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What do YOU do to save money and reduce expenses?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fiveoboy01, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Just like the thread title says. Procut's thread got me to thinking, money management is very important, and controlling expenses should be a top priority for operations of any size large or small.

    I want to hear what you do to save money, even if it's a dollar a day, or even the most miniscule thing... Anything that saves you gas, maybe lessens the amount of material you use for a given project, extends the lifespan of your equipment or makes the maintenance interval longer, saves on office supplies, etc etc ad nauseam.

    What are your best practices for scrounging every penny?
  2. snowman55

    snowman55 LawnSite Member
    from middle
    Posts: 60

    many times i see guys stepping over a buck to pick up a penny. not to say you shouldn't watch expenses but often guys waste hours to save a buck. the only thing that is finite in your life is time so put a $ value on that and determin if you are actually saving money which you can make more of or just wasting time which you can't get more of
  3. gtmorgan89

    gtmorgan89 LawnSite Senior Member
    from East TN
    Posts: 318

    "Time is money" You can look at that statement many different ways.

    -I try not to buy drinks and snack from gas stations.
  4. Scagmower48

    Scagmower48 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 430

    Its amazing how the little stuff can add up over time. Some stuff that I plan on doing or already do are:

    Buy grease in bulk. You can save like 1.50 a tube.

    Buy oil when its on sale. I buy mine at Walmart. I only buy Castrol when its on sale for $11-12. I usually like $14.

    Don't buy manufacturers oil filters. Buy a fram or a purolator. (I do buy Kubota Oil Filters for the Kubota though) I order all of my parts from Pennsylvannia. Saves alot of money.

    Shop around for insurance once every couple years or so. The difference could be alot.

    Do as many repairs as you can yourself

    Maintain everything to a T to get the most live out of it

    Buy everything where possible in bulk

    Something I plan on doing is getting a business credit card with 1 to 2% CASH BACK. It can add up after a while.

    If you don't need it don't buy it.

    Some of these are common sense and every knows but they could serve as a reminder.
  5. Scagmower48

    Scagmower48 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 430

    Also another thing, know your tax laws. Write off as much as possible. One stupid mistake can cost you thousands.
  6. Landscraper1

    Landscraper1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Southeastern Ma.
    Posts: 755

    In the service industry the most expensive item is LABOR. Decrease the amount of time you need to complete your work is for myself the most important factor in becoming profitable.
    One way to do this is to train your men to follow certain procedures, for every job they do. Do this in a way that each man knows exactly what to do, once they reach a job site, without being told. That way you have no time wasted.
    Second, is to have the right equipment for the job and when it comes to buying a piece of equipment, don't invest in the cheapest thing out there. Notice I said invest , not buy. Any purchase should be looked at as an investment. Make sure you will get a good return on that investment. (That truck with the aluminum wheels, 6 CD Radio, and power everything, will not make you more money than a base model.)
    In my area, my company's rate are higher than many around here but, we can do the job faster then many. That keeps us reasonably priced and profitable at the same time.:cool2:
  7. ProcsLC

    ProcsLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 132

    To continue with the common sense rule of saving cash, here are a few of mine...

    Buying office supplies online saves a great amount of cash, simple to do but requires planning ahead and knowing what to buy... We use like 4 or 5 different online retailers to buy in bulk or just get stuff cheaper...

    Buying filters for my equipment, (oil, air, fuel etc) is done thru AutoZone, I order a case of each (they come in packs of 12, 6, or 3) and do that at the start of every season, saves big bucks!

    We cut back on eating out and making coffee in the morning, I purchased two pots and make them both fresh for when my guys arrive, allows for less down time and is way cheaper then buying coffee every morning, 2 pots at Walmart = $40 bucks.

    Also looked into advertising... Its extremely expensive and we've been exploring numerous routes for this. We are at the same point as procut and not trying to expand before we have enough banked away, so in previous years we have always just accepted what the advertising costs were, now we shop around and ask for better rates, its been working well.

    We started with the concept of not going into debt for this business, everything including equipment, advertising, etc comes from the profits of the business now and will remain that way. I think truck and equipment loans are the real killer of this business and the more you pay in cash the better off your business is going to be. The only things we "charge" are fuel for the season, at the end of the year we get a great cash back incentive from our credit card service.

    Hope this helps, best of luck with controlling and cutting costs. We all need to tighten the belt a little until the economy turns back full swing.
  8. got rid of insurance, saved a bundle.
  9. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    word of note to scagmower48 and anyone else, you can only get kubota filters thru kubota as far as we have been able to find there are no aftermarket filters to fit.
  10. SchnabelLawnCare

    SchnabelLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 709


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