I have 4 employees......
-guy that has been with me pretty much from the start.....call him assistant foreman
-labor.....son of guy/friend i know at the rental company i know
-brother....does the filing and quickbooks etc for me
I hire temps as I need them and I have nothing booked yet but believe this fall to be very strong for mulitple reasons and will hire 2-3 full time through the fall and run a 2nd crew........I hope.
Spring of 2009 will 99.9% most likely see me hiring on a real foreman and having my guy be his assistant and one more under him.......3 man crew. This is what I must do in order to grow. I've had a very good........great.......year but I'm stuck and 80-90hr weeks aren't fun. I'll be able to pull myself from the field as needed and I can be the guy taking care of supplies vs someone leaving the site.
Foreman........I don't know if I'll hire a mason capable person or hire someone that is very good with the Bobcat and planting. I've picked up a lot on hardscaping this year and now doing the jobs I've been wanting to do.......such as this patio pictured. I'm thinking I can stick with the masonry and hire the Bobcat/planting foreman to do the other stuff but if hardscapes continues to take off I'll have a landscape crew and I'll be the hardscape crew.
I would keep just the foreman, my guy and I on a salary and lay off the rest of my help as necessary........winter/summer.
So, those are my thoughts. I did just take a look at a sweet (yes, sweet) piece of property tonight and if I dive into that I'll have plenty of winter work just working on my own property (6 acres, 2001 home, bank owned, great layout and around nobody......nice). If I take that dive.......I don't know.....it can have an effect on who I hire as to the salary I wish to pay. Basically, keep myself in the field another year but I don't see it being a problem. I've got the resources to make things happen and I've been in business just long enough to begin establishing myself. Nobody knows I exist really........but the important thing is that the right people do and we have great relationships.