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Old 09-09-2013, 11:16 PM
underESTIMATED underESTIMATED is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Akron, OH
Posts: 127
Originally Posted by seabee24 View Post
My take on "adding a crew"

well are you going from 1 crew to having 2?

Employees in general create work, and can be a lot of problems. Even the good ones will still create more work for you to do just related to having them on your pay roll.

Im my mind, I did it the wrong way. Here is what I suggest to possibly be a better way than what I did.

Never "add a crew" you can "add new employees" and if so I would do it 1 or 2 at a time. take the time to train them, or put them on a crew that has trained guys already. I was in a position that I had to get 2 new guys right at the start of the season. I sold a lot more work.. Problem was the "experienced guy" wasn't able or ready to handle 2 new guys.

So if your solo...add a helper, wait a month or 2 then add a second. at some point add a 3rd guy. start 1 or 2 days per week letting them go out by themselves. If they are successful, then add a 4th guy. and at some point you will be able to subdivide into 2 smaller crews and keep the pattern going.

I would advise, REALLY do your math 2 or 3 times on everything before hiring. Take into account your ability to "float" the necessary pay roll and other expenses. I found out the hard way when I had accounts that I thought were profitable and once I added employees they became less and less profitable. What myself and 2 helps do in 1 hour, seems to take a crew of 3 guys 90 mins.-

Have all your equipment ready to do this before you hire. I got guys and then I bought the shovels after we started...I already lost money not having the necessary tools at that point. Get the shovels, mowers, what ever, then get the guys.

Every in-efficiency that you have will be exploited 5 fold. If you take 15 mins at a gas station that turns into over an hour of pay roll. IF you don't know where spare parts or tools are, if you don't have spare parts or enough of them, same problem. What I would do is track your labor and any current employees labor for 2-3 weeks. Make a list of all time spent doing something other than being on a job site mowing or planting. That means every fuel stop, every part run, every drive to supplier, break downs, down time, time to change blades. After making that list attack each item and find ways to prevent or minimize it, like I said 15 mins of your time will cost you 75 mins of their time.
I love it when people like you add creditibility to the knowledge on this site.

Thank you for writing this. Very informational!
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