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Newbie here- looking to get into some commercial plowing in NJ- help please!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by right touch, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. right touch

    right touch Junior Member
    from 08844
    Messages: 11

    hey guys my name is Joe and I own Right Touch Landscapes, Inc. out of Hillsborough NJ. We currently serve a majority of our residential customers for snow removal, but that only requires 1 to 2 crews with shovels and snow blowers and a few with a plow. I have an f150 and f450 available for plowing and crew of shovelers this year and would like to get into commercial work. We currently have a couple small commercial accounts but they do all their plowing in house. I really would like to secure a site for this winter. Any advice on how to begin the search? I was thinking of the old fashioned way- just calling some commercial sites in the area that I feel are a good size for us and seeing what happens? I am also quite unfamiliar with bidding on commercial sites so I was hoping I could get some help in that department as well. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Mick

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

    Sometimes, the old ways are the best. Ask for the Manager (owner, etc). Ask if they handle snow plowing in-house or through corporate headquarters. Then ask if they have an RFP (Request for Proposal). If not, then just ask how you can submit a bid and how they'd like a price (per push, seasonal or something else).

    Change your approach a little with the first few to see what works best for you. Be prepared to answer questions (or at least bluff - er "wing it"). Be prepared for anything - like giving a firm price and getting hired on the spot. Be sure and have some business cards. Check with your insurance (each year as this changes) to see what types of businesses and accounts you're covered for. I got some really nasty surprises a few times. For instance, with the same company - one year I was covered for schools, but the next year I wasn't (and found out with a pending bid for an elementary school). Another "for instance" - I had a "residential" policy where (this I had in writing) I could plow commercial accounts but the number of commercial accounts could not exceed the number of residential accounts. I could plow one Walmart for every driveway.

    Look for apartment or store complexes where they have a sign showing the management company. If possible, visit in-person. The receptionist should give you an RFP. Contact real estate companies if you can be available for "on-call" plowing for showings.
  3. right touch

    right touch Junior Member
    from 08844
    Messages: 11

    thats some great advice to start with. thank you
  4. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Put up signs and advertise in the paper. I would also talk to all you lawn customers and see if they need plowing or know of anyone that does.