Growing your lawn care and landscaping business can be just like growing lawns – it takes time, effort and knowledge, but with consistent effort, you can start to see results. So how can you increase the efficiency of your company? Here are six tips.
1. Pay close attention to what your customers are saying.
Have you ever noticed what happens when you have an inattentive waiter at a restaurant or a contractor who does not listen to your specific requests in home improvement? They end up having to redo work – have food orders redone, or repaint or reinstall home improvement items. In both cases, the businesses can end up losing money on having to redo work – things they would not have had to have done if they paid close attention the first time. So, listen to what your customers want – you may want to put in writing everything they request and have them sign it – and get it right the first time.
2. Practice what you preach when it comes to lawn care equipment maintenance.
Numerous lawn care and landscaping companies include lawn care equipment maintenance as one of their services. For instance, Lawn Doctor includes a lawn mower equipment maintenance program to encourage customers to keep their lawn mower equipment in good shape. That philosophy should go for your own equipment as well. Make sure you do all the recommended maintenance needed, and keep detailed records of the work being done. In addition, your lawn care equipment should be stored properly when not in use.
3. Establish a no-cell phone policy when on the clock.
It is highly recommended to ban personal cell phone use by your employees except when they are on breaks. And that goes for yourself as well, when you are in the field. Even just checking texts and messages can take up time. So set an example about cell phone use, and get your staff to follow it, even if it means that all the phones – including yours – get “locked up” until lunch time or the end of the day.
4. Come up with incentive programs to make your staff more productive.
You may think your current procedures are the most efficient, but your employees may have better ideas that can get the work done more quickly – and save you money, too. So why not come up with an incentive program to reward your employees for great ideas? You could either offer a bonus amount for ideas that work, or you could offer to give X percent of cost savings to that employee. Either way, this can spur your staff to put their thinking caps on and improve your business’ efficiency.
5. Keep sharpening the saw.
It is important to keep your lawn care knowledge up to date – the procedures that were cutting edge 20 years ago may be out of date today. So read up on the latest information, talk with others who are trying new things and attend meetings and conventions for lawn care professionals.
6. Talk with others in your field.
Different companies or franchise owners throughout the country may face different lawn challenges, depending upon their local climate, but they also face similar issues when it comes to maximizing their efficiency. So why not talk to other franchise owners to see how they have handled the challenges you may face? They may be able to help you grow, and you may also be able to help them. That’s a win-win.