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tiedeman
07-25-2006, 02:10 PM
I know that I already talked about this topic once before, but gas prices have been above the $3.09 mark here for the last 3 weeks, currently sitting at $3.19. I have had to do more cuts instead of passing on the increase in cost to current customers. I am currently paying 60% more this year for fuel prices, then last year at this same time.

1. Cancel business bank accounts
2. Reduce writing checks and using strictly debit card
3. Cancel accepting credit cards
4. Cancel business phone line, now using just cellular
5. Did not renew PLANET membership
6. Cancelled a newspaper expert forum column

These are things that I have just done in the last 4 weeks and I have many left that I want to do such as:
1. Reduce postage
2. Reduce office expenses: paper, ink cartridges, envelopes
3. Find cheaper weed control supplies
4. Do multiple services while on one property
5. Charge a minimum fee no matter what of $52 for additional services to new customers. Even if I am only there for 5-10 mins.
6. Service in a smaller range
7. Looking into fuel reward cards
8. Consolidating business debt

And much more.....I will keep you guys posted.

Steve
07-25-2006, 04:38 PM
Have you also thought about higher profit add-on services you could offer?

tiedeman
07-25-2006, 05:28 PM
The economy is kind of slow here right now. My best profit margin services are the pesticide. There really isn't anything else besides landscaping installation.

Steve
07-25-2006, 06:57 PM
Have you been keeping an eye on your competitors? Have you noticed them doing anything different as the economy slows?

tiedeman
07-25-2006, 07:22 PM
This is what I have noticed with the local competition and the local economy in regards to the green industry

1. More people are switching from the neighborhood lawn boy for lawn maintenance, to a larger company.

2. A lot of the medium sized lawn maintenance companies are growing big, and fast

3. The price for landscaping installation is still high here, but lawn maintenance has bottomed out due to one local lawn care company.

4. Hardscaping & hydroseeding are becoming a hit around here for the last few years

5. More and more homeowners want a dependable lawn maintenance company that not only provides lawn maintenance, but landscaping maintenance as well, such as pruning shrubs

6. Homeowners want quick response

7. Homeowners want an all around expert to handle their questions and concerns

8. Homeowners are not afraid to ask for discounts in services

kc2006
07-25-2006, 09:59 PM
The main thing I cut down on was checks. For one I hate writing them and then the time it takes to go to the bank. What I was doing was taking enough out for a few days of fuel only, if I would take more out I'd end up finding something I needed to spend it on for the business (oh its so hard to walk into the dealers and walk out empty handed). So now I use only credit card and it has 0% interest. It's so much easier, plus saves time and money. I also am spending alittle extra time setting up schedules so I can do more then one service while I'm there. Today I cut one account and sprayed all the beds and prepped them for a mulch install I'll do in a couple days, then when I do the install I'll do a couple more that day.

It still cracks me up that some guys say fuel is taking up 20-30% of their gross! Those guys really must not be thinking when it comes to routes or ways to save on fuel. Last month I managed to keep fuel at 7%, this month I'm thinking it will be 9% due to installs where I was having to go back 2/3 times to finish.

Steve
07-26-2006, 03:54 PM
Quote[/b] ]It still cracks me up that some guys say fuel is taking up 20-30% of their gross! Those guys really must not be thinking when it comes to routes or ways to save on fuel. Last month I managed to keep fuel at 7%, this month I'm thinking it will be 9% due to installs where I was having to go back 2/3 times to finish.
It is quite amazing. You can imagine how in hard times one lco can make it through when others die off, potentially due to their gas expenses alone!.