving them a contract. I want them to see me and shake hands. That way it's not just "the plow guy" or company "XYZ" in their driveway .....its Cody. Hope that makes sense.
     
  15. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,884

  16. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,708

    I assume you're talking about yard signs, the plastic signs that you stick in the ground?
    Do a search on city laws. Around here they're illegal unless on private property. Ask me how I know:rolleyes:. I still use them when I do a job in the customers yard, but if they're on city property the city actually pays their guys to drive around and pick them up. I lost a couple hundred bucks this way in one day, and was called by the city as a warning that I'd be fined if I did it again. If your city doesn't care, go for it. It's pretty cheap advertising, and it works.

    If you do end up going that route, I'd just put "snow plowing" or "snow removal" and your phone number. Leave the business name off so they can't come after you, if the city doesn't want them up.

    The ones I use now have my logo, phone number, and a simple "need a new deck" slogan on them (my full time business). I put them right in the front yard, on the home owners side of the sidewalk. Never had an issue, and have had pretty good results. When I go back to get my last check I pick it up and reuse it. I found that most people just throw them away after that, so I try to get them back.
     
  17. MichiganMark

    MichiganMark Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Yep....& good advice. I live in a rural area, and the township supervisor was cool to deal with regards to the signs.

    Getting permission from someone located near or at a high-traffic intersection is a good idea. I'd think leaving one at the end of a customers driveway (with their permission) after a storm for a day or two would also be a good idea. Definitely go back to pick them up.

    Cheap, very effective (for me), and easy.
     
  18. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,708

    I never really thought of using them for snow removal. I don't have any residentials, and the only commercial I have (the rest I sub for and couldn't advertise) is out of the way from anything. If you had residential it would be a good idea. Also there is a guy on here who makes special yard markers with his number on them. Don't remember his name though, starts with an "N" I believe.
     
  19. Jmorgan829

    Jmorgan829 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    For residential customer you should be doing flyers as well as what you are doing now. You can pay the post office to deliver them for you. That what I have done during the summer and for winter service. Expect at least a 1% return from the flyers. And it is a great way to saturate one area. It's called EDDM every door direct mailing any USPS will do it for you at a cost. So if you get 3500 flyers out it's a very great possibility you will get 35+ new clients.
     
    shawn_ likes this.