If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound? In that regard, if you invest the money in a truck, a plow, and a winter’s worth of salt and ice melt but don’t have clients, do you stand to make any money? To put it simply; it doesn’t matter what you do for your business if no clients are around to care.
Luckily, snow removal is an essential service in the Midwest. Business owners are far more likely to outsource this tremendous work than break their backs and waste their time clearing snow so they can open for the day. While it’s true that you provide an essential need to your community, you still need to make sure people know about it. Let’s discuss the primary ways of getting the word out.
Get on Social Media
Believe it or not, social media isn’t simply a platform for political discourse and cat photos. It’s one of the most effective ways to market your snow removal business and grow your business quickly. However, you need to understand how to appeal to potential customers.
Ask your drivers to take photos of their work. Take pride in your meticulous attention to detail and spread it all across your platform. Capture the beautiful moments on the job; winter is full of them. Post business updates, promos, and write about the business in a way that interests your clientele. What this does is give your brand a personal touch, put you at the forefront of peoples’ memories when the time comes for them to call a snow removal expert, and positions you as a local business in the region that people are familiar with.
We suggest hopping on the lesser-known but very effective Nextdoor platform. The site has quickly become a poster board for contractors to advertise their trade and hosts many people already in search of snow removal services.
Put Your Business Listing on Review Sites
Yelp might jump out to you as the premier business review site. While that is true to an extent (make sure you manage and maintain your Yelp page) you should also branch out to Google Business, the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, City Search, and any other directory/review page you can find.
The more you care about your image online, the better you’ll look to prospective clients and the better you’ll rank on search engines. If you successfully manage the perception of your brand online, you’ll soon start to see your business pop up more and more anytime someone searches for “snow removal near me”.
Slap Your Brand on Everything
It’s never been easier to come up with a logo, whether you pop open some free graphics software and do it yourself or pay a designer a couple of hundred bucks to get it done professionally. In either case, ensure you have something to show off and, once you’ve settled on a look, make sure you get the most bang for your buck.
What does that look like? Put your logo on your trucks and equipment, on your company shirts and hats, and everywhere else that features enough surface area for a vinyl decal. What you’re accomplishing by doing this is building brand recognition. Think of the most popular service provider in your area; you most likely have seen their logo in multiple areas; from their company vehicles to that pen you took with you when you last visited their office.
Leave Behind a Lasting Impression
In the business, we call an item you let a potential or current client keep a “leave-behind”. This is something you leave with them that has your name and contact information so they remember who to call when they need you.
Print yourself some business cards, get those custom pens made, or come up with something even more creative. Just make sure that after a chance encounter with a business owner in need or after a meeting you have something they can keep that reminds them of who you are and what you can do for them.
Ask for Referrals
The best advocate for your business is a happy customer. Be sure to ask your best clients if they know of any other business owners that need snow removal. If they do, then your foot is already in the door than if you simply called that business out-of-the-blue.
Referrals are tiny asks that may pan out into nothing or find you a bread-and-butter client that sustains your business for years to come. As they say; if you never ask then you’ll never know.
What does a snow removal partnership look like? It can be anything, as long as it works. One great idea would be to partner with a rock salt and ice melt distributor that could have your business card on hand should an inquiring customer want to outsource the work of snow removal.
If your workload begins to outpace your ability to keep up, then you may even want to keep your eyes on your competition. A partnership could take the form of a smaller snow removal business becoming your “satellite” office, giving you an extended operating radius and a larger presence.
Partnerships can take the form of anything. At the end of the day, it’s an “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” kind of situation.
Whether it’s a bulletin board at your local community center or making actual phone calls out of the blue, there’s nothing wrong with throwing a bunch of stuff at a wall until something sticks. While cold calling can be successful, it typically works best when there’s a reason you’re calling. Have you talked to this business owner previously? Did you notice their snow removal was lacking? Don’t just call aimlessly; have a clear solution for their problem.
Be Ahead of the Game
Whatever you do, get ahead of your reputation. Carve a trench out for it that leads to where you want it to go. This is the name of the game in marketing; being intentional, proactive, and tenacious about how your business is discussed. If you’re meticulous about the perception of your business, then the people will come.