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

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

  1. Tom-N-Texas

    Tom-N-Texas LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 370

    yea, I get it...there's a time and place for both...and there are always exceptions.... But ultimately, when push comes to shove, I'll take the ugly yard in a heartbeat...especially if I can put the big mower on it without complaint.... All this, of course, assumes that the ugly yard will not cut service off in mid-sept.....the rich guy, on average, will more likely have a longer mowing season and have various other jobs to do throughout the year (shrubs, mulch, etc) but if everything is equal, I'll take the ugly lawn and leave the manicuring jobs to the other companies. For me, the rich neighborhoods almost always result in a speed bump in my day that I'd really rather do without.
  2. clydebusa

    clydebusa LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,660

    Thinking on this subject yesterday and my CPA come to mind. He will say you need to spend so much money. So usually around October he will look at my books and say spend $xxx or pay taxes on it at your tax bracket and lets say that is 30%. So it is like buying something 30% off.
  3. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    And, the 70% spent on something you may have not needed ....? But, spent the money because you thought you were getting 30% off....?

    I think this is bad advice.
  4. BestImpressions

    BestImpressions LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    I agree with the gas statement. Like or not i have to agree with my business partner that mowing only in one direction is both saving on fuel as well as saving the hydros from extra wear from having to stop and do a full turn at the end of a stripe. He agrees that it doesn't look as nice so its a wash ultimately lol.

    Really, the only thing that 15 yrs has taught me is finding little ways to keep your costs the same for your customers and still try to make adjustments in the way the lawn is done to save you time. For instance, look at the trimming you do every time. Are there areas, for instance in the back of the property or around certain other non high-visibility areas that can be trimmed closer the first cut of the month and leave for 1 cut or maybe even 2 cuts. It's pennys now on one lawn, but spread that over 5 or 6 lawns in the day... You might be able to add another lawn for the day or actually take off early for the afternoon.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  5. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    The only time this makes sense is if spending the money drops you to a lower tax bracket. Like Roger said, I'd rather have the 70% in my pocket then waste it on equipment that's not needed.
  6. TomsLawnMowING

    TomsLawnMowING LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    When I do small commercial low income housing they have the equipment (4 trimmer, 1 tractor, & 1 push mower), fuels oils, & parts I need.
    Trimming a huge hill that takes 40 to 60 hours to do depends on thickness.
    Go thru 2.50 gallons of mix fuel. 3 lbs. of trimmer line 0.080. 1 trimmer head each time.
    They get better filters to last longer, better oils to last longer.
  7. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    I don't have a one simple best way to lower operating costs...

    Rather it's a combination of many, many things.
    A lifestyle, actually.

    And the reason it's a lifestyle is because when I observe broke people, it doesn't take long to see why they never have any money.
    Probably the biggest fault people have who can't control something (in this case their finances) is they blame everything else for the problem, thus relieving themselves of the responsibility and so the problem never changes.

    If my truck has a flat tire and I blame the person who dropped the nail on the road...
    I no longer have to do anything about the flat tire, isn't it beautiful?
    Because it's the fault of the person who lost the nail, and that means it is no longer my responsibility.
    And so long someone fails to take responsibility, nothing ever changes.
    Ten years later, the tire's still flat.

    Folks, when someone tells me they are broke while they're holding a Pepsi in their hand isn't much smarter than when the CEO's of the big three automakers flew to DC to collect bailout money in their personal Lear jets.

    That is why to get from there to where someone has disposable income...
    That involves a complete change of lifestyle.
    Best done one day at a time.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  8. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    i needed that pep talk. My fast food habit started to creep back in.
  9. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,358

    Lots of great info here guys... thanks for all the advice.... But on a different note, did you see how many F$#&ING posts Richard Martin has? Wow, you are like a legend man... It's nice to see some guys on here answering questions that have been around a while... I am a relatively young guy(32) and I really appreciate advise from folks who have been there done that....
  10. clydebusa

    clydebusa LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,660

    Could be bad advice if you live day to day. I guess I assume most would have money saved up. But you know what assume means. So yes it could be bad advice.

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