What opportunities exist in the towing industry today?
For thousands of years people have been providing service to others in return for money. The most successful were those who filled a need by providing a service that was in high demand- but with very little competition. It’s no different today.
Many complain that there’s too many people towing and that the milk and honey days of the industry are long gone. There may be a nugget of truth to that but there’s still money to be made. A few more towers yes…but there’s also a lot more cars and lot more people who need your help. Nothing has changed. If you want to be successful in the towing business you’ve got to concentrate on filling needs and providing value first—Only then will the money follow.
Imagine a guy driving down the highway on a road trip hundreds of miles from home and his car suddenly stalls leaving him stranded. Alone in a strange land the value that a local guy with a tow truck provides is enormous, he needs help. But take that same guy and put him back in his own element, the city where he grew up, and your value as a local tow truck company diminishes. Why?–Because, although he may find himself needing help, he’s got other options-Which, not only, includes your competition but his friends and relatives.
But don’t be discouraged you can still find many in need of your services. There are numerous sources of revenue and a wide variety of services you can provide to make yourself irreplaceable to your customers.
- Cash towing—Towing for individuals who call you directly. Either by referral or because they found your number in an advertisement, these customers need service and are willing to pay commercial rates.
- Auto-Repair Shop towing—When you develop relationships with local mechanics and body shops and you do a good job for them you’ll get work from these guys. There are two types of calls from Auto-Repair shops: Referrals (calls from customers that are referred by the auto-repair shop) and calls directly from the repair shop.
- Dealership towing—Not much different than dealing with local auto-repair shops, dealerships can have more than 1 service department and multiple service writers. This is a great source of business.
- Law Enforcement towing—Law enforcement towing is still one of the most lucrative aspects of the towing business. Towing for Law enforcement requires that you know your stuff, abide by all the rules and regulations and continually act in a professional respectful manner with everyone involved, including sometimes irate vehicle owners.
- Equipment Transporting- Any company that uses or deals in equipment such as skid-steers, forklifts, scissor-lifts and numerous other pieces of equipment must move them somehow. While it’s true that many have their own trailers or truck drivers it’s a good idea to make contact with these companies and let them know your available. Anything that’ll fit on your carrier deck, within the confines of your weight rating, is fair game and a great source of income.
- Motor Club towing– A motor club is a Roadside Assistance company that offers towing and towing related services to it’s members via an 800 number. Motor clubs contract with local towers who provide services to their members at agreed-upon cut rates. If there are no towers, in an area where their member needs service, the motor club will contact a local tower and pay market rates for service.
- Commercial Accounts- Any company that has a fleet of trucks will, at some point, need to use the services of a towing company. Contacting the decision maker at these businesses and letting them know that you’re available should they need you is a good step toward gaining a customer. But don’t stop there. Periodic, non-intrusive appearances, will serve to remind your new account that you’ll always be there.
- Private Party Impounds- Large parking lots, high traffic areas, sports stadiums, parking garages and many other areas are rife with opportunity for Private Party Impounds- PPI’s. Lot owners need to be assured only paying customers are using their property and towers are needed to remove offenders so as to make room.
- Heavy Duty Towing- There are millions of heavy trucks and tractor trailers on the roadways and an ample number of them will need to be towed. The good news is your invoices will be higher allowing room for more profit, the bad news is heavy wreckers cost more to run, insure and finance. Once you take the plunge and get financed, trained and staffed the next step is marketing your heavy services to trucking companies, Heavy repair shops, and law enforcement.
So pick one at a time, become proficient in it- keep your customers happy- and in time you’ll create a business that provides you with a steady income.