I’ve noticed that many entrepreneurs who offer lawn mowing services also offer snow removal. At first blush, it seems like a very logical business model: it keeps consistent revenue throughout the year, both involve outdoor work and both tend to similar clients.

But as you think about it more closely, the two operations have one key distinction besides the season. Lawn mowing can occur at any period over the span of days. If my lawn is mowed Monday morning or Tuesday afternoon it is of little consequence. 

Yet when it snows, suddenly every customer wants their driveway shoveled at the exact same time. In the winter, timing does matter — a lot — and thus the human resources and equipment must follow a very different model than in the summer.

Think about how you have designed your organization. Do you assume that your staff can handle the work consistently, without regard to the differences in work flow? Have you made provisions for changes in cycles, as is required with extra shovelers after a storm? Or taken advantage of slower periods when your crew could do other things?

Year round “mow and snow” tending sounds like a good idea, until you come to spring or fall. As with your planting, plan your staffing and work assignments according to the season.

beth triplett

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