How to get commercial snow plow accounts.

If you live in an area where you get a lot of snow and are looking to expand your lawn care business into snow removal, you may be thinking how to land commercial snow plow accounts. That was a question brought up on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum when a member asked “as part of our lawn care business, we want to get some snow removal customers… preferably 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?”

How to get commercial snow plow accounts.

How to get commercial snow plow accounts.

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 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.

Another lawn care business owner suggested “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 beats spending big $$$ for a data base put together buy a big company, especially if your marketing budget is small. A friend of mine has had a big return doing this as a painter. My return is growing but at a slower rate. Just remember for every 100 letters you send out you’d be lucky to get 10 calls for estimates and maybe land 1-2 jobs, but depending on job and price it may just pay for your small investment.”

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?

He replied “I took the invite to bid format letter template that you have on the Gopher Forum and modified it to my particular market. I just requested to be added to their bid list for future snow removal and lawn care needed. Granted I only had a partial list of  (75) and gave 2 estimates, but the goal was to confirm an accurate data base of the mailing address. I only had 0ne invalid address. Another mailing is going out end of October, along with the previous 75. I will keep this up during the winter and then do a 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 strategy will pay of in the Spring time.

In reference to a bid or letter, I would send a letter requesting an invite to bid on a residential customer account. Around here you can not go to someone’s property and knock on the door selling your services. It’s call solicitation and is against the city code. But if a customer asks 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 aerial shot from one of the internet satellite mapping sites, so when it snows and every thing is hidden, you have a good idea where the obstacles are.”

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?

“Definitely do follow up calls. When you call, ask for the person you sent the letter to. See if they received your letter and go visit the place you want to target if at all possible. Sometimes that is difficult be cause the person that’s hiring may be out of the city or state. Brokers and Realtors have a short attention spans. They will receive a lot of phone calls and letters and walk in clients on a daily bases, so you need to keep your company name in the front of their mind.”

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