Your problem is why I now work by myself at the age of 38. The people I used were so slow I almost worked harder with them than without. It just didn't pay. I am self-motivated, so I do the work (not bragging, just true) of at least two "employee types". When you factor in decent pay, insurance, etc, it's just not worth the hassles. In my humble opinion, the only people who make money hiring others to do this kind of work are:
1. hiring relatives or friends, and have a good setup
2. paying low wages to alien workers doing simple tasks
3. paying people "off the books" illegally
4. hiring illegal aliens (see both of above)
5. cutting corners with quality, not keeping promises to customers, (charging for weekly mows, coming every 10 days or so, etc, etc)
6. hiring in an area with a generally poor economy where there is still a demand for this type of job.
I gross $300/day alone. I gross $390/day with a helper. Helper costs me $100. I lose $10 for their "help".
I hire two guys to do a route. They gross $300/day. They cost me $220/day. I make $80...MINUS callbacks for poor job, no-shows, etc. I'd have to have 4 crews running to replace my income from working alone. If I wanted to sit in an office and deal with hassles, I'd have my old corporate job still.
The only solution I can think of would be to hire someone REALLY good and motivated and pay for performance. That means paying a guy $35,000 a year if he works hard enough. I doubt this hypothetical employee would be easy to find. Motivated people usually wind up working for themselves.
It may be anti PC to say so, but I believe immigrant workers are not suited for fast-paced mow/blow/go type mowing. Their work pace and desire for social interaction at work aren't compatible with this type of service. Laying sod, sure, but mowing a lawn in 15 minutes and driving to the next job, over and over again...no. I routinely beat 3 man crews in side-by-side mowing in neighborhoods. I have to work harder to do this, never wasting a motion, and it means I can't work 12 hours a day, but I don't think immigrants are the solution people think they are. They will become 'infected" with the lazy ways of Americans soon enough, and then what will happen?
Oh yeah. YOu can thank modern media and television for the lack of people willing to "get dirty" and work nowadays. You're seen as a failure if you have to do something besides work with computers. Most yuppie parents wouldn't LET their boy mow lawns.
I have a college degree and was even a Mensa member, but you should see the looks I get from people when they find out what I do for a living. It's like I have leprosy. No wonder nobody "good" wants to work in this field. Americans respect only money. Unfortunately, the immigration wave took the feet right out from under domestic workers in this field who would be averaging $20/hour otherwise (it's simple supply and demand for labor, folks) I bet a few more good applicants would show up for that kind of money.