Winter time look back -

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Guido, Dec 27, 2000.

  1. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    What are some things you guys are looking back at during the winter?

    Maybe we can get some ideas going as far as streamlining operations and improving for next season.

    We're working on a new vehicle and equipment maintenance plan to keep better track of our schedueled maintenance.

    Just trying to get some ideas flowing.

     
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Guido wrote:

    <b><i>We're working on a new vehicle and equipment maintenance plan to keep better track of our schedueled maintenance. </b></i>

    If it'll help you out any here is the program I use to track the maintenance on everything I own http://www.lonewolf-software.com . It is made for autos but the intervals are fully customizable making it suitable for everything from trimmers to mowers.
     
  3. Greenkeepers

    Greenkeepers LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Posts: 695

    We're always trying to make a more compact route so that we can spend more time cutting instead of driving.

    With a new shop we're trying to get everything set up in there too. Just to make maintenance more efficient.

    I think this is the perfect time of year to study up and get other accreditations(spelling) behind us.
     
  4. turfsurfer

    turfsurfer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 364

    I am looking at ways to better educate my customers about their lawns next year. I am thinking that not only will this make my service appear more professional and customer oriented, but it just may make my job easier if customers institute better cultural practices towards their lawns. I'm thinking maybe a small newsletter along with their monthly bills that focuses on the recent weather, watering suggestions, and seasonal pests.
     
  5. Mark

    Mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 723

    I try and keep everythig as simple as possible. And stay focused on the jobs. Making sure everything is in tiptop shape on my equipment. Right now im Schedueling my Spring Clean Ups. and the entire month of aprils mowing. I also like to get on a first name bacis with my clients. Last season was a good one ,hope i can make this season even better. I always do the best job that i can. And my clients always reward me usually with a note on payment arivel. As of right now ive got all the accounts i want, 51 and im solo so i stay very busy, the way i want it. Marks Mowing Service
     
  6. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 632

    Last year was my first.
    I stumbled through it.
    Bought myself a cpt in Dec. to organize and streamline my client info.
    I found Lawnsite a couple of days later and stopped sleeping!

    I have learned a lot!

    I just took my pest app license test a couple of weeks ago! I had heard rumors that I needed some license something...
    But, after reading a few posts, I had the how, why, where, and who. Just in time too! The next test isn't until March!

    I got an accountant!
    She immediately sent me to the bank to set up a
    separate account!

    I'm buying liability insurance next week! I just want another quote or two.

    I'm in the process of printing flyers for all the upscale gated communities I have surrounding me!

    I'm trying to get my business name registered! For more on that, see the thread I started called "business advice and decisions"

    A lot of these things are basic. But I am still challenged to find any other resouces that can help me at all, nevermind as much as everyone here at LS!
    I e-mailed my local SCORE chapter 3 times last week about the business name thing. No response.
    I called my sect of state's office just yesterday (10:30am).
    It's a long distance call. I was jockied from answering machine to answering machine. Everyone must have been very busy....


    Oh yea, I also plan on
    upgrading to comm quality equip.
    offering the best sevice I can.
    Dropping the unprofitables.

    And I still need to get my customer info organized!





     
  7. lawman

    lawman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 199

    I am looking at new flyers, and was to pick up new customers, equipment. Basicly the hole outfit needs some modifications. Not all can be put into effect this year but the ground will have been broken.
     
  8. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773

    I spent serious manhours figuring out a more precise pricing policy for the Spring rush. I want to look back on the 2001 year and know I profited on all my properties.

    I eliminated many unprofitable or bothersome customers. Customers with dogs that are lazy with cleanup were the primary target. I'm happy to say I'm virtually dog-free now (except for my own two beautiful pups!). Being a dog-lover it was tough to say goodbye to so many canine friends, but easy to say goodbye to their owners.

    I went out and secured my first commercial account. Begins in February.

    I took advantage of the extra free time this Winter to refinance my home, get caught up on past due dental work, and work on my bowling game. I've decided that Winter will be a time for such things, as Spring and Summer are far too busy for such considerations. The refinance is almost complete, the dental work went fine, and my bowling game still suffers. Two out of three ain't bad. ;)

    I introduced my year-around fertilizer program, and the response has been fair. I've come to understand that new customers absolutely adore this policy, while long-time customers flinch at the thought. I've come to know which of my long-time customers are worthwhile for extra services and which want the mow 'n go w/o additional hassle or worry. I actually lost one customer for having the audacity to add a fertilizer service and want to be paid for it, too.

    I'm organizing my thoughts for a push toward full lawn care service and will be testing the waters next month on adding aeration, dethatching, and overseeding services. If the initial response is as mediocre as the fertilizing response thus far, these services may not see daylight for another season.

    I'm well-rested and ready for Spring. Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines. :)

    -TGC
     
  9. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Posts: 1,671

    I'm working on direct mailings. I'm trying some different ideas this time around when I send them out. I'm going to have a female employee with nice handwriting address the envlopes to make them look more personalized. I have a current list of over 10,000 high end residences in my area to direct mail. This will keep one of my employees busy during Feb. before the rush kicks in.
    I'm also moving into a new shop that won't be completed until late March or early April, so I'm working on organizing that.
    Looking at last years profit and loss statments and determining where I need to improve. I need to cut down on travel time between areas of some accounts so, I'm reviewing routes for the upcoming year.

    Chris
     

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