Solo Operators-What's the best way to lower operating costs?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by smitty's lawncare, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. ashgrove landscaping

    ashgrove landscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,446

    Sorry the comment was mis read. My bad i guess:drinkup:
     
  2. torquelandscaping

    torquelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    On a side note. Congrats to fifteen years. Hope to say that one day.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    To me it's more about keeping down time to a minimum and being as efficient as possible than it is about keeping operating costs low. There's only so much you can do to keep your costs down, but there are a ton of things you can do to be efficient. I stock spare parts for my equipment, have spare units for most of my stuff and try to keep a tight route with customers that are willing to pay the price for quality service and to pay it quickly. The biggest profit killer in my opinion is down time, whether it be due to equipment, personnel or lack of work. When you start averaging in zeros it can bring your numbers down in a hurry.
     
  4. clydebusa

    clydebusa LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,660

    To me to be successful was being a jack of all trades. There are a bazillion mowers out there. I found a couple of things that everybody isn't doing and then started making some serious money.
     
  5. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 711

    Get a open business account for your consumable supplies. Find a place that will sell you oil filters, blades, spark plugs, belt, tires ect at wholesale cost. Also buy in bulk when possible. I saved about 20%.

    I assume you do all your own equipment service.

    It may seem a small thing but you will find it to pay off over time. Hyper focus (or slow down) when mowing to NOT over lap but 1 or 2". Ok I know we all been mowing since we was a kid and we know this. Check yourself some time, If you have a mower laying down a nice strip, get a tap measure and measure the total of 2 or 4 passes after your finished. You will find out how much you are really over lapping. 4 passes with a 50" deck should measure 194" witch would be a 2" over lap (a excellent over lap). It seems silly on a small yard but you can really save time and money on large acreage. You will most likely find one direction you are fine with your over lap, but going the other direction is 3 or 4" overlap.

    Find any creature comforts you can to make you feel better after a long hot day. It may cost you a few bucks but you will find if something as simple as a sweet band, ear protection, cooler light weight cloths, better boots, gloves, a hat with more sun protection, and many more. All will end up making you work better without as much fatigue. And being wore out before the end of the day is not a good thing. This is when you make mistakes and reduce productivity. And we know time is money.

    My pet peeve; learn the OHIO principle. "Only Handle It Once". This goes for everything you do. this can save you a ton of time a wasted energy. Examples, don't pick up your week wacker till it is time to weed wack, When done put it back where it goes. Only handle it one time to do the job it is intended. Stopping and starting any operation is a big time waster plan ahead basically. Same for leaves and grass clippings. Don't fuss with picking them up then moving then 2 or 3 more times before you empty them off. (I see this a lot).

    A lot of forethought should go into how you have your truck and trailer set up. Many times we build racks and hangers in a safe place for your equipment that may look good at first, but in practical use you end up walking around the trailer 2 or 3 times every stop when it is NOT needed if you was to mount the trimmer rack closer to the street side or drivers door. Or is he trimmer gas or replacement line stored close to the trimmers ? bet not...

    Time management and work flow for a productive work place was some of what I did in years past. Not that anyone needs to work harder just smarter. If we all look closely we can find many things that will increase your productivity and this will increase out bottom line as well.
     
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Hahahahaha,,, it is just plain silly that someone needs to attack you like that... people who love to attack and spew , ridicule and bully,,, are best ignored...

    if this post of mine generates more anger and hate speech, then reread it and THINK about what I said,,,
    then,,, try to IMAGINE what it relates to... misunderstandings do not happen , except for sloppy reading or sloppy writing...
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    I'm glad that sorted out,,, others have not... :)
     
  8. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    Tighten your radius (service area) You'll save time, costs, and wear and tear on your truck. For the last 2 years this has been my goal. I replaced the far ones with close ones. For me, it helped tremendously. I just really hate drive time.
     
  9. clydebusa

    clydebusa LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,660

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/downloads/101waystosave.pdf

    Prob a couple things here of the 101 that can benefit you.

    Get the S corp or LLC and get a Company credit card so you can get some money back. (pay it off each month). Nothing sweeter than getting a $200 bucks back every now and then.
     
  10. torquelandscaping

    torquelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    Some good answers here. I'm still part time so trying to come up with more ways to be efficient. Hit the gym or run a few miles each night. Does wonders on stress level and overall well being.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

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