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Help give advice on how to grow my towing company


KyTowPro
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I have been growing this towing company for 4 years now. I have 2 single 19ft car carriers and 2 single line wheel lifts. I started with 1 wheel lift truck and put it on AAA. With a lot of work and even more sacrificing, I was able to buy my first car carrier. Shortly thereafter, I was able to hire my first driver. With the 2 of us working, I was able to buy my 3rd car carrier. Still with AAA at this point, but now my company starts to become a revolving door for drivers. A lot of ups, downs and wasted time in training bad drivers and a huge chunk of profits for damages, I was able to buy my first money pit. It was a newer International truck that I was always working on. Now with crappy drivers costing me money and time in training. Now this money pit of a truck using what little bit of time that I had left rebuilding it. I cut my losses and sold it at a huge loss. I went back to work in a truck licking my wombs I was able to build some more funds up to buy another International with a very rusty bed that I had new cross members installed and patch some of the holes in the bed. I ran that truck for a short time before someone came by and bought that truck for a % more than I paid for it. In this time AAA is going through major changes. I do not see a future there so I start making major changes in where my revenue is coming from. This whole time I have also become very good at ranking my website on the search engines and marketing on Social Media making my move out of AAA a profitable one. Almost tripling my bottom line. So I took that money and did something very stupid. I bought a new truck for one of the drivers which the driver and I had a falling out because that driver was more interested in driving around showing off the truck than earning money and keeping it clean. After that driver and parted ways I sold that truck. I have been making some small changes lately. But as of right now I have 2 car carriers and 2 wheel lift trucks. I have no impound lot. I have 2 drivers and I have no direction to go in. I would like to build up the fleet to some heavy equipment. Ask any questions. This is for real not a joke. If you are unable to give real advise then move along, please.  

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It sounds like after a tough start you are making good decisions.  The best thing you could have done in my opinion is not be dependent on AAA.  We got rid of them nearly 10 years ago.  It was the best thing that we could have done.  The other 3 AAA companies in our area have all gone out of business.   Anyway, stepping back and evaluating your goals would be number 1 for me.  Figure out what you want to do.  Know your numbers (costs to operate, etc) Personally, Id be making sure I had nice, clean, good condition trucks.  New or old, doesnt matter, but keep them clean and in good shape.  Make sure your employees are good for your business.  Have good quality business cards, and nice looking professional uniforms, work boots, etc,  Keep you and your guys clean and friendly.  Get into every local shop and drop a card.  Let them know who you are.  Be ready when they call.  Take care of them and their customers.  Be different than the rest of the towing companies- be faster, higher skilled, more friendly.  Remember you dont need to be the "cheap guy" either.

 

Get to touch a truck events for kids.  Have a facebook page and keep updating it. Show off your trucks and drivers and what they can do.  There is a ton of ideas that you can do to grow, but start with the basics.  Best of luck!

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I just took some time and checked out your FB page, website and google.  You seem to be on the right path.  Some updates and tweaking to the FB page and website would be good.  You have some excellent reviews as well as responses to the reviews.  Honestly, you have more google reviews than we do, and we have been running for nearly 30 years.   Get those trucks in good mechanical shape, shine them up, and go visit everyone you can in the area.  Local businesses- insurance agents, body shops, gas stations.  Anywhere there is a car that might not start when they come out from shopping or whatever... make sure that place knows that you exist and will help their customer. You are on your way.   Google ad words works well for us too.

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In any business today, you have to constantly be on the hunt for talent. As a business owner, you also need to be willing to develop talent. Work ethic, personality, and pride in ones self and work product are ninety percent of the battle. You can teach the skills to anyone who has them. If you have employees, you need to have an employee handbook. As a business owner, you need to spell out your expectations as well as the consequences of failing to meet, or disregarding those expectations. A few items to be covered are PPE gear. Safety vests, eye protection, work gloves, protective gloves for crash scenes that protect from blood borne pathogens are required PPE. You as a business owner are required to provide these items to your staff, and are required to ensure that they are used.

 

Put GPS monitors on your equipment. You will sleep better.

 

Be selective with who you hire. An ass for every seat is not a good hiring strategy today. Complete three interviews for every candidate. On the last interview, when you are 90% certain that this is your hire, take the candidate, their spouse or significant other, and their children out to diner. Don't be a cheap ass either. You don't need to go to Morton's, but do not go to McDonald's either. You are here to observe the dynamic of the family. If the spouse is pissy at a free meal, how do you thing they will be at 3am when you need them to roll out on a hot call. Drug test everyone randomly. You can do this at the third interview just to make it a surprise. Complete your due diligence on candidates, check references, check with neighbors, check with past employers.

 

When you say grow you business, keep in mind that one needs to have a goal in sight. You can have a more profitable business with two trucks that forty, as you have 5% of the headaches and stress. You can not get them all, and seriously, you do not want them all. Target your clientele. Have a goal to be the best.

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