Lawn Mowing Business Tips for Increasing Productivity
Once you have your lawn care business up and running you will soon discover that time can easily slip away on you each day. You have to schedule jobs quite tightly to make the most out of each day. At the same time though you need to leave enough time to get the jobs done.
To be successful in running a lawn mowing business you have to develop and refine systems or processes for every major task that you do on a regular basis. Saving time and energy is the desired result and it is amazing how a few seconds here and there can add up to considerable savings over a period of months or years.
In this article I offer some lawn mowing business tips to help you and your crews to be more productive.
It is important that you gauge your productivity on a daily basis so that you can set a benchmark and then work on making improvements. Some lawn care business owners record the number of jobs that they complete on a daily basis. This thinking can be flawed though as jobs do vary in size and complexity. A better way to measure productivity is to look at how much revenue was brought into the business per worker on a daily basis. Work on improving that figure and you will do well.
Lawn Care Equipment Tips
Make sure that you have good quality lawn care equipment in order to avoid downtime. All equipment should be cleaned and maintained regularly. Keep notes on when lawn mowers were serviced and when parts were changed. Ensure that you or your employees sharpen mower blades frequently.
As you start to scale up into a larger, more professional operation try to ensure that you have the best possible equipment for each job. Depending on a lawns size, contour and the number of obstacles you may need a 'ride on' mower, a 'walk behind mower', a ZTR or a combination of these.
Keep a supply of parts in your truck so that you can make basic repairs onsite if necessary to save wasting time by driving to get lawn mowers serviced.
To maintain your equipment well, find out about how it should be used in a way that maximizes its lifecycle. For example you may not want to go 'full throttle' with your lawn mowers and with other equipment that you have and you may want to let engines cool down before you switch them off.
Never compromise safety to increase productivity. Instruct your crews to maintain an awareness of their surroundings at all times and be ready to shut down their equipment if children (or adults) come too close.
Equipment Storage and Security
Make sure that your vehicle is fitted out with racks so that all equipment can be stored neatly and safely. Attach labels to the racks so that all employees know where each item is stored. If your vehicle cannot be locked then you can also fix locks to these racks so that your equipment can be stored securely.
Lawn Mowing Productivity Tips
It is far easier to mow a lawn when it is dry so you should try to work your schedule around the rain as much as you possible can.
Teach your employees that lawns should be mown systematically. Have them mentally divide the lawn into parts first and then tackle each part one by one. Looking for rectangular shaped areas and then mowing them up and down is better than mowing around in the shape of a square.
Be careful around the doors and windows of your customer's house. If they are open you don't want grass and leaves blowing inside and if they are shut be particularly wary of glass doors as they can smash if your mower flicks up stones or other hard objects.
Running a Business with Teams
Lawn business operators often have mixed viewpoints on whether lawn care employees should be working in teams or individually. The disadvantage of sending out a crew of more than one is the temptation for slacking off and longer lunch breaks. The advantages are that two people can be more productive under some circumstances such as when heavy lifting is required.
Take the time to watch your employees in action and take note of any inefficiency that you observe.
Think of some ways to offer your employees an incentive to work harder. If employees have the chance to increase their income by getting more work done they will become just as passionate about as productivity as you are. Offer realistic incentives and you will see an increase in motivation.
You may want to set clear rules about smoking and mobile phone use on the job as these two alone can be huge time wasters if you let them get out of control. There is no reason to ban smoking but you will want to ask your workers to limit it to break times and keep it well away from customers.
Constantly work on improving the way that you run your lawn care business by using these tips and other ideas that you pick up along the way. If you do you will be increasing your profits by making better use of your time and the resources that you have available.
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