Below I have listed the 3 basic reasons scrappers choose to do business and having the right location isn't as high on the list as you would think, they will drive the extra miles for better prices, faster transactions and personal service, but not always in that order.
After installing over 500 yards since 2006, I have gained some in depth insight on into the mind of the scrapper (a scary place). Even though I have listed prices as the #1 reason they would choose your business, its actually more a myth than reality. The truth is, they want personal service with reasonable prices and to get in and get out as quickly as possible.
In my experience, most people scrap their metals because its the "right" thing to do for the environment and getting paid is secondary.
Actually about 85% of people who bring in metals are not educated enough to know stainless steel from aluminum and have no clue what scrap metal is worth.
About 15% who represent actual scrappers running their own scrap metal business. The top 15% know the metals and the prices and usually bring in the most metals on a daily basis, these are the ones who put price as #1 and personal service below that. It's all about the cash!
1. Scrap Metal Prices
2. Speed of transaction and payment
3. Personal Service
So, the question remains, should your scrap business cater to the 15% or to the 85%, most scrap yards price their metals to meet the demands of the 15% and therefore are giving away money to the 85% unnecessarily.
The better solution is to have a online software system that allows you to have custom price sheets for your "real scrappers" and then let your public prices serve the 85%. Then take the top 15% out to lunch, explain in detail your "special pricing" and how you want to incentivize them to do business with your scrap yard.
Having an online software management software system allows you to update price sheets and communicate with your brokers and customers from anywhere in the world on any device. This is very important in a volatile commodities based industry.
Another suggestion that has proven results is to create a "rewards program", make sure your software also offers a "Leader Board Report" so you can post the leaders and create a friendly competition amongst your leading scrappers.
Keeping track of your customers lets them know that you care and are paying attention to their business.
So, at the end of the day, Personal Service takes the #1 spot.
1. Personal Service
2. Speed of Transactions
Let me explain, why I believe "Speed of Transactions" comes in 2nd above the price.
Since 85% of your business is made up of the occasional scrapper, they have other lives to get back to, they are not full time scrappers as is your other 15% that would put prices at the top of this list.
Cater to the middle of your base, create relationships with your customers, get their email accounts and start sending the receipts to their email account. This allows you to create special email announcements and the scrappers, all 100% feel like they are apart of your community, knowing special holiday hours, special price adjustments and other scrap community news is important.
If you want to stand out in any business, get to know your scrapper, cater to their #1 needs and you will be surprised at how you can lower your prices at bit, make more profits, have happier customers and keep your employees longer. So to wrap this up, here are is the real list to a more profitable 2015.
1. Get to know your customer and communicate with them when they are not at the yard.
2. Lower your public prices and give your "Special Customers" special pricing ASAP.
3. Buy a state of the art software system that improves the experience at the scale and cashier booth so your customers don't have to wait on technology, everyone hates slow technology.
4. This should be #1 on your to-do list in 2015, buy PopScrap Software.
2. Get the full training package so you can utilize all the 21st Century features such as FaceBook and Twitter price posting, emailing customers as payments are completed.
3. Start a LeaderBoard Competition to grow your scrap metal business in 2015.
4. Start emailing or facebooking your customers in 2015 to make them an important part of your daily business.
PopScrap.com offers full social media features for price postings and a free mass email feature that allows you to email all your customers instantly and dont forget to ask for email addresses at the cashier booth.