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What will you do different this year?

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  • What will you do different this year?

    With the new year now at hand, what do you feel you will do differently this year? Or what would you like to try and do differently this year?
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  • #2
    Changing my route around. Not so much as changing the days my customers are cut on, but changing when I cut them during the day, so I #1) don't have any backtracking and also I had a problem with the every other week (eow) customers wanting to be cut on holiday weekends, even if they were cut the week before, and would mess my route up. This got out of hand last year so what I'm going to do is let every customer know that they are either every week (ew) or every other week cuts, and that I'm going to have my route set before cutting season and I'm going to stick to it. If there are eow cuts, they will be on their designated week for cutting and if they want cut on a different week than scheduled, I will charge them separately for that cut due when its finished, and then resume the regular scheduled route on the next week...in changing this, I've cut my route down from 5-6 days a week to 4 1/2 days a week and now have room to get more customers as well. It has had a few customers change from every other week to every week too so its looking like its going to work out well. Also will save on labor and fuel too.

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    • #3
      this year working on trying to get customers to pay faster, which may be a lost cause.. lol. I am gonna try an auto-pay option, raised prices for new customers and offering a discount to those who go with Auto-Pay or Pre-pay option. I had quite a few at the end of the season who ignored all invoices for 2 or 3 months. Next year will be my second year, and a big issue has been slow paying customers last year. I know its part of the biz.. After staying on these people constantly i managed to get most of my money from last year and will only have to send ONE to collections for $90.00.

      Serving Acworth, Kennesaw, Powder Springs & Woodstock, Ga
      http://www.sharplawnsturf.com

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      • #4
        Wow this is a loaded question.
        In a word "Everything"
        I am re looking at the company from the ground up.
        I have equipment that collects dust that will be sold.
        I need a shop. This working out of a shed is no longer working.
        I need a helper a 54 year old man can only push himself so far.
        I want to raise pricing as I think everyone says but this will have to be done very sertigiclly $1.00 here $10.00 there.
        Get more commercial work less residential.
        More Landscaping work, Mulch lawn Reno's etc. bigger $ in it then mowing.
        also try to get younger long term customers this loosing two or three seniors each season sucks.
        Expand the seasonal lighting company.
        maybe get into landscape lighting??
        last but not least I would like to be able to keep more profits instead of reinvesting every Penney back into the company.

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        • #5
          A lot of things I'm going to change to hopefully boost my productivity and payment issues. I started the company 4 years ago when I started university, only part time and only in the summer. After 4 years I have went from $7000 in sales a year to over $100,000. Now I'm getting into winter services and am spending more money on advertising and marketing. Professional websites, more equipment to make my job more efficient, legal contracts, and more. The best part is I finished school and can now devote 3 months of sales before my short season starts here in Canada.

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          • #6
            Work less.

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            • #7
              I plan on expanding again but that's really not new news I have been working on expanding since I started the business Sept 1 two years five months ago.

              I started by putting fall clean up ads in the local paper then with help/input from this site I quoted and won my first townhouse complex contract.

              I now have 5 main townhouse contracts and a old folks hospital and waiting to hear back on if I score two more townhouse complexes in the next week or so.

              As someone stated in a previous post a 54 year old man can only do so much and I am 54 = on Dec 1 2013 I hired a 34 year old fellow that knows this industry and has excellent work ethics he is actually the guy that taught me how to properly use a weed eater and pricing for trimming cedar hedges.

              Plan is once the season starts he will run the grounds care crews while I put together another crew to do hand washing/pressure washing of houses/commercial buildings/townhouse complexes etc this includes gutters and spraying roofs for moss.

              I have already dabbled in doing some commercial hand washing/roof spraying last year and put out several washing quotes already this year won one to hand wash and clean out gutters on a 110 townhouse complex depending on the weather I'll start that job in late March or early April.

              Other than that the plan is to purchase a 3rd truck to replace my ageing old beast not getting rid of the old one it will be kept as backup or if I can pull off growing and need another truck.

              Goal is to do $200,000.00 in billing this year.
              Last edited by Moki; 02-04-2014, 09:19 AM.

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              • #8
                Ooops just read my post it reads that I am washing/cleaning 110 gutters what meant is the entire townhouse = vinyl siding/windows etc job is a very fair $15000.00 contract.

                Also other than 3 residential lawns that I am committed to doing I no longer want to do any residential grounds care takes to much time running around from job to job.

                I have 3 townhouse complexes that are beside each other and a quote in on one that is directly across the road = we base out of the largest complex it has sheds on the grounds that I store all the equipment that the crews need in they just take the John Deere 325 lawn tractor with all the gear in the 1/2 yard trailer and or the F150 PU I supply.

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                • #9
                  Working at sell off unused equipment.
                  Have door hangers ready to go out, will be putting them selectively at yards that I see need service.
                  Have general flyers being printed will be flooding areas starting next week
                  Will raise prices to stay competitive with other companies in the area.
                  Look to hire a full time helper
                  Plan on pushing more hedge trimming work (if I get the helper).
                  Have good quality equipment now, just need to get to work longer

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                  • #10
                    Sell some old equipment. Add some quality employees to the team

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                    • #11
                      plans for this season

                      Well this season I
                      Created a new logo
                      Submitted contracts to new commercial properties
                      Plan on converting to monthly payment methods
                      Creating a portfolio and brochures
                      Upgrading to an enclosed trailer 8.5/18-20
                      Ordering new company shirts
                      Creating a marketing strategy

                      This is just to name a few, here's the logo
                      Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 7.49.24 PM(1)_edit_edit.png

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                      • #12
                        We have started a new bundle program that allows us to offer a combination of services for one monthly payment. For our snow plowing customers, if they sign up for any of our lawn care services, we divide up the payments over 12 months. If they are strictly lawn care customers we can divide the services up into 8 monthly payments. The response has been overwhelming and it benefits us in so many ways. 1.) Slow paying customers now have an opportunity to have one smaller payment per month and not falling behind. 2.) Up sells for higher priced services, like bed mulching, are easy to add in to the program. 3.) Customer retention- I am locking lawn care customers into the 2014-2015 snow plowing season and this years snow plowing customers in to lawn care services. 4.) Consistent cash flow, knowing what to expect month to month over the next 12 months is going to help us budget better for new equipment and for salaries during the slower months of winter. 5.) Auto pay is the only option. This should help lessen the bad pay, slow pay, or no pay customers that we have to chase. After months of collection calls to get monies owed from last season, those same customers find this option much more manageable for their monthly household bills.

                        Another thing that will be new for us is paver restoration. Had one inquiry about it this week and we have yet to see what Ol Man Winter has done to the lawns because we are still buried in snow with no signs of letting up anytime soon so I will have to update this response at a later time.

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                        • #13
                          We have started a new bundle program that allows us to offer a combination of services for one monthly payment
                          What got you to the point where you decided to offer a bundle like this? Was there a back story to how you got to this point?
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                          • #14
                            What got you to the point where you decided to offer a bundle like this? Was there a back story to how you got to this point?
                            No real back story. The economy has changed and therefore how we do business must change also if we want to increase revenue. Most homeowners want the same provider for year round services but tend to price shop to save a little money. We do not price match so this help us to make our services affordable and manageable for our customers.

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                            • #15
                              Well I think that is a brilliant move and should surely help you grow this year.
                              - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                              Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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