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The biggest KILLERS in our business

JimLewis

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Beaverton, OR
Ok, let's brainstorm a little. What would you say are the biggest killers in our business? That is, what things can sink your business if you don't find a way to manage them efficiently?

Off the top of my head, I am thinking...

Drive Time (between maint. accts.)
Overtime (for employees)
Cash Flow (and on-time payments)
 

Kelly's Landscaping

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Milford CT
Yea overtime will eat you to the bone and it was killing me my first month and half in business once I cut that the bank account began to grow. A 10-dollar an hour employee making 400 a week on 40 hours goes to 700 a week with just 20 more hours. You get a few like that or in my case with even higher salaries and the weekly payroll got real ugly.
 

mbricker

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Tontitown, AR
Jim, in response to your reply to me on the "monthly income year-around thread" regarding drive time

You are right about keeping drive time down. Keep in mind I'm not going into a neighborhood for 1 lawn today on a weekly sched and back tomorrow for 1 lawn on a 10 day sched. Where I've got this situation, there are at least 3, and sometimes 5 or 6 jobs in a tight group for each day in the neighborhood. Sometimes a potential customer will ask me to make a trip into a neighborhood where I'm not already doing business on the sched the new customer wants. It's not likely I'm going to do it.

Frankly, to me the biggest killer in this business is the number of potential customers who are living in the past, when it comes to rates. Some of my customers are in the age range where they remember when the only people doing lawn care were 1) minority people who were kept out of "better" occupations because of their race 2) the neighborhood handicapped guy who was sent out by his mom to do odd jobs, lawnwork, etc. 3) teens who needed spending money because dads didn't just give them the money they wanted. These customers still have the idea we should work our butts off half a day for $20.

I do my best to be professional and businesslike, but sometimes it is really frustrating to try to get the idea across that yes, lawn care is a real business and we have lots of expenses just like the plumber, accountant, and every other businessman.
 

NickN

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Alabama
All answers so far are great.
I'd like to add :equipment down time.Gotta have your equipment running before you can make money.
 
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