With so much competition out there for landscaping businesses, it can be overwhelming trying to stand out as unique or more affordable without compromising quality. Daunting as the task may seem, however, searching for ways to save your business money should be a consistent goal to keep your (and your clients’) wallet happy.
Certainly, big company changes can yield cost-effective results, but they often come with a hefty upfront price tag and workload. Luckily, there are some smaller ways to save your business money that will help cut down your expenses and also make you stand out among the competition.
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1. Time Management: Minimize idle time.
It’s no secret that being fully aware of time and how it’s spent can have profound successful impacts on many aspects of life. Your landscaping business deserves the same scrutiny.
Time is money; all commuting and setup times required for a job need to be accounted for to be sure no minute is wasted. Plan out specific routes for job sites to maximize efficiency when commuting in order to minimize idle time that employees could spend working.
In addition to commuting time, see if there are small changes which can be made even before leaving for a job. Little things like organizing equipment prior to leaving the warehouse or creating a special storage space in the evening for morning jobs can make huge differences when it comes to saving time and money.
2. Maximize virtual outreach efforts.
Making full and creative use of the virtual space your company occupies can have lasting benefits on your influence and success without costing too much. Despite the physical nature of landscaping, the reality is that most people today spend a good amount of time online, and that includes your clients. If you’ve already tapped into the digital marketing sphere with your business, consider expanding your efforts. If you’re just getting started – don’t waste another minute.
Digital marketing and outreach efforts can be inexpensive and effective additions to your marketing scheme. Try using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to keep your existing and potential future clients in the know. Posts don’t have to be specifically related to your business to be effective; you could try sharing information about the weather or tips and tricks about gardening and home landscaping to show your customer base you care.
Instead of spending time, energy, and physical labor or resources on print ads or door-to-door marketing, make going digital your goal and it could save you (and make you more) money.
3. Make better purchasing decisions.
Landscaping businesses need to have a healthy relationship with their vendors and be knowledgeable about the market. Define the best times, brands, and products when making purchases for your business and continue to update and change this knowledge throughout the year.
Of course, buying equipment after the summer season will be cheaper than buying before the height of landscaping projects in the spring. But there are other ways to save money on your new or replacement equipment purchases. Check out some of our online auctions of used government landscaping equipment for great products going for surprisingly low prices. These products are uploaded and updated online often so you don’t have to wait around for off-season sales.
4. Be a tax expert.
Knowing the ins and outs of taxes, including write-offs, deductions, and sales taxes, is crucial to your business’s success and longevity.
Tax write-offs can sound appealing for equipment purchases, but be sure to check with your bookkeeper before you write anything off. Often, writing off equipment purchased for your business does not make you exempt from paying; it merely defers payment to a future year so be sure to check the fine print and work closely with your accountant.
Deductions are another part of taxes that can save your business money, and there are many different and potentially surprising expenses that can be deducted from your expenditures and taxes. Trips, travel, gas… all these things and more can be eligible for exemptions or deductions, and it pays to know the specifics.
Depending on your state, there are various discrepancies concerning sales tax. Luckily, labor is never subject to taxes, but understanding which other purchases and expenses you need to pay tax on is imperative. Make sure you have an open and consistent relationship with your accountant throughout the year so tax season doesn’t set you back right before the busy landscaping season begins.
5. Weed out subcontractors.
Although the transition from various external contractors to all in-house efforts can be expensive upfront, it can have extensive money-saving benefits in the long run. Determine which external services your business is utilizing that can be switched over to your internal team with the least upfront training and sunk costs, and make it a goal to get there as soon as financially feasible.
Having your own employees working for you gives your company more face time with clients and gives you more control over performance and standards. If it’s in your budget, start with just one department and try to build it from the ground up. That might mean starting with an employee who has zero experience and investing in necessary training. Even though this may seem intimidating at first, the long-term benefits make moving towards complete internalization worthwhile.
Considering and implementing any number of these money-saving ideas could have lasting effects on your landscaping business. By focusing some energy on analyzing your current strategies and looking for small areas to change or improve can make your business stronger and give your finances a positive boost. In the competitive world of landscaping businesses, it’s never too late to start making little changes that you and your clients can appreciate.