I'm always looking for ways to speed things up too....here are some of my ideas:
* avoid stopping at convenient stores as much as possible -- big time killer.
* avoid talking to customers
* avoid traffic congestion by arranging your schedule so that certain roads are avoided at certain times.
* get good equipment; especially good mowers and blowers.
* avoid pulling weeds and other such jobs that don't pay much; waste of time.
* avoid running errands for customers...aka going to pick up flowers/mulch/etc without charging mightily for delivery. If the customer wants just a few flowers, have him/her go pick them up...tell them you don't have time.
* use Zillow and Googlemaps (square footage figures/photos)to help you give over-the-phone "best-guestimates." (this is my personal favorite)
* be selective on which yards you take. Obviously if you are a newbie or needing lots of new business then this does not apply. But if your schedule is already full, avoid lawns that seem to be labor-intensive....aka have very thick grass (which might require double-mows), corner lots with sidewalks (lots of edging/blowing), out-of-the-way accounts, require lots of weed pulling, etc.
* selectively prune out your least-profitable lawns. This will free up time for newer and better accounts.
* Some may disagree, but for me, leaving paper invoices at the end of the month is still the fastest, cheapest way to bill people.
* allow your workers to listen to music (ipods, etc) while they work. My guys seem to work faster and better when they have tunes...happier too.
* don't stop for lunch....eat while you're driving. I'm amazed at the number of lawn services that seem to stop down for 30 minutes or longer to eat. I prefer to get home 30 minutes sooner...cheaper too.