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tinman
01-09-2005, 05:38 PM
What Data do you track daily? Just making sure I do not miss anything. I know trip times, mowing times, all expenses,. I especially want to hear from the extemely detailed guys/girls. Thanks

out4now
01-10-2005, 01:31 AM
Are you recording your mileage? Seems like that one has been comming up lately.

tinman
01-10-2005, 06:21 AM
yes, I keep up with that also.

GarPA
01-10-2005, 07:57 AM
yep I;m one of those detail freaks and we record the following faithfully every day of the year. I was given some good advise a few years ago by my fatherinlaw who told me "you have to know your numbers like your name if you want to succeed". His advice has been invlauable.
1- record the start time when the wheels start turning
2- start/stop time for every job every day, no matter how consistent the elapsed time is from month to month.( I want to be able to roll these numbers up from time to time and see how productive we are in a given month.)
3- any materials used on the service call (weed spray, plant fert etc)
4- what was done on each job beyond mow/trim (things like sprayed weeds/fert flowrs/trim or nip a few plants etc)
5-elapsed time for breaks/lunch
6-mileage start/stop(we use a separate mileage log as thats what the IRS wants)
7- screwups/problems we did not plan on (we use this info to hopefully reduce these unplanned screwups in the future)
8- employee start/stop times including lunch/breaks

THis may sound like its tedious and takes allot of time each day but actually its a piece of cake and takes only about 5 total minutes a day to record this detail.
Now at this time of year, and before we do our renewals, I have summaries that show me each accounts history and if we need to make pricing changes

I also record daily the time we/I spend on business errands, paperwork/equipment maintenance/estimates etc. Since this stuff is all part of the business, this elapsed time needs to be included in the numbers for profit analysis. Sorry for the long post but since you seem like a person who wants the details so here they are...If you do this recording faithfully every day, I think you will be ahead of allot of guys in this business who frankly dont know their numbers.

PMLAWN
01-10-2005, 05:26 PM
GarPa has a great list. the other things that we track is shop time or repairs to the equipment. Also any time at the computer. (billing, sales work)

OH and don't forget to track the time spent on Lawnsite. There has to be a way to write that off as education. J/K

msparks
01-13-2005, 10:08 AM
I agree, you need to record the information and put it to some type of software, so you can see how you are doing.

I haven't done this in the last 3 years. I had no idea until the end of the year if I'm making money or losing, where I'm spending, when I can save more and so for.

The more detailed your records and transactions the easier you can see the total picture of the pie.


I found a simple program for less then $50. This will help me tremendously. I looked at trying quickbooks, money, and quicken. But it was too complecated and not easy to use like this one.
Business tracker (http://www.mlmtaxhelper.com/g.o/msparks)

Hope this helps

GarPA
01-13-2005, 10:59 AM
MS have you played with this software yet?? Let us know when you start to load it and start setting it up. Right now we use spreadsheets that the acountant provides but they dont have the data arranged in the order I would prefer. Keep us posted on how you like this relatively inexpensive software(I too dont care for Quickbooks...too many bells and whistles I dont need or want)

msparks
01-13-2005, 03:59 PM
MS have you played with this software yet?? Let us know when you start to load it and start setting it up. Right now we use spreadsheets that the acountant provides but they dont have the data arranged in the order I would prefer. Keep us posted on how you like this relatively inexpensive software(I too dont care for Quickbooks...too many bells and whistles I dont need or want)

Hey click on the demo program and it will take you through exactly the program as it looks. The guy spent some time developing the demo as he will walk and talk you through each screen.

I have setup the program and have started using it, it's not very glitzy like money and such, but it's way easy to understand and use. Pretty much idiot proof. I also like that I can add my own stuff in there besides what he has listed. Like when I pay for certain things over and overI will make a special expense for that (Like my cell phone bill, I keep that separte from my home telephone expenses)

And if you don't like it, get your money back, you have up to a year to decide.

If you have any questions let me know.

msparks
12-02-2005, 12:23 AM
Hey still using the program,

Actually they have a separte program designed for homebusinesses and internetbusiness call (internet tax helper)

I actually setup an afiliate link for both of them.

www.homebusinesstaxhelper.com

I put my own personal testimonial becuase I believe in it so much. You know I'm a cheapskate and for $50 for the "pro" version you can't hardly beat it, especially when it works so well (and is easy to use).

HK45Mark23
12-02-2005, 05:16 AM
Personally I keep track of every thing.

I record the start and stop time of every piece of equipment. I have a sheet that my crew and I use to record the machines name and purpose (such as S-T/E-E for Shindaiwa Multitool Trimmer/Edger Edger or S-T/E-T for Shindaiwa Multi-Tool Trimmer/Edger Trimmer or JDM for John Deere Mower or L for Lastec or S-B for Shindaiwa Blower) and the start time (which is received from an atomic clock) and stop time.

At the end of the day the crew manager calculates the hours and min on every machine converting minutes to hundredths of a hour.

He then transfers this information to another sheet that is dedicate to just one piece of equipment and is used only for maintenance purposes. This sheet has all the maintenance scheduling according to the manufacturers suggestions.

He then makes sure that all maintenance items are performed on or before the scheduled time. If that the maintenance would come due before the end of the next operational day then the maintenance is performed that evening as to prevent the equipment from ever exceeding the manufacturers recommended maintenance schedule.

I also use the collected information to calculate time studies for specific landscape maintenance items, such as edging, trimming, blower sweeping and mowing. I have actual measurements of my accounts. I then can calculate through the year by using the actual recorded start and stop times how long it takes to perform any specific task. With this information I can also calculate the feet per minute information and I can then determine what the true cost of operation per foot and per hour is. With this information I then adjust for the next year to compensate for actual time and cost such as gas and labor to insure that I keep in check with inflation. Not only do I account for the operational cost inflation but I also increase the profit according to inflation. Note that inflation rises on average 6% annually.

Also no one goes home until all paper work is finished and all equipment is cleaned, re-fueled, totally serviced including all servicing and maintenance required to dateď.Ē

There is no putting it off maintenance till the morning or leaving it until the weekend. This way no maintenance or paper work ever piles up. This prevents the equipment from suffering because of some one being tired or lazy.

I spend too much on the equipment to neglect it. The equipment is too valuable and feed each of us to just neglect.

This is why I am as critical as to how my equipment is handled. If abused the crew member liable for the damage pays for it. If it is just normal wear and tear that is understandable, but no abuse is ever tolerated. Abuse and negligence are grounds for immediate termination. I will also garnish of wages and even commence legal proceedings if necessary to recoup any losses.

I cover liability professionally with insurance but my employees are responsible to me and the company for their negligence and incompetence. Accidents are understandable, but if some one is accident prone due to negligent or abusive behavior then they will pay the company back for any damages they have caused.

I keep track of all expenditure. I keep all receipts. My personal receipts are always with in 30 dollars on my personal balance sheets. I have the receipts and can account for every penny on the company balance sheets.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

I do this on the investment properties and janitorial service also.

I have a pattern of how I expect the work to be performed that maximizes efficiency and that this concept not only encompasses lawn care but janitorial.

I require that they work be performed at a specific level of expertise. Such as you maybe can cook a burger at home on a grill, but at McDonalds you will cook it their way not your way, this is how I operate.

I have a signature look that supersedes the quality of all the other LCOs in my aria.

I insist that any one working with me not only perform at my level of perfection implementing my techniques but in doing so they are using ear, eye and respiratory protection and are using them properly.

RyanD
12-02-2005, 07:45 AM
hey mark23, could you pm me briefly stating how you evaluate your investment properties. I have a few, just wanted to compare notes (haven't found any decent landlord forums, he he).

Az Gardener
12-02-2005, 11:27 AM
HK45Mark23 what is your yearly $$ volume if you don't mind sharing? I would love to keep all those # but IMHO there is a balance between keeping the # that have the greatest effect the bottom line and those that are negligible. For example I keep detailed information on my labor as it is my biggest expense. The crews fill out worksheets at the clients home, time in & out, tasks performed materials used etc. it is a fill in the blanks thing. Quick and efficient. It has been my experience that with small equipment(under $ 1,000), it costs more to maintain it to manufacturers specs and track everything than it does to run the thing for 18 months and buy new. We keep everything sharp, and we clean air filters from time to time, but maintenance is really on a as needed basis. More like repairs actually. I just have an extra of everything. The reason I asked about your volume is because what works when you are at 100 K per year dose'nt always work at 400 K per year and what works at 400 dose'nt always work at 1 M. I hope you don't take this wrong I admire your ability to track everything just trying to learn more myself.

HK45Mark23
12-02-2005, 05:01 PM
For me, my business model does not allow for inadequate record keeping. I feel that if the details are not kept then anyone can be held accountable. I donít allow abuse and during cleanup and maintenance the equipment is inspected for abnormal wear and tear. I my self every once in a while will back into a brick wall with the back pack blower. That is not abuse really, but just normal wear and tear.

But lets say some one just is in a hurry and drops the 21Ē mower off the truck instead of using the ramp, or runs into some ones air conditioner with the mower, you know just not paying attention and in a hurry causing damage to customers or my property, that is unacceptable.

As for the maintenance; things like foam pre-filters can be washed with dish detergent and dried in seconds with the air from a back blower, so it takes 5 min to clean, oil and reinstall. This keeps the main filter cleaner and the engine cleaner.

I run Shindaiwa and to me that equipment is not just a throw away like Echo. I like it and hope to keep it for years in a commercial use.

I have the heads wound with string and the tanks filled so the next day all that has to be done is show up and start work.

If you run a single retail store or a Wall-Mart, you still have to perform inventory and paperwork. If you belief that weather you are a $30,000.00, $100,000.00, $500,000 or million dollar producer that some how that determines as to what level you can retain information and that a higher producer does not have the resources to perform maintenance, well to me does not jell.

How I mean that is that if I invest say $20,000 in a truck, $2,000 in a trailer, $13,000 in a Z turn or upfront mower and say 2 or three trimmers at $300 and a few ledgers again $300, maybe 2 back pack blowers around 400 each, a small walk behind for 1,000 or 3,000 depending on your application then add blades, blade sharpeners and balancer, air oil and hydro filters, hydro fluid, oil, equipment racks for the trailer, insurance, accounting, at this point you can easily have 45 or 50 thousand invested in enough equip to run a 3-5 man crew.

That equipment can generate minimal annual income of $25 per property @ 200 properties a week = $5,000 per week and over 30 weeks 150,000 annual but if you are mowing 40 weeks then it = $200,000 annual gross sales. Now lets say your averaging $35 per property the weekly income is $7,000 and a total annual income = $210,000 for 30 weeks and = $280,000 over 40 weeks.

We average a 30-35 week residential season and 40 week commercial season in my aria.

Considering the initial investment for a 3-5 man crew is $45,000 but can produce $150,000-$280,000 in annual income. In this I donít think it takes much time to write a short code for equipment, the start and stop time and address. This is just good record keeping and at the end of the day if you are at 50 operational hours since the last 50 hour maintenance it really does not take a lot of time to pull a spark plug and use a wire wheel to clean it and re-gap it and reinstall it with proper torque.

This type of maintenance insures that you are getting a good burn saving in gas. Maybe you are loosing it in time for record keeping and maintenance, but I feel better knowing that my equipment is running at its best.

It does not take long to attach a grease gun and pull a trigger a few times and the only hard thing really is blade sharpening or fluid changes.

I bet that I can expect to get a longer life out of my equipment because I keep it well maintained and donít abuse it or allow abuse and neglect.

How does this affect the bottom line? The employees have stronger better operating equipment that reduces operator fatigue. My equipment does not vibrate as much as a under maintained equipment. The operators are not struggling with poor half working equipment or hard starting equipment. Every thing runs smooth strong and as it did the day I bought it. Also every thing looks clean and professional because it is clean every day.

If you think about it we have a huge pool of labor at the end of the day. You can expect maybe 15 extra min to perform all maintenance. This means that with each crew member washing and performing any extra maintenance we all can arrive at the shop cleanup and go home in usually just 20 or 30 min.

Even if a piece of equip runs 8 operation hours in a day most maintenance issues are around 25, 50 and 100 hours. At 1-25 and 1-50 hour maintenance per week and 1-100 hour maintenancing per every two weeks it is not like you re spending a lot of time at the end of the day if every one pitches in. None of these items take long.

I use to do it my self and never did it take me more than an hour after the end of the day to do the worst case scenario by my self. If you have to adjusting cables, change oil filter and fluid, change air filter, replacement or cleaning and gaping plugs and greasing fittings it is still not hard or much time. Matter of fact all of this really can be done at the same time.

After the cleaning of the mower lay down your floor protection and start the fluid draining and remove all of the filters at once. Pull your plug gap the new one or clean the old one and re-gap it then replace then install new filters grease all fittings check tension of cables insert the fluid plugs and refill with fluid. Wow just 10 min at most and times that by every piece of equip plus cleaning them.

It really does not matter if I am running small operation at $150,000 annual gross and 30% profit or a million in gross and closer to 50 or 60 % profit. My figures show that the more production the less labor necessary to generate the same dollar.

For instance I can increase the count from 200 houses at $25 per house to 250 at $30 per house and really the labor is only at a 25% increase but my total sales are now at 7,500 weekly from a mere $5,000. An average of 35 at $7,500 weeks = $260,500 annual gross. So I have now increases the gross income from 1$50,000 to $260,500 for an increase of $112,500. that is almost a double in income but only 25% increase in labor and supplies.

This means that the bigger you get the more easily it is to take more precaution to protect your money making assets.

You have the labor and cash flow; all you have to do is set policy and expect a small initial increase in operating expense. In doing so you may decide to implement buying better equip and planning to keep it longer.

Here is an example that I like to use. If you buy 30 Chevy cars new for an average of $30,000 you have spent $300,000 in total and will get approximately 100,000 miles per car totaling 1,000,000. miles. But if you buy a Rolls Royce for $300,000 you will also get a million miles. Is the maintenance higher on a Rolls Royce than a Chevy? Yes, but how about the cost of maintaining 30 Chevys over one million miles. I think that in reality you would save money with the Rolls at worst break even and be in a nicer ride.

Always remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

To me the more production I have the higher my profit and the more I am at leisure to implement programs to keep track of minor details. It is more critical in a higher production to keep track of the minute details.

If you donít keep track of the details then how will you ever spot problem trends?

With this I am more at leisure to perform better maintenance standards, because I can see the big picture and know I have the labor and cash flow.

Here is another way to think of this, if you put your crew on a salary then you have them all day and an extra 15 min is just and extra 15 min. It does not affect your labor cost. To them it is the requirement for the job. In order to get a full day salary, you perform till all maintenance is finished at the end of the day and if we only work a half day it is half salary if we are off then no daily pay.

With this donít get into time wars with them. You are not as worried about clock milking. They are content with the pay and upon hire know that their day will consist of ďxĒ amount of hours and post production prep for the next day.

Also as far as keeping track of your small items, in my janitorial company I know that if I donít keep track of every roll of toilet paper I will loose money. They will change them half empty and take them home for personal use. So I have them return all empty rolls and keep track of them also on paper as to know what the toilet paper usage is at each location. They only change them at empty and leave rolls if it is getting low. This way I donít loose half of the toilet paper budget to the employees as a fringe benefit.

HK45Mark23
12-02-2005, 05:02 PM
Also if one week the crew spent an extra 10 min on sight where they never have spent that time before, I know they took a break and that I lost production that day.

I donít think I have to explain why it matters even if they are on salary. But just incase; even if they are on salary and I am not loosing hours due to their milking the hourly clock by taking extra breaks, I am looking production. I am paying them to not allow the equipment to just sit there loosing money. I will dock them for losses of production. Even if they are on salary I want the job done. I want it done as efficiently as possible. I want them back at the shop cleaned up, all paper finished and maintenance done. If we are done early then they get to go home early and if done early enough then I only pay them for a half day. I want them going home and every thing finished. I donít want them sitting in the truck or talking to some girl on the block. I donít have time for that, it is a business. So if I keep track of every inventory item in and out, time and maintenance I can control loss prevention in many ways including time expenditures, inventory, behavioral patterns etc.

For maintenance if you have all the proper tools and maintenance items available (I like to buy them in bulk and receive a discount) then it is a snap to perform the duties. If you have extra sheets for time keeping ready, they just pull a new daily, weekly and monthly sheet as needed. Each sheet is all the multipliers they need and every thing is well organized. At the end of the day they file the sheet where appropriate.

I can then enter the information into the computer. I can do this in just a spread sheet format. I have it ready for quick reference for any time I need to know who was the manager that day, where they was and at what time, I know what equip ran and at what time did it start and stop. I can tell you when they trimmed edged blower sweep, mowed when they arrived and left how many feet of edging or trimming they did, if it was heavy or light or medium work oh and who did the work as to see any patterns in their personal performance.

I can adjust pricing and even tear it according in the future. If this yard is harder to do due to extra obstacles I may omit it from the program because it does not meet my business model. I may implement a price increase. An explanation that inflation causes operational cost to raise and cost of living increased. So I also have to pass my operating cost on to the customer. If I loose them, I refer them to another service that has good standards and I never leave them with out service.

You know the only businesses that survive are the most efficient ones. If your business is not efficient you canít be competitive in pricing and your equipment will go back into the pool for some other business to run more efficiently.

I feel that proper protection of my investment will increase my profitability in fewer replacements of major items and fewer breakdowns of smaller items as well as less over all operating cost.

If I was to replace a blower trimmer edger every year ore even every few years then how would that be as efficient as using it for 7 years. With this in mind I can keep low operating cost.
In other words, for $150,000 of income if I have spent $45,000 or more for equipment the first year I may not have a real profit. I like to buy in cash, but then it takes a year that I maybe have to be content with a smaller income to reimburse my self for that expenditure. Ok but then the next 6 years I am working with only labor, insurance, maintenance, accounting, gas, advertising if any and tax, the rest is at least 30-60% profit depending on production and market conditions.

Now if I financed that equipment I would pay for 45,000 over 60 months and maybe at a commercial lending rate of 8.65% = $926.00 monthly. I donít like paying 11,000 a year for 60 months.

I can save a lot of money up front matter of fact I will save just by paying in cash at least 10,000 or approximately 20%. Also I ask for a discount for paying in cash in addition to my savings from no finance charge.

If you are not keeping track of every thing and thinking about how it affects you then how do you know you canít take the time or spend the money for maintenance? How do you know that it would not benefit you to do so? How do you know if it can affect your bottom line be it short term or long term?

It is up to you as a business owner to understand cash flow and the relation of income expenses assets and liabilities. This is why milking every investment in equipment is so important. Making sure that my employees are also able to perform as much work with as little effort and discomfort is important to me as well.

Remember as an employee you did not like managers and bosses who did not know what was going on and who did not take in account you need for their support. In this way I know every one of their needs and am more enabled to support them. Whether it is supplies or protection from the elements or efficient operational procedures, all is addressed.

It is because I determined my operational business model theoretically before I started my business and performed field test implementing these concepts just by my self.

It has been easier producing proper papers for employees to follow. Developing operation procedures that are explained and policies that are explained upon hire insures that every one is on the same page from the start.

Any way, do with this what you will but I think that even if you are mowing city parks, industrial complexes, apartments and office buildings all with great expanses of turf that this concept would be easier. I base this due to the fact that you are not loading and unloading as often or even starting and stopping equipment as often as you would on a residential mowing operation.

See, with larger commercial contracts you get on a sight and spend several hours on a mower. That is much less paper work and at a higher production level than say being on and off a residential property every 20 min with 5 min or less travel time allowing about 5 residential properties every 2 hours. This last model is why for residential I prefer community projects where you are hired by the neighborhood association to service the entire subdivision.

In this scenario you can mow the whole block with one pattern as your crew edges trims and blows from house to house. Your mowing concept treat the whole block as one big field striping you pattern on the whole block and not just striping the small residential property at a time.

Well that is enough for now.

HK45Mark23
12-02-2005, 05:07 PM
P.S this is just operational theory, not to be picked apart as my actual numbers or total operational procedure. It may well be that you are more productive than I am and I would bet that you have many more years of experience in the lawn care industry and at a higher level than I. This is just intended for conceptual and theoretical philosophy. All though this is the bases of how I run my business.

Az Gardener
12-03-2005, 12:19 AM
WOW.

Thank your lucky stars you are in Indiana. I am from Marion (Sweetser actually)and I have one employee from Elkhart we are the only ones in the company that would last through 1/8th of what you require of your employees.

Also in Az salaried employees must be supervising 5 or more employees and not be doing more than 25% actual production. So you would be illegal here. But your thought process makes sense in theory. I would be curious to see how it performs when you have 30 -50 employees. Not saying it cant be done, just I can produce much more $$ bidding than I could overseeing all that maintenance and the crew even at 15 min each could be producing $$ in the field. If I could find a part time person that was self motivated to do that at the end of the day that would make sense to me.

You still didn't answer my question about your $$$ volume this year? LCO company only. I will finish up a shade under 400,000. with 6.5 employees on avg. Two field trucks 1 supervisor truck and 1 back up truck 2 route trailers (enclosed) and 1 dump trailer and less than 12,000 in equipment. No shop, Office in the house. I have enough equipment to run two mow crews and two beds and bushes crews. Up until Nov. I was running two complete crews, as everyone here in Phx does.

AintNoFun
12-03-2005, 11:23 AM
i track my gray hair's daily that this business gives me...

Az Gardener
12-03-2005, 09:23 PM
Amen brother, They don't make a computer fast enough for that.

mtdman
12-04-2005, 07:19 PM
Other than milage, I track nothing daily. I'm just glad when I get to go home and rest my weary body.

DuallyVette
12-06-2005, 01:44 AM
In a GROUNDS magazine that I read several years ago, a LCO said that he saved $30,000 in a year by not tracking every little thing that he couldn't change. I know that we are efficient. I track job time on a spread sheet. One sheet for each month. Quick glance...whole picture. AND Quickbooks for expense tracking and billing.

PMLAWN
12-06-2005, 12:45 PM
hey mark23, could you pm me briefly stating how you evaluate your investment properties. I have a few, just wanted to compare notes (haven't found any decent landlord forums, he he).

Hay Ryan, I have some addresses that I will PM you later. They are at another house so I can not do it now but I have a few that are good for RE investment

dsmrolla06
12-06-2005, 09:26 PM
Hey Az Gardner, i live in Elkhart. Thats interesting you know someone from here, or even lived around here as its not a very big city.

HK45Mark23
12-06-2005, 09:32 PM
Notice how you immediately shut down your brain. I mean come on, what is the difference of saying you are on salary for $320.00 a week or $8.00 an hour 40 hours a week.

What you did is exactly what I am talking about with most of the people on this site. It seams as if most of you are thinking as an employee and not as a business owner.

Who is the boss you or your employees?

I am sorry but I set the standards and policies! If some one does not comply then they are terminated.

As far as the salary goes, you can have one person for 6.5 hours a day 6 days a week working morning and a second person also for 6.5 hours a day working evenings and be running two shifts. You insulate your self from overtime this way and with shorter days the employees are less fatigued at the end of the day. Your morning shift starts industrial and commercial service at say 5:30 am and is finished by noon and including a 30 min break for breakfast / lunch. Then your second crew comes in at noon takes the equipment and does residential till 6:30 pm or sun down also with a 30 min break.

Now remember that these times will change according to the season and daylight. But again donít be ignorant enough to invalidate the concept due to any specific variable. Instead use your brain to over come an obstacle.

This particular model shows how to work a man 40 hours a week at 6 days a week for approximately $320.00. It also showcases how you can have a 12 hours production day. So maybe you have 3 people morning and 3 evening for six people working at $320.00 a week totaling $1,920.00 labor weekly, and 240 man hours at your disposal. You can present the idea as a salary of approximately $50.00 a day or $25.00 a half day, or you can tell them they work at $8.00 an hour during production.

You may also want to think of it like this, if you are paying them $8.00 an hour you are really paying on average maybe closer to $11 an hour including matching taxes. I like to dramatize this to insure that I donít under estimate and fall in a deficit situation. So with the same number you true labor is closer to $2,640.00 per week and over 30 weeks $73,200.00 annual labor.

I am really intrigued how some one could say in essence ďMy crew could not last under such ideologies,Ē and also invalidate a simple labor concept with a legal issue such as ďIn my aria our labor laws are regulated differently and you would be illegal.Ē

Again to reiterate, I thank that you shut down you thinking and subscribed to the defeatist mentality of the employee. You failed to think of all labor as being salary or hourly, either way you are paying the same. You only use the concepts to obtain better control over labor and to instill a different work ethic in your employees. In other words it is just a psychological ploy to control your employees thought process. How they perceive their position and roll in the company and ultimately how efficiently they perform their duties is directly linked to how you present their position and importance. The concept of ďsalaryĒ can change a ďslackerĒ to a highly motivate, conscious, leader.

I really feel sorry for most of the posters on this sight. I think almost every one on this site needs to stop thinking as an employee / self employee and start thinking like a business owner / investor. The concepts of business ownership are so radically different compared to the mentality of the employee / self employee.

Az Gardener
12-06-2005, 10:07 PM
Obviously I have got your panties in a bunch, still didn't answer my ? WHAT IS YOU VOLUME PER YEAR ? I get the feeling all you have is a business model and not a real world business. Don't preach to me about numbers and labor your not the only one here with some expertise in that area. How is it you can find labor to work 6 short days when the rest of us can't find people to work 4 or 5 short days with higher pay? I think your a fraud.

Az Gardener
12-06-2005, 10:12 PM
dsmrolla06 I came to AZ in 1980 by my self from Sweetser, Oak Hill Hs my graduating class was 162 people. Within 5 years I ran into 5 people from my class out here, none of whom came with someone else. It really is a small world.

HK45Mark23
12-06-2005, 10:15 PM
I was having fun discussing business with you. Now you have become unprofessional. It is a shame that so many people on online forums are so uncivilized. I now terminate my participation in this discussion due to your lack of manners. My good Sir, have a good day.

JJJ
12-16-2005, 01:32 AM
I must say I am a big fan of this thread. I have referred to this multiple times in the last few days. I hate it ended so abruptly by someone who obviously does not understand the importance of the topis by being just totally negligent to guys helping him out.
I am currently getting a little more organized in this department and need some help. I can't think of anything wiser to do than to actually just come out and ask specifically 2 posters for help and ideas...

GarPA, Would you happen to have a copy of this chart or spreadsheet that you actually use that you would be willing to share especially on the topics you listed below?....

Quote- yep I;m one of those detail freaks and we record the following faithfully every day of the year. I was given some good advise a few years ago by my fatherinlaw who told me "you have to know your numbers like your name if you want to succeed". His advice has been invlauable.
1- record the start time when the wheels start turning
2- start/stop time for every job every day, no matter how consistent the elapsed time is from month to month.( I want to be able to roll these numbers up from time to time and see how productive we are in a given month.)
3- any materials used on the service call (weed spray, plant fert etc)
4- what was done on each job beyond mow/trim (things like sprayed weeds/fert flowrs/trim or nip a few plants etc)
5-elapsed time for breaks/lunch
6-mileage start/stop(we use a separate mileage log as thats what the IRS wants)
7- screwups/problems we did not plan on (we use this info to hopefully reduce these unplanned screwups in the future)
8- employee start/stop times including lunch/breaks


HK45Mark23, Same question to you?...specifically on the items below...

Quote- I record the start and stop time of every piece of equipment. I have a sheet that my crew and I use to record the machines name and purpose (such as S-T/E-E for Shindaiwa Multitool Trimmer/Edger Edger or S-T/E-T for Shindaiwa Multi-Tool Trimmer/Edger Trimmer or JDM for John Deere Mower or L for Lastec or S-B for Shindaiwa Blower) and the start time (which is received from an atomic clock) and stop time.

At the end of the day the crew manager calculates the hours and min on every machine converting minutes to hundredths of a hour.

He then transfers this information to another sheet that is dedicate to just one piece of equipment and is used only for maintenance purposes. This sheet has all the maintenance scheduling according to the manufacturers suggestions.

He then makes sure that all maintenance items are performed on or before the scheduled time. If that the maintenance would come due before the end of the next operational day then the maintenance is performed that evening as to prevent the equipment from ever exceeding the manufacturers recommended maintenance schedule.


Thx to both of you in advance.

Az Gardener
12-16-2005, 09:41 AM
The information is only helpful if it is new to you. Spewing on and on about accounting and telling me I "shut off my brain" is not only incorrect but rude. I have a good friend that is a senior financial analyst for Intel. Very bright guy We talk often about the numbers and what does and does not make sense. But a model is just that a model. Business is just like war you lay out your best plan then go to battle. Then as soon as you do everything changes and you adapt. You do your best to adhere to your plan but to survive you make adjustments you don't adjust your principals or quality, but the methods you use to get things done. Notice how the volume question and legality of paying salary to laborers was ignored. Reading the advice doesn't cost much just be careful what you decide to implement thats where it begins to cost you. Intel guy is ALWAYS asking whats the ROI return on investment. Ask yourself that, what monetary value does this information have to me? Would my time be better spent selling more work or my employees producing more income or maintaining equipment? Do I really want my employees to be working with 5-7 year old technology even if it has been well kept? Do what You like just beware of posers.

Az Gardener
12-16-2005, 09:49 AM
I have attempted to attach the worksheets my foreman completes at every job this information has value to me. I hope it actually shows up, if not someone help. I have it loaded in attach files.

DuallyVette
12-16-2005, 08:58 PM
O.K.... Here's my take on this. HK45Mark23... ex military. I hear that they have a manual that explains EVERYTHING that you do. When to sh*t, where to sh*t, how many squares to wipe with, how many seconds to wash your hands, what part of an ounce of soap to use. The manual walks you through EVERY procedure that you will encounter during your stay. I can't imagine what type of maintenance schedule you would have with a string trimmer. You put mixed gas in it, and go. If it starts loosing power, you do minor maintenance (filters-plug) All my equipment get properly maintained. I don't need to know how many minutes my trimmer ran. ( In round #'s 15 lawns ,18 minutes per lawn average, five days a week.) accurate #'s make NO difference. I would think that an irate employee would take his little military weapon ( in his signature) and stuff it up his a** after he jumped on them for wasting time if they shake it more than twice after they took a whizz. Split shift employees at $8 per hour would have to be minors that are illeagal immigrants. No adult in america would want to work 6 days a week to only get 40 hours. Maybe he's really located in China.

kc2006
12-16-2005, 09:42 PM
I couldn't read past the first 2 paragraphs in each of HK45mark23's posts, too much info that seems like it would waste too much time.

Last year was very lax for me, I didn't do much paperwork at all because it was my first year and I figured I didn't need to since the business was so small...I was wrong and I see it now.

This up coming year I will record income,expenses,auto mileage/exspenses every day. I also will do "check ups" once a month to see my times while working. I'm mostly mowing right now so I don't see the need to know where I am exactly every day. If I had employee's, I'd keep track of their productivity, but its just me so I don't see it. I will record my times at jobs once a month just to see how I'm doing month to month to make sure I'm not getting too slow. Plus it will help give me an idea of my hourly costs of business.

I just got done creating all the different spread sheets to record all the data with, they're all in monthly form and then I have annual forms for each different data. The point of putting them monthly was to cut down on paper, and I don't have the volume of work to use a whole spread sheet for one days expense.

I'm currently documenting all of last year so I can look at it all and get an idea of the costs last year and how I did, so far the spread sheets are working fine for me. The whole point of tracking stuff is to make the business run smoother and know where your at in the books, I couldn't see adding all the other stuff mentioned above. I wouldn't sit and fill out a form for every place I roll up to, that would just tack on a couple mins for each place and end up having boxes of paper work by the season end.

Creative Lawn Care
12-16-2005, 11:48 PM
Some of HKgun or whatever therories may be right but not many people are gonna work split shifts. He may be in another country notice how he spells area...aria. Also his math on 30 chevys at 30,000 is 900,000 not 300,000 as he stated. And just for info I would rather have the chevy's over the rolls anyway

HK45Mark23
12-17-2005, 12:55 AM
Sorry, I did mean 10 Chevys and I canít spell worth a darn. Thank God for spell check, but even it is not perfect. I am in Southwestern Indiana.

DuallyVette
12-17-2005, 01:00 AM
I use Quickbooks to keep my financial records. It breaks down your expenses any way you want it. Just enter your expenses as they occur, bill your customers, track accounts recieveable etc. I have a monthly spread sheet carried in the trucks and a timer. I just need to know how long they were at each property what day of the week, and a code for added services other than Mow/trim/blow. I can quickly see which properties are taking longer than they're worth to me and adjust the rates.
example: when I enter a fuel expense on a credit card, I enter : which truck ( or off road diesel/ or gas ), mileage, gallons, cost per gallon. At the end of the year I can print up report and add the # of gallons of gas/ diesel/ on/ or off road use for my state tax return and claim my highway tax refund for non highway use.

DuallyVette
12-17-2005, 01:22 AM
Sorry, I did mean 10 Chevys and I canít spell worth a darn. Thank God for spell check, but even it is not perfect. I am in Southwestern Indiana.


But you are ex military and have written instructions on " how to tie your shoes" and "when to pick your nose"....RIGHT ??? :gunsfirin :waving: :waving: :waving:

GarPA
12-17-2005, 07:14 AM
JJJ..as far as the templates to record and roll up data, we bought Gopher software a couple of years ago mainly for this purpose. Its very easy to install, learn and use. I imagine that other landscape software can do this just as well but a couple of them I found too complex, too costly, and frankly more than I need for a small company.

Just remember that how you roll up your data is less important than making sure you record this data EVERY SINGLE DAY you work. We use allot of abbreviations in the daily Daytimer (one page per day). The recording of this data is probably the single most important thing I ever did to ensure my business is making the profit I think it should. Before you worry about reports and spreadsheets, I strongly recommend your getting into the habit of recording what you do daily by hour. Winter is a good time to start making this a habit as you won't find it as burdensome now as opposed to spring when you are so busy. Once you've done it for awhile, it will become automatic every day and you wont find it to be a hassle...trust me..you will find this data invaluable for the long term.

YardPro
12-17-2005, 09:18 AM
hk
the salary issue you are adressing is illegal..
you are not legally allowed to have an employee on salary unless he/she supervises 3 or more people....
also you cannot dock spmeone's pay 10 min if you feel they took a break at a property.... you do not add time when you make them stay 10 min longer to do maintenance.... that is really crappy to treat your employees like that...

you come off sounding like a real pita to work for... the employer nazi..LOL

and as for the toilet paper issue.... what is stopping them from bringing thier empty rolls from home and giving u them instead of the ones from your properties?????????

a lot of what u said makes perfect sence and i agree with a lot of it except for your treatment of your laborers... they are not machines and should not be treated as such... when you have an oppressive slave driver management style you foster resentment in your employees...
take business classes or management classes and you will be told that is a recipie for problems with workers.... you mah have decent employees... but you will never have really great ones with a management structure like that.
how do you expect someone to grow into a good leader for you with such a rigid and inflexable structure??????

i do however agree with your philosophy in maintenance.... but the analogy with the chevy vs. rolls is a bit skewed.

to get the same million miles from a 30K vehicle it would only take a maximum of 4 with good maintenance.... that is only $120K in purchase cost.... and the maintenance would be not nearly enough to offset the maintenance of the rolls maintenance much less the added purchase costs...
the cheaper vehicles would win out...
the other reson the cheaper vehicles would win out is that in a business the 4 cheaper vheicles would be able to transport 4 crews of workers.. the rolls.. just one.. so the lack of production hours of the rolls would be a hudge money waster, increasing the actual cost of the vehicle.....

It is easy to spin numbers to look any way u want.. big business does it all the time (enron..etc..)..

Az Gardener
12-18-2005, 08:49 PM
Glad to see i'm not the only one that thinks hk is in the twilight zone. I forgot to explain my daily worksheet. I run two crews they see between 3-7 properties per day. These sheets take about 3 min per property to fill out. I have one guy who doesn't like to take the time during the day so he talks into his phone on the memo function and leaves himself notes and then spends the time at the end of the day to complete. The employee who completed the tasks initials are put into the space by the tasks listed. Good to know if I get a complaint about say weedeating I check the worksheet and know who the culprit is. I also can see if everyone is pulling their weight on the crew. They are also a great cover your a$$ tool. I had one client complain didn't think we were spending the time we claimed I brought a months set of worksheets and went over what was done and showed him in his yard. I followed up by faxing him the weekly sheets for about 3-4 months and the problem went away. In the spring of 05 I raise his rate 27% based on the info in the worksheets and had no problem getting the $$$. The worksheets come in daily I read all of them then put them in clients current file, around the 25th I pull them all out for each client, total the hours wright that in the corner of a sticky square, wright down on the sticky the quantities of whatever we used billable or not, staple it all together and give it to my wife who enters the info into quick books and produces the bill. The total monthly hours go on a spreadsheet so I can see month by month what the hours are. She then files them in the clients permanent file and we keep it for two years then toss them.

HK45Mark23
12-18-2005, 10:39 PM
No it is not and you have totally misinterpreted my post.

I go out of my way to be soft spoken to my employees and to treat them better than other employers. Also I provide them with every thing they request, with in reason, to make it possible foe them to perform their job and do it in comfort. I never yell at any one.

In the last two years my turn over rate has been zero (0). My employees love their jobs and the fact that they are never really worked hard. I have always had a low turn over rate.

They get to be off and home with their families, and get a full 40 hours.

Remember most people accuse according to their nature of behavior. I am afraid maybe you are judging me according to your own tendencies.

Also I have never intended to offend. I stated that some here have closed their mind and shut it down. It is still factual but not in a degrading way. I am trying to wake most of you up to your lack of transformation from an employee mentality to a business owner mentality.

The labor issue, in my aria I can use the salary idea I presented if I wish but I donít. It is just a model if thought. I categorize labor in a salary concept in my mind. This way I know the limits of labor and their relationship to profit. Know that labor is the highest cost commodity used in our line of business and that is why we buy $10,000 mowers. They literally can save you the labor cost compared to comparable production rate in just a few months.

My point, most of you take my post as gospel concerning how I run my personal business. I only mean to open your minds to ideas.

There is no difference between $320 in pay over a week in salary or 40 hours a week over 4, 5, 6 days. The hours are the same 40 hours.

My employees like never working till they are totally exhausted, especially in the heat we get. They donít dread a long hot day. They donít miss family events and family time.

As far as my management experience, I have had hundreds of employees under management at one time. Before I ventured on my own, I had extensive management and training experience. I was a corporate trainer with a stellar track record.

If you look at the largest companies in the world, they track almost all information.

Mc Donaldís tracks every burger and every bun.

I mean come on, you way of thinking is not on par with large business. Some here are only on par with the employee mentality or self employee mentality. Employees want to take as many short cuts as possible.

I in no way am here to offend any one. As long as the discussion does not become a measure of genital magnitude or digress to personal attacks I will be willing to resume.

The issue I addressed before concerning labor is one of the best points concerning most of the flaws I see in a lot of your business thinking.

For instance if you make the statement ďI cantĒ or ďYou cantĒ then you are allowing your mind to shut down and are making it ok or justifying it by stating that the idea or concept is an impossibility so you donít waste your time or mental energy.

However what if you say ďHow can I?Ē Then you have opened your mind up to possibilities. By saying you cant you are being mentally lazy.

When you state that it is illegal for me to use salaries, that may be so in your neck of the woods, but if I was where you are I would still be able to get the same results I desire, labor cost control.

I focus on labor cost. I am willing to allocate only a specific amount of money for labor to a specific job. Whether it be through salary or some other limited labor cost control

I would, again as stated before in a previous post, determine that cost factor I wish to implement and find the most affective way to package that idea.

$320 salary is equal to 6 days at 6.5 hours a day which = 39 hours approximately 40 hours a week, or 8 hours a day for 5 days also equaling 40 hours a week. I mean come on this is such an easy concept the end result is if you are paying $8 dollars an hour you are only paying $320 plus company match tax.

Also if I work them 6.5 hours a day and have two shifts I can get 12 hour work days. I never have tired worn out people who are cranky and resentful. I never pay over time. I donít have to no one ever works over 40 hours.

Again my most important presentation is the concepts of how a business mind works contradictory to an employee or self employee mentality.

Unfortunately most of you think like the employee and self employee. I also thought that way many years ago.

I actually have several businesses I donít ever participate in the day to day operational activities. I once a quarter meet with the management team to implement new ideas and receive updates. I once a quarter receive dividend disbursements. That is the difference between self employees and business owners.

If you are participating daily then you are only owning your job and hiring helpers. You are not a business owner. A doctor and lawyer is a classic example of a self employee. When the doctor or lawyer stop working so does their income.

HK45Mark23
12-18-2005, 10:41 PM
The example of the Rolls Royce is a valid one. I worked for 2 years in a dealership and the cost of maintenance is high. Again I am not referring to a company vehicle as per the comparison that was presented. I am only showing that you can own a nice car and get the same mileage out of it as you can 10 cheep ones.

The total cost is nearly the same for acquisition and maintenance. Sure you could argue that you may be able to get more than 100k out of a cheep car but nearly 87% of all Rolls Royceís are still road worthy, even since the early 1900s. This is my concept on why I buy higher quality equipment and then implement a stringent maintenance program. Yeah the discerning Rolls owner does not abuse their car nor do the neglect them, they have the money to properly maintain them. But they also reap the same mileage dollar for dollar but in a more comfortable and prestigious package. Also the cheep car looses the bulk of its retained black or blue book value once hitting around 80 Ė 90K miles.

I did address the labor issue before; some of you must not have gotten that far in that post. You seem to believe that there is only one way to skin a cat. I always said that it is not the salary in its self; you can in your mind determine that you are only paying a set level and then present the idea in a regionally legal format.

Donít think that you can discount or accredit some ones insights by the volume they may or may not produce. I had just produced so much information in the previous posts that I never included my personal production or personal business experience, I never ignored it.

But now I think my production levels is relevant. What is relevant is whether or not any one here grasps the business concepts, theist are models used for teaching.

If you can master the concepts presented here then you will build a stronger business. If for you tracking is not important fine. If for you maintaining is not important fine. But you will never grow if you donít ever question, measure every thing as well as experiment with new concepts.

I understand that tearing down old concepts and exploring different ideas or ways of thought is hard. Rebuilding your belief system is also hard. It goes against all that you know. We are creatures of habit and resist change. But to grow you must change, to be on the cutting edge and an innovative you must change.

In the pizza shops I owned at the age of 18 when topping a pizza I use to measure only one or two times a day to ensure my calibration. I had topped so many pizzas that I never really had to measure. I had the weight set to memory. But I insisted that my employees measured every time. It is also so in Pizza hut. They measure every toping on every pizza.

I always measured the dough to the ounce when I performed hand tossed dough prep. There are just some things you donít leave up to chance. Run your business as you will but know that if you say you canít or I canít that you are shutting down your mind. Exhaust every avenue to find a way to legally get the same end result.

Never was in the military, but I am a firearm enthusiasts; you can find posts by me on this forum about what I carry.

It would be who of most of you to think before typing, I only will respond to professional inquiries, and ignore any bar room psychology (Loudest person in the bar argument is the winner, mentality.) I never validate psychological ploys for position, only truly honest and respectful inquires and discussion.

I am an innovator; I develop business systems. I produce quality businesses that provide higher quality services than the current providers. I create the total business model and operational structure. I then tweak the system and sell the business.

I did invent the ideas present here in this thread; I learned them from other business owners and developers.

I truly believe the proverb ďDonít cast your pearls before the swine!Ē

It use to be that pearls were more valuable than gold. It could take a century or more to acquire enough pearls of comparable size color and quality to make one necklace. Not so in todayís cultured society.

Pearls are fragile and break easily so if you cast them before the swine they will be trampled and smashed. The swine do not appreciate the value and destroy the pearl. I am no wise man but I have been taught and the pearls of wisdom that I present here are not some thing you should treat with respect. You canít argue with them. They are tried and proven methods of business though.

In another post I will address many other things such as problem employees and the system I use to record information, just know for now all they have to do is record the start time and end time, all else is preprinted. The pending post is in direct response to some questions posed in this thread.

To address the toilet paper roll question, I use a code and invisible ink that illuminates under a black light. I do account for every roll. I only have one person who is a family member who marks every roll with a date and code upon arrival.

Matter of fact every item in the janitorial company is tagged in the same manner and accounted for. I have a successful loss prevention system and elevated all theft. If I experience a loss, I manipulate the schedule in a way to find the culprit. It maybe will take a few weeks but eventually the pattern shows up and then, well you have to do what you have to do. Also most of the places we serve have extensive video monitoring; the majority of my janitorial clientele are banks

Later enjoy.

Merry Christmas!!!

HK45Mark23
12-18-2005, 10:46 PM
Glad to see i'm not the only one that thinks hk is in the twilight zone. I forgot to explain my daily worksheet. I run two crews they see between 3-7 properties per day. These sheets take about 3 min per property to fill out. I have one guy who doesn't like to take the time during the day so he talks into his phone on the memo function and leaves himself notes and then spends the time at the end of the day to complete. The employee who completed the tasks initials are put into the space by the tasks listed. Good to know if I get a complaint about say weedeating I check the worksheet and know who the culprit is. I also can see if everyone is pulling their weight on the crew. They are also a great cover your a$$ tool. I had one client complain didn't think we were spending the time we claimed I brought a months set of worksheets and went over what was done and showed him in his yard. I followed up by faxing him the weekly sheets for about 3-4 months and the problem went away. In the spring of 05 I raise his rate 27% based on the info in the worksheets and had no problem getting the $$$. The worksheets come in daily I read all of them then put them in clients current file, around the 25th I pull them all out for each client, total the hours wright that in the corner of a sticky square, wright down on the sticky the quantities of whatever we used billable or not, staple it all together and give it to my wife who enters the info into quick books and produces the bill. The total monthly hours go on a spreadsheet so I can see month by month what the hours are. She then files them in the clients permanent file and we keep it for two years then toss them.


In essence we are doing the same things. I just see 3 - 4 customers an hour residential. I have used the sheets to provide actual production information to clients. I scan my sheets into the computer as well as manage the information with a spread sheet.

JJJ
12-19-2005, 12:00 AM
Can either one of you share with me the sheets you refer to. I am just trying to figure out the layout of the actual daily sheet. (not very good in excel)Could you post it here?
I must say this is been a very enjoyable thread and great read!! Thx to all for making this board what it is. I am not a frequent poster, just an observer that really appreciates everything done here.

Vassk1
12-19-2005, 01:32 AM
For instance if you make the statement ďI cantĒ or ďYou cantĒ then you are allowing your mind to shut down and are making it ok or justifying it by stating that the idea or concept is an impossibility so you donít waste your time or mental energy.

However what if you say ďHow can I?Ē Then you have opened your mind up to possibilities. By saying you cant you are being mentally lazy.



You really sound like a bad Rich Dad/Poor Dad infomercial. It's also fairly obvious that most of your beliefs come from the Rich Dad series.

Maybe you haven't heard this yet but he's a total fraud. There is no Rich Dad.

You make me laugh.

HK45Mark23
12-19-2005, 02:59 AM
You are only what you believe you can be. Your reality is determined by your beliefs. I am glad not to be limited by inhibitions. I also am glad that I don’t need to be confrontational. I don’t try to belittle some one else to make my self feel better and worth more. I am only here to share and help others in their personal development. As stated before it is a shame that there are so many individuals on the internet forums that are ignorant and choose to attack others in order to build their selves up. Whether or not the Rich Dad Poor Dad serious is procured by a fraud or not is again irrelevant. I am successful and proud to be where I am. Too bad you must not be happy with your self. I am afraid your insecurities and inferiorities are showing. Please keep you negative attitude to your self.

JJJ there is a lesson to be learned here. All your life there will be the naysayer. Your family friends and strangers on the internet will always spout off at the mouth negative mentalities that they learned from their poor ignorant friends. You truly need to find a successful mentor who fits the description of what you want to be. Be in the top 5% not the lower 95%.

Get to the library and study business and management. The one minute manager is a good management start.

Don’t ever get discouraged and never loose sight of your goal.

You may notice I never directly address any one person by name on this thread, just ideas. I will
break this rule. Vassk1 grow up and get off your high horse. If you are not here to help
Tinman and the others here who are searching for positive roll models then kindly excuse your
self.

PMLAWN
12-19-2005, 08:06 AM
To address the toilet paper roll question, I use a code and invisible ink that illuminates under a black light. I do account for every roll. I only have one person who is a family member who marks every roll with a date and code upon arrival.


Later enjoy.

Merry Christmas!!!
Thats the funniest thing I every heard of.:dizzy:
I can see HK being sued for causing cancer to hundreds of office workers by injection of toxic substance:p :p

PMLAWN
12-19-2005, 08:27 AM
My point, most of you take my post as gospel concerning how I run my personal business. I only mean to open your minds to ideas.

.
"I am an innovator; I develop business systems. I produce quality businesses that provide higher quality services than the current providers. I create the total business model and operational structure. I then tweak the system and sell the business.

I did invent the ideas present here in this thread; I learned them from other business owners and developers."

I did invent The ideas in this thread????
You say that you are here to help Tinman but do you only have ideas or do you have real experiences at running a LCO business.
I feel that Tin and any others starting out or looking to build would be better served by knowledge from experience at doing this than a textbook guess.
If you really do run and work a LCO business, I apologize now, but your rants sound like, and your evading any question of "YOUR PERSONAL" business seem to point in the direction of not.

Merry Christmas.

YardPro
12-19-2005, 09:00 AM
mark each roll with invisible ink?????..yea.... right....

and the labor laws i quoted are not area specific.. they are federal labor laws..

you keep refering to using salary to "control labor expense"... that means you are using it to pay less..

you said that if you thought your employees took a 10 min break you would dock thier time..... illegal with salary ....

keeping good detailed records is very important... but you are way overboard.. also the times you give for the maintenance are way off...

15 minutes to service and clean all equiment????? you must have a retired superhero working for u..

and the example of the rolls and chevy are still way off..

4 chevys will easially get 1 million miles
purchase costs $120K
rolls is $300K
that leaves $180K worth of maintenance that could be done to the chevy's before the difference in purchase price alone would be offset.. this is without even adding ANY maintenance costs for the rolls.....

The reason a lot of rolls are still on the road is becuase they are bought by very wealthy people that keep them serviced and repaired very well...
also when there is an expensive problem the cost of repair vs replacement favors the repair due to the high replacement costs

here is something else....

you buy a $30K honda.. you drive it to 100K miles... you will have almost no problems with it...most will be warrantied...

you throw it away ( giving no recouped money for selling or trading it)

you can do this 3 times and get the 300K miles and still only have $90K in costs...
the initial outlay for the rolls would be 3 times that before the first mile would ever be put on it......

As i said you can spin info any way u want.. you are pretty good at spinning it, and are rather articulate.. so i am sure u are pretty sharp... but do you really believe all this bs??????????

Vassk1
12-19-2005, 05:53 PM
You may notice I never directly address any one person by name on this thread, just ideas. I will
break this rule. Vassk1 grow up and get off your high horse. If you are not here to help
Tinman and the others here who are searching for positive roll models then kindly excuse your
self.

Dude, you need to get of your high horse. Your opinions come directly from the Rich Dad series and that's dangerous material. Many a person has gone bankrupt or worse following his ridiculous advice. Great motivational material but stuff that just doesn't work in real life. Besides, it's a fictitional story he made up to make himself rich. It worked for him but don't doom yourself by following it.

You seem to be caught up in the ol' ES BI quadrants in your posts. More poor Rich Dad advice.

I got my degree in Finance. His books are geared to those who have little business acumen. I'm surprised somebody who runs as many businesses, receives as many dividends and owns as many investment properties as you would follow the advice of such books.

Not for nothing but you may be the fraud here. You still make me laugh.

Hard Worker
12-19-2005, 11:37 PM
GarPa may I PM you to ask you a couple of questions concerning Gopher software? There are some concerns I have and would like to get some answers before I buy.

Billy

HK45Mark23
12-20-2005, 02:09 AM
I usually donít share personal information, but wile some of you are discrediting me and invalidating the information I have presented, I was making money today. What was you doing?

Today I closed on 4 single family dwellings, with a minimum of $15,000 equity per property. I have another closing on a similar property tomorrow, again minimum of $15,000 equity. That means today and tomorrow I will gain $75,000 in net worth. That does not count the $100 - $200 in passive income I will obtain monthly from rents.

Just for starters I have increased my monthly cash flow realistically by $600 a month with todayís acquisitions.

I calculate the mortgage, insurance, vacancy rate, maintenance, legal expense, depreciation, and some other miscellaneous items. I know that I will cash flow the numbers I expect if not more.

I never want an inflated appraisal. I look for the appraisers who will be low compared to most. This is because I want to protect my self from unrealistic expectations. I want to have plenty of room to move. I want to know the worst case scenario or the least that the property can bring. This is so I can prevent losses or unexpected surprises.

Enough for that, because on Friday or Monday I will be closing on a 14 unit building that is mixed with one and two bedroom units. I will cash flow at least $100 and again up to $200 a month per unit.

So I expect because the cash flow to be around $1,500 a month, but actually show almost double that.

Add today, tomorrow and Friday and I will have increased my cash flowing by $2,100 a month.

This 14 unit building will build my net worth another $80,000 minimum. The building is worth $360,000 + and I got it for $240,000.

All the units I own and the ones I am acquiring are currently occupied. My actual vacancy rate is low. But I base my numbers on 10 Ė 25% depending on the property type and the location

In order to accomplish this kind of results here is what I had to do. A few hours on the internet looking up potential properties, a few min to acquire the taxes information from the county tax assessor on line, the insurance cost (I have held an insurance licenses in Indiana) Held health, life and property casualty, a few hours to go out and view the properties in person, ( I can fit maybe 5 properties in a few hours) I have maybe 8 hours in 5 properties total research time, then 15 min of paper signing in the finance office per property and 20 min per property in the closing room. Sounds like less than 12 hours on average.

Just to ad, my finance office can get me closed in less than 2 weeks every time. So personal time is less than 12 hours and I have gained $155,000 + minimum in equity plus increased my passive income $2,100 + monthly or $25,200 anualy added to my $155,000 equity is an increase to my net worth of $180,200 +.

Today I used a like kind exchange to prevent a $24,000 capitol gains tax. I will also depreciate the properties and take every deduction from debt services and other expenses to lessen my tax consequences.

If you make even a half million in gross sales in your yard care and you are profiting maybe 35% or more so you are working all season 35 + weeks for 175,000 net profit. Yeah I know some are making up to 60% profit, I am sure of it.

Who is laughing all the way to the bank if it is not me?

I made over 180,000 in 12 hours over 3 weeks.

That is the real deal. This is really how my day was today. I have recorded new deeds with my name as the owner of actual real-estate today. I have two more closings just as stated this week or at most by Monday. I have tens more on my list up and coming. I keep at least 6 Ė 10 properties in the works at time and many more in queue.

I want at least one to five deals a week every week. That is my program.

I never accept any deal that is less than $15,000 equity and $100 in monthly cash flow.

A lot of you are thinking I am a fraud but you can think what you want. The real score card is our bank accounts.

I canít believe that some are immature and jealousy enough to discredit or defame some one else.

It is human nature and I forgive you.

Remember the parables spoken by Christ were fictitious stories intended to portray an idea and teach a lesson.

The stories by Aesop, do you really believe that animals can talk? No but the core beliefs and information conveyed by both are valid.

Does it matter that most people loose money in the stock market, NO! Because some one else is making the money that was lost.

Most will fail but only a few will survive, that also is nature.

But because most loose by gambling in stocks does that mean that the markets are bad? No, it means that you should learn what a ďshort saleĒ is and that you can make money in the markets as the go up and as they go down, not just as they go up. Study for a few years to learn what the experts know.

Especially learn how to manage risk.

As stated in at least 3 posts in this thread, I never said that you have to use the vehicle of a salary.

My point was how do you think about labor? What is the difference in $320 in pay? Be it hourly over 4, 5, 6, days as long as it is 40 hours or salary being $230 over 25, 30, or 40 hours.

Bottom line is salary over 30 hours is 10.66 an hour and over 40 hours is 8.00 an hour. But any way you look at it, itdoes not matter.

You set your limit of what you want to spend on labor per person and per hour. Once you do that package it how you want them to perceive it.

If it is illegal to put some one on a $320 - 40 hour a week salary that reflects an $8 an hour wages, then so what! Just present it as ďno over time allowedĒ $8 hour and 40 hours a week max and that they can expect $320 a week gross. The idea is that the numbers are the same; you can manipulate the idea to fit the form.

I feel like I am talking to Neanderthals.

Are you heads so thick that even after posting this idea 3 times you are still stuck on it? What is legal is legal but does that really reflect to whether or not you can get the same results.

If you want to pay the guy $320 in any format what stops you, if you say salary or hourly it does not matter to your bottom line. Many seem hung up on semantics. Really you are hung up on semantics!

That has been my point all this time, the semantics of the word salary is making you guys fail to see through to the idea.

If it is this hard for you then how can you deal with actual real world problems?

I have read thousands of books from management, psychology, business, law, personal development, real-estate, stocks and bonds, political science etc.

I have taken the state classes in real-estate, stocks and bonds and insurance including health life property casualty.

My beliefs are founded on actual peopleís mentorship and maybe a thousand books I have read, not just one tome. I may sound to you like a specific book you have read, so what. Is that supposed to mean some thing to me? Are you resentful that you could not make the concepts work for you? Does it matter if the book reflects a manís actual life or if it is an embodiment of ideas presented in a way that is easy for many to grasp and understand?

I am not an educated man based on the educational systems idea of education. But, I have real world experience.

Some here who profess to be educated may only be educated fools (sorry, I am keeping this even though it is offensive, I apologize in advance because I respect every one here even if I donít have the same beliefs as you) and they are the true frauds.

Formal education may not provide the necessary problem solving skills necessary to solve real world problems; they teach theory. Until applied in the real world lab they are only theories. Education is greatly overrated, donít get me wrong my father is a professor and I love education. But how many people who attended college are in their field of study today as a whole? How many are at the income level the expected from their years of study and how many found their selves greatly undereducated and ill-prepared to face the real world.

Also I question some one who has a business degree who is only running a yard care business. Was the degree acquired from a community college? Did you incorporate? I did and I did it my self for $90.00. I have all my federal and state tax IDís. I have my local business registrations and an accountant. I am totally insured. So what does your education teach you that are better than what I know? Did you increase your net worth by around to $180,000 this year much less this month? I do that every few weeks. Did you even clear $180,000 this year?

Please judge not lest ye be judged. Think about it. So many here are ready to ridicule and be critical of others.

By the way, I use non toxic invisible ink, and it is on the inside of the roll ahahaha. I love comic relief.

Donít take the information in the first few post to this thread too literally as if it is my personal business number, they were examples and you seem hung up on them and semantics of the presentation.

I love being here and appreciate the challenge, but I have not even touched the surface.

Merry Christmas

HK45Mark23
12-20-2005, 02:14 AM
Dude, you need to get of your high horse. Your opinions come directly from the Rich Dad series and that's dangerous material. Many a person has gone bankrupt or worse following his ridiculous advice. Great motivational material but stuff that just doesn't work in real life. Besides, it's a fictitional story he made up to make himself rich. It worked for him but don't doom yourself by following it.

You seem to be caught up in the ol' ES BI quadrants in your posts. More poor Rich Dad advice.

I got my degree in Finance. His books are geared to those who have little business acumen. I'm surprised somebody who runs as many businesses, receives as many dividends and owns as many investment properties as you would follow the advice of such books.

Not for nothing but you may be the fraud here. You still make me laugh.

You are 30 years old, show zero years in operation and after business school are only a lawn care operator?

PMLAWN
12-20-2005, 06:10 AM
I love being here and appreciate the challenge, but I have not even touched the surface.

Merry Christmas

So this will get more interesting!
I am very interested in your operation. As I will be traveling to Chicago over CHRISTmas I would love to just see the LCO shop. If you would be so kind as to give me the name of the business I will just take a quick look next week and not spend any of your time. Thanks. PM me if it is private

Az Gardener
12-20-2005, 10:36 AM
Can either one of you share with me the sheets you refer to. I am just trying to figure out the layout of the actual daily sheet. (not very good in excel)Could you post it here?
I must say this is been a very enjoyable thread and great read!! Thx to all for making this board what it is. I am not a frequent poster, just an observer that really appreciates everything done here.
Go back to page 4 (I think) and my worksheet is attached. It is not in spreadsheet format and it is unlikely you will have to do or trac all the goofy stuff we do. At least for your sake I hope not. I have tried to make it as efficient as possible so all the guys have to do is initial line items.

PMLAWN
12-20-2005, 11:56 AM
Go back to page 4 (I think) and my worksheet is attached. It is not in spreadsheet format and it is unlikely you will have to do or trac all the goofy stuff we do. At least for your sake I hope not. I have tried to make it as efficient as possible so all the guys have to do is initial line items.
Hey AZ, you can adjust the number of posts on a page so not all users have the same number of pages,(I'm still on 2). Each post has a number in the top right corner, it might be easier to use that to reference.

Just checked , #29

Vassk1
12-20-2005, 04:38 PM
You are 30 years old, show zero years in operation and after business school are only a lawn care operator?


Not quite, Francis. I'm 31 and not in the lawncare business at all. I was thinking about purchasing a lawncare business about six months ago but decided against it after reading through this website. Got that skippy?

I don't claim to be an innovator like yourself, but do have a four year degree.I also know better than to take to heart anything Robert Kiyosaki has written since he is almost a full of sh*t as you are.

Fraud.

Vassk1
12-20-2005, 05:12 PM
LOL! I just read that long post. What a B.S. artist. Dude, if there were money to be made like that in real estate everybody would be doing it.

Let's get a few things straight here. There are deals like you found out there but you will not be finding them every day of the week or week of the year for that matter. Most people who actually invest in real estate (not pretenders like you) will search through hundreds of properties before they find a single deal like you stated. The internet has only made it more difficult for one to find deals because everyone now has access to the listings.

Next you're going to say how you painted the house and put in new carpets and increased the value by $30,000. Then had the house re-appraised, re-financed and took out another $25k in cash. Funny stuff.

What are your total expenses for your properties as a percentage? If they are not in excess of 45% (not including debt service) then you are lying. Also, how much money do you put down on each property? We all know that if the LTV is greater than 70-80% you will have negative cash flow. How bout the cap rate in your area of interest?

Why don't you just give us the addresses of a few of your investment properties. This way we can check the clerks office for confirmation. It's public knowledge and you owe it to us since you have belittled many of the posters here.

Do you buy T-Bills to protect yourself from interest rate risk?

How do you find the time to post on the internet when you have read 1000's of books? For your age, that would be the equivilent of having a full-time job just reading. But you have to spend all those hours searching for houses to buy, looking at said houses, finding loans for houses, closing on houses (you close on a house almost everyday). And then there's all the businesses you own that you have to run? How many hours are there in a day again?

That long post you wrote basically discredited everything you have said about yourself in the past.

I bet you invest in Tax Lien's too. Kiyosaki does and makes 18%, sometimes alot more.

Give us the addresses of some of your properties.

HK45Mark23
12-20-2005, 09:34 PM
I have never put any one down, not really even you.

I did state that some are not using their brain by stating that they canít do some thing. That attitude is a defeatist mentality. I did not learn that from Rich Dad Poor Dad. I learned it from the private school my parents sent me to.

Today I closed the deal I said I would, period.

I work with the vice presidents and presidents of several banks. They send me the information to REO properties that way I am not buying them at retail but whole sale.

Like it or not I have an abundance of properties at my disposal that are whole sale. There are more than I can actually buy. I have a team that helps me perform a lot of the duities, the things I listed before are the actual things I do my self.

Some times because the value of the house is so high, I donít need any money down. Most commercial lenders require any where from 15 - 25% down for a 75 - 85 % LTV.

I actually have many that the seller has taken back a second so i have came to the table with nothing, if I am buying from an individual. Other individuals have cut me a check which has reduced the amount I need at closing.

Today I had to have $6,213.12 at closing.

You are not even in the lawn care business so what are you doing here? I am in the lawn care business.

I think you are the one who is "BS."

I have always been told not to worry about what others think. If you are what you say you are then you have nothing to prove. I know where I am.

I also know you need to project your genitalia into this forum and try to measure it against others. I know you to be an antagonist. At what point did some one appoint you to be the great judge of others?

Maybe you are one who has an inferiority complex. You are one who feels the need to belittle others to help your self feel as if you are somebody special. I hope you are able to overcome that mentality some day and actually achieve your dreams.

I never once belittled you or any one else. You almost tempted me to become les than civilized and unprofessional. To me this is business and I can stand firm on my beliefs with out feeling threatened.

As for you, not one post of yours has ended with out the use of defamatory statements and slander. "I laugh at you" is not professional. I wonder if you are a kindergartner with comments like that.

With that kind of mentality you are showing every one? I think you are showing them what you are made of.

No one here may believe me or understand my position, but no one can say that I have stooped to the level of calling any one full of "feces" in the crudest lexicon.

The reason I has decided not to participate in this conversation before was because I try to never waste my time justifying antagonistic small minded mentality with a response. Once some one has started personal attacks I usually walk away. This time I decided to stick around a bit longer, that was my mistake.

You can think what you want, I still made money today.

As far as showing the properties, I am not stupid enough to think that it would make a difference if I proved my self.

In your mind really what would it prove if I flew to where you are and picked you up and brought you here for a tour? How would you really feel if you came here and spent a day with me? And if you saw me close a deal that you your self could see a 20 thousand dollar difference from my purchase to the appraised value. How would it make you feel?

For me I donít need your approval or even the satisfaction of saying ďI told you so!Ē I find gratification within. The act of doing business is also gratification but truly knowledge is my vice. Truly I wish to insulate my self from people who behave as you do.

Any one here who has felt as if I have an attitude of superiority, I am sorry. I am not the one who has a desire to make any one feel less about their self. I am here to be a part of a community that is full of what is supposed to be yard care professionals. I do see many problems in how some here think about customer relations. That has bothered me for a while. I also see some here with a hard time over coming problems creatively. Also some here are hung up on semantics or proof of personal performance. I in no way have ever questioned any ones experience, not one time have I ever said to any one, ďI think you are a fraud.Ē It should be a friendly place to come and share, but this thread has been hostile. I have to admit that I have maybe even passively encouraged the negative behavior by participating. I seem to think that I can help others get to where I am, but it seams as if no good deed goes unpunished as much as I hate to admit it. I always try to see the good in people, but that is my naivety. As I thought I should have quit along time ago.

Many have assumed they know what kind of a person I am or what kind of a business man I am but no one not once has even been close. A lot of the assumptions have been due to ignorance due to me not sharing information. I have tried to clarify some issues but it has fallen on deaf ears.

I never neglected to provide the sheets that were requested, if you wish tell me in a PM what you are wanting to track and I will see if I get some free time how it could be formatted to best serve your purpose. Maybe I can send you a blank then that you can manipulate to meet your needs.

I personally started with MS Word and just started making a graph and adding the columns and rows until I could fit what information I wanted in it.

I worked for a while refining the size of cells and font till I had it exactly how I want it. I always think that it can be improved and before next year I am sure to make some more changes. I developed my information and used it to perform time studies that were relevant to my idea of business. I use this information to calculate the cost per sq ft or linear ft of production with a time factor. I can adjust year by year to make my bench marks but ultimately the market will set itís self. I can charge what I think it is worth but eventually I will hit that cap. So no matter what I do I can never produce more income per unit of production than the market will bear. That is where efficiency is the utmost importance. Of course that is why we get the big aria mowers.

Also I spent a lot of time setting up excel to perform calculations for every income and expenditure as well as accounting for every account be it client or vender. The way I set it up it works on a monthly and an annual basis with accumulative totals.

Merry Christmas!!! Happy Holidays!!!

JJJ
12-20-2005, 10:23 PM
HK, I personally enjoy reading your posts, so much so that I brought this thread back to life. I would love to see how you operate your mowing business with the charts and daily sheets for foremans. I mow commercial properties and I am also in the General Pavement Maint. business,(sealcoating, patching, paving and line striping. I am simply put, not that good with Excel and MS word and only want ideas at how others like yourself have been sucessful at what they do. My email is... tuck4927@bellsouth.net

Vassk1
12-20-2005, 10:28 PM
There aren't any properties now are there, boy?

I never thought so.

Everything you have said from your real estate investments to your janatorial business has been laden with pure B.S.

I challenged you and you couldn't deliver.

Whatever you own in real estate is public record. Give me some info and I will check to see if you are legit. I will be the first to congratulate you.

You say you are in lawncare but why....seeing you increase your net worth by 180k each month.

No disrespect but stop giving bogus info here because it will cause more harm than good.

Vassk1
12-20-2005, 10:30 PM
JJJ, if you want to listen to him then fine. Be careful though. Much of what he says doesn't make sense.

Vassk1
12-20-2005, 11:03 PM
You say that you invest in REO's. These are properties that have been foreclosed on, but since nobody bidded for them at the auction the banks take them over.

You also say that you have immediate passive income (another kiyosaki phrase) because the properties are already occupied when you close? How is this possible? REO's by definition are way past foreclosure meaning the tenants have already been long evicted and they are sitting there vacant.

Please reply

HK45Mark23
12-21-2005, 12:14 AM
I don't always do 4 or 5 real-estate deals a week, most of the time I am happy to do at least one a week. In the beginning one a month was a glorious pace. Usually I do at least on a week now. Still gaining at least 15,000 a week in equity and 100 in passive income is a good pace to be.

Who Vssk1, is aggressive and defamatory here, if it is not you?

Who is stupid enough to provide some stranger on the internet with personal information?

I donít always use REOs, use many real-estate vehicles. And when I do I get them directly from the bank foreclosing them before any one else does. Matter of fact I am getting ready to put a house on the market that will yield around $30,000 when I flip it.

You know I wonder why you have not reported me to Lawnsite as a bad poster. How about you do that? Is there any moderation here at all? Some of the language this guy has used should be stricken from the post.

Know I have judged you, because you have attempted to judge me. In doing so you have exposed your self for what you are, a predator. Attacking honest people who are here for education and fellowship will not gain you favor amongst the people. The damage you have done is ultimately to your character. Only those who are of a like mind will appreciate you for what you are and the others who are honorable will know you for what you have proven your self to be.

You sir owe me an apology. Not only have you never met me but you are attacking me for sport and your pleasure. Remember you never really know who you are talking to when using this medium of communication. I could be any one you could imagine, but have never professed to be some one of importance. Just think about that for a min.

Truly you are not here to participate in a civilized conveyance of intellectual material. Maybe if you focus your attention you can use your energy that you are wasting here on actually getting your programs up and running.

I no longer have time for your ignorant behavior. I will not be manipulated by you to participate in this insane attack any more.

Insanity is to perform the same tasks expecting another result; therefore I would be insane to continue responding to your post. The dialogue between you and I is over, because I will no longer participate in it with you. I not only now but never have had to respond to your, I donít answer to you.

Vassk1
12-21-2005, 01:13 AM
So you are finally admitting to be the fraud that we all knew you were. Congratulations.

Dudette, there was no disrespect intended here, but for you to post such nonsense here.....I couldn't help myself. I'm just trying to protect the rest of the site from your silliness.

How are you going to foreclose on a property before it forecloses? Nonsense. Either unethical, illegal, or both.

My programs are just fine here. Just stick with cleaning toilets. You may need to hire more help with all the B.S. you've been throwing around.

HK45Mark23
12-21-2005, 01:31 AM
Really you should all look at his posts history. You will find that he has also posted antagonistic propaganda and promoted his agenda on other threads. Some here have already engaged in conversation with him concerning the Rich Dad Poor Dad theories.

Remember he does not just disagree he is confrontational, defamatory and slanderous about it. Even if I do sound to him like the RDPD series, my theories are a columniation of all the jobs and my personal experiences as well as books I have read. I am not influenced by one tome.

I did PM him with this message

I have never admitted any thing. You are a con artist and a fraud your self. You are only here to promote your agenda of bashing Rich Dad Poor Dad. I have read your link http://www.johntreed.com/Kiyosaki.html

But that does not validate or invalidate the information in the book. I also have Robert Greens book as well as 5 different translations of Sun Tzu Ping Fa. I did tell you I read a lot.

I own Machiavelli’s works and see you techniques here are intended to misdirect attention and only promote your agenda.

So you don’t like Rich Dad Poor Dad, I see all your arguments in the like named thread. But also they questioned whether or not that invalidated the concepts in the book.

Again I never admitted to falsifying information because I never did, and once a house is foreclosed on and the bank takes possession of it, I buy it. I have contacts with the banks and have procured several properties this way. Please stop misquoting me. Spew your poison some where else. You are a fraud, because your whole agenda is to slander any one who’s business model and program is similar in your mind to some one you have a personal resentment for.

I don’t have to admit any thing; I was at the closing table today and yesterday. Where were you?

GarPA
12-21-2005, 04:05 AM
come on guys....enough of this already. Lets get back to the topic of this thread.

HK45Mark23
12-21-2005, 02:15 PM
come on guys....enough of this already. Lets get back to the topic of this thread.


Thanks, I agree totally. I know I am also responsible for the hijack. My apologies.

Again, depending on your goals and your idea of business you can track all you want. But tracking information is sort of like having gages on your car, the more the gages the more likely you can spot a problem.

It is just a way of getting the picture of what is going on. Before race car did not have computers tracking information concerning the performance of the car. One of the things that they discovered when they started monitoring the cars is that the driver would not even know exactly what gear he/she was in. They would get on the radio and ask and more time than not they got the wrong number.

Many time in a restaurant you can be slammed busy and at the end of the day find out you did small items all day and that there really was not that much review or that the production was unorganized and therefore harder to produce the product.

It is important to track information because it helps you look even months or years later at the trends. I now trim and edge faster than I did a few years ago, and so does my employees. Efficiency comes with experience. How would I know that there had been an improvement if I had not recorded the information?

In the pizza shop my partner would hold time trials and we would see how fast we could top a supreme pizza. Little did people know this but we used that time to calculate maximum production numbers.

Take it with a grain of salt, but I track more than less information. I do it by having the sheets refilled out for the route so it is easy to just fill in the actual data.

cg1
05-13-2007, 11:36 PM
How do you track labor, and what system do you record the data into? We tried the job clock system for a while and it did not integrate with our payroll service software, so I resorted to manual time sheets that crew leaders fill out daily to keep tabs on their helpers. It's basically a manual job clock system, but sometimes the sheets are losts or not entered correctly, so my job costing is not entirely accurate.