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View Full Version : LCO's that went from 1 employee to 2


snowjeep
05-14-2010, 10:29 PM
Its our busy time and this year cant keep up even working 7 days a week. How did you guys go from 1 employee to 2. Meaning not billing lawn service for 2 weeks so not much cash flow but have the work to bring another guy on. It feels like a catch 22, dont have the cash to hire the guy but if I dont I will lose some work?

Raymond S.
05-14-2010, 10:44 PM
Find the cash to supplement until you can get some invoices rolling in. I carried a guy the whole month of April and am NOW just starting to get my invoices coming back (about a week ago actually.) I doubled my gross in April by having him, and I knew I would. It was hard to pony up every friday and watch the account go down, down, down, with the monthly expenses but it's pretty much money in the bank if you can swing it 'til cash starts flowing. I have a "to do" list a mile long and there's no way in hell I could get any of it done without either having someone to do it, or having someone to mow while I do it. There just aren't enough hours in the day.
You're right, it is a catch 22. But take the emotion out of the picture and look at it from a business standpoint. If you're losing work because you aren't hiring someone, you'd better hire someone. If the work runs out, let him go if you can't carry him. You may not have the cash on hand to hire him, but you probably have something laying around you could do without to sell and bring in enough to carry you through 'til you start seeing the money coming in from the work he does. When I went full time I sold everything I had that wasn't getting used to build a cash reserve so I didn't have to dip into savings while I waited for that dreaded first few months of working and waiting on payment. It sounds crazy but at the end of the day if your business is priority one, then do what you have to do to get that helper.

Cboy7
05-14-2010, 10:47 PM
if youve been working 7 days a week for more than 3 months why not save up some money?
skip the dish network? maybe not buy that lcd?

terrapro
05-14-2010, 10:49 PM
if youve been working 7 days a week for more than 3 months why not save up some money?
skip the dish network? maybe not buy that lcd?

Or charge more :waving:

mdlwn1
05-14-2010, 11:28 PM
Wait till you go for truck/crew number 2.......

SNAPPER MAN
05-14-2010, 11:31 PM
Wait till you go for truck/crew number 2.......

Amen to that. I was looking forward to it til I actually had to do it...

cozymonkey
05-14-2010, 11:41 PM
more work does not always mean more money. You have just increased your insurance premiums and workers comp as well probably increase your fees for paychecks and taxes

snowjeep
05-15-2010, 09:13 PM
If I had been working 3 months I would be fine. In Buffalo we started the last week and a half of april so not a whole month of cutting to bill. I want to just do it but the comp and taxes are what worries me since I struggled when I put my first employee on. Thanks for the advice guys.

SNAPPER MAN
05-15-2010, 10:12 PM
If it's just one employee then pay him cash. He will appreciate it and it will be better for you.

LwnmwrMan22
05-15-2010, 11:36 PM
Put a guy on for 2 days / week.

This is where I'm at.

I got rid of a full time employee this year, went back to myself and 1 other guy.

Now he's working 50 hours / week and I'm pushing 80-90, and my wife helps out some as well.

I'm going to have to get a guy, but like I said, just 1-2 days for now, just to ease the workload a bit.

I'm getting work thrown at me left and right, but as the OP, cash flow is a bit tight.

Frue
05-16-2010, 07:18 AM
Listen and listen real closely. I f you do not have the money, scale back your work. It is apparent you are not making enough money if you dont have at least three months in the bank. Here is how this scenario will work out. You will hire him then wonder in July where all the money went. Scale back the work, save some money pay off some debt! You will ruin your company by going to the next step w/out the proper cash flow! You should have at least 6 months saved by July if not you are doing something wrong!!!!! I know how oyu feel I have been in your shoes SCALE BACK!

ashgrove landscaping
05-16-2010, 09:17 AM
In new york you can hire one person under the casual labor clause with out having to pay workers comp and increased ins premiums. As long as it s part time.

Schuley
05-16-2010, 07:18 PM
Has anyone thought about hiring someone from a labor company? I know some of them are pretty sketchy.... but some are decent. And now days, you might find someone decent thats just down on their luck looking for some work. I know my old boss (concrete work) used to pick up guys from the labor company in town, they charge $14 0r $15/hr i think? They make 7 or $8/hr and the company gets the rest and it covers the insurance and workers comp and whatnot. Keep them as long as you need and as often as you want, and when your done, your done.....
Maybe thats a new business venture for me?! Seasonal labor for landcape companies!

TGG2008
06-16-2010, 01:29 AM
I'm in the same boat. Running the business has unfortunately become the last task because me and my 1 employee are busting ass all day. I thought going for a stander would shave some good day time and allow me the freedom to get to other things during business hours but my trusted friend/ business co-owner is saying a 2nd employee and a 2nd truck truck would be the better use of my resources in the near-term. Any thoughts are welcome.

topsites
06-16-2010, 02:05 AM
I found the easy answer and raised my prices instead.

Stillwater
06-16-2010, 02:16 AM
I'm in the same boat. Running the business has unfortunately become the last task because me and my 1 employee are busting ass all day. I thought going for a stander would shave some good day time and allow me the freedom to get to other things during business hours but my trusted friend/ business co-owner is saying a 2nd employee and a 2nd truck truck would be the better use of my resources in the near-term. Any thoughts are welcome.

How much fluid cash does your business have?, how much reserve? what is your current debt load if any and how long will you have it?. Does your business have any investments? what percent of your business invoicing are you currently saving? look at your business account right now do you have any money? if your business is in a position to add a crew or buy a stander your current balance will clearly reflect that. The bottom line is easy to understand, a business needs to be currently making money to expand or purchase capital equipment like a stander. A quick and honest look at your current balances will give you your answer.

Frue
06-16-2010, 07:07 AM
This is simple if you are busting but all day with you and another guy and you are still not making the money!!!! There is something wrong! Why if you are not making money with one would you hire the 2nd? There is something wrong with your business practices. Your prices are to cheap, your spending is out of control, debt to high, or this is just a hobby. Please do not make this mistake.

snowjeep
06-16-2010, 07:52 AM
Well guys I made it thru the spring with just the one employee. I turned down side jobs that were not real profitable and worked out a barter with my step son. We still have side jobs coming in but if possible I am putting them off till july when things slow down. If its mulch or bush trimming we are doing them when it rains. Not fun but keeping us caught up. We started the year with 59 lawns and we just stopped taking new clients at 75 lawns. After I save this year I will need to put on another part time employee next season.

TGG2008
06-17-2010, 12:16 AM
This is simple if you are busting but all day with you and another guy and you are still not making the money!!!! There is something wrong! Why if you are not making money with one would you hire the 2nd? There is something wrong with your business practices. Your prices are to cheap, your spending is out of control, debt to high, or this is just a hobby. Please do not make this mistake.

Let me clarify, we are doing very well this year. The issue is time. I'm not worried about the costs to acquire new, more efficient equipment but if holding off for something more productive in the larger picture is better than that is what I'm looking to do. The business account is steadily growing, no debt, I am salaried and my employee gets a worry-free check every 2 weeks. We are very busy and I feel like I don't have the hours to actually run the business the way I envisioned. That's all I'm saying, looking to transition off every lawn we do and seeing how you guys advise this.