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FREE Spreadsheet to grow your business...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Champion-Lawn, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Messages: 1,671

    I'm still busy with working on marketing and some other things for the season and haven't fully looked over the sheet.

    I would say that your figures on crew production would be off from others here based on what the difference is in the equipment they are using etc. I know there's another similar bidding software out there that shows the "industry average" for crew members using particular pieces of equipment while performing each task( mowing, edging, weeding, blowing etc) and they use those numbers in their formulas to come up with rates.
    I'm not sure if you could incorp something like that into our spread sheet or not? Although, in the other program they tell you not to use the industry labor data as a strick guide but to time your own empoyees and see how long it takes them to complete each task.
    I guess I'm just trying to those who have your spread sheet should only use your numbers as a guide only.

    If you want to grow this and market the program I believe you should clarify how exactly you came up with how long it takes your crew of 2 to service a 30 acre property by breaking down their time/equipment piece/task(edging per linear foot, mowing per sqft, blowing off a parking area/sqft etc, etc...)

    Really thought the detail on how many crew members you determined to perform a job worked out! I tried the same experiment back in the 90's and it was amazing seeing how much more efficient/profitable a 2 man crew was over a 3-5 man crew! The more employees.....more windshield, standing around, and chatting time wasted off the important bottom line!

    Sorry for the long post!
  2. Champion-Lawn

    Champion-Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74


    Great points,

    I would say to anyone, sure figure out your own production numbers. Things like new equipment, better employees, more seasoned crew members can increase the productivity of the job.

    The numbers that you see as production numbers are not from industry standards (I would like to see what industry standards are if anyone has them), they are not based off of peoples post in the forums, nor products that can be purchased that tell you production numbers, or equipment manufature numbers. Below you will see where we get our numbers from.

    That being said, nobody should base their production on the best numbers. Average in our industry is what you need to pay attention to, reason being is that typically as you grow a larger business you will encounter increased turn over, and had you bid your jobs based on your best crew you may end up with an average crew working the job and you would lose money.

    The numbers on production that you are seeing are literally thousands and thousands of hours of job costing through quick books that take into account numerous employees, both past and present and numerous commercial propertys. Our own production numbers have been coupled with production numbers from a few of the big 5, and entered as average production numbers here. One thing that is different here, is that "just mowing" or "just blowing" are not accounted for individually, they are coupled in a group of mowing, blowing, & line trimming which we have found to be the most accurate way to break down commercial properties.

    As Im sure you are aware, some commercial properties have tons of things to string trim around, while others are not all that large but the buildings are spread out making it a walking nightmare for your backpack blowers, and string trimmers. Using an average per 1000 sqft is the best way we have come up with to stay very consistent on commercial properties. Sure if you do the same type of property (same layout) sure you could tighten down the numbers, but what do you do when asked to bid something different?

    I am personally very very confident with our numbers for production, I would bid ANY property with these numbers. There is one thing I would consider, would be if I did an estimate and it was a very large job, say an all day or two day job for a larger crew I would figure out roughly how many man hours the job would take and I might be willing to charge a flat rate for labor. For instance if the job would take a 5 man crew a day and a half, I would consider figuring out my break even per/man/hour with a small mark-up and bid it at say ($30 per/man/hr x 12hrs x 5 guys = $1800 per/visit). Something like this would without a doubt be a lower bid than doing it through the commercial estimating system.

    Through the spread sheet you could NOT have a 2 man crew service a 30 acre site, you will however notice in the "Field Measurement" section there are several production ratios clearly entered under "Production Rate".

    I have had others in this Beta test kind enough to send the exact spread sheets that they use for estimating commercial jobs and the similarities in the final dollar amounts are freakishly close, however that does not mean these production numbers are gospel (but I swear by them and they have not let us down).
  3. milsaps118

    milsaps118 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    Is the "Need to Collect" your break even amount or is GP factored into that and the values from step 1 accounted?
  4. milsaps118

    milsaps118 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    I don't understand what I'm suppose to use for depreciation on the indirect OH page. Total depreciation of all tools, equipment, vehicles, etc.... broken down per month?
  5. Champion-Lawn

    Champion-Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    Again great question,

    The "need to collect" in step two, is strictly the dollar amount needed to factor (which is done for you) into your bidding for the labor rate per/man/hr (at cost) NO mark-up. If you notice your labor burden, health ins, benefits, hourly wage are all factored in, for each of your employees then added up as a total and divided by your field production hours to give you an average "need to collect". Its an average, but when you are running multiple crews, and bid several different jobs, and new employees are coming and going, this average will be a saving grace.

    For instance if you have five employees factored into this section and X number of field production hours you make have a "need to collect" number of $12.50 if you bid your jobs at this number and for some reason you lose an employee, it is likely that you will still have to produce the same amount of work with one less employee at least for a short time. While during the time you are short handed your actual "need to collect" number would likely decrease by a dollar or more (money potentially in your pocket, should you not incur overtime).

    NO the GP in step one is not factored into this sheet.

    Step one GP is going to show up again for you in step#5 where you will need to enter this number manually toward the bottom of the sheet.

    Hope that helps.
  6. milsaps118

    milsaps118 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    OK makes sense. After going further into it, I was starting to unravel it.

    I just did another mock estimate, side by side comparison after correcting my spread from that flaw you had pointed out about weeks per month and..... MAN! You thought it was scary close then, after I made my correction it IS REALLY scary close now! It was within .9% with yours being higher! Crazy.................
  7. Champion-Lawn

    Champion-Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    Top notch questions,

    I must say you made me do some research on the depreciation just to double check myself, I couldn't remember if I had the depreciation in the equipment spreadsheet or not hidden in a formula. Your depreciation is going to need to be office equipment, field equipment, etc... filled out in the indirect OH sheet. This needs to have a spread sheet for it self, to factor because its a pain to do this for each item.

    I got this from the web to explain:

    Straight-line depreciation is considered to be the most common method of depreciating assets. To compute the amount of annual depreciation expense using the straight-line method requires two numbers: the initial cost of the asset and its estimated useful life. For example, you purchase a truck for $20,000 and expect it to have use in your business for ten years. Using the straight-line method for determining depreciation, you would divide the initial cost of the truck by its useful life.

    Example: A desk is purchased for $487.65. The expected life is 5 years. Calculate the annual depreciation as follows:
    487.65 / 5 = 97.53
    Each year for 5 years $97.53 would be expensed.

    For tax purposes, some accountants prefer to use other methods of accelerating depreciation in order to record larger amounts of depreciation in the early years of the asset to reduce tax bills as soon as possible.

    You need, additionally, to check the regulations published by the federal Internal Revenue Service and various state revenue authorities for any specific rules regarding depreciation and methods of calculating depreciation for various types of assets.

    Your question was great, made me breakout the accounting text book and reminded me that I could do things a bit differently than I currently do things, I could break things down by fix cost or variable cost...... Im not even going there, but none the less great question.
  8. milsaps118

    milsaps118 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    Should you use depreciation amounts in the residual column in step 3 or is residual a different amount?
  9. Champion-Lawn

    Champion-Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    No residual would be what its worth at the end of its useful life. I'll see if I can make this make since. If you did straight line depreciation in the example above it is basically assuming that the end of life value is ZERO. The residual value of sale a vehicle or trailer wont be zero. So your depreciation would look something like this:

    A desk is purchased for $487.65. The expected life is 5 years. The residual value is $100.00 Calculate the annual depreciation as follows:
    487.65 - $100.00 = 387.65/ 5 = 77.53
    Each year for 5 years $77.53 would be expensed.

    There are charts and formulas out there to figure out what the residual value of something maybe, however you can figure this stuff out roughly for yourself, you will typically know if something will have value at the end of its life or not and roughly how much you would pay for it, if anything at all.
  10. Perfect touch landscapes

    Perfect touch landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    I know you have looked only for 15, but I would like to participate. Out of 15 you will probably get only 10 if you lucky trully trying it out , others just want to use the form for future accounts they don't even have. Thanks for your time my email is bestvalue@perfecttouchlandscapes.com
    Posted via Mobile Device

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