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Every once in awhile, someone starts a thread to share ideas to help us be more efficient and lower our costs. I'm always looking for ways to help the bottom line as we all know we work in a business that is extremely competitive. Lets post some more ideas as I'm sure we can all learn a thing or two:

1. Trash bags... yesterday I stumbled onto some strong, very inexpensive trash bags. Ruffies has a clear bag, only .5 mil but amazingly strong. 170 of them only cost me 12.00. Got them at Lowes...most of the bags we were using for cleanups were about 13 cents per bag..these are 7 cents. Try em...you'll like em.
2. Use email for billing..no paper, no stamps. Some customers still want a paper bill ...but we were able to put 1/2 our accounts on email billing. Also saves on those expensive printer cartridges.
3. Keep a detailed work log in the truck and use it faithfully every day...keep times on every maint or landscape job every day...also note all materials used. At end of year, roll up the production times and evaluate where you are losing money. Also makes monthly billing sooo much easier.

Thats enough for the first post...will add on as I think of more. Lets hear some more ideas.
 

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Sharpen a whole stack of blades while you have the tools set up.

When mowing, or trimming, start and finish at the same spot every time.

Make your mower dealer give you a new hat every year.

Buy beer by the case, not the six-pack.

Crawdad
 

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Igloo coolers, don't go without them. Fill them up with water at your house, get ice at a store for a buck. Put in some form of drink mix for flavor. You can get Gatorade, Iced Tea, etc powders in bulk for a good price.
 

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Stop eating food .... saves on dishes, water for the dishes, less garbage, and no toilet paper!

Seriously - Fill up the trucks and mowers with gas if you are able to. Or have the forman drop off crew at first job after lunch while he goes to the gas station to top everything off. ( that is the most productive time of day )

Tighten your routes as much as possible, thus shortening your windshield time. (loss)

Have spare parts ( need i say more ??? we've all been there )
 

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Time to lean time to clean.Told the guys if your sitting by the truck waiting for someone to finish so you can leave an account;break out the rag and cleaner.Don't just sit there and watch them work.Everthing on the truck can use a good once over.Saved one whole day of cleaning and helped with unneccessary down time due to potential problems being spotted and taken care of early.
 

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I just can't do the "bring lunch" thing :eek: I have to eat in a restaurant to get a little break. Bad thing is, it's never fastfood, so it costs. Monday was Golden Corral, Tuesday was Cracker Barrel, same as today. Yesterday was spaghetti at the local pizza shop :D

I try to save money by doing my own maintenance on everything, right down to building my own engine for the truck last winter...save money for food :D
 

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Don't take something to the dealer unless you absolutely have to...do ALL the maintenance work yourself and save money. If you don't know how, then learn.

Don't keep something forever just because it still works. Eventually, it will die and leave you stranded. PM (preventive maintenance) is one of the key points to survival in this business cause time is money. And if you're broken down, you ain't makin money...honey.
 
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