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Old 03-01-2010, 05:53 AM
Gerg21 Gerg21 is offline
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Need some help from others in lawn care and landscaping

I been in lawn care and lanscaping for 8 years full-time I have some questions need some help. I cut 150 lawns (100 weekly 50 Bi-week). I have one full-time guy with me for the past 2 years but he is not happy. we work avg of 50 hrs during peak season he is on the books gets paid 13 dollars a hour plus overtime (way to much but its keeping him with me cause he cant get that kind of money any where else starting out) hear is my problem. I have tried getting new workers but they do not last long and we can work faster with out them. The guy with me now will prob be leaving after this season. im wondering what do the rest of you guys do to keep guys coming back year after year? my helper likes his job but he has said that he can not make it thru the winter with just unemployment. He is a hard worker very hard worker and it seems like any good hard work he wants 40 hours a week year round and benifits. So how do you guys keep good workers? I have more then enough work for 2 crews but its hard enough to keep guys to work and im out running the crew now. I allways have had dreams of getting BIG!! but sometimes i think i was happier and made more money solo. Please HELP and or tell me how you operate solo, runing crews, or are you out with the crew working as well??
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  #2  
Old 03-01-2010, 08:14 AM
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ALC-GregH ALC-GregH is offline
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Originally Posted by Gerg21 View Post
we work avg of 50 hrs during peak season he is on the books gets paid 13 dollars a hour plus overtime (way to much but its keeping him with me cause he cant get that kind of money any where else starting out)
Pay the guy more money. Don't be a cheap skate.
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:41 PM
Gerg21 Gerg21 is offline
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Pay the guy more money. Don't be a cheap skate.
I think he is getting paid great for what he does. He was making 9 dollars a hour and i gave him a 4 dollars raise to 13 in 2009. i can only pay him what he is worth to the business he has said many times he does not want to run a crew train new guys or even work in a uniform. i offered him to partner with me he has no want or need cause he does not see this as his line of work for the rest of his life he says. do you lay your guys off so they can get unemployment ? What is the turn over rate due to lay off going into the next season ? I know how i make it thru the winter its easy but i dont see how any employee with a house payment rent wife kids and bills can just take the winter off even with unemployment not in this day and age. They cant get unemployment and still work!! even if it snows like it has this year its only a few days work for employees. I have made friends with many solo guys here and they say thats why im still solo. on the other hand i know many people with 15 or 20 guys but they are all mexicans and i have no problem with that but they are not legal and i will not run my business that way just like im not going to lay off my guys so they can get unemployment then pay them in cash during the winter. I loved working solo but im worried about getting hurt or a medical condition as im getting older. ANY ONE IN MARYLAND LOOKING TO PARTNER UP??
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:45 PM
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Landscraper1 Landscraper1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Gerg21 View Post
I think he is getting paid great for what he does. He was making 9 dollars a hour and i gave him a 4 dollars raise to 13 in 2009. i can only pay him what he is worth to the business he has said many times he does not want to run a crew train new guys or even work in a uniform. i offered him to partner with me he has no want or need cause he does not see this as his line of work for the rest of his life he says. do you lay your guys off so they can get unemployment ? What is the turn over rate due to lay off going into the next season ? I know how i make it Thur the winter its easy but i don't see how any employee with a house payment rent wife kids and bills can just take the winter off even with unemployment not in this day and age. They cant get unemployment and still work!! even if it snows like it has this year its only a few days work for employees. I have made friends with many solo guys here and they say that's why I'm still solo. on the other hand i know many people with 15 or 20 guys but they are all mexicans and i have no problem with that but they are not legal and i will not run my business that way just like im not going to lay off my guys so they can get unemployment then pay them in cash during the winter. I loved working solo but im worried about getting hurt or a medical condition as im getting older. ANY ONE IN MARYLAND LOOKING TO PARTNER UP??
If he wants to leave then let him. You say, he doesn't want to be a foreman, train others, or even wear a uniform. I think he is trying to control you. $13 an hour for a grass cutter is good enough, especially with the attitude he has. One thing about a bad economy is that there are alot of people looking for work. Put an add in the paper and see how many responses.
As far as the men coming back in the Spring, I have no problem. Past three years, did not loose a single worker. I pay them a little over the going rates and have them come in for snow removal, that's it. They know it's a seasonal business and are ready for the winters. I also end the season with a nice Christmas party with their wives or girlfriends and a nice Christmas bonus.
And you shouldn't even think about a partner. You did it for this long, why add to your problems.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:47 AM
Kickin Your Grass Kickin Your Grass is offline
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Originally Posted by Gerg21 View Post
I cut 150 lawns (100 weekly 50 Bi-week).

So you + 1 more guy averages 125 yards per week + extra services like trimming hedges etc..???

If you have invested a lot of time into him and he does great work.... Why not bump him up to $15 per hour and tell him to budget his money better so he has some to go with the unemployment during the winter? It will cost you more to replace him if you lose him.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:58 AM
fatguy28 fatguy28 is offline
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ya pay $15 an hour good workers are hard to find
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:03 AM
ProcsLC ProcsLC is offline
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Either increase his pay so its not as hard on him or look into offering additional services for the winter months to keep him employed all year long... 1 good, hard working employee that is loyal to you is worth its weight in gold...
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  #8  
Old 03-01-2010, 09:26 AM
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Littleriver1 Littleriver1 is offline
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I would keep hiring. This guy may be the reason new people leave. I would ask any one that leaves directly if he has said or done anything to cause them to leave. Any way I would keep hiring. It is your business not his, but he seems to be running you. He has made himself so valuable you cant live with out him and that's not a good thing. Take control and manage your business. I'm not saying he must go, but you need the money more than him. If some one gets between me and my lunch money then we will go around and around in the mudd, the blood and the beer. You also need to watch that you are not expecting too much from new people. Doing away with the over time will pay for a new guy. Paying some one through the winter months when they are not working is not a good thing. If he cant live with the pay rate and you cant do better then it's time to cut the cord. May be he can help part time.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:32 AM
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ALC-GregH ALC-GregH is offline
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Originally Posted by Littleriver1 View Post
I would keep hiring. This guy may be the reason new people leave. I would ask any one that leaves directly if he has said or done anything to cause them to leave. Any way I would keep hiring. It is your business not his, but he seems to be running you. He has made himself so valuable you cant live with out him and that's not a good thing. Take control and manage your business. I'm not saying he must go, but you need the money more than him. If some one gets between me and my lunch money then we will go around and around in the mudd, the blood and the beer. You also need to watch that you are not expecting too much from new people. Doing away with the over time will pay for a new guy. Paying some one through the winter months when they are not working is not a good thing. If he cant live with the pay rate and you cant do better then it's time to cut the cord. May be he can help part time.
Doing this will more then likely cost him even more money. If the employee does his job and does it well, why would you want anyone else? Wait, let me guess, you want to spend even more money then this guy is costing you? Hire someone new means you have to train them to do the job you want done. Have them screw up once and there went all your profit.
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  #10  
Old 03-01-2010, 03:43 PM
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Littleriver1 Littleriver1 is offline
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Originally Posted by ALC-GregH View Post
Doing this will more then likely cost him even more money. If the employee does his job and does it well, why would you want anyone else? Wait, let me guess, you want to spend even more money then this guy is costing you? Hire someone new means you have to train them to do the job you want done. Have them screw up once and there went all your profit.
I'll respond, only because I have nothing to do till the school bus gets here. What ever it was that you said is not answering the question. He wants to hire more people but no one stays with him very long. The guy he has wants to leave for more money and income in the winter. He doesn't have enough business to keep the guy working in the winter. I'm sure there is a replacement for this guy out there some where. All I said was keep trying to find him, Keep hireing. Also getting rid of the over time will help.
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