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When do you usually get customers?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by cgillispn, Nov 1, 2004.

  1. cgillispn

    cgillispn Member
    Messages: 38

    Hi, i'm trying to start up a blowing business in Plymouth, Ma. I have been looking for parking lots for a few months now. I have submitted at least 5 bids. I have only heard back from one and it was a NO. How soon do your customers usually get back to you? The business doesnt look good right now!! I'm also trying for some driveways and I will be putting an add in the paper this week probably for both parking lots and driveways.
  2. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I'm starting up this season myself.

    A buddy of mine who owns 4 houses is giving me all of them to help get me started. I'm no expert but just from reading the threads here and listening to some of these guys who've been pushing snow for years I've learned alot already.

    It's would seem that most one man/one truck operations are more driveways than parking lots. If you read the stuff out there, the commercial end of this business ends up with a guy biting off alot more than he can chew. The rule of thumb seems to be that if you're doing lots then you need to be insured and you need a backup in case of equipment breakdown, because reliabilitiy is key with commercial customers.

    So, just from that it seems like guys like you and me would be best suited to start off with driveways and don't venture into lots until you're really ready for the responsibility. Besides word of mouth and flag-downs, a great way to get driveways is to hook up with a realtor. Most landlords who own more than one or two rental properties hire real estate agents to handle things for them, and the responsibility of plowing is sometimes one of them.

    I'm planning on focusing on these 4 driveways for this first season, and of course any flag downs I can get. Then, at the end of the season I'm going to look back on how I did in costs versus income. Seeing those results I think will help me make an intelligent decision about taking on any more contract work in the future. I don't know if I'm right, but it seems like a sound plan to me. Hope it helps you too. Good luck.
  3. bolensdriver

    bolensdriver Senior Member
    Messages: 603

    a blowing business? :eek:
  4. mole

    mole Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    johntwist you need to be insured for both res and commerical. I would not go with out it. You hit or break something and don't have insurance you gonna pay big out of your pocket. What if someone falls and you don't have the ins. there going to come after everything you own. All im saying if your going to go into this business you better get insurance, and im not talking about car insurance.
  5. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    Thanks for the correction Mole

    I didn't word that right at all, glad you picked up on it. I guess my 4 month old's screaming in my ear for the last hour got me a little rattled! I agree, absolutely, proper insurance for any sort of plowing job is the only way to go. I'm planning on getting the proper insurance before I hook up that blade this year, and I hope the guy who started this thread does too.

    Cheers! :drinkup:
  6. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    LOL it may come to that if he hits something without insurance!!! j/k....
  7. Cooters Dodge

    Cooters Dodge Member
    Messages: 70

    I'm new to plowing myself. In my area I've put a ad in the yellow pages phone book under snow removal. The circulation on the phone book is 800k. So that many books are going to be in the hands of people for a year. Yellow pages are expensive but I've been getting a couple calls a week for the last three weeks. Just got finished placing bids a couple days ago. Maybe I'll get them maybe I won't but the phone has been ringing and I expect it to pick up in the upcoming weeks.
  8. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    Its alittle late to start now IMO..

    My contracts started coming in around mid august and my deadline is November 15th. Anything received after then will be a 10% upcharge per visit and will be put as last on the list, unless it's a commercial account.
  9. cgillispn

    cgillispn Member
    Messages: 38

    looks like i'm a little tired. that would be "plowing business" lol. I am going into business with my father who has a '03 f350 1-ton dump, '01 f250 PU, my '94 f250 2.5 yard sander, and a kubota 3130 so i'm not going into this by myself without back-up
  10. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    I give out bids year round. I send out letters to all my current customers at the beginning of July every year just to make sure I have them lined up for the upcoming season. :nod: