Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tell your local officials about water concerns

If you want to use your sprinkler system this summer you better round up your neighbors and get to every local government meeting you can attend. If you do not, the draconian water restrictions will go on way too long. We have seen a good deal of rain this winter and local reservoirs are doing fine now. But government moves slower than a snail with rock salt poured on it so they will be in no hurry to change things back to normal. Does this mean we do not care about our water supply? Of course not, we should conserve as much as possible. This means running sprinkler systems in the late evening or very early morning instead of running them in the heat of the day. And checking to find out how much you should be watering per week. There is no need to water every day. Three to four time a week is fine and if things get really dry again just cut back more. But to not use these sprinkler systems that cost thousands of dollars is ridiculous.
If you think your local government knows what is best just consider this story of government waste from my area. Link. Jefferson officials approved tax payer money to be spent on a new radio station as part of a recreation center. The station had a new technology but produced a weak signal and could hardly be picked up by anyone and the internet stream it ran was rarely listened to according to the stations own data. This information from the story says it all, " From July through December, Radio Jefferson only generated $9,190 in income, but had expenses of $151,400. In December, the station had no income and expenses of $6,050". These are the type of people in charge of your water.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Another Lawn Care Side Service

I've been reading a lot about waterless car wash products lately since the drought has hit Georgia. I have yet to try these products but am anxious to do so. Just google waterless car washes and search youtube for video demonstrations. This would make a good side service in good time and in hard times. You could fill in slow times with mobile car wash and use the wash as a cash cow in good times to save for the future slow times. No water to haul around or a pressure washer to use. But you will need plenty of the microfiber towels and plan on doing a ton of laundry and have a helper to do the car washing as it is physically demanding.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lawn Care Services Without Machines

Are there services you can add to your lawn care business that can be done without machines? Sure, but you better be willing to work or have the employees in place to do it. A simple shovel only costs $20 but can be used to plant lots of shrubs which adds up to a good deal of cash and backaches. Spreading pinestraw also requires virtually no tools but is hard work. Gutter clean outs can be done by hand with only a ladder to help. These are simple jobs that can ad to your bottom line and provide work in dry times and in the winter months. They don't require you to spend a ton of money to get a machine to do the job either. Just remember when you are doing manual labor it takes longer and is harder on your body, so prepare accordingly by having help available in the form of workers either full time or part timers.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

How to Beat Your Lawn Care Competition.

I heard a quote today: "You can beat 80% of the competition by working hard. You can beat another 15% by educating yourself in your endeavors. The last 5% is a dog fight"-Dave Ramsey.
This is a great quote. Anyone can work hard, even the slowest minded person. Hustle is always good in sports so it is in business. If you are up at 5 am reading business websites, blogs, or online magazines while your competitors are still asleep you get an edge in knowledge. If you spend Saturday afternoon printing out some flyers or researching clusters of lawns in your service area while Joe's Lawn Service's owner is at a cookout, you gain an advantage. There are lots of people out there with good ideas but few are willing to do the grunt work to make the ideas HAPPEN. In the Mark Cuban blog post about motivation I linked to last week he talks about all the boring manuals on computer software. I am sure that sucked but he got an advantage in his field and it helped him leap ahead of people not willing to go the extra mile.
Tips for getting the hard work in:
get up early, schedule reading time (maybe in the morning), set goals (very important).

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Save 40% or More on Your Energy Bills!

Here's an article from a supplier that may help some of you with add on services. Everyone hates high power bills so here is a way to help your customers and yourself.

Save 40% or More on Your Energy Bills!

You may be surprised at how much money you can save by planting a few, well-placed shade trees. In fact, a simple shade tree may be your most cost effective, energy savings powerhouse.

Planting shade trees on the southwest side of your home can save you lots of money. According to a 1993 study, annual savings in a typical home ranged from 13% in Madison, Wisconsin to 38% in Miami, Florida. Estimates suggest that planting just three trees for every un-shaded home could save over $2 billion in energy costs annually! Utilities have actually started programs to give away trees to cut home energy use.

Planting shade trees also reduces costs on our environment. By shading homes and office buildings, trees cut our air conditioning needs up to 30 percent. Burning less fossil fuel helps decrease the greenhouse effect.

Planting trees also cuts the cost of fighting air pollution. They absorb pollutants like sulfur dioxide, ozone, and even particles released from burning fuel. These pollutants are some of the chief contributors to poor air quality. Over a 50-year lifespan, a tree will generate $31,250 worth of oxygen and provide $62,000 worth of air pollution control!

So planting shade trees around your home will most certainly save you money. But we also all receive the added savings in fewer costs to fight pollution and a better place in which to live.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Winter Blues

Depending on where you live in the lower 48 states it is cold now. Big shock right ,,, as it is winter time after all. So it is easy with a slower work load and less sunlight to get in a slump. Low sunlight affects your vitamin A level and there is an actual condition named after this (S.A.D), Seasonal Affect Disorder. I suggest taking a daily multi vitamin, exercising, and trying to keep a semblance of a schedule. Winter only seems like it lasts forever so do your maintenance on your equipment, do your off season work that interferes with mowing (pinestraw, mulch beds, clean up beds, etc) and you will coast into springtime. Oh yeah and watch as much football as possible!