I know it is common practice for lawn and landscape business owners to build their lawn maintenance routes, make a list for designated days and hand that list over to their employees who work out in the field and have them go to work.
When this is how you set things up, you will encounter several common issues. For example, a customer calls and says something wasn’t done, or wasn’t done right. Or an employee calls or comes back to the shop and says there was something about the customer’s property they were unsure of. Or you create a route, hand it over to your employees with 20 customers who need done that day and the crew arrives back to inform you that they only finished 16 accounts.
There are plenty more examples I could describe here, but you get the picture.
Instead, why not create a binder of information for each crew. Laminate the pages so they don’t get ruined. Put them in a 3-ring binder so the crew has it in the truck.
This binder is specific to the customers that the crew takes care of. If you expect the crew to maintain 100 lawns in 5 days, break the binder down by Monday Route, Tuesday Route, Wednesday Route, Thursday Route and Friday Route. One page per client, placed in the order in which the work should be done. No exceptions.
Now, each customer should have their own front side of a piece of paper and it should be laminated. You can buy paper sleeves that already have the 3 binder holes in them so you can easily slip pages in and out of the sleeve. Place one client on one side and when they turn the page, another client is on the back side.
There should be very specific information on each page about each client. For example:
* Customers name and address
* Day they should be serviced
* Where to park – driveway, street, etc.
* Exact services that should be performed – mowing, trimming, edging, blowing off
* Special instructions – gate in back yard needs to be closed at all times so dog does not escape
* Mowing height
* If the lawn should be bagged
* Property line description
* Do not cut back hillside with large mower
* Do not get clippings in front landscape beds
* Do not cut grass in same direction – alternate mowing direction with each cut
* Every other vist pull weeds from the beds
You get the idea. Be as specific as possible so the crew members working in the field know exactly what to do every time they visit the client’s property. Most importantly, you should indicate the amount of time the crew has to complete the job. This is extremely important. If your hourly rate per man is $40 and you estimate the lawn will take a half hour to mow, trim, edge, and blow and you have 2 guys on the crew, the mowing price is $40. If they take 40 minutes instead of the estimated time of 30 minutes, that lawn should have been bid at $53 per service instea dof $40. This is very important.
Finally, do not put any personal information or billing information or price on the customer’s sheet. The employees do not need to know these things and if for some reason the binder is misplaced or lost, no one is going to have information that is private.
These sheets will make your crews more organized, more efficient, force them to finish the work in the allotted amount of time and eliminate excuses for things not being done or done right.