Nickel and dimed to death!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by eggy, Oct 28, 2001.

  1. eggy

    eggy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,085

    Well it seems in a small operation like ours we are being nickel and dimed to death for various things encountered. It seems like we have a lot of money going out weekly for little $20 or so iteims that really add up.....and to be honest this does hurt the bottom line in a small operation with not as much flex as a large one...any tips on getting such expenses in line?
  2. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    Your going to have to be a little more specific to get straight answers. I would think a smaller company has more control over wasting money on parts and small expenses than a larger one. In a larger company you have guys wasting materials because "It's not their money, etc" But in a smaller opperation you usually oversee most of this stuff.

    So like I said, where is the problem...... too much money for parts and maintenance? Food? Equipment?

    Its a broad subject so if you set us straight maybe we can help you better.
  3. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 992

    I don't consider myself to be any sort of a "biz" expert, but since I will be plowing "for hire" this winter I'm going to have to learn!

    Guido's right - a bit more info is really needed to answer your question, but one thing that can help is thorough record-keeping, right down to the little items. Those small $20 items that you mention often tend to get overlooked, but as you point out they add up! So can "charging" stuff on an account, when you get the bill next month you think :eek: who bought THAT???

    See just what those $$$ are being used for, and take a look at your spending over a period of time - say one month. That should at least make it easier to decide where/how to control the spending.
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I'll agree that the small items can nickel and dime ya but like they said what items.
    I am a small operation also and have corralled costs pretty well over the years. If you find yourself purchasing just to have the new thing you have to re-evaluate. Do you have some type of budget? You must know your gross and net. Has this changed drastically over the past few months.
    The times I find the nickel and dime expenses getting me are out of my own stupidity, breakage, leaving a gas can, denting the truck, ect. but usully not consistantly thank God.
  5. cp

    cp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    I don't know if this is nickel and dime but I find myself going through buying spurts. New truck needs new bed liner needs new brake controller needs new signage, etc,.

    See what I mean?

  6. eggy

    eggy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,085

    Well a good eaxample happened today, after making this post. I mow a commercial account on sunday about 5 acres, its much easier on sunday with out cars around. Well as I pull out of the drive today from the house..scrape! well guess what I forgot to raise the jackstand was bent behond repair...45 bucks gone today new jackstand. I will say that we have been in buisness about four years and have aquired a lot of small tools equipment etc, but I guess maybe its the cost of doing buisness, but it hurts the old bottom line.
  7. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    We found that working on Sunday usually ended up costing us in a similar fashion. We don't work on Sundays anymore. Figure that it is called a day of rest for a reason. Everyone needs to rest some or preventable things start happening way too often. If you consistently have one type of problem, then its time to determine if a work method needs to be changed. For example, if the guys keep whipping rocks through sliding glass doors, it's time to train them to not allow anything to go in the direction of the glass and re-assign the task to a worker who is more careful by nature.
  8. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    Got this one the best! Its when you start getting tired and burning yourself out when accident's happen. Take a day or two off! A good thing to help forgetting tools and other stuff (Jackstands, gas cans, trimmers, etc) is to make sure everything on your rig has its own place. Then, every time you move the truck do a walk around. Walk all the way around and look for things out of place and missing. Make a little checklist in your head.....1. Jack up, 2. gate locked, 3, mower tied down, 4. all trimmers and blowers here, etc. That would help you overlook some of the easy things to fix.

    Another good one is like MOW ED said, make yourself a budget and stick by it, this will stop you from buying things just because you would like to have them.

    Hope this helps some!
  9. eggy

    eggy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,085

    I think you guys might be right, as I was replacing the jack I was thinking why do these things happen on days you are very sleepy and rather burnt could be the end of the season and equipment is needing to be gone threw this winter.
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Its called Managing Cash Flow. Always taking time to check the little things. Jack up, gate up, mower brake on, locks on trimmer traps, etc, are little things that add up to big savings when you might screw something up or keep equipment from being stolen.

    Attention to detail is one major way to manage cash flow.

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