Quieter days are ahead. Can you use them to make a plan for success?
Hey Clippers! Dave Tucker here to talk about fall cleanup. Now I’m not talking about bagging up fallen leaves and putting away the mower. I’m talking about fall cleanup for your lawn care business.
Depending on where you operate, you may not be slowing down anytime soon! But sooner or later, we lawn care business owners can take a breath as the busy season comes to a close. Regardless of what you’ve got planned for the winter, you can take advantage of this time to do a little administrative tidying.
Preparing your lawn care business for next year
If you had a few days or even a week to focus on handling loose ends or getting ready for next year, what would you do? I’m sure you can think of a few tasks you’ve been putting off or numbers you need to run! But if you’re not sure how to leverage a little focused work time, here are a few ideas:
Figure out who your best and worst customers are.
I don’t mean in terms of manners (though that’s certainly worth thinking about as well). I mean in terms of profitability. One of my favorite tricks of the trade is job costing, a tool for calculating which customers are earning you the most money. It’s easy to assume that big properties equal big bucks, and from a billing standpoint, that may be true. But when you factor in the cost of executing a given job, the little guys can end up being the big earners.
Don’t believe me? Here’s an example.
Consider taking a little time to run the numbers and see where your money’s really coming from. You can use that information to figure out where you need to raise your prices or whether you need to drop a few customers. Pro tip: CLIP, our lawn care business software, has built-in tools for this!
Do a little maintenance and start shopping for replacements.
Most likely, you’ve got some regular lawn care equipment maintenance built into your schedule year-round. But the lull after fall ends is a great time to get caught up—and take a closer look. Regular maintenance is, of course, an excellent practice, but it can be tough to catch signs of a bigger problem. You might even ask your crew members if they’ve noticed any quirks with your trucks or equipment. Since you won’t need your equipment for a few months, you can really take your time shopping for a replacement if need be.
Start thinking about leadership plans.
Has your lawn care business reached a point where you need more leaders? Maybe a right-hand man, an office manager, or a new crew leader? Take advantage of the quiet season to think about your existing workers. Has anyone expressed interest in greater responsibility? Have you noticed a real stand-out who you’d like to train up for a leadership role? Or do you need to hire from the outside? Make a plan now, so you can spend the winter taking action and set yourself up for success come spring.
Think about your own future.
You got into this business for a reason, right? An entrepreneurial itch, a desire to spend more time outside, greater control over your own destiny? Use this time to reconnect with your goals and see if you’re on track to achieve them. Don’t forget to connect with your family, too, and see what they think. If you’re anything like me, they’re the reason you do anything!
How are you planning to use the quieter days ahead to set yourself up for success? Tell us in the comments! In the meantime, don’t forget that CLIP is full of features designed to help you succeed. From job costing to routing, we’ve given you the tools you need to maximize your ROI and get the results you want.