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Sean Adams
01-01-2013, 04:57 PM
Ahhh yes, another year and with it will come all of the New Year's Resolutions. A nice tradition actually. It's like a fresh start. It gives people the opportunity to make their lives better, improve, focus and succeed.

For all the lawn and landscape business owners out there I think taking this time to map out some new year resolutions is a good idea. But first, get out that pen and paper. If you haven't read or heard this by now, your chances of achieving your goals increase significantly when you actually take the time to write them down and read them on a frequent basis.

Now that the pen and paper are out, start making a list - doesn't have to be in any order, doesn't have to make a lot of sense at first either. Just write.

What can you do better? How can you improve as an owner? Employer?

How can you become more organized? How can your business become more efficient? How can you train your employees to become more productive?

There is no time limit. Sit there as long as you need to and just write it all down.... what needs fixed? What can be done better?

Once your list is complete you may seem a bit overwhelmed. Don't be. This is a good start.

Rome wasn't built in a day, the iPhone wasn't perfected the first time around and let's face it, your business will always be a work in progress. But if you focus on that word "progress", you will see things getting better every single day. Afterall, isn't that what it's all about - doing your best to improve just a little bit every single day?

Best of luck and Happy New Year!

To read this blog post and more like it go HERE (http://www.lawnbusinessreport.com)

weeze
01-01-2013, 07:05 PM
i think it's the same thing every year. get more customers lol.

alldayrj
01-01-2013, 07:22 PM
Become a better closer
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ponyboy
01-01-2013, 07:26 PM
It's not about more customers its about making more profit
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Dugann
01-02-2013, 09:39 AM
I enjoy this time of the year, right, right around the 1st of the year. Sitting down putting the new year plan together, and putting new ideas in place. A feeling of newness, and excitement for what is to come. Great time of the year to reflect and adapt.

weeze
01-02-2013, 07:14 PM
It's not about more customers its about making more profit
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you raise prices you're likely to lose that customer altogether lol.

SRT8
01-02-2013, 07:18 PM
you raise prices you're likely to lose that customer altogether lol.

You dont have to raise prices to make more profit. You have to figure out how to be more efficient in every possible way without sacrificing quality.
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Sean Adams
01-02-2013, 07:24 PM
you raise prices you're likely to lose that customer altogether lol.

Not necessarily. I think raising prices is necessary every year no matter what. The average cost of living increase I think is somewhere around 2-3%. I'm not suggesting you charge someone $25 for a mowing in 2012 and charge them $45 in 2013. But a bump from $25 to $27, for example, should not break anyone's bank for the most part.

Think of it this way....was just on the phone with a business owner from Florida.

He mows 45 cuts a year on average. His prices are low and we figured out his numbers, but he can't instantly jump every client where they need to be just because he wasn't good at bidding in the first place. Has to be a gradual process (but with new clients moving forward he will be pricing properly).

He has 195 residential weekly mowing accounts. Do the math....

$2 increase for each client, 45 mowings, 195 clients = $17,550 more in revenue. He is very confident that none of his clients will have issue with a mere $2 increase since he has not raised prices in 3 years and he admits his prices are probably on the low side to begin with.

alldayrj
01-02-2013, 07:57 PM
sean any advice/books/classes on sales? I've spoke to many people about this. I feel I provide good service, have a good reputation, and present my self well but I dont capitalize on the leads I receive and close the deal as well as I should. I'm also fresh in the business and am working on the referral base that most strive for but I'm working on it. my business is mostly concrete, pavers, walls, grading and sod etc, no lawn maintenance FYI

Smallaxe
01-03-2013, 09:09 AM
An annual 10% increase in what is charged is standard... Sometimes it applies and sometimes I leave it the same... Always look at the value to the client as the final determining factor...

jsslawncare
01-03-2013, 10:35 AM
An annual 10% increase in what is charged is standard... Sometimes it applies and sometimes I leave it the same... Always look at the value to the client as the final determining factor...

Bingo!

I would like to do better at returning phone calls. But sometimes I just really don't want to talk to anyone.

weeze
01-03-2013, 11:26 AM
You dont have to raise prices to make more profit. You have to figure out how to be more efficient in every possible way without sacrificing quality.
Posted via Mobile Device

i'm already running efficeintly as i can.

weeze
01-03-2013, 11:28 AM
Not necessarily. I think raising prices is necessary every year no matter what. The average cost of living increase I think is somewhere around 2-3%. I'm not suggesting you charge someone $25 for a mowing in 2012 and charge them $45 in 2013. But a bump from $25 to $27, for example, should not break anyone's bank for the most part.

i think right now is the worst time in history other than the great depression to go around raising prices. i don't think people had lawncare in the great depression days anyways lol. people are so short on extra money right now it's rediculous. when things get better, if they ever do, then that will be the time to do it. you do it now they are likely to just drop lawncare altogether and go buy a pushmower and mow their yards themselves. at least that's how it is where i live. i don't live in an area that has millionaires everywhere. it's just middle class people.

weeze
01-03-2013, 11:40 AM
also we dont' really have $25 yards here. many are $125 yards that are 2 1/2 acres. some are $50-$60. i got one for $125 a cut where the previous lawn person was charging $110. i was very lucky to even get it. if i raised the price again i'm sure they would bail on me.

KrayzKajun
01-03-2013, 12:14 PM
To answer the phone and return calls more promptly.
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ELS Landscape
01-03-2013, 12:46 PM
Identfy job cost more accurately so I know which customers deserve a price increase and which ones to leave alone.

lawnpropm
01-03-2013, 10:02 PM
I may figure out if charging by the sq ft for mowing is the best price. And come up with more set pricing.
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RSK Property Maintenance
01-04-2013, 08:14 PM
increase sales by 50%....

cpllawncare
01-04-2013, 09:51 PM
I wanna be better at figuring my landscaping jobs, I know my cost but I always seem to be higher than I really want to be. I think I'm at a very fair pricing structure, I can't figure where to cut, prices are what they are for material cost and such and my labor rate is at a reasonable rate, I guess I just need to be a better salesman!

cpllawncare
01-04-2013, 10:04 PM
I may figure out if charging by the sq ft for mowing is the best price. And come up with more set pricing.
Posted via Mobile Device

your just down the road from me, our avg lawn takes us about 20-30 mins to service, we're in the $40-$45 range for basic blow n go service, we may go down this year to try to add a little volume/cash flow to the equation, we're wayy more efficient this year than last so I know we can pull it off. Seems sq/ft comes out to about the same as time?

205mx
01-04-2013, 10:34 PM
Trying to be a little more organized with my finances.
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lawnpropm
01-04-2013, 10:44 PM
your just down the road from me, our avg lawn takes us about 20-30 mins to service, we're in the $40-$45 range for basic blow n go service, we may go down this year to try to add a little volume/cash flow to the equation, we're wayy more efficient this year than last so I know we can pull it off. Seems sq/ft comes out to about the same as time?
Yea you're in Greenville right? That's about where I am on my lawns our min is $45. How many you run on your crew?
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cpllawncare
01-05-2013, 02:15 AM
Yea you're in Greenville right? That's about where I am on my lawns our min is $45. How many you run on your crew?
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Two mostly , sometimes three if we need it, I dropped a few accounts last season for pia and off the route reasons, so I'll start the season with really 1.5 should grow back to two or three. It'll take a bit longer to back to three now though because of efficency.

94gt331
01-05-2013, 07:22 PM
I enjoy this time of the year, right, right around the 1st of the year. Sitting down putting the new year plan together, and putting new ideas in place. A feeling of newness, and excitement for what is to come. Great time of the year to reflect and adapt.

Exactly this, I agree. I get things rolling as well. It's a new year. I just finished my yearly newsletter that I send out to my customers in the spring. That really gets my customers excited about my service believe it or not. Im recreating my employee hand book because I will be restaffing my crew and I want to train them right this year. Getting my lawn routes ready and getting new graphics ready for all my trucks in the spring. It's a fresh start.

cpllawncare
01-05-2013, 09:56 PM
Yea I've been reformatting all my proposals and getting new year letters out as well, washed the mowers yesterday, doing maintainace and general cleanup stuff, pretty much keep everything clean through the year so not a lot of cleaning to do just preventive maint kinda stuff. Trying to find someone to do some lettering for the truck but haven't found anyone that can do what I want so far.

dieselfuel
01-10-2013, 02:39 PM
Mine is fairly simple. Hit 40k in gross sales OR a 5 digit profit come year end. Not a huge goal, BUT I have a full time career with another company and have spent the last year getting systems and marketing in place, starting to network and taking care of all the legal issues. The company was about -5k last year after startup expenses and a few small jobs (which is fine, since I have a salary). So this year I'd like to start doing actual work not just a few trees here and there. The 40k number is basically made up, so I guess the real goal is to have a 5 digit profit at year's end. All while increasing my visibility and reputation locally to start the word of mouth referrals flowing.