Your successful towing company begins with a well-maintained vehicle that's equipped to serve your target markets. Increase your income potential by seeking multiple sources of business. Investigate participation in roadside assistance services, along with police rotation work and private business calls. Auto repair shop customer tows and non-profit vehicle donation pickups also can contribute to your coffers. Finally, encourage private citizen “cash customers” to respond to your advertising and marketing efforts.
Roadside Assistance Services
Joining a national roadside assistance service can be an appealing option for a new towing company. If you're accepted into the program, you'll have an opportunity to serve local customers, along with travelers from other areas.
Most importantly, you'll be expected to provide 24-hour road assistance services. On any given day, you could tow a vehicle, change a tire, deliver fuel, jump-start a dead battery or provide lockout assistance.
Before applying to a roadside assistance company, thoroughly research the business' history and reputation. Determine the insurance requirements needed to join each program. Don't skimp on the due diligence -- your business reputation depends on making the right choice.
Police Rotation Work
In the aftermath of a vehicle accident, a police officer will determine whether one or more vehicles must be towed from the accident scene. If a tow truck is required, the officer will first ask the vehicle's owner or driver if she prefers a specific towing company. If the person doesn't provide a name, or if they're en route to the hospital, the officer will call the police dispatcher and request a “no-preference wrecker.” Assignments are doled out via the Police Rotation System. If your towing company is selected, you must be available to respond.
To join this towing company pool, contact your local police department and inquire about its acceptance criteria. Also, ask your insurance agent if additional coverage will be necessary for police-based work.
Businesses and Apartment Complexes
Private businesses can become some of your best customers. For a business owner, an illegally parked vehicle means one less space is available for his valued customers. Whether that car or truck has occupied that space for two minutes or 24 hours, insufficient parking might spur a customer to go elsewhere. Apartment and condo complexes also can represent a good source of business. Scofflaws might leave their vehicles in the residents' parking lots and park in a space reserved for residents.
To obtain business and apartment or condo customers, personally visit the business owner or apartment manager. Present your qualifications, and follow up to keep your name fresh in their minds.
Auto Repair Shops
Although many auto repair shop customers drive their vehicles in for service, some might require a tow to the facility. Such a customer might ask the shop manager to facilitate the vehicle transport. If you get the call, arrive promptly, present a good appearance, and treat that customer with courtesy. If that customer drives out with a positive impression, the shop owner will be more likely to call you again.
Non-profit organizations represent a potential source of repeat business. When someone wishes to donate an inoperable vehicle, the non-profit contacts a towing company to retrieve the car or truck from its current location. You'll contact the donor to arrange the pickup. Finally, you'll deliver the vehicle to the non-profit's premises or their preferred drop-off location.
To inquire about joining the organization's towing company roster, visit the non-profit's Director or Donation Manager. Ensure that you present a professional appearance and fulfill their insurance and other donation requirements.
Cultivating private citizen “cash” customers can gradually provide financial rewards. Through your towing company's advertising and marketing efforts, such customers will call you directly for service. You'll work on a “payment for services rendered” basis, receiving compensation when you complete the tow.
Advertising and Marketing
Work with a graphic designer to create coordinated business and rack cards. Post your advertising materials at restaurants, grocery stores and other venues with community bulletin boards. Place regular business card-sized ads in your local newspaper's Business and Services Directory.
Social media can keep you in front of potential customers. Establish a business page on a popular social media site. Post details of your involvement in community projects, along with periodic towing specials. By keeping your company top of mind, customers will be more likely to call you when their vehicle breaks down.
Based in North Carolina, Felicia Greene has written professionally since 1986. Greene edited sailing-related newsletters and designed marketing programs for the New Bern, N.C. "Sun Journal" and New Bern Habitat ReStore. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Baltimore.