Speeding things up

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ShorterGrass, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139


    And practice, lots and lots of practice.
    Just takes time.

    Better still blow everything down first, then mow and trim.
  2. Tom-N-Texas

    Tom-N-Texas LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    I'm always looking for ways to speed things up too....here are some of my ideas:

    * avoid stopping at convenient stores as much as possible -- big time killer.

    * avoid talking to customers

    * avoid traffic congestion by arranging your schedule so that certain roads are avoided at certain times.

    * get good equipment; especially good mowers and blowers.

    * avoid pulling weeds and other such jobs that don't pay much; waste of time.

    * avoid running errands for customers...aka going to pick up flowers/mulch/etc without charging mightily for delivery. If the customer wants just a few flowers, have him/her go pick them up...tell them you don't have time.

    * use Zillow and Googlemaps (square footage figures/photos)to help you give over-the-phone "best-guestimates." (this is my personal favorite)

    * be selective on which yards you take. Obviously if you are a newbie or needing lots of new business then this does not apply. But if your schedule is already full, avoid lawns that seem to be labor-intensive....aka have very thick grass (which might require double-mows), corner lots with sidewalks (lots of edging/blowing), out-of-the-way accounts, require lots of weed pulling, etc.

    * selectively prune out your least-profitable lawns. This will free up time for newer and better accounts.

    * Some may disagree, but for me, leaving paper invoices at the end of the month is still the fastest, cheapest way to bill people.

    * allow your workers to listen to music (ipods, etc) while they work. My guys seem to work faster and better when they have tunes...happier too.

    * don't stop for lunch....eat while you're driving. I'm amazed at the number of lawn services that seem to stop down for 30 minutes or longer to eat. I prefer to get home 30 minutes sooner...cheaper too.
  3. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Here's your best advice, don't read this thread, pay attention to what you are doing, take your time and do a good job.


    Sure enough, you do those things and you'll be out of business in no time at all.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I won't share any "secrets" right now but I can give you some advice. Do not be afraid to think outside the box and try something different. No matter how wacky. If you think it may work, try it. Some of the longer time members here will testify that I have tried tons of things, modified mowers and handhelds, and tried and use different strategies for mowing grass. There is no such thing as "one size fits all" in my book.
  5. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    Exactly, and this is why I have been in business for 22 years :clapping:
  6. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Buy the next size bigger mower

    Diamond cut trees instead going around will speed you time up.

    Trim before you mow.
  7. Tom-N-Texas

    Tom-N-Texas LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    lol! How do you figure? You forgot to explain how/why. Snd how will eating on the run drive a person out of business? I've never stopped for lunch. Breaks are for wimps and/or those who like losing their motivation after lunch.
  8. ShorterGrass

    ShorterGrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    I thought it was pretty good advice. Except for not talking to the customers. Im not going to sit and have lunch with them, but I will give them a few minutes. Its good to bond with them and make em feel all important.
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    How about doing random checks and firing them if they don't have the extra trimmer line. What is with people paying employees extra just to do their job properly? That cost is already built into the wage that you pay them.
  10. Tom-N-Texas

    Tom-N-Texas LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    It's great for customer relations, no doubt.....Especially for older customers who tend to be lonely. But the topic is saving time, and generally chatting w customers can tend to waste time. I'd also like to add to my list the act of spraying near the house and fence lines with grass killer.... This can save an enormous amount of time trimming. One can get away with this practice easier on ugly lawns.... Customers who are picky about their lawns or are trying To win lawn of the month might not like it though.

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