What are some of the ways, maybe unusual ways that you guys have found to cut costs and raise profits? I have found that being organized adds huge advantages, such as getting gas when needed, and planning lawns by location.
Cut cost is mostly a matter of picking good
equipment and maintaining it the very best
you can.That way you buy one time cut repair
cost to minumum.Raise profit by keeping
good cost records on everything spent in
your work.This way you know exactly what
to charge and know exactly what your net is.
I also get ready the night before, buy fuel for equipt. and truck at the same time and plan the fastest routes possible.
Also I send a letter in the late winter for customers to pick all the different services they wish, then schedule everything for that season in my CLIP and route it.I try to buy all the supplies I need at one time such as fertilizers , oils , trimmer line etc. Usually things go smooth .
A few weeks ago I was at my local Lesco service center perusing through a pallet of clearence items. I bought a few quarts of Nalcotrol at that time. There was a used hand blower (echo) and I asked the price and the manager said it was a $100. I told the manager to give me a call when the price reached $20.
Well I just recv'd a call from that manager today stating he has sending be that blower via ups for $20 and shipping was included.
Since I have 3 other echo hand blowers in my fleet it is well worth $20 for spare parts.
He said the blower runs but not that good. After I clean the carbon build up from the exhuast port and muffler and throw away the spark arrester screen away it will be as good as new.
I try to do everything efficiently and right the first time. There is nothing worse than having to repeat the same job or part because of laziness or cutting corners.
As far as equipment, I have bought 2 echo trimmers and 30" hedge trimmers reconditioned by Echo from Home Cheapo. they were 1/2 price with full warranty. This saved me a couple of bucks, and I always check the clearance section when I'm there.
I keep a log of each account along with lot layout, amount of shrubs, trees, etc... I keep track of times and supplies used, what services, how busy the property is, weather-sometimes, time of day mowed, etc.
Works best for guys starting out, they can see how profitable each account is and where things need to be adjusted. After having a few years worth of such logs, it is easy to price new jobs based on the experience and by searching back into the logs for like properties.
Programs like Clip etc..(which I do not use any) might be able to setup schedules on a time basis, which is good. But, which yards drain better, which accounts have fewer customers on site at which times, which mower worked best on a certian hill in a specific weather condition, etc... makes a big difference as well.