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Increasing productivity

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by CraigPLC, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. CraigPLC

    CraigPLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 194

    This is not for the Big Boys who have multiple crews, but for the independent lone wolves. Most of this year I have been working by myself, and spending a lot of time on each lawn. More time than I should have, that is for sure. Lately, I have been joining up with some other lone wolves and we have been helping each other. In most cases, we work as a crew and knock each others lawns and no money exchanges hands. I help you do one, and then you help me do one and all is even type of thing. But the amount of time to do each lawn is cut dramatically. What was taking me a hour to do by myself is done in 20-25-minutes (Cut, Edged, Trimmed, and Blown). By working together, the work is focused, where when working by yourself time isn't as much of an issue. Besides, one guy is cutting, another edging, and another is trimming at the same time, and then the guy edging grabs a blower and by the time the grass is cut, everything else is done.

    We all were fussy about how the work was done, so it works out. Now I have to admit, some customers are a little confused when they see two or three landscaping rigs pull up, all with different names on them, but they are starting to get use to it. I have also been getting done so fast with my customers, that I am still able to pick up extra money working with some of the Bigger Companies who have lost some of their personnel because of college. So far this week, I have made an extra $500.

    It was working with the Bigger Companies that I realized I was spending way too much time, and so when I saw another lone wolf I stopped and suggested we work together. At first he wasn't buying it, so I told him, "Hey, let me help you with this customer's lawn, No Charge!" We knock it out in about half the time it normally took him. Now we have recruited another, so now there is three of us...
  2. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    ummm, that's what employee's are for.....
  3. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 6,309

    Never heard of this... But 3 trucks for 3 guys sounds like a waste of gas.
  4. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,478

    Its nice to be friendly with others and large jobs could be done togeather, I just don see the advantage for maintance. Plus the customers may be used to you, and if something were to happen whos responsible??
  5. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    One reason why you've never heard of this.

    Reason #2 why it's not the right way to conduct business.
  6. hi_speedreed

    hi_speedreed LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    So if it takes you an hour that is one man hour. If it takes 2 guys 30 min. that is still one man hour. If you have that much extra time then your friends are getting the short end of the stick, i.e. you are getting more work out of them then you are giving in return. If it was a fair setup you would each be working the exact same time per week.

    I don't work for free. I would laugh in your face if you came up to me with this proposition. If you can't figure out how to save time while working alone, charge more if it takes you longer or stay on task when you are working, maybe you should go back to being an employee instead of the owner.
  7. nashlawn01

    nashlawn01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 463

    If you hired 2 employees to work instead of getting 1 of your properties mowed and two other guys done you could have 3 properties done. Paid out $20-$25 in labor and made $100-$150 for an hour instead of $40 for you $40 for him and $40 for him
  8. Green_Pips

    Green_Pips LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    Craig, if you want to increase productivity, consider buying another BB stander.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  9. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    I think part of the problem is the fact that pricing is on the lowballer side. If you have to spend a ton of time and not get paid for that time, you're at lowballer prices.
  10. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 6,309

    You and your mowing buddies are probably loosing money, gas for 3 trucks, and then time for 3 guys, sounds like you guys think your doing better than you are. They are getting the same amount of lawns done in the week but drive three times as much?

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