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View Full Version : Couple crews + owner in the field at work?


velocicaur
02-11-2006, 02:15 AM
For example, you have 3 crews consisting of 2 guys each. You then, as the owner, keep track of numbers and answer the phone, etc. However, does anyone have a couple crews and then join them in the field for 40-50hrs a week and then do the paperwork afterwards/after hours. Therefore, you would have 3 crews, 2 guys, but you'd had 5 employees instead of 6.

It would kind of be like a solo operation, doing the actual work and all the paperwork, however, it would be on a larger scale.

Does anyone have any input on this? I figure it'd be 50 hours of lawn work and another 20 hours, aka weekend, on the side. Looking at 70/hrs week - does that seem somewhat accurate and feasible?

Just thinking.

RedWingsDet
02-11-2006, 02:18 AM
Have you thought about you working in the feild to be that 6th man working labor, and then hiring a secretary for the day to answer phones and do paperwork?

AintNoFun
02-11-2006, 03:06 AM
i figure my time is way more valuable than $12 an hour working in the field!!

LwnmwrMan22
02-11-2006, 03:59 AM
i figure my time is way more valuable than $12 an hour working in the field!!

Your time wouldn't be $12 / hour. It would be whatever your company decides to pay you.

Whether you're sitting in your office collecting a paycheck for $12 / $15 / $60 / hour or $500 / $1000 / $2000 a week, or on a mower, it would make no difference.

If you needed to hire a secretary, or someone else to shuffle papers, and that took money out of your own legitimate pocket, from your own personal paycheck, THEN it would make a difference.

YardPro
02-11-2006, 09:06 AM
Your time wouldn't be $12 / hour. It would be whatever your company decides to pay you.

Whether you're sitting in your office collecting a paycheck for $12 / $15 / $60 / hour or $500 / $1000 / $2000 a week, or on a mower, it would make no difference.

If you needed to hire a secretary, or someone else to shuffle papers, and that took money out of your own legitimate pocket, from your own personal paycheck, THEN it would make a difference.

personally i would hire a secretary or pay an answering service(the cheaper route).
I enjoy working in the field.. i would float between crews and alternate routes so you can visit sites every few weeks and perform quality control

SodKing
02-11-2006, 09:26 AM
If you have a secretaryto do paperwork,books,phone.. she/he can also make cold calls to prospective clients during the day....

J Hisch
02-11-2006, 09:27 AM
I have 2 crews in the field doing mowing and maintenance, then 1 man doing a fertlizing route and lawn care sales. I net for my pay a little off each crew. then as a bonus, I will do irrigation repairs, updates, etc, it not full time work doing those repairs but it's bonus money. Meaning really the overhead and expesnes are paid and covered by the other dependable revenues. The irrigation repairs are labor only expenses, plus parts. SO my point is once you get to running a few crew yes it helps tremendoulsy if you supply some of the labor, but make sure that phone is answered. Doing this will put you well above the competition.

nobagger
02-11-2006, 09:27 AM
I have 3 other guys that work for me and I make up the 3rd or 4th guy usually. I can't imagine not mowing or doing some landscape as a 3rd or 4th guy. I personally think customers are impressed that a owner/operator is out in the field. And I still love doing it so why stop.

OnMyOwn
02-11-2006, 09:38 AM
Quality control dictates that the owner is out in the field at least every other week. There are ways around this, but why travel to the sites after your crew and waste the entire day. Travel with them and save $$$.

I have yet to find a crew leader that is willing to step up and act like an owner. Cutting corners, skipping properties, or poor performance in general have always lead to dismissal of the employee, and the idea of staying in the office. This is not an issue of $$$, either. I pay well.

The downside of the whole issue is that you are only effective in cutting your daily Cost of Goods Sold by becoming a laborer. You reduce your client base and sales figures because you are not acting as an owner should. Your increased sales are only through up-selling your current clients, not adding new clients (usually).

This is a dilemma we all face. It reflects on the adage of "Go Big, or Go Home!" We have to stay small to manage the company in a quality manner, and we lock ourselves into being a small company.

6'7 330
02-11-2006, 09:44 AM
I, look at how I think my time can be better utilized. For my company, running the company and selling landscape installs etc. to potential customers is a better utilization of that time.While staying in constant contact with our employee’s and supervisors, we let them do the grunt work in the field.

nobagger
02-11-2006, 10:39 AM
I, look at how I think my time can be better utilized. For my company, running the company and selling landscape installs etc. to potential customers is a better utilization of that time.While staying in constant contact with our employee’s and supervisors, we let them do the grunt work in the field.
Good point! I'm sure there are many guys/girls that don't think of it this way either. If you spend 100% of your time with your crews then you could be missing out on more work. If and when I ever get to the point where I have to hire 2 and 3 crews I still would make a conscious effor to be in contact and meeting my customers at least once a month face to face.

RedWingsDet
02-11-2006, 12:00 PM
Tell your customers if they want the owner on the lot, its 60 or what ever amount you want per hour...

Alot of the big companies around here who have 20+ trucks, charge $45 an hour to have the foreman on their property.

Thus, this big company was charging one of my lots thats litterally only 1000sq feet like $60 to cut it. So Im doing it for half that, which is still ALOT for this area (some companies would charge $15), and I got him for snow and salt, plus mulching, pruning, gutters, etc. and everystorm he calls me to tell me I do a good job because the bigger company who still does his own home, didnt have his snow cleared, yet I had his business cleared and salted by the time he pulled in at 8am. Now, starting in the spring, I'll have his home to maintain too..

Whoa, gotta little off topic there, sorry.

Green-Pro
02-11-2006, 12:02 PM
Most of my business comes from referral or word of mouth, people that refer others to me are typically clients that posses my contact information so I conduct a great deal of business while in the field. My wife plays the part of secretary and takes calls back at the shop/home and relays messages to me. I realize with growth it will become more and more difficult but I am shooting for being in the field for at least 3 - 4 consecutive hours per day at random points to ensure quality control. I would love to hire a manager to ensure this end of the business maintains its integrity and fully anticipate doing this when growth allows a responsible person to be amply compensated.

AintNoFun
02-11-2006, 12:02 PM
your not understanding me. Why would i want to be working in the field when i can be replaced in the field by a $12 labrorer.. i dedicate my time into estimates and sales to grow the business can you get someone to do that for $12 an hour?

Your time wouldn't be $12 / hour. It would be whatever your company decides to pay you.

Whether you're sitting in your office collecting a paycheck for $12 / $15 / $60 / hour or $500 / $1000 / $2000 a week, or on a mower, it would make no difference.

If you needed to hire a secretary, or someone else to shuffle papers, and that took money out of your own legitimate pocket, from your own personal paycheck, THEN it would make a difference.

Flex-Deck
02-11-2006, 12:09 PM
your not understanding me. Why would i want to be working in the field when i can be replaced in the field by a $12 labrorer.. i dedicate my time into estimates and sales to grow the business can you get someone to do that for $12 an hour?

I think the falacy of your phylosophy is that I seldom have seen a crew produce nearly as much when the boss is back at the desk. They tend to work their kazoos off when the boss is right in amongst them cranking it out.

Green-Pro
02-11-2006, 12:14 PM
I think the falacy of your phylosophy is that I seldom have seen a crew produce nearly as much when the boss is back at the desk. They tend to work their kazoos off when the boss is right in amongst them cranking it out.


Truer words have not been spoken IMHO. I'm afraid no matter how good your employees are they will rarely if ever preform to the level you as a owner desire. A cross every owner is surely forced to bear :cry:

Lux Lawn
02-11-2006, 12:17 PM
For me personally I think I would spend some time with the crews and let them see me in the field working.I believe they respect the fact that the owner is also working along side of them.I would not be doing this everyday though thats for sure...you need to take advantage of you time and spend it wisely.Maybe trying to sell additional services to customers and then perform the work while they are out cutting.This is what I plan on doing for this year,I am planning to buy a dump truck in the spring to help out with some work that is already lined up.

Edgewater
02-11-2006, 12:37 PM
Aint no fun said it,

You only have a limited number of hours in a week. When the company is new, you can do it all. Then as you grow, you can not work 50 hours in the field and then do all of the office work that goes with a couple hundred accounts. You have to delegate at some point. That should start where you can be replaced for a low cost, in the field. Then it will be at the phones, then doing the running around (office supplies, bank etc.) I bet you that at those big companies like the one in the other thread, the owner sits at a desk and makes strategic decisions and then monitors the results to evaluate his decision.

Sure that owner could go out and make 1 crew more productive, but the amount the business would gain by having 1 of thier 20 crew produce 20% more revenue would be far outweighed by the loss of his decision making ability.

Having said that, I still go out in the field with one of my 2 crews 1-2 days a week. I can still do this beacause we are small and my office work does nat take 5 days. The trick is while you can be out there, spend that time training you replacement.

Adam

velocicaur
02-11-2006, 05:11 PM
Thanks for the input.

That does make sense and I was also thinking that replacing myself with a worker would not gain that much. It does make sense that going with a group every week to make sure everything looks okay and is up to standards.

AintNoFun
02-11-2006, 10:23 PM
I think the falacy of your phylosophy is that I seldom have seen a crew produce nearly as much when the boss is back at the desk. They tend to work their kazoos off when the boss is right in amongst them cranking it out.

im not going to argue with you on that, its a proven fact.. my guys def. slackoff as does everyone elses who runs multi crews i know this and i probably could never stop it.. but what are you going to do about?? i do stop by as many times as i can to find out what the guys are doing and on the schedules they write start and stop times for every week which are compared to previous weeks, which i know is not foolproof but every few mins with a crew of 3 or 4 counts.. i dont want to work my kazoo's anymore you may enjoy it but im really in it for the money!

6'7 330
02-11-2006, 11:02 PM
We all have different company structure's and situations


In my situation it does not make sense to be out on a mowing crew.My job is to sell my company, make decisions.My time is better utilized with the ability to stay in communication,with my employees and my customers.When I go out in the field it is to check on the progress of important projects, landscape installs etc.or talk with the client's and get customer feedback.

As far as my employees respecting me,they respect me because I respect them,by paying them well,and putting forth the idea they have a stake in my company.My wife is Mexican decent,and I understand my workers better because of it . It is a great advantage that I understand the Mexican culture,9/10 of our employees are Mexican, they like the fact I speak their language, understand their culture,and don't have the attitude they are peons.

Lawnworks
02-12-2006, 12:30 AM
You cannot continue to grow your company while babysitting one or two crews. You have to train, train, train, and then let them do their thing. Once you reach a certain point there is really no way to even check on every customer, you have to rely on the judgement you have instilled into your crew leaders.

Brianslawn
02-12-2006, 01:25 AM
I think the falacy of your phylosophy is that I seldom have seen a crew produce nearly as much when the boss is back at the desk. They tend to work their kazoos off when the boss is right in amongst them cranking it out.


they cry when im with them. :cry: hammer

HenryB
02-12-2006, 01:57 PM
Always try to work on your biz not in it.

Edgewater
02-12-2006, 02:46 PM
Henry B

That is one of the most improtant concepts in making it big. I know many people that feel that hey are doing wonders by spending 70 hours in the field doing first class work. At the end of a week, that work is only worth a maximin to the client. Once you are maxed out, it is over.

LwnmwrMan22
02-12-2006, 04:43 PM
Always try to work on your biz not in it.


Depends on how big you want to be.

There's many guys that want to be solo, or a spouse / relative only. I'm one. I used to have 7 guys working for me.

I'd rather be solo.