How A Virginia-Based Family Lawn Care Business Used LMN To Fix Budget Shortcomings

How A Virginia-Based Family Lawn Care Business Used LMN To Fix Budget Shortcomings

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November 02, 2022

PROFILE

Years in business – 43 years

Years using LMN – 11 years

Revenue – $2-3 Million

Number of Employees – 25

Why did you start using LMN?

Originally, I started using LMN just for the budgeting tools. It started years ago when I got this random landscaper association email I normally delete, but I opened it this time for some reason and saw that there was a budgeting workshop through LMN. I went to that LMN workshop and actually didn’t even have financials organized enough to actually participate in the budget class. But I learned so much about the budgeting tools and that there was a certain framework that I think I just tapped into that. The timing was perfect too, because they had just started as I bought my lawn maintenance company and it was a really good time to start retooling and reworking how we track things. LMN was instrumental on how I approach all the work that I do at this point. I felt like I was able to go out using the LMN budgeting software and know how to run a business a certain 100%.

What Are Some Of The Biggest Challenges Of Buying A Lawn Maintenance Business?

It’s a bit different than just starting up a business because I bought the company from our dad. We were originally trying to sell it, and I figured I’d buy it outright because the family business was too good of an opportunity to pass. The consultant I was working with had mentioned that the only reason we wanted to sell is because it wasn’t making any money, and that was accurate. He was pretty critical of my lack of financial knowledge, so one of the things we needed was software. We had a few pieces of software at the company, but they didn’t really work with each other, so we needed to find something that fit our needs, and that was LMN. So the biggest challenge was turning around the operations to make it profitable, and that started with the budget.

How Has The Budget For Your Lawn Care Business Improved?

I’ll say it again and again, that having a budget and knowing how it works shows our lawn care business where the efficiencies are and how to become profitable. Being able to see billable factors in our budget lets us adjust and has saved us room in our budget while keeping our efficiency. It all comes down to getting the most out of every part of your business, and having the budget tell you what goals to strive for.

LMN showed us how efficient our budget was based on costs and the money we’re bringing into the business. When we first got started with the software, our efficiency was hovering around like 50%. That’s not a good number. We found that our service area was too big and we had too many employees doing work that could’ve been easily done by half the amount. Once we found those efficiencies, it was easy to make all the fixes through our budget. We purchased the company and it had 51 employees, made cuts to where we have half the staff that we did before, and now we’re at the point where we’re fine tuning routes to make them tighter and smaller details like those. Right now, the biggest factor in our budget is getting a better handle on billable time and how to get more efficient there. So long story short, having a budget has seriously helped improve our lawn care business by making us way more profitable and efficient.

How Does Your Business Set Competitive But Profitable Prices?

Knowing our numbers is so important to keep flexible and strong in terms of pricing our work in total economic uncertainty. There are so many other companies raising their prices because that’s what the market says they can do. 

Using LMN has made me confident in what I feel like I know how to run a business at this point. We’ve gotten to the point as a business where we have no issue turning away customers with competing quotes for jobs that aren’t profitable at that price point. Knowing our budget has helped our lawn care business know our numbers really well where we know where we can adjust prices for where we need to run a business. By having the numbers take care of you, you can really focus on serving the customers better and in the long run, they’ll do your own advertising for you through referrals. At the end of the day, I’d rather be a million-a-year or half million company at 25% profitability rather than 3-million with zero profitability. The amount of work that gets put in there isn’t worth it to walk away with nothing to show for it.

What Are Your Lawn Maintenance Business Growth Goals Moving Forward?

We have business goals, but I don’t know if we have a strategic plan to grow as much as we’d rather retain work. I think that’s just one of the benefits I’ve gained. I’ve been able to use budgeting to work the way that I do, and using that knowledge to cost my jobs to keep a steady line of revenue.

Chat with one of our LMN Experts to learn how LMN’s industry leading lawn care business software can lead your business towards profitability with our budgeting tools.