Although Benjamin Franklin was credited with coining the maxim “time is money”’ in his 1748 Advice to a Young Tradesman, the phrase actually originated in ancient Greece. Around 430 BC, an orator named Antiphon recorded the earliest known version of the saying as “The most costly outlay is time.” Wherever it came from, it’s as true today as it always was. In the green industry, it’s particularly relevant, as unexpected equipment problems and adverse weather can quickly turn a productive job into a money-losing proposition.
Owning and operating a lawn-mowing or landscaping enterprise can be lucrative; however, overseeing labor, fuel and equipment costs takes vigilant management. Small mistakes can add up to big losses in revenue. Delays caused by weather are unavoidable; they come with the territory. But problems with inadequate, poorly maintained equipment are largely avoidable, and they will cost you.
Investing in high-quality machines and parts, and taking good care to keep them in peak working order translates into efficiencies that will save you money in the long run. Sharp mower blades cut faster and with less effort than dull ones. The larger companies have policies and schedules in place to ensure their crews are always prepared with top-performing machinery and tools.
On my cul-de-sac, a three-man crew does all the lawn work for the homes plus the adjacent block and the entire neighborhood. Every Thursday morning, they arrive in their truck, and before you can grab your newspaper, they’ve already started. Sturdy, high-powered stand-up mowers are on the ground in seconds. The trimmer, head phones and goggles in place, is following behind the two mowers, who are already partway finished with the front yard. They are a well-oiled machine. Over many years, I have never once seen them bent over a piece of mal-functioning equipment. No wonder their business is a success.
Industry experts freely dispense advice for maximizing efficiencies in the green business:
- Scheduling is key. You will save time, mileage and gas doing the most jobs closest to each other. Maximizing by customer density can get complicated, but it pays off.
- Invest in customer management software that provides instant access to customer profiles and job details, and tracks instantly available directions to job sites. Misdirected crews waste time and money.
- Know and use your workers’ skill sets. One person may mow a lawn faster; another is more proficient at trimming shrubbery. You don’t want someone who doesn’t know the proper way to prune a bush or trim a tree to damage property.
- Work smart, understand the property details. It might make more sense to trim after mowing if the crew is pulling weeds that can be mowed over instead of bagged.
- Be prepared. There’s no excuse for running out of trimming line.
- Bring the right tools for the job.
- Preventive maintenance is essential. Create a schedule for conducting regular maintenance on all equipment, according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Your tools of the trade will betray you if you don’t keep their parts oiled, cleaned and replaced as necessary.
In the green industry, an efficient lawn and landscaping business is a profitable one. Of course strategies vary depending on whether you’re managing residential or large commercial properties, but buying and taking care of quality equipment is always a top priority. Good equipment equals better performance, which saves time and money for the professionals performing the work and the customers they serve. Win-win.
Keep your equipment in top form with parts and tools from the experts at www.mowmore.com. They’ve got what you need to keep operating at peak efficiency.