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View Full Version : Going from employees to solo this yr-worth it?


K.Carothers
09-19-2005, 10:20 PM
In the spring, I read on here that some of the lco's decided to trim down and go solo. If this was you, did it pay? Would you do it again. Less headaches?
Did you put more in your pocket with less?

Thanks

Envy Lawn Service
09-19-2005, 11:48 PM
If you are considering it, you are very likely a good candidate.
Catch my drift here?

Solo or Solo + 1 Dang fine helper.

thecolorgreen
09-20-2005, 12:00 AM
I wonder if it has mostly to do with whether you are good at and enjoy managing people. In other words:

If you don't want to be doing all the grunt work all of the time and you at least have the will to learn how to effectively manage people - you should be growing your business into multiple crews

or

If you don't have the patience to manage people and you prefer working alone or with a helper - you should stay small


Is this accurate?

Envy Lawn Service
09-20-2005, 12:11 AM
I wonder if it has mostly to do with whether you are good at and enjoy managing people. In other words:

If you don't want to be doing all the grunt work all of the time and you at least have the will to learn how to effectively manage people - you should be growing your business into multiple crews

or

If you don't have the patience to manage people and you prefer working alone or with a helper - you should stay small


Is this accurate?

Yes and No...

For many many many reasons.
Some to do with what you listed.
Some with opposite or nothing to do with it.

gorknoids
09-20-2005, 01:29 AM
If you're strictly a mow/ edge/blow guy, two guys can make some bucks. Even if you throw in some major shearing/trimming operations, you can get it done via creative scheduling. Throw in a few landscaping jobs, aeration, fertilization, and seeding, turf and ornamental spraying and time gets short.
You have to have a no-sh*t pain threshold, both physically and economically. Promote like hell, and cherry pick in a very diplomatic fashion. I made $250 in one hour this past Saturday on an aeration job, but this Thursday we'll spend 6 M/H's detailing a large property for $75.00. It's a contract which has been in the company for about 15 years, and due to some bizarre sense of loyalty we haven't shed the nag yet. I spent a year as a foreman for a prestigious landscape architect, and the biggest headache I saw was the inability to reliably schedule a week's worth of work. The company employed crackheads, drunks, teenaged parents and thieves. Of course, none of that was on their job applications. Not knowing whether you can complete a job with the desired results is worse than never getting the contract.

Brianslawn
09-20-2005, 02:58 AM
how do you manage people when everyon in the state are potheads and worthless white boys and you never know if someone is actually going to show up the next day. hell i had 2 people this summer disapear and never come back for their last and only paycheck with me.

SouthernYankee
09-20-2005, 08:58 AM
I think its better to have a full time or part time helper if you can do it that way. Even if your helper isnt very skilled, you can move much faster on things like shrub trimming because you can have them clean up as you trim.

I am in the middle of trimming over 100 shrubs and I really wish I had some help cleaning up . It would cut my time on this job in half and I would be on other jobs that I had lined up.

For mowing, I have several huge yards that require about 30 minutes of trimming and yet again a helper would cut my time on these yards in half.

K.Carothers
09-20-2005, 10:22 AM
I wonder if it has mostly to do with whether you are good at and enjoy managing people. In other words:

If you don't want to be doing all the grunt work all of the time and you at least have the will to learn how to effectively manage people - you should be growing your business into multiple crews

or

If you don't have the patience to manage people and you prefer working alone or with a helper - you should stay small


Is this accurate?


Its not a question of small or large. A bunch of lco's on this site said they are going the solo route this year and I was checking to see how they did. I had 1 crew this year while I opened up a pizzeria in the spring and sold it last month. During the bulding of the pizzeria, I only kept my top customers (20) and sold off the rest to my crew. I am now solo again and after looking at the profit/loss comparisons along with all the headaches with a crew I am going to stick with the solo route.

Any other crews to solo operations out their?

LwnmwrMan22
09-20-2005, 12:50 PM
I went back to being full time solo last year.

Over the years I've had up to 7 guys working / summer.

Right before I went back to being solo, I had my cousin working with me for his 5th year. Each year, it SEEMED like he got lazier and lazier.

It could have very well just been me thinking he should know what to do now, and him not knowing what to do.

However, for the last 7 years, I've basically been doing the same yards each year, give or take 1 or 2. After doing the same yards, week after week, basically a trim / mow / blow, I was expecting him to know what to do on each yard.

Anyways, last year and this year I'm working solo. This year I raised my prices between 10 and 50%, depending on who I wanted to keep, and ended up keeping them all, plus adding 4 more accounts.

Earlier this year I was working 90-110 hour weeks, but then it got real dry and I was down to about 50 hour weeks. Now it's raining again, and trying to finish up round 3 of fertilizing and spraying I'm back up to 70-80 hour weeks.

There's not enough sun in the day anymore, especially when the dew doesn't burn off until 9 am or so.

I'll end up grossing about $12k more this year, just over $135k, but I'll probably net about the same, by the time you figure increase in fuel, insurance, fertilizer, etc.

Personally, I'll never go back to having employees.

TURFLORD
09-20-2005, 01:35 PM
I used to have up to 8 guys. All were worthless in their own way. Even the crew chiefs were iffy at times. Now I do all the cutting and applicating by myself. If I need help for landscape or maintenance work, I hit the local "union hall" and pick up as many amigos as I need. If they're lazy, well, there's a hundred more just waiting for work." managing employees" is the same no matter what you do. Americans have to be bullsh!tted into doing a days work. For example: Walmart cashiers are called "assosiates", first assistant to the vice-pres of marketing used to called secretary. Even saying vice-prez of anything used to be called manager. I got tired of training people to be my competition. I don't have to here employees whine about working in the rain, or not show up, or break stuff, or rip me off in general intentionaly or just through stupidity. I don't mind working it keeps me healthy whereas mental stress will kill you. I make just as much know as before with this formula and am much happier for it. I don't need to be the big dog anymore or impress anybody but myself. Go solo and you'll have alot less hands in you pockets.

lawnguyland
09-20-2005, 01:53 PM
I've been solo again for several years now and I still love it this way. Freeeeeedom.
I do consider major expansion and still might go that route some day, but while I can do it solo, I'll stay solo.

A side note though is that I am concerned about always breathing in exhaust fumes. I use a dust mask/respirator for dust, but is there anything available to clean-up the exhaust itsealf like a catalytic converter I can get or a type of filter. I hate exhaust. I'll start a new thread on it, but any ideas?

lawnworker
09-20-2005, 03:05 PM
On the exhaust let me know if you here anything.

Evergreenpros
09-20-2005, 04:11 PM
In the spring, I read on here that some of the lco's decided to trim down and go solo. If this was you, did it pay? Would you do it again. Less headaches?
Did you put more in your pocket with less?

Thanks

I have to do 300k with employees to make the same profit as I do solo. I am extremely picky about the customers I take though. Advertise a lot in the yellow pages and get tons of calls for everything under the sun all year long. I'd rather do less and make more. Meaning I'd rather spend 4 hours a week driving around doing estimates, talking with potential customers, making MORE off them because I establish a relationship with them, than grunting out 4 hours of landscaping at a reduced rate.

I own a cleaning company as well with 12 employees and I make more profit by myself than that company does. Whenever I want to get stressed out, frustrated, ticked off, and downright angry, I spend a day down there!!!!

If you're bent on getting a big company, I'm convinced it's easier to work solo a few years, save tons of money and just buy one, or buy multiple small ones. Especially with interest rates as low as they are.

Evergreenpros
09-20-2005, 04:15 PM
I've been solo again for several years now and I still love it this way. Freeeeeedom.
I do consider major expansion and still might go that route some day, but while I can do it solo, I'll stay solo.

A side note though is that I am concerned about always breathing in exhaust fumes. I use a dust mask/respirator for dust, but is there anything available to clean-up the exhaust itsealf like a catalytic converter I can get or a type of filter. I hate exhaust. I'll start a new thread on it, but any ideas?

Switch to a chemical mask, since you already wear a mask. It's the only thing that will filter out the poisons in exhaust. It's the ones with the screw on filters. A bit pricey, but you can suck air from an open ammonia bottle and you won't smell a thing with one of those on.

Use synthetic 2 stroke oil as well, cuts down on emissions a lot.

rodfather
09-20-2005, 06:07 PM
I would quit the business entirely before I ever went solo. Period

lawnguyland
09-20-2005, 06:35 PM
Switch to a chemical mask, since you already wear a mask. It's the only thing that will filter out the poisons in exhaust. It's the ones with the screw on filters. A bit pricey, but you can suck air from an open ammonia bottle and you won't smell a thing with one of those on.

Use synthetic 2 stroke oil as well, cuts down on emissions a lot.
I do use a respirator for applications and a moldex n95 w/ carbon filter at other times and that helps a lot. I also do use amsoil . I hate wearing a mask period so I'm trying to figure ways to clean up the air. Thought about 4 cycle trimmer, but a little too heavy for my liking (mowers are already 4 cycle, but even that exhaust could be cleaner). Thanks for the suggestions. I've looked at a few sites and seen small engine catalytic converterts (my husqy blower has one) so I think I'll do some tinkering this winter. Shoot, if there were strong enough motors and batteries I'd try to use cordless battery powered equipment. I digress though, I like being solo!

PMLAWN
09-20-2005, 06:53 PM
Not solo but down to one crew. Picked the best accounts and got rid of the rest. (I do have other guys working in home improvements that I can pull if we get a big job)
I am making more now than in spring.

BUT, I am 45 years old and will not work in the field if I can avoid it.
I do one by myself on Sunday that is just riding for 5 hours and I listen to the game. Other than that the crew will do the work and I will attend to other business.

I would not work by myself all week in this business. WAY too many other ways to make money a whole lot easier.

If you have a well run business with 15 or more guys I know that you can make a lot more than solo. If you only have about 4 guys it is hard to beat the solo guy. You just have to pass the threshold.

lawnguyland
09-20-2005, 06:57 PM
If you only have about 4 guys it is hard to beat the solo guy. You just have to pass the threshold.
I hate thresholds. :realmad:

Flex-Deck
09-20-2005, 07:37 PM
If you are considering it, you are very likely a good candidate.
Catch my drift here?

Solo or Solo + 1 Dang fine helper.


Me to -Helper is my wife or a friend who is retired. I always mow the fronts where really straight lines are needed - they fill in the rest.

jfenton
09-20-2005, 09:14 PM
What if you get hurt or sick?

lawnguyland
09-20-2005, 09:19 PM
What if you get hurt or sick?
drive to the corner and get some labor-or-most of my customers I've had 5,6,8,10 years so they'd understand if I had to miss a week. I went on vacation for 9 days in august, gave planty of notice and all were cool with it.

Also, skiing and other high risk activities are right out, but all the work keeps one in shape and healthy (knock wood).

mowmasteruk
09-23-2005, 05:41 PM
In the spring, I read on here that some of the lco's decided to trim down and go solo. If this was you, did it pay? Would you do it again. Less headaches?
Did you put more in your pocket with less?

Thanks

This post really caught my eye.
I currently have contracts with housing associations and property management agents servicing 60 properties, plus 50 householder accounts. I have worked for the largest of the housing associations for 24 years but they are about to merge with a much larger organisation and I will be unable to bid for the much larger contract which will result, so I have decided to take the opportunity to downsize instead.
These last three years or so employing people has made my life hell. Finding and keeping good employees has been a nightmare. Here in Britain Mr. Blair's New Labour government loves to regulate and control everything and employment legislation gets more and more oppressive for the employer - lots of red tape and regulation, together with health and safety rules that are so 'over the top' that they are a ridiculously bad joke.
So now I'm in the process of firing employees one by one so as to reduce the workforce from 5 employees to none. Next year I'll be working on my own with just one van and set of equipment instead of 3, cherry picking the best jobs within a 3 to 5 mile radius of base. By best jobs I do not necessarily mean the most lucrative, the hassle-factor comes into it as well. I will be able to get up in the morning, have breakfast, walk down the front path to my van, drive off and start earning money, instead of spending the first hour or so of every day sorting out the problems caused by employees not showing up, etc. And another thing I hate is having to repair the damage done by employees to my machines that have cost me so much hard-earned money. Sorry, I'm starting to rant! Hopefully next year I'll be a happier, calmer person instead of a grumpy old man.

Mr. Magpie
09-23-2005, 06:09 PM
I would quit the business entirely before I ever went solo. Period

Curious, how do you find help? Do you have the same help all the time, or different guys coming and going?

I can't imagine doing anything other than solo unless I had a really good friend of mine who was a good worker and could agree to his own risks.

The bottom line is that some people get lucky by finding good, reliable help (probably Rodfather). If you are not lucky and have to scrape the bottom of the toilet for help, you should do yourself and your sanity a big favor and go solo. Who is going to argue with this?

Everybody has a different scenario in their life. There is no "you should do this and not that", Rodfather. But, continue on with your one sentence posts if you must.

Mr. Magpie
09-23-2005, 06:19 PM
You know what else is so funny? THere are countless LCO's out there who scrape the toilet for an extra worker or two, not realizing that the added risk, dollar cost, basically the total value of the employee is not worth it when considering the bottom line. If you do everything legal, MOST EMPLOYEES DO NOT ADD ENOUGH VALUE TO THE BUSINESS if you are considering adding more than 2 or so. Adding a whole other crew and truck out on their own???? You better have a personal friendship with more than 50% of the crew or it is simply NOT WORTH THE RISK.

Some guys do this and they get lucky for a couple years...... trust me, given enough time in this type of industry, you will get screwed doing this.

rodfather
09-23-2005, 06:19 PM
My employees are always finding us new employees. It's great for a number of reasons:

1. Their "learning curve" is much shorter in time.
2. The new employees know what I expect of them before they come to work for us.
3. I don't have to do much in the way of the training (their counter parts do it for me).
4. I can't mow over 400 acres alone.

Sorry for the one-line responses...that is how I am.

rodfather
09-23-2005, 06:23 PM
You better have a personal friendship with more than 50% of the crew or it is simply NOT WORTH THE RISK.

Some guys do this and they get lucky for a couple years...... trust me, given enough time in this type of industry, you will get screwed doing this.

I have no personal friendship so much with my employees since I am going to be 51 in November and the oldest I employee is 27. Secondly, I guess I have been "lucky" now for 11 straight, full time years doing this way huh...correct me if I have erred please.

rodfather
09-23-2005, 06:27 PM
It may be also perhaps that I compensate my people fairly well too...crew foremen get $22.50 an hour (going up to $25 next year), guys that mow get $15.00 (also getting a $2.50 increase next year) an hour, 5 personal days a year, and I offer 1/2 of major medical insurance compensation.

jbell113
09-23-2005, 07:13 PM
What if you get hurt or sick?


This is what I worry about more than any thing. I guess you have to make more than enough money to live on so if you get hurt or sick you have plenty of customers where you can hire some one temporarily to survive until you get better...did I say that right LOL

DLS1
09-23-2005, 07:25 PM
It may be also perhaps that I compensate my people fairly well too...crew foremen get $22.50 an hour (going up to $25 next year), guys that mow get $15.00 (also getting a $2.50 increase next year) an hour, 5 personal days a year, and I offer 1/2 of major medical insurance compensation.

Are you joking? Sounds like one of BobbyGedds inflated numbers.

rodfather
09-23-2005, 09:50 PM
Are you joking? Sounds like one of BobbyGedds inflated numbers.

Your response is a joke sir..btw, would you care to fly to NJ (at our expense) and view our books and talk to my employees? And we can put you to work for a change as well for a few days (instead of sitting on your fat ass) where ever that is, to offset your rude comment...

DLS1
09-23-2005, 09:56 PM
Your response is a joke sir..btw, would you care to fly to NJ (at our expense) and view our books and talk to my employees? And we can put you to work for a change as well for a few days (instead of sitting on your fat ass) where ever that is, to offset your rude comment...

Sorry I mentioned you and BobbyGeld in the same comments. That must have really ticked you off. I could use a free vacation at your expense. Is that round trip and is hotel expense covered. I would like to make a side trip and see Bobbygeld's big operation. :D

rodfather
09-23-2005, 10:05 PM
I cannot comment on Mr. Gedds operation...only our own thank you. The offer to view our books stands open for you and anyone else that thinks we talk garbage btw. I might drink mash, but I don't talk trash...period

DLS1
09-23-2005, 10:43 PM
I cannot comment on Mr. Gedds operation...only our own thank you. The offer to view our books stands open for you and anyone else that thinks we talk garbage btw. I might drink mash, but I don't talk trash...period

Since your in a festive mood and your books are open to everyone you can save the cash for my round trip ticket and just post your open books here. :D

Mr. Magpie
09-23-2005, 11:41 PM
I cannot comment on Mr. Gedds operation...only our own thank you. The offer to view our books stands open for you and anyone else that thinks we talk garbage btw. I might drink mash, but I don't talk trash...period

Ok, you are begging for scrutiny, here it comes. No need to see your books :rolleyes: , just some questions, if you will....

Describe the top 5......
1) Highest costing
2) Employee related
3) non-salary/pay rate related.....
events in the history of your 11 y/o business. ie. "No -shows" resulting in unfinished work which resulted in lost clients, workers comp, damaged equipment, down time during hiring process, ect. all that crap..... and be honest.

Did any of these events result in your bottom line being effected..... if so, how much?

What is your turnover rate for employees?

Paying them that much helps a lot, so however you can afford that, that is what is making you achieve the improbable, so no, you aren't necessarily lucky sir.

Speaking of those high pay rates, what makes your biz so special that you can pay like that while (I'm assuming) making the same profits as everyone else or higher?

These are all honest questions...... I do want to hear success stories from those with employees because I am of the mind that they are few and far between. Maybe that is not the case, so let me have it.

Envy Lawn Service
09-24-2005, 12:04 AM
Bottom line.... I think RodFather understands what I understand about outdoor and/or seasonal employees. My 'luck' with the employees shifted over time. So I guess you could say RodFather chose one road, stuck with it, and it has worked out great for him. For me, it did not go that well for me continously and I chose another route when I re-entered the business.

This "understanding" is what I have tried to beat in your heads in the past and I could dig up old posts to support that.

But in the end, different strokes for different folks....
I took the low-stress low road this time around.
But I also can't service 400 acres a week either like he can.

lawnprosteveo
09-24-2005, 12:11 AM
I did it...went from two helpers to none...mowing 10 less properties than last year. I put a nice amount in my savings and had no customer complaints to deal with. The downside.....I worked my fingers to the bone...lotsa days I worked til dark.
Overall, I still say for me, I dont need a helper til I hit 60 + accounts.

rodfather
09-24-2005, 08:48 AM
We've only had 1 employee that didn't work out over the years and that was because he wanted to move back to Springfield Missouri to be with his family.

My business is not that special that I can pay people what I do. I pay them for what they are worth, to keep them, and to attract others as well. I charge accordingly for our services too that greatly offsets the higher pay scale. I demand near perfection from my people and for the most part I get it.

Not one WC claim ever, only clients we have lost are ones who have relocated elsewhere or died. To be perfectly honest, I cannot think of 5 "no-shows" that affected my business in all this time. In fact, I really can't think of one.

We have plenty of mowers, trucks, trailers, hand-held equipment in case something goes down. We rotate our equipment to keep it fairly new. We have an in-house PM program that reduces downtime to a minimum with daily, weekly, and monthly checkpoints.

Lastly, I even have some part time people available that can fill in as needed with just a phone call.

Lawnworks
09-24-2005, 11:10 AM
If you cannot handle employees... you cannot handle success. The only one way to make more money each year is to delegate out more work. Being solo is not the answer for freedom, learning how to have your business run w/o you is the answer.

SouthernYankee
09-24-2005, 11:48 AM
It may be also perhaps that I compensate my people fairly well too...crew foremen get $22.50 an hour (going up to $25 next year), guys that mow get $15.00 (also getting a $2.50 increase next year) an hour, 5 personal days a year, and I offer 1/2 of major medical insurance compensation.

I dont see where Rod is off on his payscale at all, I am sure that he runs a professional organization. When I was on the Cape last week, I was talking to some family that is in the Landscaping/ Paving buisness and a labor gets $14 to start, so it is not unreasonable to think that he is paying is guys up to $25hr.

What a lot of you out there forget is that living in the Northeast is extremely expensive. Where I am from in Massachusetts, a basic 3 bedroom house starts at around $350,000, where in other parts of the country the same house is under $100,000. You couldnt dream of finding basic laborers for under $10.00 because they couldnt even rent a room for that much.

PMLAWN
09-24-2005, 12:17 PM
There are a few people that have been in business a long time and can offer (and do) help to the rest of us as well as their wisdom.
We would do well to listen and learn rather that argue and fight.
Thank you for your sharing Rod and don't let the younger/newer guys run you off. It has happened before and a lot of wisdom is no longer on lawnsite.

1MajorTom
09-24-2005, 03:39 PM
The offer to view our books stands open for you and anyone else that thinks we talk garbage btw. I might drink mash, but I don't talk trash...period
Sounds like you have something to prove? Why though? It's just an internet forum. Is there someone questioning the legitimacy of your operation? Where did this come from?

Hard Worker
09-24-2005, 04:00 PM
Thanks Rod for your honesty. I'm fairly new to the business, however I am not new to managing people, for that's what I do in my full time job. My question to you Rod is, have you ever given thought to paying people based on a percentage?

Again thanks Rod for your honesty. I for one appreciate your openness. :)

rodfather
09-24-2005, 04:08 PM
Thanks Rod for your honesty. I'm fairly new to the business, however I am not new to managing people, for that's what I do in my full time job. My question to you Rod is, have you ever given thought to paying people based on a percentage?

Again thanks Rod for your honesty. I for one appreciate your openness. :)

I did in the very beginning pay a percentage. Forget how much, think it was like 30%???

rodfather
09-24-2005, 04:11 PM
Sounds like you have something to prove? Why though? It's just an internet forum. Is there someone questioning the legitimacy of your operation? Where did this come from?

Try reading the previous pages for a change... :rolleyes:

rodfather
09-24-2005, 04:30 PM
Thank you for your sharing Rod and don't let the younger/newer guys run you off. It has happened before and a lot of wisdom is no longer on lawnsite.

Nope, not going to happen. In fact, the one's (both genders) I have found to be distrustful and/or misleading of the information I willingly offer to all here on LS are the same ones who are jealous and spiteful...I kind of feel sorry for them in a way.

1MajorTom
09-24-2005, 04:52 PM
I gotta agree with you Rod, I'd feel sorry for anyone too that could be possibly jealous of someone on an internet forum. There should be nothing to prove here. Talk is cheap. Period.

dcondon
09-24-2005, 05:15 PM
Nope, not going to happen. In fact, the one's (both genders) I have found to be distrustful and/or misleading of the information I willingly offer to all here on LS are the same ones who are jealous and spiteful...I kind of feel sorry for them in a way.

Keep it up Rod!!!!!!! :waving:

DLS1
09-24-2005, 06:51 PM
I cannot comment on Mr. Gedds operation...only our own thank you. The offer to view our books stands open for you and anyone else that thinks we talk garbage btw. I might drink mash, but I don't talk trash...period

I guess you think others making over you lets you off the hook. You are the one who made the above offer out of nowhere. It doesn't matter how much advice you give you are the one with the big bad bold statements about opening your books.

I see you as a nice guy as long as things go your way and then you turn into a hot head if you don't like what you hear. If you are kidding with your comments like BobbyGeld does that is fine but you don't have good interpersonal relationship skills on the internet when things don't go your way. I wonder how you are with your employees in real life situations when things don't go your way.

I am still wondering how you pay over $22.00 and hour and make money. Are you doing the Bobbygeld routine of making claims, saying you can prove it and then backing out.

I think Mr. Magpie would like some answers to his questions.

rodfather
09-24-2005, 06:54 PM
I answered them already...read page 4.

rodfather
09-24-2005, 07:00 PM
I am still wondering how you pay over $22.00 and hour and make money. Are you doing the Bobbygeld routine of making claims, saying you can prove it and then backing out.

What's the big deal about paying over 20 an hour and can still make money? Hell, I pay my other 2 guys that help me plow in the winter 30 an hour and all they do is sit in a truck and plow snow.

Sorry you can't pay your employees and/or yourself as much as I do for myself and mine...perhaps you need to look at your pricing strategy at your earliest convenience.

LwnmwrMan22
09-24-2005, 07:13 PM
C'Mon DLS1....

your head certainly cannot be THAT firmly planted.

It's not impossible for someone to be making money from someone else that's being paid $20-30 / hour.

In your area, maybe. Maybe your area doesn't have the accounts that will support such a payscale.

However, there are indeed other areas that will support such a payscale.

Plus there are certain accounts that will support such a payscale.

When Rod's paying $25 / hour, that means his other wage expenses top that wage out about $40-45 / hour. If he's charging $60-75 / hour, he's grossing an extra $20 / hour.

Now obviously he's got equipment costs and such to maintain, but if you've got 10 guys working for you, that's $200 / hour, on the low end. That's saying he's paying everyone $25 / hour. Now just think of the margin for the guys that are only getting $15 / hour.

Now take that times an 8 hour day, 5 days / week. That's $9,000 / week that he's made off of 10 guys.

A 25 week mowing season??? You're up to $225,000 that you've GROSSED off of 10 guys working for you, paying them $25 / hour.

Now again, we're talking gross numbers. We all know what kind of hassles we can get into when everyone starts talking about gross / net.

But to come on here and more or less insist that there's no way someone could pay another person $25 / hour and still make money at it, that just shows you need to get your own rates up.

rodfather
09-24-2005, 07:15 PM
Thank you...

LB Landscaping
09-24-2005, 07:41 PM
Makes sense to me LM22. Too bad some others on here can't get it. If they did we could get back to the topic and stop slamming Rod.

DLS1
09-24-2005, 08:22 PM
I gotta agree with you Rod, I'd feel sorry for anyone too that could be possibly jealous of someone on an internet forum. There should be nothing to prove here. Talk is cheap. Period.

He made the claim of showing books and I am taking up his offer to see them. Rod can send them privately in an email to me. I could careless what he pays people.

He is the one that came on strong with he would show the books without anyone asking him to do it. But we know that won't happen. If you make a statement like you did Rod about showing books then you better understand someone is going to call you out. If someone can call out BobbyGeld about his profit figures then why would you be any different.

Talk is cheap Rod. Period. Have a nice day and be careful what you say you will do next time. :D

rodfather
09-24-2005, 08:23 PM
He made the claim of showing books and I am taking up his offer to see them. Rod can send them privately in an email to me. :D

Right...I'll get right on that :rolleyes:

rodfather
09-24-2005, 08:25 PM
I could careless what he pays people. :D

Of course you do...you were the one who said I couldn't be making any money paying people those wages :dizzy:

rodfather
09-24-2005, 08:32 PM
You sound an awful like a LS member who said "no mas" not too long ago...packerbacker I seem to remember from KC too. You're quite arguementative like him as well..twin clone or is it you John?

Kelly's Landscaping
09-24-2005, 08:44 PM
I have no personal friendship so much with my employees since I am going to be 51 in November and the oldest I employee is 27. Secondly, I guess I have been "lucky" now for 11 straight, full time years doing this way huh...correct me if I have erred please.

51 is not that old Rod I will still be your friend :p but I am over 27 so that may not count. I think you get away with those wages Rod because you have them work such short days and do not pay much if any OT and for you that works great. 22.50 and hour does not hurt that much 33.75 an hour OT stings like hell. But I know what you make and I do not need to see your books you do this long enough and you do a few hundred estimates a year and you learn to see truth and when some one is full of BS like me your always on the level.

DLS1
09-24-2005, 09:12 PM
Right...I'll get right on that :rolleyes:

Just as I thought. Case closed.

Argumentative is asking to see books that you said you will show. I see you will never show books as you claim so I am not saying anything else about it. :dizzy: :dizzy:

tinman
09-24-2005, 09:55 PM
Yeah ,,,Rod's pay might look high at first. But NJ cost of living is more than most states I would imagine. Rod's not a BS er in my opinion.

git er done landscaping
09-24-2005, 11:03 PM
IMHO rod has nothing to prove and anything he say's can be taken to the bank.

Mr. Magpie
09-24-2005, 11:24 PM
Can I be clear of one thing?

This is what was implied by Rodfather: He has never had an event in the history of his business in which he incurred a cost related to employees besides their pay and insurance.

Is this true? No damaged equipment due to moron operator? No thrown rocks into window? No stealing? No time where an employee disrespected a client and got you fired? No time where an employee didn't show up and you missed work, resulting in a lost client? I could go on and on...... nothing like this in 11 years of lawns and plowing, ect.? Just asking.

Rod, you didn't answer my question about employee turnover rate.

olderthandirt
09-24-2005, 11:45 PM
I can't imagine doing anything other than solo unless I had a really good friend of mine who was a good worker and could agree to his own risks. post #23

You better have a personal friendship with more than 50% of the crew or it is simply NOT WORTH THE RISK. post #24

Employees are not friend or acquaintances they are EMPLOYEES. They are to perform a certain job or jobs and be compensated for those task. Will they all be perfect ? NO, but they can all be replaced Bottom line is that if you manage your company and your employees correctly you will become a more efficient company which leads to a larger NET profit.

rodfather
09-24-2005, 11:45 PM
Can I be clear of one thing?

This is what was implied by Rodfather: He has never had an event in the history of his business in which he incurred a cost related to employees besides their pay and insurance.

Is this true? No damaged equipment due to moron operator? No thrown rocks into window? No stealing? No time where an employee disrespected a client and got you fired? No time where an employee didn't show up and you missed work, resulting in a lost client? I could go on and on...... nothing like this in 11 years of lawns and plowing, ect.? Just asking.

Rod, you didn't answer my question about employee turnover rate.

Broken windows..sure, in fact I have done a few windshields myself and even a bay window once as well from a stone throwm from a trimmer. Damamged equipment due to moron error? Never.

Employees teach the new people that come onboard how to operate the equipment. I cannot "talk" over the noise of a mower that is running for the simple fact I am a larynectomee (my voice box was removed due to a large tumor that was discovered years ago) and I have to use an alternative way to communicate. Stealing? Nope. Dis a customer and I lost them? Not that I am aware of.

I told you about employee turnover. I had one guy early in the season one year who wanted to move back to Missouri to be with his family. He gave me 2 or 3 weeks notice and I thanked him for it big time since it was like in April or early May of that year.

What is so hard to comprehend about how some of us conduct our business I ask? I am sorry that I don't have the horror stories and nighmares many have had in this industry that I could share with you but I DON'T...it is that simple!

nriddle77
09-25-2005, 12:40 AM
Rod,
You have nothing to prove. You are more than generous about offer info and insight regarding your buisness. Thanks for all the good insight you post here on LS.

tfilbert
09-25-2005, 06:54 AM
IMO Rodfather has been very helpful and honest with his posts and info provided. Why would anyone want to attack anothers words unless they hit a nerve. When I was bidding on a really big account I needed a lot of info on plowing and Rodfather and I private emailed for several days sharing ideas and his suggestions were all right on the money (pun intended) :) . It kind of burns me up when good people make sound decisions and reap the rewards yet people claim as much knowledge of this business with no real knowedge fume and spit on those who know what they are talking about. Don't want employees don't hire them. Want employees, hire them. Who cares what other do? You get what you pay for. I'm legal in all respects and have learned so much here over the 3 years I've been full time. When starting out I had a million questions and found the answer to most here. Many, only experience and time can teach. You don't learn how to bid overnight but rather through trial and error. I have had zero claims for damage in my time in business because I'm careful and employees are as well. My cutters get $15.00 per hour and no I don't work them overtime. Start using a salary instead of hourly and your money will go farther, just one lesson I had to learn the hard way. I'm still a little guy but I'm growing each year. I have a total of over $400,000 in new bids out at this time and they all close end of September. I feel confident about two of them but you never know until they sign on the dotted line. I could double my size if I'm lucky but again who cares except me? If I land all of them I would have to hire two complete crews and 1 more truck and 2 new mowers, another trailer and assorted equipment, who cares except me? Some of you wantabes need to do the math and see if that adds up. I'm only talking to the Chicken Littles out there who cry and complain instead of pursuing new business and taking an active roll in this business. Some of you people need to spend more time working and less time typing. When do you get any work done? It's 6:30 am and I have half a day of work today. Yup Sunday. Get off your collective butts and hit the street. Make your own opportunities and be the master of your own fate. Live the American dream and love what you do or get out of the lawn care business. I don't hate or envy those doing better than me so why do some of you? Hard work is the only success story here and only experience and research will help you find the right answers for you and your future. Thanks for the help in the past Rodfather and keep the faith. Want to slam me folks go ahead but I will be too busy to read your words or for that matter even care. For those of you who "get it": thanks again for all the help over three years.
Tim

Mr. Magpie
09-25-2005, 10:48 AM
THe probem here is that nobody seems to be able to discern attacks and questions here. I even qualified my intentions in one of my posts in which I genuinely wanted good advice from Rodfather.

There is a difference between being skeptical and attacking someone. And, it sure turned out that what Rod implied when he answered my question was not in fact true.

DLS1
09-25-2005, 11:34 AM
THe probem here is that nobody seems to be able to discern attacks and questions here.

Very true. Some people here are thinking emotionally and not logically.

I am sure Rod has helped others which is great but when Rod starts saying he will do something (i.e. show the books) and doesn't then he is full of bluster. I asked a simple question about his over $22 hour rate and then Rods emotions took off in the highly charged "no one questions me" testosterone direction.

All these comments by others of jealousy,etc. are emotional ridiculous statements just trying to reach for something to defend Rodfather.

Please folks try to separate the emotion from the logic of what is being said. :D

rodfather
09-25-2005, 11:50 AM
The basic premise here is a few people can't believe or understand or comprehend paying their help (or someone else doing it, like me) 15 - 25 bucks an hour with some minimal bennies thrown in as well AND making a profit too. To each their own... :rolleyes:

burns60
09-25-2005, 11:52 AM
I think its better to have a full time or part time helper if you can do it that way. Even if your helper isnt very skilled, you can move much faster on things like shrub trimming because you can have them clean up as you trim.

I am in the middle of trimming over 100 shrubs and I really wish I had some help cleaning up . It would cut my time on this job in half and I would be on other jobs that I had lined up.

For mowing, I have several huge yards that require about 30 minutes of trimming and yet again a helper would cut my time on these yards in half.

I agree completely. I have not been able to find a helper all summer. The very things you mention,(shrub clean up, large yard trimming and edging) are the things that got me in trouble this summer. So, I went another route. I have "dismissed" all of the big accounts to someone else, and I don't take anymore of the shrub jobs. Less money? Sure, but I have replaced these with 3 smaller yards and am completely at ease about my business now and am able to "handle" the load easier. I will be very careful about what I take on from here on and just assume I will be solo.

Critical Care
09-25-2005, 12:24 PM
Trimming down to a solo operation seems that it would be easier than expanding from a solo operation to an employee operation, but with some exceptions.

If you currently have enough accounts to keep an employee, or employees busy, then scaling down to a solo op would surely mean that without dropping any clients, you could be burning the candle at both ends trying to get things done. At least with me, Iím approaching this from the other side, and that is that Iím operating solo but at times get busy enough where I wish I had a hired hand.

I think that when you scale down to a solo op you really need to reevaluate the efficiency of your operation. When you become an old fart like me, at 51 years old, making things easier becomes paramount Ė though not always a reality. If I could only afford a dump bed and nice toys like that, and those are things that make a solo operation really work.

jeffex
09-26-2005, 05:51 AM
I can't believe all the replys attacking Rodfather!!! I am only part time but I know many LCOs in my area. the successful ones hire and PAY employees not just day labor. This is hard work and seasonal in many areas. My 17 year old son works with me and he bacame an asset to the business when I put him on commission. He gets a % of the profit for the day so he works just as motivated as I do with a finished product in mind. if your labor force could make enough to carry themselves through the winter with savings then they will be there in the spring to work again. I don't use employees so I am not qualified to speek from experience but I would follow Rodfathers model If I did. Give me 1 dedicated, motivated and high $$ worker and I'll charge enough to cover his cost and my profit and enjoy the day!! my 2 cents

PMLAWN
09-26-2005, 07:41 AM
What is so hard to comprehend about how some of us conduct our business I ask? I am sorry that I don't have the horror stories and nighmares many have had in this industry that I could share with you but I DON'T...it is that simple!
I do have the stories as this year has been a bad one but I paid guys $15.00 to run the crews and lost equipment (both by loss and damage) and had jobs not get done and did loss a lot of sleep.
BUT we still had money to cover the hits and still made profit even if it was not what we wanted % wise.
Yes, we have gotten smaller, but we still run crews. As Rod first stated, I would get out before being solo.
I too, find it interesting that in this business guys will fight and defend themselves making little or no profit and attack the man that runs a business and make real profit.
Lots of teens and twenty somethings that may be still at home or just starting out on their own with only a small apt. Seems that these are the ones that agree that no money is OK and 80 - 100 hour weeks for the no money is OK too. . The 40 - 60 year with the $300,000.oo house and kids in school and nice clean cars to get into when the work day is over and they get out of the work truck, and some recreation toys (boats RV's bikes vacation homes) and money left over at the end of the month are the ones that should be listened to.
Time was short for me the last few months and I was not able to visit Lawnsite much, seems a lot has changed and the site is much more argumentative and nasty than before when people where here to help each other build everyones career.
All should focus on the positive!

LwnmwrMan22
09-26-2005, 11:24 PM
I do have the stories as this year has been a bad one but I paid guys $15.00 to run the crews and lost equipment (both by loss and damage) and had jobs not get done and did loss a lot of sleep.
BUT we still had money to cover the hits and still made profit even if it was not what we wanted % wise.
Yes, we have gotten smaller, but we still run crews. As Rod first stated, I would get out before being solo.
I too, find it interesting that in this business guys will fight and defend themselves making little or no profit and attack the man that runs a business and make real profit.
Lots of teens and twenty somethings that may be still at home or just starting out on their own with only a small apt. Seems that these are the ones that agree that no money is OK and 80 - 100 hour weeks for the no money is OK too. . The 40 - 60 year with the $300,000.oo house and kids in school and nice clean cars to get into when the work day is over and they get out of the work truck, and some recreation toys (boats RV's bikes vacation homes) and money left over at the end of the month are the ones that should be listened to.
Time was short for me the last few months and I was not able to visit Lawnsite much, seems a lot has changed and the site is much more argumentative and nasty than before when people where here to help each other build everyones career.
All should focus on the positive!

PM -

I certainly hope that isn't a shot at me, because if you're working 80-100 hour weeks and not making any money, well I agree, that ain't good.

If you call grossing $135k and netting around $40k not making any money, well I would like to know what you think IS good. :waving:

LwnmwrMan22
09-26-2005, 11:32 PM
DLS & Magpie -

I agree, that when Rodfather talks about his complete lack of employee turnover or equipment failure due to employee mistreatment, that does fly in the face of 99.99% of everyone in this industry.

However, maybe the key actually IS paying the $20+ / hour.

I know my cousin that does concrete / block work, he pays all of his guys $20-35 / hour, full benefits and gives each a company truck.

They do over $2M / year between 3 crews in the block work and 90% of the guys just claim unemployment for the winter.

Most guys around here pay between $15-20 for concrete workers and cannot understand how my cousin can make any money paying guys that much.

About a month ago my cousin bought a new $650k motor home, "for the company".

It can be done paying the higher wages, but to find that worker pool......... THAT is the problem.

rodfather
09-27-2005, 05:48 AM
I don't have employee problems for 2 reasons:

1. Before beginning my LCO, I was the Director of Training for Hertz Equipment Rental Corp. hiring, managing, and overseeing a staff of 19 people in 6 different parts of the U.S. I did it successfully for 9 years before I had to leave due to throat cancer and removal of my voice box.

2. As previously mentioned in this thread, as in new business, new employees are all referrals. I have never in 11 years advertised for new business nor for new help.

I know how to manage people and get the best from them. Period

PMLAWN
09-27-2005, 08:28 AM
PM -

I certainly hope that isn't a shot at me, because if you're working 80-100 hour weeks and not making any money, well I agree, that ain't good.

If you call grossing $135k and netting around $40k not making any money, well I would like to know what you think IS good. :waving:
No, This was not a shot at anyone. Just observation of the site.
As for the money issue--What I think is good and what you think is good are most definitely going to be different. As is the amount needed to live the chosen lifestyle of each will be different.
If one is happy with where they are at than that is right and good.

If 40K is what I bring home after working 80-100 hours a week at a job that is very hard labor, for 38 weeks of the year, than no I would not have that job.
Again this is not saying YOU are right or wrong, just how I look at it.
Sorry if offense was taken.

LwnmwrMan22
09-27-2005, 09:25 AM
No, This was not a shot at anyone. Just observation of the site.
As for the money issue--What I think is good and what you think is good are most definitely going to be different. As is the amount needed to live the chosen lifestyle of each will be different.
If one is happy with where they are at than that is right and good.

If 40K is what I bring home after working 80-100 hours a week at a job that is very hard labor, for 38 weeks of the year, than no I would not have that job.
Again this is not saying YOU are right or wrong, just how I look at it.
Sorry if offense was taken.


No offense taken.

There's stories to everyone's business. I would open my books to if anyone would like, but it doesn't prove anything. Some people would try to rake everything they could out of the business, I'd rather take the money that I would have to pay in wages and buy stuff for my business, so when I get older, I already have the large large purchases, instead of trying to make those AND pay people at the same time.

I believe tax breaks are there for a reason.

I only have a 24 week mowing season, which is 2/3's of your 38, there's no way I'd do this job for 38 weeks / year.

PMLAWN
09-27-2005, 05:00 PM
No offense taken.


I only have a 24 week mowing season, which is 2/3's of your 38, there's no way I'd do this job for 38 weeks / year.
Sorry had not even looked where you were from.
Next 2 months are the busiest for us with aeration and reseeding but we will cut till mid Nov. with a few cuts in Dec. and start lawn care in early Feb.
And if you move down here leave the plow up north.

premierlawncare
10-01-2005, 03:28 PM
Get liablilty Insurance for equal to your foreman pay. Then get life insurance in case you die.

Then if you get hurt you can hire 2 guys to do your "solo work" while you recover form your injury.

Example you could have broke your arm, now you collect $4000 from diability insurance each month. Drive in the truck and be the foreman.

Just an idea. :cool:

premierlawncare
10-01-2005, 03:32 PM
Thanks for the info guys. I have 100 accounts and I am in Florida.
I think I can gross around $100K to $115K solo. I did the math and I think I can work 9 hours a day 6 days a week.

I have 1 worker now that I pay $10 an hour. He is good , but , he asked for a raise just after 2 months starting with me.

I told him no.

I need to make $20K more a year just to break even. I think with his help I make about $25K more a year or a 25% profit.

Then I went home and did the math and figured I could HAMMER it out myself because I am a HAMMER. :cool:

rodfather
10-01-2005, 04:32 PM
I did the math and I think I can work 9 hours a day 6 days a week.

You won't do that forever believe me.

CHRIS MELROSE
10-01-2005, 04:59 PM
You won't do that forever believe me.


I often ask these guys that are in there mid 30's and 40's who believe in staying solo and doing the blunt of the work, what their plans are in the future for expansion....Some answer with.."I haven't thought that far ahead"...and most will answer with..."I don't want to expand and deal with the headache of having employs etc."........My response to them is..."So you want to be that 50 year old man out there mowing lawns"....Let's face it guys, some may be able to do it but most 50 year old men aren't going to go out and hump out a days work like a 20-something. We all have our pride but nature takes over. Maybe these guys plan on taking on a new career when their bodies just won't do it anymore and they are not smart enough to have someone do the labor intensive work for them.

premierlawncare
10-01-2005, 05:29 PM
We'll I'm 30 years old now. I am in good shape. I plan to retire in Brazil ( my wife is Brazilan) in 5 years. I was think along the lines of busting butt for 5 years then taking off.

6'7 330
10-01-2005, 05:39 PM
Thanks for the info guys. I have 100 accounts and I am in Florida.
I think I can gross around $100K to $115K solo. I did the math and I think I can work 9 hours a day 6 days a week.

I have 1 worker now that I pay $10 an hour. He is good , but , he asked for a raise just after 2 months starting with me.

I told him no.

I need to make $20K more a year just to break even. I think with his help I make about $25K more a year or a 25% profit.

Then I went home and did the math and figured I could HAMMER it out myself because I am a HAMMER. :cool:

You will quickly burn out working those kinds of hours, not to mention, equipment maintenance, giving estimates to potential clients. Solo puts a limit on how far a company can grew. And at the end of the day, you end up with a limited growth job cutting grass, in place of a growth potential business.

Yes, there are headaches and expenses with employees, but the businessman sees the whole forest and not just the individual trees.

rodfather
10-01-2005, 06:09 PM
I was think along the lines of busting butt for 5 years then taking off.

Hope ya got another job lined up down there. Period

premierlawncare
10-01-2005, 06:12 PM
How about an apartament paid for, cars paid for, beach house paid for and a million of their money in a retirement acccount growing @ 8 to 9 % a year?

premierlawncare
10-01-2005, 06:13 PM
Basically very little money going out, and alot coming in.

DLS1
10-01-2005, 06:29 PM
How about an apartament paid for, cars paid for, beach house paid for and a million of their money in a retirement acccount growing @ 8 to 9 % a year?

Are you saying you have a million now or plan on getting a million from mowing for 5 years?

genoaustin
10-01-2005, 07:01 PM
How about an apartament paid for, cars paid for, beach house paid for and a million of their money in a retirement acccount growing @ 8 to 9 % a year?


So you are 35 when you stop working. What is the age of retirement in Brasil? It seems to me you got at least another 25-30 years before you could touch that money.

premierlawncare
10-01-2005, 07:22 PM
First, I appreciate the information here. Thank you. I gave my employee a $1 hr. raise and he is happy and I am happy. He's a great worker. Basically I remembered and decided again that I want a business not a job. Later he will become a foreman for that route and I can go build up another route.

2nd, I can't tell you guys all of my Brazil secrets, but 1,000,000 of Brazil money is about $400,000. If you put it in a retirement account earning 8% to 9% a year that would be $34,000 a year income or 81,600R (Brazil money).

A retirement account can be set up for anyone there is no age requirement. It is basically an investment account.
This is the income of maybe a doctor.

You can live simple with 2500R (Brazil money) a month. This would include electric, car insurance, health ins. private school, food, gas, going out to eat 3 times a week and vacations.

And with everything ,paid for zero debts, and about 7000R a month of Brazil money I think we would be OK.

3rd, I am not disclosing my net worth online. But I have a little bit saved. I was in real estate before and just bought 100 account business truck trailer and all.

I am gonna start sales this winter ( i'm in florida) when it cools a little and add another truck next summer.

LwnmwrMan22
10-01-2005, 10:31 PM
You will quickly burn out working those kinds of hours, not to mention, equipment maintenance, giving estimates to potential clients. Solo puts a limit on how far a company can grew. And at the end of the day, you end up with a limited growth job cutting grass, in place of a growth potential business.

Yes, there are headaches and expenses with employees, but the businessman sees the whole forest and not just the individual trees.


I'm 32, going to be 33 in November.

If you're going to work the long hours, you have to have your business set up so it runs like your car, you get in, start and go. Very little maintenance.

I have all the same clients from year to year, 10-12 hour days 6-7 days / week, some weeks more hours, some weeks less.

As for when I turn 50, part of the reason that my net is lower than what some people think it should be for grossing $135k, is because I'm building a firewood business as well, which takes about $1500 / month right now. Hopefully my 3 year old and 1 year old will want to do my business in 15-16 years and I can just do the firewood.

If not, the firewood should still be set up and I can cut, no pun intended, the mowing down by another 1/3 or even 1/2.

PMLAWN
10-02-2005, 06:04 AM
Why do so many people want to work SO hard for SO many hours for such little money.
Take a night class- learn business- start to really make money and start to enjoy life.

Gary Campbell
12-12-2005, 12:47 PM
Ive found here in central missouri, that I come out ahead working alone, than trying to take on additional accounts and hiring out...first of all, good workers in this field(hardwork), are hard to find, the paperwork is awful, and most of my customers want to see ME there ....thats what has kept me in business for 26 years...I prefer doing the job myself, and knowing its done right

Turfcutters Plus
12-12-2005, 02:47 PM
I wonder if it has mostly to do with whether you are good at and enjoy managing people. In other words:

If you don't want to be doing all the grunt work all of the time and you at least have the will to learn how to effectively manage people - you should be growing your business into multiple crews

or

If you don't have the patience to manage people and you prefer working alone or with a helper - you should stay small


Is this accurate?
My thoughts exactly!

jasonnau
12-12-2005, 05:30 PM
It may be also perhaps that I compensate my people fairly well too...crew foremen get $22.50 an hour (going up to $25 next year), guys that mow get $15.00 (also getting a $2.50 increase next year) an hour, 5 personal days a year, and I offer 1/2 of major medical insurance compensation.
For $52,000 per year ($25.00 per/hr., 40hrs/wk., 52 weeks per year), I'd quit my lco, and be a foreman for you. I'd probably net the same, and have one hell of a lot less headaches.

rodfather
12-12-2005, 05:37 PM
I'd probably net the same, and have one hell of a lot less headaches.

LOL...but now you got me as your boss:p :laugh:

jasonnau
12-12-2005, 05:43 PM
LOL...but now you got me as your boss:p :laugh:
You might be a headache, but there's no way in hell you could add up to all the shiite that I have to deal with in a year.

CutInEdge Lawn Care
12-12-2005, 06:21 PM
Unfortunately, most newbies in the biz are not even close to making 1/2 of what you pay your employees hourly. So, it's possible they are having a hard time digesting that a mere helper could be making more than them. I did my time. I am now solo with 1 helper who is leaving for the Marines. Guess killing weeds isnt as adventeurous.

YardPro
12-12-2005, 06:52 PM
lol

it's funny to see the different mentalities clash and ego's flare up.. just becuase someone does something different does not make it better or worse....

I personally agree with rodfather.. We pay our people well.. i do not have any employees that make under $12.00/ hr...

there is no way you can make any REAL money and build assets with your business without employees.....

our employees cost us $22.50/hr with all overhead....... we charge $40.00/ hr for them.... we make $17.50/hr off of thier work...how does that not make it worth it????????$30K/year added money for each employee??????

you can only bill so many hours per year...

the real question is wether or not the headaches of employees ( i will not deny that they can be the largest pain in the butt) are wirth the extra payoff...

My personal plan is not to have to bust my hump when i am older to make money... I want to sit in a comfy office an go out to the jobs at my leisure... and still have a comfortable income...
then when i get old enough have something i can sell for a nice chunk of change.

Envy Lawn Service
12-12-2005, 11:22 PM
Well, some folks here are aware of my backgound and others are not.
But in the end, the following quote sums up my opinion pretty well...

Why do so many people want to work SO hard for SO many hours for such little money.
Take a night class- learn business- start to really make money and start to enjoy life.

...and I would take that a step further to say "if you want to own and manage and employee workforce based business, there are a lot more lucrative fields to do it in beyond mowing lawns."

Now that's awful to say in a place such as this, and I fear that might offend some very sucessful folks as well as some highly aspiring ones. But fact is, it's the TRUTH. Yeah, I know your ten 2-man crews or whatever can drag in a lot of money. But sorry, not as much as 20 men working other gigs for you.

I also think people tend to forget that some areas just lend themselves better to sustaining the mowing crew companies a whole lot better than others. I think it's misleading to those in areas with less population density and so forth.

I guess the bottom line is that I don't see the headaches being worth the rewards for a whole lot of people in this industry. And that friends and neighbors has nothing to do with how big of a guru you are at overall business and people management.

Spratz86
12-13-2005, 12:19 AM
Your response is a joke sir..btw, would you care to fly to NJ (at our expense) and view our books and talk to my employees? And we can put you to work for a change as well for a few days (instead of sitting on your fat ass) where ever that is, to offset your rude comment...


I'll take you up on that Rod! What kind of rude comment would you like for qualification?