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Old 02-08-2011, 11:44 PM
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crslolbkr crslolbkr is offline
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Location: Dayton, Ohio
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More business than I can handle? Maybe.

I started my business doing mostly mowing in April, 2009. At the end of that first year I had 16 customers. Last year around this time I started making flyers, buying business cards, putting my business on google, yahoo, bing and other local business search engines and putting adds in local papers. I gained about 20 new customers in 2010; most were full time. I didn't lose any from 2009. This year I hope to gain another 20 or maybe a little more.

I think this would put me above max capacity. I work alone and the 35 customers I had last year were a full time job. I like working alone only because it cost less but It would be nice to have someone to b.s. with and besides it's obvious I will need some help soon anyway.

The question is with the amount of money I will pay someone to help me plus workers comp plus higher ins. and whatever else comes with hiring someone I will be no better off than I would be mowing 40 or so lawns by myself so why not just pick and choose the best 40 and settle for that. I talked with one guy in Columbus, Ohio who suggested exactly that. He owns a medium outfit with a handful of crews and a 5000 square foot shop. He was obviously stressed out and said if he were starting from scratch he would work alone at max capacity and make his $50,000/year and that would be that.

I want to hear some takes on this... What did you do at this point?

Thanks,
Chris
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  #2  
Old 02-08-2011, 11:57 PM
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DA Quality Lawn & YS DA Quality Lawn & YS is offline
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Good topic - I may be at that point this coming season where some part time help would be good. I don't have as many mowing accounts as you but put together 35 app accounts plus landscape jobs. When (if?) do you decide to make that leap to hired guns?
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  #3  
Old 02-08-2011, 11:59 PM
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crslolbkr crslolbkr is offline
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"If" is the big question for me.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:06 AM
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StihlMechanic StihlMechanic is offline
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cant wait to have this problem. good luck this year.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:09 AM
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crslolbkr crslolbkr is offline
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Thank you uncle Rico!
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:05 AM
Hell on Blades Hell on Blades is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Fort Mitchell, KY
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I had this possibility this year, IF a couple of new commercial jobs came through. The difference is I have a couple of friends who are self employed and volunteered to be my employees until I can get a crew. Not that I could pay them any less, but I can trust them and they know the quality of the work that I do.

While I am very good at what I do, a business plan is not my strong suit. when the time comes that I have no choice but to expand, I think a consultant may be money well spent. Possibly even a year before I hire. That way there are limited surprises going in.
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  #7  
Old 02-09-2011, 01:13 AM
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crslolbkr crslolbkr is offline
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Thanks. I've not thought about hiring a consultant.
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  #8  
Old 02-09-2011, 03:32 AM
MowNaked MowNaked is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Idaho
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Just get a girlfriend! She will help you make Money!!! The more you make, the more she can spend! lol... If she's half way intelligent she will realize that you make as much in one snow storm as she makes in three months, and that in one week of mowing you gross more than she makes in a month and a half if not more! If that's not motivation for consultation I don't know what is! lol

btw, in my opinion it is way easier to make more money going solo or with one hired helper. But in the long run you have to hire out and try to grow or you will become stuck on making what seems like good money at the time and never get beyond that. The hard part is deciding when to make the move, and being ready to deal with all the bull shat that comes with it... Im still working on that part. lol
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  #9  
Old 02-09-2011, 10:13 AM
eastportstar eastportstar is offline
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Location: new york
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you might not have to pay workmans comp + unemployment ins + etc if you have a couple part-timers (college students maybe) . check the rules in your area. i think if they only work x number of hours a month, it's on them to claim the income. i could of course be wrong. giving up 20 extra cuts a week would hurt me. $800 - pay for a couple helpers = decent extra income per week.
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2011, 10:20 AM
BrunoT BrunoT is offline
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You're running into the classic quandry everyone does. You add an employee but the gains are marginal vs the costs at first.

I'd rethink it if it's mostly about that "having someone to bs to" thing.

First, you might be dealing more with his BO that with his BS!

Second, it's unlikely the type guy you are gonna be able to hire at a price that makes it profitable is going to be a fascinating conversationalist. Especially if you don't speak spanish or like death metal. Check out Sirius for Howard Stern or talk radio if you're bored. You'll find yourself talking back to the radio a lot anyway.
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