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biggdoggservices
09-22-2008, 11:59 AM
As part of our lawn care business, we want to get some snow removal customers... preferrably commercial accounts. Any ideas who to target and how? We thought about churches or apartment buildings. Are there free lists out there? Any other thoughts? :D

Thank you!

Steve
09-23-2008, 12:02 PM
One of the things you could do is drive through your area and make a list of the different commercial location that you would like to service. We have a letter in the free letter section (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=7209) that you can send to these properties to request to be put on their bid list.

But the best thing to do is to knock on the door and ask who is in charge of the property and who you should send such a letter too. You improve your chances of landing these jobs when you meet the people who make such decisions.

Let me know if this helps.

R&B Enterprise
09-30-2008, 08:25 AM
Just thought i would add my $.02. When you are driving around town take a photo of commercial signs that are posted in front of bussiness, then when you get home take and put the information in a data base. Also looking the yellow pages (Book and Internet). get on the internet and look for Realtors and find commercial listing for rent or sale, the broker should be listed with contact information. add these to your data base. then in the slow times do a mass mailing. not only for snow removal but for lawn care to. it may take you longer and may have more return, but it bets spending big $$$ for a data base put together buy a big company, especially if your marketing budget is small. Microsoft office Acess has a good data base (contacts) and it does mail merge. A friend of mine has had a big return doing this (painter) my return is growing but at a slower rate. just remember for every 100 you send out you will get 10 calls for eastimates and land 1-2 jobs, but depending on job and price it may just pay for your small investment.

Rob
R&B Enterprise
"Quality is a lasting impression"

Steve
09-30-2008, 02:15 PM
Rob,

What do you suggest a lawn care business owner send to a potential customer to get them to sign up for snow plow services?

Should they send them a bid? Or what kind of wording would you suggest in a letter?

Any help would be appreciated.

R&B Enterprise
09-30-2008, 09:55 PM
i took the invite to bid format that you had on this site and modified it to my paticular market. just requested to be added to their bid list for future snow removal and lawn care needed. granted i only had a partial list. (75) and gave 2 estimates. but the goal was to confirm a accurate data base of the mailing address. i only had 0ne invalid address. another group is going out end of october, along with the previous 75. i will keep this up during the winter. until i do mass mailing in early Feb. i will keep sending them letters to keep my name in front of the broker. Hope this type of marketing stratagey will pay of in the spring time.

Rob

R&B Enterprise
09-30-2008, 10:02 PM
In Referance to a bid or letter. i Would Send a letter requesting a invite to bid on a residental coustomer. around here you can not go to someones property and knock on the door selling your services its call solicatation and is against the city code. so if a coustomer ask you to do a bid, that is fine, also you want to get a good lay of the property you will be plowing and make a sketch of the place, take digital photos, may be a ariel shot from google earth so when it snow and every thing is hidden, you have a good idea where the obsticles area.

Steve
09-30-2008, 11:27 PM
i took the invite to bid format that you had on this site and modified it to my paticular market. just requested to be added to their bid list for future snow removal and lawn care needed. granted i only had a partial list. (75) and gave 2 estimates. but the goal was to confirm a accurate data base of the mailing address. i only had 0ne invalid address. another group is going out end of october, along with the previous 75. i will keep this up during the winter. until i do mass mailing in early Feb. i will keep sending them letters to keep my name in front of the broker. Hope this type of marketing stratagey will pay of in the spring time.


Do you suggest doing any follow up calls at all or going into the commercial establishments to find out who is the contact person for property maintenance?

R&B Enterprise
10-01-2008, 08:45 AM
Diffently do follow up calls, just ask the person you sent the letter to, if they received your letter and go visit the place you want to target if at all possable, some times that is difficult be cause the person thats doing the contracting may be out of the city or state. Brokers and Realtors have a short attention span (no pun intented) because they recieve alot of phone calls and letter and walk in clients on a daily bases, so you need to keep your company name in the front of their mind,


Rob

snowmenkc
09-14-2009, 06:16 AM
Definitely, it helps when you knock on the door and ask who is in charge of the property and to whom you should send such a letter too.

Clapper&company
09-14-2009, 08:22 AM
Its about time I find a Thread on here I can really put some insight and help out.

The Letter's will work how ever the return is small, so that we have found. If you want to pic up some Comm Accounts. First your going to want to target your Lawn Accounts... Next Start Cold/ Call Knock... Start calling mangers and start stopping in and talking to them.

Ask them if there happy and if there taking bids this year.

Keep in mind:

1. Always try to set up a meeting with them... Talk to them find out what they want.

2. Put together a Bid Packet.

3. Drop a Bid back off to them.

* The above should be all done within a 48hour time frame.

4. Send them a Thank you Card, (We send them the same day we meet/drop our bid off)

5. Do a Check up call if you dont hear anthing within 7 days.
( we do 7 days then 7days then Before it snows)

6. Sit back and wait for the Phone to ring.




Hope this helps, How long have you been pushing snow?

Let me know if you want to talk some more snow. Im not sure what area your in, but I'm from NE Ohio in the snow belt where we get real snow lol.

I'm also a member of SIMA and was in Snow Bussiness Magazine Sept 2008

MikeO
09-14-2009, 10:26 AM
this subject has been haunting me for awhile now. Not only is snow removal a good income earner but, as far resedential snow removal goes is it worth it?

for a one person operation you have 20 accounts. Thats, 20 hours by yourself as well as drive time in the snow. Plus fuel and we all know you use more fuel in the winter months. Everybody who has been laid off, unemployed does snow removal. Whats the rates for resedential? I live in a cold state. North Dakota and it snows almost daily. Blizzards and drifts and below zero atmospheres that make you say WTF am I doing here. -40 to -60 . This link that I am going to provide is a company representing snow removal. I live here in these apartments and this company is in front of the building I live in and he never did the snow removal here. I know the guy who did. He is offering $100 a month snow removal. So lets go back to what I said you have 20 accounts at 100 a month. Thats what 2 grand a month. If it snows more then 3 times a week your sucking air... and you are losing $$$. If it doesnt snow and you have 20 people and they are paying you $100 a month there going to want to be compensated and it does happen. A contract is merley a written statement. Are you really going to take someone to small claims court because they didnt want to pay $100?. I don't know. What to think thats where I am at with it, is this lowballer making money? If you want the link pm me I dont want this guy getting mass hits to his website and raising his link higher. not off of me LMAO

Clapper&company
09-14-2009, 10:54 AM
Every one alway forgets to look at the over all photo sometimes... not saying its the case this time.

But Snow Magazine a few years ago had a company up here in my neck of the wood that they only did drive ways.

Well on another site, guy were calling his lowballera cause when you did all the math they were only charging like $11 ish a push... But thay were charging a seasonl push and there service area was only 10 miles from there shop.... So they had a real tight route.

Thay made around 400K a year on plowing drive ways and when you broke that down by the hours thay were doing around $100 per hour per turck which is going rate for this area...


So by the Hour he was doing good... but if you look at him by the push $11 a drive is pretty damn low.


So what am i saying? Most jump that they lowball cause the $11.... but in my book you have to look at your hourly more then anything.



-Clap

MikeO
09-15-2009, 02:23 AM
and i agree with the hourly part absolutley. But, can this guy run a little bit less then the guy who doesnt have 5 pickup's and 5 people. so he can do 11 bucks a driveway all day long. but, you have 1 guy who's doing it alone cant push that out that cheap. So, who will get more work you at 50 a driveway or the guy that can get 11 bucks a driveway? LMAO. The guy who can do it for 11 bucks because nobody will pay you the 50 if they know he can do it. Or am i missing something? Because i have been banging my head over this since last spring and i have about 3 weeks left to make a decision...And i am dumbfounded all the way here. I never have done it but i am eager, i have 7 lined up saying go ahead but, WTF...damn coors light im telling you...

Clapper&company
09-16-2009, 08:34 AM
I know the guy by we wasn't telling them $ 11.00 a plow.

He was billing XXX for the year

Elite Maintenance
10-09-2009, 05:11 PM
I don't charge by push either I charge a seasonal rate. Some people look at it per push and figure your losing money but that's not always the case. If you have 20-30 residential clients and they pay a seasonal rate you will make money. Plus you also have to consider if you apply salt or ice melter your making a profit off that too.

MikeO
10-11-2009, 08:30 AM
So, if you charge a seasonal rate of lets say 150.00 mnth. Your telling me at 2" of snow to come out shovel it or use your plow plus sidewalks, patio's steps. And you do that 5 times that month you made money?. Next month a blizzard comes in and throughout this month your there 8 times your making money???

Please explain to me how you just paid for your gas, helpers, equipment failures, etc... paid your mortgage, insurance, light and phone bill...because I dont see it. Not saying your not I just dont see how your making money unless you count in the factor of the next few months there wasnt any snow. Somewhere in the middle of that your sucking air and takeing a loss. 30 accounts is great at 150 a month. but when its 10" of snow 4x out of the month I dont see how your making a profit here. Can you help me understand?

turfmaster
10-11-2009, 10:42 AM
You charge by the push. I don't know any contractor in my area charging by the season. Plowing snow is not like cutting grass. You don't know how much or how often it's going to snow. 2-5" lowest price, 6-10" price increases $6.00, over 11" or more price goes up $12.00 per push.

Elite Maintenance
10-12-2009, 11:22 AM
Well.. In Toronto from what i can remember i went out aprox 20 times all season. I charge an amount per season + salt. Alot of my money is made off the salt also, I'll use last season for example.. from mid February until the end of the contracts which is April 15 i only went out once or twice from what i can remember off the top of my head. So i'm sitting at home making $$...