Priorizing is a must in business. By now, with all your years as a manager or owner in the green industry profession, you should know how to prioritize.

You can manage your time, your employees and your customers. So now you have that daily to-do list, which you update each day in writing, then assign each task a priority, and you get them done. Nice work!

What about prioritizing your most profitable jobs, so you know which ones to really focus on? This is an area that most companies don’t look at, while they spread their valuable resources (people, equipment) over the most profitable to the least profitable jobs. Once you get to the bottom of this prioritized profit list, it may be time to increase your pricing or cut the least profitable ones loose, at the appropriate time. That’s up to you. I know the economy is bad, as is all the news, and losing customers is not a good idea right now. Well, if they’re not contributing to your margin or profitability, why keep them? Again, that’s up to you. Some companies like to be busy rather than profitable.

What about your field operations, personnel and equipment assignment? It doesn’t matter if the job is landscape, hardscape, irrigation, mechanical maintenance, lawn care, etc. It may be a good idea to send your best supervisor, and/or team, to the most profitable jobs to get them done even faster, and make more profits as a result.

After you’ve done the estimate, you would know what the potential profits would be, right? These personnel are probably higher paid, because they do good and efficient work. These “other” types of supervisors may not be paid as much and may need to take on less profitable jobs or those that the others don’t like to do. It may also be a good idea to assign your best equipment to your best personnel who do the most profitable work. These folks don’t like it when the equipment goes down, as they want to get the work done and get on to the next job. The less profitable jobs and lower paid personnel can still do the work and you can still make a profit, though maybe a little less.

Remember, typically, this supervisor and team are paid less; the equipment you’ve assigned them has probably been depreciated, so your cost is actually lower to do the jobs than maybe you anticipated. Give it some thought. Call me; I can help.

EdITOR’S NOTE: Bill Phagan is president of Green Industry Consulting, Inc., and can be reached at 813.310.1108 or e-mail to or his website at