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  #21  
Old 07-05-2012, 10:50 PM
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mjlcare2 mjlcare2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Landscape Poet View Post
Just because you do not have workers comp does not mean that you can not be covered by a umbrella policy, it is my opinion that you should have one no matter if you are sole prop or LLC, the umbrella gives you the needed security " Just in case"
Dang.. I need to find me a new insurance company then.. nobody is covering my workers comp under an umbrella policy.. shoot, I've got to be insured to take a piss these days.. everybody wants to put their hand in my cookie jar!
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  #22  
Old 07-05-2012, 11:32 PM
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Florida Gardener Florida Gardener is offline
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Your phone situation is simple. You discuss with them the fact that you pay them to be a crew leader and that comes with certain responsibilities. If they can not be responsible enough to pay their own phone bill, how effective can they be as crew leaders? Are you scared of letting them go? In case you have not noticed unemployment is pretty darn high in in Florida and there are lots of people looking for work. Maybe I am just lucky but when I advertised for a employee I had people with all kinds of green industry knowledge for assistant golf course supers to guys that had worked at Disney and Universal for YEARS. I had people sending me their resume that had their Masters degree, but the economy sucked so bad they just wanted a job. I am not a big fan of using intimidation on a employee, but I would if they did not have their act together enough to pay their phone bill. There are people out there who are leaders looking for jobs and have the common sense enough to manage to pay their phone bill so when the boss calls and says lets go work, they can answer the damn phone.

You can not have it both ways. You can not complain about the % of payroll but not be driving the sales home yourself. If as you state you need to be free to drive customer relations and drive sales. What seems to be the failure in why you can handle a extra 7K of work right know???? I do not give a crap what kind of lawn boy logic you try to apply to it, call it a job, call it a business, call it whatever the heck you want, but I can assure you any SMALL business owner or Large Business owner has a JOB. DO you think that Donald Trump wakes up some days and simply does not work to earn his money? Think again. People who have money have accomplished things in their life/work are working all the damn time. Do you think that this people do anything and I mean anything without worrying about how they are going to get their next dollar? The difference between being successful and not is a matter if you are hungry or not. That is it, do you wake up in the morning and feel that strange nervous feeling in your stomach that feel like a bunch of angry bees floating around in your stomach???? That is you worrying about how you are going to make your next dollar, how much profit are you going to pull in this month, will you be able to buy whatever it is your kid wants this month, whatever you wife wants to do this month....you have to feel them damn angry bees in your stomach. If you do you will be like whatever example you want to use that is truly successful ....you will will wake up in the damn morning and work your tale off until you simply must go to bed, the entire time wonder how are you going to grow, how many sales can you gain tomorrow. The morning you wake up and don't feel those angry bees in your stomach is the day you and your business start to decline. So you state you are overstaffed, you don't work in the feild and do not want to because that would simply be having a job. Then who the hell is selling the business? If you don't go do that job, then I think you should understand who is to blame for having a crew overstaffed enough to handle a extra 5K worth of work.



Again - this is lawn boy logic that has been spread on this site so much it makes me want to puke everytime I see it. I want a business not a job....WAAA WAAA WAAA Go to anyone you consider successful in your community and ask them if they have a job. I bet you the answer after looking at you like you are mentally slow is your darn right I do and that they put in a heck of a lot of work to achieve what they have. Nothing is going to be give to you. Just because you went to city hall and bought a license and opened up a lemon aid stand does not mean you are entitled to crap. You may one day out sell Minute Maid in lemonade...but I can assure you that if you do you will agree that you still have a job.
This is exactly what I was thinking. If you can't pay a simple bill, how should you be trusted to lead people? Not the kind of person I would want in charge of thousands of dollars worth of equipment and people's well being....

I do agree with the business vs. the job. The goal is to have people making money for you. That doesn't mean you can't go out with the crews, but I don't want to be the guy running all the equipment either....

Here's the thing though, if you have too many employees and not enough work, get you azz back out there....
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  #23  
Old 07-05-2012, 11:41 PM
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Landscape Poet Landscape Poet is offline
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Originally Posted by mjlcare2 View Post
Dang.. I need to find me a new insurance company then.. nobody is covering my workers comp under an umbrella policy.. shoot, I've got to be insured to take a piss these days.. everybody wants to put their hand in my cookie jar!
Call and ask about a umbrella...I have a feeling that you will figure out that you are covered to the extent that you can/will feel safe should something out of the ordinary happen. A umbrella is just that - it is designed to make sure YOU are covered -hence the name umbrella.

Lets look at the facts...how many employees do you have? Are you required to have workers comp? What structure is your business? How much liability is your company really at risk for? If you should happen to be sued what assets do you/the company have that they can legally come after in the state of FL? If needed in the dramatic circumstances that something tragic did happen, would it be best for you to file bankruptcy and then open the exact same company under a different Name? IF structured correctly what is your liability.
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Last edited by Landscape Poet; 07-05-2012 at 11:46 PM.
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  #24  
Old 07-06-2012, 11:08 AM
RBatten RBatten is offline
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Poet,

I don't believe I have or am complaing about my labor %. I started this post to get some feed back on my %. The feedback I have received is that it is in line with industry Best Practices.

Unless I'm missing something 35-45% is good. I won't be able to run 14% labor unless I am the crew with a helper. Thats not what I'm looking for.

I do agree with the phone thing and I will have a chat with the guys this month.

Just for the record, my excess labor is hourly so when the work is done, its done. They don't cost me any additional money. So letting them go would not be a good idea. They are trained and work well together. Right now they don't need to work 50hrs a week, they work 35, and thats what they get paid for.
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  #25  
Old 07-06-2012, 08:27 PM
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mjlcare2 mjlcare2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Landscape Poet View Post
Call and ask about a umbrella...I have a feeling that you will figure out that you are covered to the extent that you can/will feel safe should something out of the ordinary happen. A umbrella is just that - it is designed to make sure YOU are covered -hence the name umbrella.

Lets look at the facts...how many employees do you have? Are you required to have workers comp? What structure is your business? How much liability is your company really at risk for? If you should happen to be sued what assets do you/the company have that they can legally come after in the state of FL? If needed in the dramatic circumstances that something tragic did happen, would it be best for you to file bankruptcy and then open the exact same company under a different Name? IF structured correctly what is your liability.
I've got 8 employees, I am required by law to have workers comp, and most of my commercial accounts require it. The other owner and myself are exempt from the W/C. I have to carry a 3mil/2mil general liability policy again because of the commercial places, some are some pretty big and expensive buildings. Legally they could come after everything with the business name on it, shop, equipment, bank accts. whatever they want. The other owner and myself are personally not liable but the business is. I've checked and double checked on the insurance, its what I gotta have.. If we were just doing residential yards, I wouldn't need any insurance.. its not like they ask or even care.. and If I'm doing say a sod or landscaping/ irrigation job and something goes wrong and the whole yard/landscape dies or the irrigation springs a leak or whatever, my insurance would kick in and pay the damages
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  #26  
Old 07-06-2012, 09:56 PM
GreenT GreenT is offline
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I do not chase shrubs etc just for the hell of it either. Most guys that I know will include shrub trimming etc for a extra $20 or $30. That simply does not make sense to me when I can go two houses down and mow their lawn and not spend near the time and make twice as much gross. It simply does not make sense to me and my business model. The same holds true for high detail properties....do we still have some..yes but I can assure you that those are not as profitable in this market as they should be in comparison to just straight mow, trim, edge, blow properties. There is a line of diminishing returns in the current market. Everyone is willing to give the customer extra for just a little more. I don't see it that way. You want your shrubs trimmed and you have a house surrounded by viburnum - that is fine, but it will cost you, because the time I spend jacking around with your viburnum every month - I can go mow two of your neighbors 3K of turf properties, edge them, trim them, and blow them off. This is were I differ from many - I do not let my ego get in the way and only insist on doing the nicest properties with customer who want everything perfect.....

Mike, I'm confident you will do well in the future with your operation. You are an intelligent man. That said, don't fall into the trap of thinking you have everything figured out. Do that and you will limit yourself.

There's a world of very high end clients that will not flinch at a $20K per year maintenance budget on their residence. Some, a lot more.

And that's a world that is extremely profitable....

.
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  #27  
Old 07-06-2012, 09:59 PM
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Florida Gardener Florida Gardener is offline
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Originally Posted by GreenT View Post
Mike, I'm confident you will do well in the future with your operation. You are an intelligent man. That said, don't fall into the trap of thinking you have everything figured out. Do that and you will limit yourself.

There's a world of very high end clients that will not flinch at a $20K per year maintenance budget on their residence. Some, a lot more.

And that's a world that is extremely profitable....

.
Glad someone on here gets it.....
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  #28  
Old 07-06-2012, 10:01 PM
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Florida Gardener Florida Gardener is offline
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Originally Posted by GreenT View Post
Mike, I'm confident you will do well in the future with your operation. You are an intelligent man. That said, don't fall into the trap of thinking you have everything figured out. Do that and you will limit yourself.

There's a world of very high end clients that will not flinch at a $20K per year maintenance budget on their residence. Some, a lot more.

And that's a world that is extremely profitable....

.
That's what I meant to do the first time.....
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  #29  
Old 07-07-2012, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mjlcare2 View Post
I've got 8 employees, I am required by law to have workers comp, and most of my commercial accounts require it. The other owner and myself are exempt from the W/C. I have to carry a 3mil/2mil general liability policy again because of the commercial places, some are some pretty big and expensive buildings. Legally they could come after everything with the business name on it, shop, equipment, bank accts. whatever they want. The other owner and myself are personally not liable but the business is. I've checked and double checked on the insurance, its what I gotta have.. If we were just doing residential yards, I wouldn't need any insurance.. its not like they ask or even care.. and If I'm doing say a sod or landscaping/ irrigation job and something goes wrong and the whole yard/landscape dies or the irrigation springs a leak or whatever, my insurance would kick in and pay the damages
I understand why you are required that amount of insurance and do not be surprised if residential start asking for insurance. I have never had them ask for license or insurance until this year, i actually had two request with the last two months. One stated that she had called many people and many responded but they could never prove they had a license or insurance. As you know proving this is not a hard or time consuming process as you simply call or email your agent asking for proof to be sent and they will take care of it including a hard copy if you want. I always thought that with the cost of basic gen liability most operations had that down here but from the one residential customers input it simply does not sound accurate
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  #30  
Old 07-07-2012, 08:55 AM
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Landscape Poet Landscape Poet is offline
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Originally Posted by GreenT View Post
Mike, I'm confident you will do well in the future with your operation. You are an intelligent man. That said, don't fall into the trap of thinking you have everything figured out. Do that and you will limit yourself.

There's a world of very high end clients that will not flinch at a $20K per year maintenance budget on their residence. Some, a lot more.

And that's a world that is extremely profitable....

.
I do not doubt that market exist T nor that it is profitable or that it can be, but i am sure you would admit that it is a much smaller market with more limitations on obtaining those accounts.
My complaint was not so much about one style of account of business model as it was against that we are guilty of some lawnboy logic from time to time but in todays market if you are not careful you find yourself in our hot weather do hard work for much less you could make doing a simple mow n blow job. I figure you are smart enough to read between the lines and know what i am referring to.
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