THE SNOWPLOW BLOGGER

 

Referrals, Reviews and Ratings – The Three Rs of Snowplow Contractors

Posted by Melissa Gardner

Aug 14, 2017 9:06:16 AM

Asking for reviews and referrals is a business necessity that undoubtedly requires a bit of tact and some best practices.

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Topics: Business Tips

How to Leverage Social Media for your Small Business

Posted by Annika Erickson

Jun 5, 2017 7:46:34 AM

 

 

Utilizing social media to reach potential and existing customers is the newest trend among small businesses and is a great tool for you to consider to increase your snowplow contracts. After all, 81% of the United States population now has a social media account, according to Forbes. Most small businesses can attest to the fact that there is often a lot to accomplish with a limited amount of resources and funds. Using social media can provide a cost-effective method that reaches customers directly. It also avoids the time-consuming efforts that come hand-in-hand with traditional marketing and advertising. Learn the key steps that can help you leverage social media and make a world of difference in your small business:

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Topics: Business Tips

Hiring Winter Help

Posted by Katie Schinderle

Nov 7, 2016 4:40:14 PM

As a snowplow contractor, finding the right crew for the job can be one obstacle to taking on more winter work. With winter fast approaching, crunch time to find workers is here. Here are some avenues to consider when recruiting additional workers.   

1. Social Media- If your business has an established Facebook or LinkedIn page, share the job opening, description, and compensation on your platform. Encourage those that follow your page to share the post with their friends to help you cast a wider net. This is a free way to recruit the talent you need to get the job done. Social media can also be a good way to vet candidates. When you receive applications, take a look at their social media page to learn a little more about the person you are considering for hire. 

Sample Social Media Post:

Looking for winter work? _________________ company is currently hiring for the 2016-2017 winter snow removal season. This is a temporary, seasonal full-time position, during the months of December-April. This job comes with a pay range of $15-$25 per hour. Interested candidates can visit _________________ to apply or call XXX-XXX-XXXX for more information. 


2. Referral Program- Your current staff can be a great tool for finding new employees. One option to recruiting could involve instituting a referral program in which team members can earn cash rewards for referring a new hire. 

3. Craigslist- Almost every day job posts are listed on Craigslist recruiting workers for winter help. What once as known as a way to sell equipment is now a way to get the word out about a job opening. If you are recruiting on Craigslist, you may want to keep these tips in mind. 

-The lifecycle of a post is less than 30 days. Your ad continues to get buried beneath new and recent posts. Be sure to update and re-post your job posting every couple of weeks to keep it fresh and near the top of the search pile. 

-Be sure to keep your ads short. A long wordy job description loses the reader's attention quickly. 

Sample Craigslist Post: 

_________________________ company is currently hiring for the 2016-2017 winter snow removal season. We are in need of quality snow removal professionals willing to take on the elements and clear snow from sidewalks, docks, driveways, and parking lots of large commercial or retail properties and apply ice melt products accordingly. This is a temporary, seasonal full-time position, during the months of December-April with a pay range of $15-$25 per hour. A clean driver's license record is required for driving positions. For additional information, please visit ________________________ to apply!

4. Direct Mailers- This is an oldie but a goodie. If you took on contracts miles from your base camp, consider sending direct mailers out in the neighborhood where your contracts are located. Direct mailers can run from $0.15/ piece to $0.50/piece depending on the size and quantity needed. You could also consider using USPS Every Door Direct Mail campaign. This affordable, targeted advertising service that allows you to send mailers to a specific audience depending on the age, income or household size. You could also use it to specifically choose zip codes to target. Check out how it works here. Direct mailers can be an effective means of recruiting when you do not live in the community where your contracts reside. Click here to see a sample direct mailer for Nate's Landscaping Company. 

5. Newspaper Ad- While newspaper readership has declined in the last ten years due to social media, there is still a targeted demographic of older adults who read the newspaper. If you are looking to hire recently retired employees who may be looking for some work in the winter, this may be the perfect recruiting option for you. In rural communities, a newspaper advertisement may be the most effective means to communicate with your message efficiently and at a low cost. 

Sample Newspaper Advertisement:



These are just some of the ways you could consider recruiting workers. Not all of these tips will apply to every business or community. Writing a job description can be half the battle. Watch The Snowplow Blogger for additional posts about writing job descriptions and other hiring tips. 

You cannot fulfill contracts without workers, so it may be time to get creative and try more than one option. Even though you may have enough workers now, you never know when you will need to hire to due demand of additional work or replacement of current workers. A good rule of thumb is to never stop recruiting!

For additional tips on running your snow removal business, check out additional blogs here.

Happy recruiting!

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Topics: Business Tips

How to Create a Snow & Ice Removal Event Log

Posted by Taylor Peiffer

Nov 18, 2014 3:15:00 PM

On-site documentation of the work performed and conditions of the properties that you are providing snow and ice management services for can be very beneficial. By recording what has been done at each property that is receiving your services, you can save yourself from any confusion that may arise down the road about a particular snow event or about the work performed.

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Topics: Business Tips

How To Train a Snow & Ice Removal Rookie

Posted by Taylor Peiffer

Sep 30, 2014 10:59:00 AM

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With such a relentless, record-breaking winter we experienced last season, you may have added or are considering adding a few new members to your snow removal team. Some may be experienced snow and ice removal professionals with many winters under their belts, while others may be new to the industry. For the newcomers, you will want to provide adequate training on snowplowing best practices.  This will not only help them when the first storm hits but will also help to establish your performance expectations levels and safety standards. 

The Accredited Snow Contractors Association’s 2014 American National Standard highlights snow plowing basics that could be beneficial for your new hire to know*. Share these tips and help them put the best plow forward.

 

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Topics: Business Tips

14 Things You Need to Know Before Buying De-icing Equipment

Posted by Taylor Peiffer

Sep 17, 2014 9:29:13 AM

When it comes to ice management, there are many spreading applications available for a contractor to choose from. There are many different features and spreading materials that can be used, which can make choosing the right equipment a little difficult. Whether you are responsible for deicing your own personal driveway or if you are a commercial snow and ice management professional, we’ve created this guide to help sort out what you’ll need to consider before purchasing deicing equipment.

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Topics: Business Tips

Best Practices: Salt Storage for the Snow Plow Contractor

Posted by Katie Roell

Jul 23, 2014 6:30:00 PM

The polar vortex brought an unusually cold and bitter winter that will not be forgotten.  We are still feeling the effects of the harsh winter moving into the winter of 2014-2015.  Salt is a hot commodity and valuable resource for combatting snow and ice.  At the end of the 2013-2014 winter, it was difficult for many to get enough salt needed to treat their regions. This has left many buying salt even earlier than normal in preparation for the winter ahead. 

If you are planning ahead for next season by purchasing early you will also need to consider storage of the salt in the offseason.  It is important to note that salt requires proper storage at all times.  Salt can have damaging effects on the environment which has caused the government in each state to elicit specific salt storage requirements and fines if requirements are not met and the salt causes damage. 

 

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Topics: Business Tips

How to Complete Preseason Site Inspections Like a Pro

Posted by Taylor Peiffer

Jul 15, 2014 3:00:00 PM

How to Complete Preseason Site Inspections Like a Pro

 

With summer upon us and lawns to be mowed the thought of winter storms may already be a distant memory.  However, with the ground free of any accumulating snow it’s a good time to visit the properties you service and perform your snow and ice removal preseason site inspections. Performing a preseason site inspection is a very beneficial documentation process that could save you many headaches and money down the road. Documentation can also set you apart from others in the industry. It helps present your business as a serious, professional snow and ice management company who is invested in customers even after the snow has stopped falling.

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Topics: Business Tips

How to Master Social Media for Your Snow Removal Business | Part 2

Posted by Taylor Peiffer

Jul 1, 2014 3:00:00 PM

Now that you have established a social media presence using Part 1 of this guide, let’s take a deeper dive into developing quality content that will be shared by your followers. Quality content done the right way is what can set you apart from your competitors and is the key to customer trust. Read on to learn what quality content is and how to create it.

 

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Topics: Business Tips

How to Master Social Media for Your Snow Removal Business | Part 1

Posted by Taylor Peiffer

Jun 24, 2014 3:30:00 PM

There are an estimated 900,000,000 unique visitors accessing Facebook every month, according to eBizMBA. That being said, not having an account for your snow removal business is not up for debate. Your customers and potential new customers are on social media, so that’s where you should be. By using social media, it allows you to provide exceptional, and often, instant customer service as well as humanize your business. And since social media is a natural extension of search, having an active Facebook account, as well as a few other social sites, improves your presence and “search ability” on the internet. Use this article as a guide to maintaining a strong, effective social presence for your snow contracting business.

We’ll start by taking a closer look at the main social sites that you may want to consider for your business. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are currently the four major players.

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Topics: Business Tips

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