Have you ever heard the saying, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew?” Did you know that saying works for your snow removal business?
It’s true. If you take on more clients than you can serve, your customers will know it.
Your customers’ parking lots, sidewalks, entrances, and steps aren’t as clean as they used to be after a snowstorm. Conversely, your teams may have cleaned off the parking lot earlier in the night but didn’t come back for the second round.
Brand Integrity and Why You Need It
You may be thinking, “Who cares about brand integrity. I’m a small outfit, and this doesn’t apply to me.”
Yet, it does apply to you. People recognize your trucks, your logo, your website, and even your uniforms. No matter how large or small your snow removal company is, you still have a brand, also known as an image.
You want property managers and retail business owners to get a good feeling about you when they see your crews working in the parking area or the sidewalks on a snowy morning.
Brand integrity simply means people associate you with the promises you keep. When you overstuff your schedule, your brand integrity goes out the window.
Property managers don’t want to work with you if your company is known for taking short cuts or not following through on the promises you made to your customers.
Instead, savvy property managers will go to your competitor, who keeps their promise and cares about the customer. Plus, people will start to talk. You know word-of-mouth referrals are the best form of marketing.
Brand integrity also means you’re aware of your customers’ needs—what their pain points are—and how to meet them.
For example, if you handle medical institutions, such as hospitals, you and your crews know that those lots need to be snow and ice-free—and they need to stay that way no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.
A rehabilitation facility needs its lots and sidewalks snow-free because they have patients coming in who are in wheelchairs or walkers. The facility’s pain points are how do we get our patients in and out of our building and to their cars without anyone slipping and falling?
You know, or should know, how many parking lots your crews can handle overnight and for the duration of the storm. If one of your teams is shorthanded, and the medical facility’s parking lots are icy, then your brand is going to suffer.
Here are the values your snow and ice management company should adopt, so others have a positive image of you:
- Friendly customer service
- Great communication
- Safety aware
If people in your community know that your company has these values and acts on them, you’ll beat out low bidders who take on too much work.
Your Employees Won’t Stay Loyal to You
When you take on too many clients, your crews may leave you because they can only handle so many jobs. If there’s a severe winter storm, you may be putting your teams in danger if they need to hurry from one parking lot to the next.
By the end of the season, some of your better employees may leave you because they don’t want to have the added stress of taking care of more properties than they can handle in dangerous weather.
So, not only will your customers leave you when you over-schedule, but you’ll lose employees as well. And a skeleton staff won’t be able to handle all of your accounts.
Finally, your crews and other employees affect your brand’s reputation too. If you’re known for taking on more work than your employees can handle, then sales prospects will hear about it—and you’ll lose out on bids.
How to Develop Brand Integrity
You may be in the middle of your snow season, but you can turn things around gradually. You don’t need to bring in consultants unless you could use the support.
Otherwise, brand integrity is simple. Ask yourself these questions to find your brand, its mission, and values:
- Why did I start a snow and ice removal company? If you say you went into business for the money, you may want to reconsider your purpose.
- What’s the purpose of my company? How does it help my community?
- Who are our customers? What do they need from us? Can we fulfill their property needs?
- What are my values? What type of behavior or attitude should we have as a business?
- How long will we be in business? What are the company’s long-term goals?
- Do we enjoy being a snow and ice removal company? Do we do it so people are safe while they shop, go to doctor appointments and go to work?
- How are we, as a company, going to keep our promises?
After you and your managers answer these questions, you need to incorporate these values into all of your business—from the stationary to your website, to your social media channels and to your employees.
You want your employees to embrace your values so they can internalize them and act on them out in the field.
You’ll probably need to spend time during the off-season training your employees on living out your company’s values. If you’ve been taking on more clients than you can handle, and your employees are frustrated, you may need to reassure them that you’re not doing that anymore.
How to Recover Your Snow and Ice Management’s Brand Integrity
All is not lost if you’ve become known as an irresponsible company. You can turn your brand’s image around. It will take time for sales prospects and lost clients to trust you again, but it can be done.
Here are some tips to help you turn your business reputation around:
1. Remember, it’s going to take time and hard work. Hire a business coach or consultant to help you if you don’t know where to start.
2. Make a plan to overhaul your business, starting with defining your company’s mission and values.
3. Teach your employees and crews about your company’s mission and values. Make sure they can recite those values back to you. Also, make sure your teams are on board with your values. If not, you may need to let them go.
Employees who don’t embrace your brand’s mission and values will create a toxic work environment. You have enough going on reviving your brand’s image. You don’t need disgruntled employees making it harder for you.
4. Since this is a learning process, you and your teams will make mistakes along the way. Admit you made a mistake and then, correct it.
5. Be committed to not stuffing your schedule even if you need the extra money. Your crews’ work will suffer when you add too many accounts to the calendar, and you put your company in danger of a lawsuit as well.
6. Realize that you’ll need to build trust in your community. Learn how to do that using social media and your website’s message to change people’s minds and help them trust you again.
How SnowWolf Has the Equipment to Add Value to Your Fleet
SnowWolf Snow Removal Equipment and Accessories help you serve your customers better. You’ll find that you cover more parking lots in a 12-hour shift than you would with your old equipment.
We make plowing snow and managing ice a breeze. Get your SnowWolf snow removal equipment and accessories today by visiting your local SnowWolf dealer.
You can also call our customer service at 1-800-905-2265 or fill out our contact form.