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What Am I Doing Wrong?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by POWER WAGON, Nov 7, 2004.


    POWER WAGON Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    About A Week Ago I Put Out 200 Flyers, Spent About 5 Hours Putting Them Out. I Have Not Gotten Any Call,not Even 1. I Have Even Posted Signs(the ones with the pull off numbers) In About Every Store In Town. Any Advice? Next Week My Newspaper Add Starts, Do Y'all Think This Will Help? Any And All Advice Would Be Helpful.

    86' CHEVY C-60 8.2 DEISEL 10FT. MEYERS
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2004
  2. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    Usual response to any type of flier or advertising is less than 1%. At 1% that would be 2 calls. I once sent out over 2000 fliers and got 2 calls, neither turned into accounts. I now only get accounts from referrals or face to face calls. I find fliers to be very ineffective. You may want to find someone to subcontract for until you find enough accounts of your own. I sub for many years before I had enough accounts to be on my own. Once I had my own accounts, the referrals started rolling in. Now we pick and choose the accounts we want.
  3. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    We find that there will better results if you put your price on the flier. We had them printed with a blank spot where the price would be and then just filled them in when we passed them out.
  4. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    You've also got to remember that it's late in the year. Alot of people line up their contractors early in the season. I had all mine lined up in July.
  5. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    Scan your flyer and let us see it. also your add.
    Don't expect any response till it snows.
    be persistent it is not as easy to get the jobs as it is to do them.
    Hope someone didn't mislead you to thinking bean a plow contractor was easy money.
    Just because you have a plow and have advertised that you deserve your share of the work. You have to earn it. baby steps first one small driveway then another then another then maybe a small lot etc. Subcontracting is a way to get your foot in the door. another is signs on the side of your truck, then when it snows drive around so it can be seen. park it at the mall like you are shopping when it is not in use. Drive your billboard around all the time, get your name to be a household word that is if you have a CO. name that is easy to recognize. Got business cards? drop a few off at the parts store ware you do business. Keep your equipment clean and make it stand out so everyone will remember it when it comes time to call a plower.
    Remember you need snow to plow and that uasualy comes before the customers start calling.
  6. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Dwan is on the money

    Good advice, people look for plowing early or late. The good people usually stick with the same contractor if they are good and have everything all squared away by October, and the people who look for a deal wait till it snows than call around. Get signage for the truck, and try to be a sub for a couple years, everything will come around.

    POWER WAGON Junior Member
    Messages: 13








    RICH AT 570-402-0959​
    ,OR E-MAIL

    ME AT



    -------looks kind of like this
  8. all seasons

    all seasons Member
    Messages: 61


    this is my very first year in business,i started it in sept and other than my yellow pages ads i didnt go for any of the larger papers to do my advertising,i went with a small local paper that i know peolple read from front to back looking for bargains and services.the second day out people started calling and i have gotten mant accounts , both residential and commercial,i was very shocked and pleased.stick with it you will find the right thing.
  9. Mick

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

    Rich, looks pretty good. I'd say just relax. Like was said, most already have snow-related service set up. You're likely to get those who wait till the last minute and they keep waiting until the snow is on the ground.

    If I can make a suggestion, take the "CALL RICH AT" and "OR E-MAIL ME AT" off. I'd keep it more professional. They're calling the company, not you, even if it's the phone # to your house. People's perception is everything; having "call Rich" makes it more personal and gives the impression maybe you'll be willing to bargain or not to be taken seriously.
  10. Mick

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

    Another suggestion - change the heading "Snowplowing" to "Snow Services" or "Snow and Ice Services" or something like that. You are doing more than snowplowing and "snowplowing" is listed later as a service you provide.
  11. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    The first thing I'd say is listen to Mick, he knows what he's talking about as opposed to me who is just good at making is sound like I do :p .

    Second, all I can tell you is what I did. I hooked up with a friend of mine who owns his own home plus 3 he rents out. He's giving me the business to do those 4 driveways to help me get started this season. If it's one thing I've learned on Plow Site it's learn to crawl before you walk and learn to walk before you run.

    Dwan is no virgin either, so taking his advice won't be the worst thing you could do. The networking section here can help you too, I might be getting some sub work out of it myself. The bottom line is that if you are committed to quality, to establishing your name and being proud of your name being spoken well by others, you'll do well in this business as in any other.

    I'm going to letter my truck and have some cards made up to hand out. I'm going to keep it clean and professional looking. Appearance is 9/10ths I think if you're going to sell something to folks. Lastly, hooking up with real estate people can REALLY help you, as they are the ones who manage alot of the rental properties owned by people like my buddy.

    Good luck to you, I hope you have a great first season!
  12. snoluvr

    snoluvr Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 266

    Funny thing is, I still have a slow response to ads, and contracts that are out.People seem so preoccupoed with the election, world series...noone is thinkning about it..Trust me, once the snow falls people somehow remember to call you.good luck
  13. plowman777

    plowman777 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    i start my marketing the weekend after thankgiving and or the first week it gets really cold, before that is a waste of time...put a picture of a plowtruck on your flyer, it works better. no one is thinking of this till it gets cold or they see snow flurries, at least for residential.
  14. Boast Enterpris

    Boast Enterpris Senior Member
    Messages: 745

    Hang in there buddy! You have the plow, now you need snow & the customers will come!! Your fliers look good. Like The Boss said, start a little earlier next year & you won't have all this on you mind. :waving:

    POWER WAGON Junior Member
    Messages: 13


    I Would just like to thank all who replied to this thread. Not all youngins' are irresponsible punks just out to make a quick buck. (I really love the ones who still live at home,who's parents are paying for their brand new truck) I am working really hard to make this happen

  16. Andy N.

    Andy N. Senior Member
    Messages: 236

    What do you want - driveways or park lots etc? When I started (I am a full service landscape co.) as soon as I got commercial landscaping accounts, I asked (in the spring) about their snow removal and planted a seed. I got all of those, and I hate to admit, by lowballing. That is how I got into these accounts and then it grew. The next year I was able to raise prices because I provided a good service. This year, I wanted more accounts so I started banging on doors, called every person I know who owns their own business. I am a big believer in planting seeds so that when the boner who they have now doesn't show up, they immediately remember our conversation a month ago, get my business card and call me. Keep going at it, and remember there is nothing wrong with just flat out asking someone who does their lot and are they happy.
  17. Mick

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

    For what it's worth, here's my experience. I tried an experiment this year to see what works as far as advertising. I started in September. For the month of September and first week of October, I got zero calls. The next three weeks, I got bombarded. Since the last week of October, I've gotten one call. Based on past years, I expect to get really swamped about the first of December. Then, again about the end of January when the people with snowblowers get tired do them.

    I put an ad in the local shopper, put my cards in a rack at the local convenience store and I have signs on my truck. Now, it's really hard to tell what's effective, because people respond most to repeated stimulii (seeing more than just one ad medium), but all the ones who've told me why they called said they saw it in the Town Line (local shopper). But who knows, maybe when they saw it in the shopper they told themselves "Oh, yeah, that's the guy with that truck".

    Does any of this help at all?
  18. mister_snowplow

    mister_snowplow Senior Member
    Messages: 173

    I'm new here...and I know I'm in way over my head. :dizzy: I currently have 11 residential clients and I am just a crew of one with no experience (good friends will be helping me when they can). One could say I bit off more than I could chew. :cry: Lesson learned the hard way! Whatever the case, I will do my best job...in the end I aim to please the client, even if it takes me all night to do it. I will learn from this lesson and next year this won't happen.

    Sorry, I went off on a tangent...anyways, I got all of my clients from this website called www.craigslist.org. For those of you who don't know, it is sort of like an online community where you can post ads for your services, look for jobs, and sell anything from cars to video games. Most large cities here in the US have a page. Well, like I said...I posted an ad in the Boston "small biz ads" and I now have 11 clients. Here is an example of one of my ads http://boston.craigslist.org/biz/47227391.html Check it out, maybe it will help you with your business! I hope it does!

    :angel: > I could use a couple of these come a big snow storm :D
  19. DeereGuy

    DeereGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Power Wagon,

    You're right about where I am as far as success rate in advertising. Last year I paid $200. for a newpaper ad and did not receive one call from it. Of course, we had almost no snow. I got more calls from a tag page at the supermarket. This year, they don't let anyone advertise on their peg board.

    This year I started in August making the rounds to Commercials in the area. Not one of them wanted to hear about snow so I left it to late Sept. and I then got the "we're all set line". Go figure. So far this year I've gotten calls from signage on my tailgate (vinyl lettering), from a sign I put in someone's front yard and most calls are from a sign and tear off tab poster I have at a hardware store entrance where I plow. They also talk me up according to all that have called from that poster and that is the best seller I think. Someone confirming my credibility is the closer. It means that I don't have to sell my self just give them a fair price.

    And no calls from the newspaper ad this year yet :mad: No ad next year!

    Good Luck
  20. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    To put out 2 large on an ad and not get one call must be damned annoying :angry:
    But, once again I think Mick has the answer here. The "local shopper" is the key. We have our own versions of those things around here too, probably most folks have something like it no matter where you are. They are usually free which is another key. People are always looking for a deal, and they also tend to want to find "a local guy". I was thinking about doing an add in the paper myself until I started reading up on the subject here. Now, I'm gonna go for "the local shopper" myself.
    I guess you have to get inside the head of your target. It's human nature to not close the barn door until after the horse has run away, meaning people don't care (for the most part) about arranging for snow plowing until they are standing in 8 inches of it. Then it's a chinese firedrill to get a guy :jester:
    I'm going to letter my truck and I'll tell you why. When I used to do jobbing/service plumbing back when I was an apprentice I worked for a small local shop. It was just me and the old man, and all he did was hit on the waitresses down at the local breakfast place while his phone rang and I went out and made him money. But, he had been in business 30 years and had 4 trucks, all lettered. It was unreal how many people would say to me, "Yeah, we called you guys because we see your trucks around all the time." They thought we had this huge operation, when in reality it was just a dry drunk who didn't do squat, and a green kid.
    Perception is power my friends. Go with it. :waving: