For most turf managers, the winter months provide much-needed time indoors to evaluate the business. While you may cringe at the idea of spending time in the office in front of the computer, taking time to evaluate a few budget basics can reap big rewards before, during, and after the season. Let’s quickly cover four areas that are critical for budget success.

1. Square Footage

Accuracy in this area is paramount for success. It affects sales price, materials input quantity, labor needed, and equipment needs. When was the last time you took time to measure your treatment areas, and how accurate was the measurement? There are several ways to measure your treatment areas. Which one would work best for you?

2. Labor

Labor has two components: revenue and expense. Each one has its unique impact on the budget. Take a quick review of these two items to ensure you’re staying on track.

  • Revenue generation can vary by technician. What is your current average square foot production rate per hour? Based on this number, have production expectations been clearly communicated? 
  • Hourly labor rates have increased industry-wide in the last two to three years. That has, in turn, driven up payroll tax, unemployment insurance, and health care cost. 

3. Fuel

No one is happy about it, but everyone is paying more at the pump. It’s a reality we are forced to face. What is your average fuel cost per hour or mile driven, and how does that compare to your current budget value? If the chasm between these values is large, a fuel surcharge can be an effective way to bridge this gap.

4. Overhead

While small for some, this can be a significant expense for others. And as your business grows, this number usually gets larger. Take a few minutes to put numerical values to things like equipment expense (purchase cost and maintenance expense), rent, utilities, and administration.

If you need some encouragement or support during the process, feel free to reach out to your local ATS representative. We’re happy to listen, ask questions, and lend a hand. Our unique combination of industry experience, both individually and collectively, can help you successfully navigate your budget. A few moments to review some budget basics during the cold winter months will reap benefits that will warm your heart and increase your bank account next season.