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New Business looking for Marketing Tips

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Snoozeworm, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. Snoozeworm

    Snoozeworm Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    A quick background of me, I started a property maintenance business, Valley Home Care, 4 years ago when I started going to school at my local University. I grew simply by word of mouth and I now have 41 regular yards that I mow, consisting of residential, commercial, and a few churches. I have always used an atv to plow some during the winter, doing 2 churches', 2 apartment buildings, and some residential driveways.

    I have since graduated college, Bachelor's degree in Exercise Physiology, and have found the job market to be rather disappointing. My decision to continue to grow my business has brought me here! I need help, I have done everything so-far just learning as I go. From the taxes to the invoicing....estimating jobs, purchasing equipment has all been trial and error.

    I am looking for tips on how to acquire commercial contracts for this season. I now have a plow and spreader on my truck, and I plan to make snow removal my number 1 income for the winter.

    How do you approach a business for its snow removal contract?

    Is residential work even worth my time?

    What is some cheap advertisement?
    -Currently I just have a decal on my truck and a craigslist add.
    Other tips are appreciated!
  2. born2farm

    born2farm 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,310

    Start calling places you would like to plow. Commercial accounts will most likely not come looking for you. You need to approach them first. Don't wait to much longer as many commercials already have their snow contractor signed on for this winter. Residential are very much worth it if you have a tight route.

    Are you already plowing the 40+ places you mow?
  3. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    You already have a client base with your lawncare.

    Expand on that and make a flyer and let your clients know you are doing snow plowing also.

    You could also offer a package deal with lawncare and snow plowing by say offering a 5% discount on prices if they sign up with you for the lawncare and snowplowing.

    As for gaining new commercial, go knock on the door and introduce yourself and ask if they are taking bids for snow plowing.

    Don't bite off more than you can chew!

    Do you have a backup plan in case the truck or plow breaks down?

    Things do happen and clients don't want to hear "I can't plow you out till tomorrow because I'm getting my truck fixed"

    If you have never plowed with a truck before, you might be better off the first year subbing out with a larger company and gaining some experience plowing.

    All up to you, hope you do well either way.
  4. Snoozeworm

    Snoozeworm Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks for the comments so far. I sent out a flyer with my invoices for September, so I will see what response I get. I have a few local businesses in mind, so I will speak to them in person since that seems to be the general idea.

    My backup is my riding mower with a plow on the front....going to have to find a backup guy I suppose.

    As far as subcontracting, can you expand on that?
  5. 07titan

    07titan Member
    Messages: 35

    I started out 3 years ago my father in law gave me a rear plow which went into the hitch. Wireless 8' plow. STILL use it. But since he gave it to me, my wife actually found a newspaper ad for accepting bids for our cities US Postal Distribution Center. SO - I called, and asked to meet with them. I went in and sold myself to them. I am on my 4th yr now with them. (Using a western front and rear plow now)

    I have a second truck to if mine would break down. Also - I have a buddy who does major accounts who has my back too. Not sure I would tell ppl I'm gonna plow with my lawnboy tho lol Hydrostatic or not haha

    Also - I work full time as an Installer an Tech for a local Garage door company, so my schedule works out great for times to plow. Don't over load yourself and not be able to keep up. Esp if you have a break down. That's not just one customer you couldn't full fill your obligations with.

    I do put my business cards in our post office in the local gated community where I live. Made on vista print - cheap and look professional!

    Good Luck man!
  6. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    yes resi work is worth your time, trick is not to get the bit#hy ones. good luck
  7. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447


    What do you have for general liability, slip and fall most places want you to have min 2 million and go north from there. If you want to get into shopping centres start at 5 million, sad but true. There is a cost to doing business bigger payday bigger expenses.