How Lawn, Tree Care, and Landscaping Businesses Can Extinguish Non-Billable Time

In the bustling world of lawn care, landscaping, and tree care businesses, time is not just a resource; it’s the bedrock of profitability. Yet, every day, across countless yards and job sites, valuable time—akin to hard-earned money—seems to go up in smoke. This metaphorical fire, fueled by “non-billable time,” can slowly erode the financial foundations of otherwise robust operations.

The Smoke Signal for Non-Billable Time

Morning chaos, extended job briefings, equipment malfunctions, and inefficiencies in daily operations are not just frustrations; they are clear indicators—smoke signals, if you will—that your business might be burning money. Non-billable time, the period for which you cannot charge your clients, significantly impacts your bottom line. From the seemingly benign moments spent on fueling and loading equipment to the more substantial hours lost in equipment repair and paperwork, every minute counts. The question, then, is how much of this non-billable time is occurring in your company? Are your operations running as smoothly and efficiently as possible? More importantly, can this efficiency be harnessed to boost your profits and cash flow?

Identifying the Flames: Common Problems and Solutions

To tackle the inferno, let’s examine a few common problems and their solutions:

1. Morning Chaos and Time Wasting

The scene is all too familiar: employees arriving and scurrying around in search of tools, equipment, and personal protective equipment (PPE). This disorganization can add up to significant financial losses over time.


Forward-thinking companies counteract this by preparing the night before. Equipment is sharpened, inspected, and refueled, and tools are organized for easy access. By starting the day with everything in its right place, companies can dramatically reduce morning chaos and ensure crews head out to the field promptly.

2. Fueling Fiascos

Fueling should be a straightforward task, but when it ties up the entire crew, it becomes a costly affair. Idle time, coupled with the distractions of convenience store visits or bathroom breaks, extends this non-billable period unnecessarily.


Streamline the process by designating specific individuals for fueling tasks and conducting this chore at the end of the day. This ensures crews are ready to roll out first thing in the morning, saving precious time and money. Investing in an on-site fuel tank can further optimize this process.

3. Equipment and Tool Mismatches

Using the wrong equipment or tool for the job is a frequent issue that leads to lost time, increased costs, and even potential harm to both the tool and the operator.


Avoid these pitfalls by having production managers and crew leaders plan in advance. A detailed list of the necessary equipment and tools for each job should be reviewed and updated regularly. This not only enhances efficiency but also ensures the well-being of your team and the integrity of your tools.

Extinguishing the Fire

These problems, while common, are not insurmountable. They represent opportunities for your business to enhance its operational efficiency, reduce costs, and increase profitability. As we prepare to dive deeper into these solutions and more at the upcoming seminar, “How to Build a Production Machine… That Works,” we invite you to join us in transforming your business practices. This event promises to be a game-changer for lawn care, landscaping, and tree care businesses looking to put more money back into their pockets by extinguishing the fire of non-billable time.

Remember, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. But with the right strategies and tools, you can control the blaze, ensuring your business’s profitability and sustainability.

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” This adage reminds us that the path to eliminating non-billable time and enhancing efficiency is not about waiting for change but creating it. Join us to learn how to build the door to your company’s success and profitability.

Register for Our Upcoming Event

Join Fred Haskett for a transformative, 2-part workshop series, “Maximizing Operational Efficiency.” This workshop is meticulously crafted for landscaping, tree care, and lawn care business owners and managers, focusing on the crucial elements of operational efficiency and the reduction of non-billable hours.

When Is The Event?

This 2-part online workshop will be held on Tuesday, April 30th and Wednesday, May 1st from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST.

What You Will Learn:

  • Identify and Eliminate Non-Billable Hours: Understand the full impact of unbillable time on your business’s profitability and learn strategies to minimize or eliminate it.

  • Strategies for Operational Efficiency: Dive into techniques for improving morning dispatch, evening preparation, and ensuring the right tools for the job.

  • Enhance Gross Margins: Discover how to use proper routing, job sequencing, and technology to improve your company’s financial health.

  • Actionable Recommendations: Leave with practical tools and recommendations to immediately start improving your business outcomes.

This workshop is an essential opportunity for those committed to turning operational inefficiencies into profit-making strategies, ensuring a more organized, timely dispatch, and no more money lost to inefficiency. We look forward to seeing you there!

Be Well, Do Good Work, and Keep In Touch.

Fred Haskett

To Learn More Contact Fred at TrueWinds Consulting

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