PDA

View Full Version : Guys that run your business from home?


gallihergreen
01-27-2013, 12:48 PM
What do you do about employees? We are looking at a house on 11 acres with a 1,900 sq. ft shop, and I really like the idea of my commute consisting of a few steps out my back door. The only thing I worry about is how would I handle employees with my shop being right next to my home? What do you guys do?
Posted via Mobile Device

turfbuilder
01-27-2013, 01:20 PM
Why would you worry. The employees should be the ones worried cuz there could be someone watching the shop from the house..LOL.. Actually my shop is about 100ft. away from my house and it has worked out beautifully.

JB1
01-27-2013, 01:38 PM
Workers come in the morning and we leave, we come back in the afternoon and they go home, no problem.

gallihergreen
01-27-2013, 01:40 PM
Turfbuilder & JB1,

Good to hear it's worked out for you guys. Sounds like I'm worried about nothing.
Posted via Mobile Device

clydebusa
01-27-2013, 01:42 PM
My shop is next to the house and wouldn't have it any other way. Saves time which in turn saves money.

seabee24
01-27-2013, 04:39 PM
Iv done it both ways - it depends on how large you are, and if you have a family or not.

As a batchelor, I loved having the shop out my back door. But I also had way less employees. only 1-3 max.

I had a kid, and wife , then we got 6 employees, this started to cause problems. I was "at work" way too much because the shop was right outside the door. We also had problems with the guys not respecting personal space, and time. they would knock on the door at 6 am, and ask to use the bathroom. they would start up the equiptment and trucks at 6 am and wake the kids up (they were told to do it by me, but it still woke the kids up) Wife didnt always know all of them, and so it made her nervious that the guys would show up at home while im not around and she was home alone.

At some point your going to have that rotten egg for an employee. Even if you think everything is all good, at some point hire enough guys and you will come accross a bad one. you will have to fire him/her, and they will be disguntled for one reason or another. I had a guy steal fuel, I caught him. I kept his last paycheck as we reason to belive he had stollen way more than 1 tank. well he was upset that I didnt give him his last check. I explained that I was keeping it as a form of payment, and if he didnt like it we could go to the police. Well that made my wife nervious as hell for 3 weeks while i was gone.

We also had guy knock on my door at 5 pm at night on a sunday asking for random things, use the shop, get their paycheck early, and the list goes on.

As a bachelor the time savings was great, and the security was great being home. Once I had a family that all changed. I now care about whom my family is around, and their saftey as well.

I got a seperate shop, and a new house. I only live 5 mins away from my shop, but only my mechaninc knows where I live, and only he has my personal cell phone number. He has stick instructions not to give out that information and to only use that as he needs to. I go home at 5 pm every day, and have family time. I dont take business calls while im at home unless its an emergancy or a buisiness deal worth $2k plus, besides that the guys contact my mechanic if they need anything.

I personally like haveing the seperate shop better at this point in my life.

If you do have the shop at your house, I would figure out any rules that you need them to follow and make sure they know them so they respect your personal time and property.

McFarland_Lawn_Care
01-27-2013, 08:43 PM
Great post, Seabee! My shop is right next to my house and I love it that way, but I totally agree with rules and boundaries. I don't have kids yet but I can see it would be handy to be able to do things in the shop while keeping an eye on the kids if your wife isn't around. I'm actually keeping an eye on the lot next to ours....it's perfect but I just can't justify another payment at this point.

jrs.landscaping
01-27-2013, 10:29 PM
My boys are up at 6:30 so that isn't an issue. Our issue is space, all our lawn/plowing equipment spread over two houses and 5 acres is rough. If I had 11 acres it wouldn't bother me as much. We're in the process of buying a piece of land for a dedicated shop. Mainly so my wife will stop complaining about the trucks/equipment in the front yard :cry:

gallihergreen
01-28-2013, 09:35 PM
At some point your going to have that rotten egg for an employee. Even if you think everything is all good, at some point hire enough guys and you will come accross a bad one. you will have to fire him/her, and they will be disguntled for one reason or another. I had a guy steal fuel, I caught him. I kept his last paycheck as we reason to belive he had stollen way more than 1 tank. well he was upset that I didnt give him his last check. I explained that I was keeping
it as a form of payment, and if he didnt like it we could go to the police. Well that made my wife nervious as hell for 3 weeks while i was gone.

This what worries me.
Posted via Mobile Device

Cooter
01-28-2013, 11:20 PM
Do u worry about the saleability of the business down the road with the shop/yard at your house?
Posted via Mobile Device

seabee24
01-29-2013, 12:10 AM
Dont take offense to this, and I love my company an treat it like a child, but when it comes down to it.

I have alarms. I have cameras, and I have insurance

You can fix and replace work items. You can't do that with your family . Their safety, well being, mental state, is way more important than anything my business owns or has.

And besides all my real expensive things are at home, not in my shop
Posted via Mobile Device

gallihergreen
01-29-2013, 12:27 AM
Seabee24,

I completely agree with you, although my motive for buying a house with a shop on the property has more to do with cutting down commute time, being closer to our service area, and avoid the expense of owning or leasing a seperate commercial property. Like you, I love my trucks and equipment, but they are cold pieces of metal than can easily be replaced or fixed unlike family. Your post about disgruntled employees really made me reevaluate whether or not I want to mix my business and personal lives.
Posted via Mobile Device

CLS_Birmingham
01-29-2013, 01:59 AM
Get post Seabreeze. Were in the process of buying land that my business partner will live on and will also function as the business location. Were both bachelors so we won't have issues with the kids, but its a good thing to keep in mind about disgruntled employees. Our plan is once were established enough, that the company will buy the property from my business partner and he will move else where. But in the mean time, its something I need to be aware of and I'm glad you posted the concerns.

Rick Grantham
01-29-2013, 03:00 PM
Great post Seabreeze. There is a lot to consider. Particularly if you have a family. I found this link that is a decent article of things to consider when figuring out oif you need separate space for work.

http://brandmakernews.com/business-brand/3516/home-office-vs-office-space-pros-cons.html

Rick

McFarland_Lawn_Care
01-29-2013, 10:09 PM
It also has a LOT to do with the area you live in! I have had to let employees go but I have never been concerned for my house or family or anything.....95% of the time the garage is wide open and tools/equipment in plain view. It depends on who you hire, how you deal with employees and the area you live in. This is a rural area and I personally know so many people in the area including neighbors who all keep an eye open. No one is immune but the day I don't want employees to know where I live, is the day I get done. I totally realize some areas of the country this is TOTALLY necessary - I'm just saying my own circumstances.

Jason

alldayrj
01-29-2013, 10:36 PM
Great post Seabreeze. There is a lot to consider. Particularly if you have a family. I found this link that is a decent article of things to consider when figuring out oif you need separate space for work.

http://brandmakernews.com/business-brand/3516/home-office-vs-office-space-pros-cons.html

Rick
Good article. I don't like having new guys at my house or seeing everything in my garage. Also i find clients ask if we can meet and 90% of the time their home is the best choice, but a brick and mortar store front creates a great sense of professionalism while combining storage in the back and maybe even some product displays which would cut down on meeting customers at mason yards or picking up samples and bringing them to their houses. Maybe the answer will be made clear in the next few years. Until then, good fences and keep the trucks out of sight of the town inspectors
Posted via Mobile Device

seabee24
01-29-2013, 10:43 PM
It also has a LOT to do with the area you live in! I have had to let employees go but I have never been concerned for my house or family or anything.....95% of the time the garage is wide open and tools/equipment in plain view. It depends on who you hire, how you deal with employees and the area you live in. This is a rural area and I personally know so many people in the area including neighbors who all keep an eye open. No one is immune but the day I don't want employees to know where I live, is the day I get done. I totally realize some areas of the country this is TOTALLY necessary - I'm just saying my own circumstances.

Jason

Not to disagree but, have you ever had to fire someone that stole anything from you? How about stole an account, or work, or a suspected $1000 in fuel? In hind site, I should have just paid the guys his last check of 500 bucks, but we caught him red handed with over $200 in fuel, and I suspected this had happened multiple times. But how would you handle it? Defend yourself and business proper and rights? Or just let it go? Not saying either way is better than the other, but at some point you will run in to a bad situation with an employee.

How about a subcontractor, I had one that tried billing me for 36 hours of plowing, his plow was broken and not useable for 14 of those hours. He wanted me to pay his down time. I didn't pay him for those 14 hours. After going though this, lets just say my sub agreements are clearly spelled out for what we pay. But that's after the fact.

Then after you have to make a tuff choice in what to do...go and ask your wife if she is ok with it. I don't care how I feel. I'm military trained. I can deal with any situation. But my wife can not.

I think if you work with your guys, they have more respect for you and it's not as big an issue when your small. But I had 6-7 at one point. I stayed home, did sales work, fixed problems. To the guys, they started work at 6 am, they worked in the heat, they worked hard 10 hour days, and they got paid jack compared to the boss who sits at home in the a/c watching tv - or this is what I was told

And it's not just about dangerous situations. Just have your guys stop by ring the bell and wake your family up on a day off. I don't want to be bothered, she for sure doesn't want to be bothered.

McFarland_Lawn_Care
01-29-2013, 10:52 PM
I can definitely see where you're coming from. But I screen all subs and employees very carefully.....VERY carefully. It CAN be hard to take days off with the shop right there.....lol

Pros and cons to each.

Gmgbo
01-30-2013, 01:49 PM
I agree with seabee, Bought my house 2 years ago with 10 acres, thought it was a good idea to have everything here.

2 months ago I rented a garage and moved EVERYTHING there.
Employees showing up without notice.
Employees not respecting your personal space.
Employees using the lawn to do burn outs.
Unhappy employees looking for trouble.
Employees riding my quads and sleds.(destroying)
List goes on and on.

We all have some good employees, but the rest fall into the "flunkie" category.

I have a shop 2 miles away, large gated parking area, 25'w x 50'l. Motion light and security cameras I can watch from home.

Best $600 a month I ever spent

jrs.landscaping
01-30-2013, 02:00 PM
What kind of employees are you guys hiring? If ANYONE was doing burnouts on my property whether a shop OR my house they'd be canned. As for ruining your personal toys, why were they on them to begin with?

McFarland_Lawn_Care
01-30-2013, 04:26 PM
Sorry, but is this for real? I chuckled just picturing the mayhem.....That has nothing to do with your shop being near your house and everything to do with hiring and managing.

jrs.landscaping
01-30-2013, 04:32 PM
Sorry, but is this for real? I chuckled just picturing the mayhem.....That has nothing to do with your shop being near your house and everything to do with hiring and managing.

My thoughts exactly. Do I wish I had a dedicated shop, yes, it is already in the works but for now it isn't in the budget. Should I fear people who work for me, no, any former employee can look up your land tax records and find your address if they really wanted to do something.

clydebusa
01-30-2013, 04:54 PM
My thoughts exactly. Do I wish I had a dedicated shop, yes, it is already in the works but for now it isn't in the budget. Should I fear people who work for me, no, any former employee can look up your land tax records and find your address if they really wanted to do something.

My thoughts exactly. Almost typed up this same message, but said oh well.

Gmgbo
01-30-2013, 07:53 PM
Of course it's easy for you guys to say how everything should get done, but it doesn't always go as planned. It's a mix of hiring friends, becoming too friendly with employees, and border line shouldn't have a job employees.

Myself, and many contractors I know run into the same problems. We have the full time guys, some good, some decent. And then there are the part time and as needed guys. They are not the best workers, they have terrible attitudes, but they are needed as a "body". A lot of the jobs we do require a certain amount of guys on that one job, everyday.

There is always talk on here, "yea I would fire him in a second and replace with a good employee". I say come on that never happens.

It's like telling Dunkin donuts to fire everyone and get new employees so your coffee never gets made wrong
Posted via Mobile Device

jrs.landscaping
01-30-2013, 08:22 PM
If I had to have a certain # of bodies on a job I'd go through a temp agency instead of hiring deadbeats who blow donuts on my property. My employees respect myself and my business, if they don't they are terminated.

McFarland_Lawn_Care
01-30-2013, 08:43 PM
"they have terrible attitudes".....it doesn't have to be this way, buddy. I'd stay small or downsize before hiring/keeping guys with bad attitudes. I'd take a cut in pay first. Wish you the best and better luck this season!! =D

Gmgbo
01-30-2013, 09:07 PM
Been thru temp agencies before, didn't have good luck

By terrible attitude I mean "for $10 an hour I'm doing this?!?" Or "ughhhh do we have to do that"

This is the part where you guys say "well if you pay ur help more, you will get more out of them". Which is true, in 1 out of 20 guys.

It's so easy to terminate help, but then you have to replace, train and all that good stuff.

We have been the same size/growing slowly each year. We do residential, commercial, hoa, and municipal work. Have a good rep, and never failed to complete a contract. Most customers we have had for years and are on a first name basis with myself or my forman. Working hours usually go smoothly, it's when you get back to the house, off the clock and have a bunch of mostly younger guys is when all this happens

Bash me all you want, just sharing my experience with running from my house.
It sounds like most of the critics are experts, if you want to pm me and tell me your secret that would be nice
Posted via Mobile Device

jrs.landscaping
01-30-2013, 10:49 PM
I'm not bashing anyone I'm just trying to figure out why have guys on the payroll who are a liability? We've hired underperformers part time because we needed a guy on a trimmer or a mower, but when they become poison it's time for them to hit the road. I do agree, there are some people whether you pay them $10 or $20 it makes no difference in their attitude/performance and I also agree finding help is getting harder and harder to find.