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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by osc, Jun 8, 2000.

  1. osc

    osc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    Most of my thinking time is spent on the subject of how to become faster at what we do. Speed equals profit. Quality is a given, something that must always be high grade but if I can't have speed, then I'll start some other business.<br>I've always been fast at everything and I'd put myself and my crew up against anyone. There should be a lawncare competition just like those logging competitions on cutting logs and all that.<br>So the point is, what do you guys do that really speeds up your operation. What fundamentals would you give to others on how to work quickly and get a large volume of work done in a day's time, week etc.?<p>I just thought this subject could really help all of us new and old.<br>
  2. Bobby

    Bobby LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 258

    I've never been there, but I heard there is a competition at the annual show in Orlando Fla.<p>----------<br>Bobby <br>Ft Lauderdale
  3. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,075

    osc,<br>I think the key to speed is knowing the property well. I could beat you in speed on any of the properties I maintain, and you would smoke me on yours.<p>The crew you work with must know each others jobs. Then they can be useful by knowing what has yet to be accomplished.<p>A complete understanding of the area you work...streets, lights, time of day traffic, etc.<p>And of course &quot;sweat equity&quot; some are born with the hustle, all others are imitators. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.
  4. yardsmith

    yardsmith LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 628

    I was just thinking about that a few days ago; having a contest to see how fast guys can weedeat & do a good job. I can weedeat curbs & house edges & sidewalks at a fast walking pace; always wanted to see others.<br>Food for thought......<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<br>
  5. AGG Lawn Maintenance

    AGG Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Senior Member
    from Elberon
    Messages: 422

    Toroguy hit the nail on the head!!!<br>With a 3 man crew we cut and edge first then trim. Who ever finishes first blows. With estimating we do two things:<br>We have a form the tells in detail what services we do time frams and prices for each givien to the customer and logged in a log book. The second thing we do is target areas in the winter months estimating door to door. Marking the town, house number and street. All the people have to do is call and give us their phone number and name. Most people that call you pick up a customers. That saves you time during the season. Another this you can do is price by the shurb and as a whole. Give the customer a floor plan of all the shurbs and let them highlight the ones the need cut. On the floor plan is a key with the prices so they can leave you a check. I try not to lock into times with any customers. I make it seem like they don't have to be there. Keeps me out of trouble with the time thing. Hope that helps you!!! Travis AG&G lawn Maintenance
  6. steven Bousquet

    steven Bousquet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    is it how fast or how much you are making during that time? some times the fast guy is not the highest paid. sometime they are. but what you have to really look at is production dollars per hour, that is what really tells the story on profit.
  7. OP

    osc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    That's what I'm driving at Steve, production and dollars. Really though, speed is the essence of all profit once you have the quality and control down. In my biz and area the fastest guy is usually he most profitable<br>. <br>Toroguy: Good point. And I think that I am most adaptable to a new environment.<br>Hence the need for a competition and a way to judge ourselves in speed and profitability.<br>Smitty:<br>See, we need a competition just like the logging industry but on speed and quality. It may just help our employees understand what's going on in this business and what is important to turning a profit.
  8. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    Sounds like a good idea.I'll take you on with<br>the vertical edging/trimming.You'll have to<br>catch a flight over though.:)<p>Karl<br>
  9. plowking35

    plowking35 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S.E. CT
    Messages: 1,687

    The mower makers have helped us all with the sped aspect of the equation.<br>Next what is needed is motivated employees.<br>For those of you on a crew day in and day out you control that factor, and will earn money for that crew.<br>Its when you you are not there, that things get hazy. the stop for coffe(6x a morn),the extra 10 min every hour for a cigarette, the extra 5 or 10 for lunch, the stop midafternnon for drinks, the long way to the house around the corner. The list goes on and on.<br>However if you really want to grow the business, you need to get off the mower, and work on the business. So by knowing mowing times, and setting them up as the standard, and tell your people what you expect them to do in a given time period, will help with all the grey factors.<br>Also make sure you have route sheets, with time areas for them to fill in. This is key in tracking accounts. <br>We have a few accounts where we have a very good relationship with the managers, and we will call and see if the times on the sheet mesh with the times at the property.<br>Make sure you outline the protocal for skips, or resheduals. My crew skipped a lawn at the end of last week, and then we were hit with 2 days of rain this week, and that lawn went 10 days with out being mowed. Needless to say it was a mission.<br>But getting away from daily mowing on a crew is the only way to grow.<br>Thus the amount that your crew makes per lawn is much more important than how fast they can mow a lawn.<br>So basically I agree with Steve, I would rather have 1 lawn that makes $500 then 10 that make $50 <p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org
  10. OP

    osc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    Great points and great discussion. I think the newer guys could really learn from these issues. When you start out, you think you are doing a lot and after a few years pass, you find out what work and production really is.<br> But hey, if I could go south and work for someone else in the winter just to see the ins and outs of someone else's business, I'd do it in a second even though it's my time off and I make enough money to coast untill spring. <br>I do things in everyday work that sets us apart from our local competitors and makes us faster and more profitable. I know that other companies have their methods of turning a larger dollar and I would like to learn what those things are.<br>So Steve, if you need an extra hand this winter I'll pack my bags on December 1st.

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