We are always looking for new customers. Our summer business of Lawn Maintenance and Landscaping provides some new business. We don't turn over too many accounts. We didn't lose any going into the 2000-2001 winter. We added a few smaller commercial and called it good.
Simply stated all the replys are correct; talk to local neighbors (I started by give them specials since I didn't have to go far to get them) then I moved my radius out either from word of mouth (which has been great) but also doing little things. Posting in the local Town Halls a little notice; and so on...
I got a late start this year and didn't have my own plow I was using a truck from my friends company; I am starting right now for next year; I already have most of the people on my street signed up and they are talking to there friends; If a customer gives me a referal that turns into a new contract (seasonal) I will give them either a free plowing or salting (whatever is the first thing needed).
I would say that if you are going after commerical customers you had better have them signed up by the end of August and you should have a good route of driveways by then also.
I just purchased my own truck and am picking out a plow so I'll be ready to take on more business next year.
It is a never ending process.
On the phone with one of the competitions malls yesterday trying to line them up for next year.
I think all of us watch and see who is doing a good job or not.
The key for us is trying to get them on board before Aug or Sept earlier if possible.