Since starting his company 18 years ago at the age of 14, Adam Linnemann has developed five steadfast rules to making his maintenance operations run smoothly.
Here are the tips that have helped Linnemann Lawn Care & Landscaping in Columbia, Ill., grow and operate efficiently.
Be consistent. When it comes to work orders, organization is key to making sure projects are successfully completed and customers are happy. “Especially for any non-routine work that is not performed weekly,” he says. “For routine work, we simply keep our client list on a spreadsheet.”
Stay on top of invoices. Cash flow is crucial for every company. “Invoice regularly and stay on top of any past due clients,” Linnemann says. “Don’t be afraid to cut off service if clients are past due.” Linnemann’s term for invoices is 10 days. Letters go out to customers at 30 days and then 60 days. He says threatening to put a lien on customers’ properties after 60 days has helped the company recoup all but less than $1,000 of unclaimed money over the years.
Be efficient. “If you provide weekly maintenance, have a route and stick to it,” he says. Also, adding a gas pump on his property has cut down on the time it takes his crews get into the field.
Put someone on the phones. For years, Linnemann had the company’s phone calls forwarded to his cell phone when he wasn’t in the office. He was answering calls all day while trying to work in the field, and he wasn’t being productive. “If possible, have a friendly voice answer the incoming calls for service during normal business hour,” he says. Since adding a director of first impressions to answer the phone, he’s been able to grow the business by focusing on sales and remaining in the field.
Join a service or referral group. Linnemann initially joined his local Rotary Club for the networking opportunities. Since then, he’s found many role models in the group, successful people who have helped him set greater goals for his business and who listen to his ideas and challenges.