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where are all the customers?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by bgingras, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. bgingras

    bgingras Senior Member
    Messages: 282


    this is my third year. first year I started slow to learn and had a couple dirveways, last year I expanded only slightly b/c i was unsure of the reliability of the truck, this year new truck. I've always had plenty of calls with just yard signs, but this year I wanted to load up the route so I did the new yard sign, signs for the truck, and a double size newspaper ad...so far 2 calls, both not even from my area...A firend of mine, same deal different town...he usually is beating them off with a stick by now, but this year he couldn't make them call if he held a gun to their head...what's up, is the market really this soft? I'm in Central MA.
  2. Mick

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

    I think so. I lost a couple of customers that had been with me for several years. One was due to buying his own plow. He's going to try plowing his own and, overall for several years, save money. The other is going back to a parishoner who offered for several years to plow his driveway for free. Both wanted to make sure I understood they were happy with my service - just trying to save money.
  3. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    Its bad everywhere. I just lost 3 drives. Nobody is spending money, nobody has any money. Cost of fuel is out of control, people are trying to heat their homes. All costs are going up. I am looking for a few more drives but nobody seems to want to committ to being plowed, they wont want to be plowed until the snow is deep and they can no longer drive over it. Some I think are just hoping for the best this winter as they really dont have the money to be paying. Its bad, I think were heading for a recession.

    I will remain committed to my drives this winter and subbing will be secondary but Iam thinking of doing more work for a landscaping company in the future depending on what kind of time I have. Right now iam getting $75/hr to use my truck to clean up individual parking spots at condos. All the complexes are with in 1/2 mile of a house on my residential route so I will swing into the lots quite often between driveways as cars come and go freeing up parking spots to push back. Its easy work but hard to determine hours as work is sporadic during actual snowfall so I am careful to keep track of every minuite I spend on the condos between drives. Its usually not until after my drives are completely done that I get over to the condos and work for hours straight moving snow aroud and pushing back spaces as people leave for work.

    If residential customers countiue to drop off at the current rate, i may get a 3/4 ton and commit fully to the condo work as the owner of the company is desparate for full time subs with their own equipment. Me having so many drives is the only thing that keeps him from paying me $85/hr or so he says. Id still do a few drives but not nearly as many.

    Iam expecting some more phone calls saying "thanks but no thanks" the first time accumlating snow is in the forecast. Id imagine I will continue to loose some customers the way things are going now. I also know people who cant get any residential work for this winter.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2005
  4. ironworks01

    ironworks01 Member
    Messages: 48

    soft in southern nh too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
    I wanted about 20 - 25 drives this year plus my 2 apartments I do every year.
    So far I have only 10 drives and my apartments. I have hope though my ad just stared this past weekend going to run for 4 weeks.
  5. Dupesy

    Dupesy Member
    Messages: 61

    wow, that really sucks for some of you guys. I guess I got lucky when two guys at my fulltime job got out of plowing (they just got tired of it) and referred their customers to me. Anyone in the Exeter NH area want some more if I get more calls?