The way you spend money can have a significant impact on your lawn maintenance business success.

Hey Clippers! Dave Tucker here with yet another chat about the importance of systems. Today we’re focusing on vendor systems.

Whether you’re in the lawn maintenance business or show business, you need other businesses to keep you going.

Let’s think back to our car analogy from Part 1 of this series on systems. A car has about 30,000 parts. But the car companies aren’t making all those little bits and pieces themselves. Instead, the automotive industry relies on three tiers of suppliers to get the car on the road. One company sources raw materials, another turns materials into components, and a third makes the assembly of components. Only then does the car company buy it and put it in the car itself.

No one succeeds alone

Of course, half the fun of owning your own lawn maintenance business is being able to rely on yourself! But you do need the support of other vendors to keep your business going. Otherwise, you’d have to:

Build your own mowers—out of parts you welded yourself.

Drill for your own oil.

Dye and sew fabric and learn how to screenprint so your crew can wear matching t-shirts.

Sounds a little ridiculous when I put it that way, doesn’t it?

Just like a car manufacturer needs its tier suppliers, you need your own team of vendors to support you. And those relationships can bring a lot of value and even joy to your life as a business owner. You may come to think of those folks as your friends. What’s more, the right people can hook you up with better supplies and a better price.

So let’s talk about vendor systems for a minute.

Vendor systems that ensure a successful lawn maintenance business

There are three specific vendor-related things I want you to keep track of:


Keep a record of who you buy things from, including the name of your contact person. Anyone who picks up the document should know exactly who to call when they need more supplies. Your record should include pricing notes for each vendor, too.


Write up a little guide to your inventory management method. Include notes about order quantities and how much stock you like to keep at a given time. No one should have to guess when ordering supplies. Make it easy for your team to manage inventory without the risk of running out or over-buying.

Return on investment

This is a big one. Your goal as a business owner is to make money. If you’re spending it all on expensive supplies or equipment, you’re not accomplishing your goal. You should be doing the math regularly to make sure every dollar you spend is good for your business. There’s a module in CLIP software that’ll help you run those numbers. Your ROI philosophy should be included in your documentation so you can count on someone else to help.

How to create lawn maintenance business systems that grow with you.

In Part 2 of this mini-series, we talked about how to organize your systems so they’re easy to access. But here’s the thing: Systems change. Your lawn maintenance business is going to grow and evolve over time. Your system documentation needs to do the same.

As your business grows, you’re also going to bring in more people. If you’re hiring well, you’ll have new team members who are smarter than you. And that’s a good thing! They’ll know better vendors and better products. They can get better prices.

These people can take your lawn maintenance business to the next level. Let them!

Once they’ve earned your trust, give them the freedom to change the way things are done. That way, the business won’t just run when you’re away—it’ll get better.

It takes a little humility to let people do your job better than you. But if you can’t hand over the reins, you’ll never get to the beach. So give your people some wiggle room to make things better. And make sure they can get into your systems documentation and make adjustments.

Embrace change and let go of that impulse to have complete control. When you do, your lawn maintenance business will have room to grow.

Click here for the entire Quick Clip Startup series

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