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Old 01-22-2015, 06:27 PM
GallucciLandscaping GallucciLandscaping is offline
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Hire employees or sell additional work first?

I was reading an article somewhere about business growth and if its better to have employees in place first or if its better to have the work sold. Don't know how but I can't find this article anywhere, I guess maybe one too many beers that night

Which way would you guys be leaning? Considering you already have an established customer base or semi-established (sorry but not talking about start ups), Would you rather sell the work first and scramble to hire qualified employees and/or work extra time yourself…. OR would you suck up the additional labor costs of being over staffed and then sell the work?

We all know it would be an easier transition if you already had qualified employees in place but lets face it who is going to absorb all the additional cost of extra labor without the work
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:39 PM
jc1 jc1 is online now
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Really it depends financially on your ability to pay guys to be available.
Plus what impact it will have on current employes.
If they are getting 40 and you add a crew with no work, will they receive less hours?
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:42 PM
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TPendagast TPendagast is offline
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Dude ... that's a tough one.

TECHNICALLY, the article is right.
You need to be able to do the work first and then sell it.

IF you are already running...my suggestion is to incur OT.
Meaning use the guys you have more.
then when you hit about 50% of your goal... hire an additional guy, when you hit 75% of the sales goal... hire the next guy.

SOMETIMES OT is your friend.

I see a lot guys choke themselves with too many employees and you can tank fast, in just a few pay periods.

It's better to pay one guy 1.5 than two guys 1.0 (which equals 2)...see what I mean?
A lot of guys are allergic to OT.
When used strategically it's good when used liberally, not so much.
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:08 PM
GallucciLandscaping GallucciLandscaping is offline
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I know, definitely a tough one. In a hypothetical situation with a crew working 40 hours yes they would absolutely be offered OT to get the additional work completed, However like TPendagast said "A lot of guys are allergic to OT." This is so true. What I've run into in the past is trying to have mowing guys help cover the landscaping work (in which I pay them a higher wage since the landscape installs are more strenuous) but the mowing guys don't like to landscape (work hard) and would rather not work than to cover the landscape side. Then I've seen the other side when I have my landscape employees cut grass a day or two here and there (they keep their landscaping rate) but they have the attitude "Im not a lawn boy, Im a landscaper"

Obviously changing the attitudes or perceptions is taken out of the equation for this hypothetical situation, so here was my thought… Do you sell more mowing work (if thats the division you desire to grow) say maybe sell 30-35 hours worth of work and offer to pay a straight 40 hours to those guys to stick around while you continue growing that avenue. Or do you grow the landscaping and have the grass cutters help fill in on the landscape side.

Tough situation or too much other thinking
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:58 PM
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TPendagast TPendagast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GallucciLandscaping View Post
I know, definitely a tough one. In a hypothetical situation with a crew working 40 hours yes they would absolutely be offered OT to get the additional work completed, However like TPendagast said "A lot of guys are allergic to OT." This is so true. What I've run into in the past is trying to have mowing guys help cover the landscaping work (in which I pay them a higher wage since the landscape installs are more strenuous) but the mowing guys don't like to landscape (work hard) and would rather not work than to cover the landscape side. Then I've seen the other side when I have my landscape employees cut grass a day or two here and there (they keep their landscaping rate) but they have the attitude "Im not a lawn boy, Im a landscaper"

Obviously changing the attitudes or perceptions is taken out of the equation for this hypothetical situation, so here was my thought… Do you sell more mowing work (if thats the division you desire to grow) say maybe sell 30-35 hours worth of work and offer to pay a straight 40 hours to those guys to stick around while you continue growing that avenue. Or do you grow the landscaping and have the grass cutters help fill in on the landscape side.

Tough situation or too much other thinking
When I was referring to OT allergy, I meant business owners.

The reason why you are having trouble getting turf guys to do landscaping and visa versa is about the same reason why quarterbacks don't kick field goals.

It's not what they do.
Additionally you are paying a guy 1.5x $ to accomplish .75x worth of work, because someone who is working outside their training/speciality/focus can never be as efficient and effective as the guy who does it and wants to do it.

If you are having issues getting enough labor on board to certain landscape projects, consider labor ready or someone else to populate your rake pullers and wheel barrow chasers and have the actual company employees do things like planting, masonry and what not. IF they don't have to push a broom per se, they ill get a lot more done that they already know how to do.
A labor ready guy is going to cost more than a regular in house guy, but much less than a regular guy at 1.5 OT.

Keep OT within divisions/departments.

IF you need more work in turf/property maintenance simply give the existing guys OT.

In landscaping there is also subbing for big work.
Use your own guys on site, but you can bring in another company to move earth, excavate or do a lot of hauling/trucking.

When it comes down to spending OT, there are many ways to spend that budget than just throwing hours at guys that might be tired and unproductive.
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  #6  
Old 01-22-2015, 10:12 PM
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TPendagast TPendagast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GallucciLandscaping View Post
I know, definitely a tough one. In a hypothetical situation with a crew working 40 hours yes they would absolutely be offered OT to get the additional work completed, However like TPendagast said "A lot of guys are allergic to OT." This is so true. What I've run into in the past is trying to have mowing guys help cover the landscaping work (in which I pay them a higher wage since the landscape installs are more strenuous) but the mowing guys don't like to landscape (work hard) and would rather not work than to cover the landscape side. Then I've seen the other side when I have my landscape employees cut grass a day or two here and there (they keep their landscaping rate) but they have the attitude "Im not a lawn boy, Im a landscaper"

Obviously changing the attitudes or perceptions is taken out of the equation for this hypothetical situation, so here was my thought… Do you sell more mowing work (if thats the division you desire to grow) say maybe sell 30-35 hours worth of work and offer to pay a straight 40 hours to those guys to stick around while you continue growing that avenue. Or do you grow the landscaping and have the grass cutters help fill in on the landscape side.

Tough situation or too much other thinking

With OT.

Let's say you have 2 crews.

They both work 40 hours.

you desire to start a third crew.

YOu sell another 40 crew hours.
What costs more? Paying OT to each crew to cover half of the third crew?
(meaning crew A does their list and half of crew Cs list and Crew B does their list and half of Crew Cs list)

OR hiring a third crew, and buying a truck, trailer and more machines?

Study:
Crew A Two guys 12 and 14 an hour.

12 x 40 = 480 ; 20 OT (18 x 20) = 360
14 x 40 = 560; 20 OT (21 x 20) = 420

Assume BOTH crews are identical. So it costs $780 x 2 ($1560) in payroll (plus matching and taxes) to get route C completed.
But only $1040 to get routes A and B completed.

So that's an extra $520 x 4 (2080) , plus, Per MONTH to get the lawns done.
Truck , Trailer and mowers maybe $1100 for BRAND NEW gucci stuff (and most people can work a better deal)

so obviously at THAT point, actually before that point, the third crew is mandatory.

But if you ONLY had 20 hours worth of crew work for that one route.
The A and B route are working HALF as much OT or about $810.
Vs. the normal pay rate of a Crew C who would be costing, 520.00, and you're having a hard time keeping guys working part time… which means they are "looking" to "create hours" to get more pay… so they aren't banging them out as fast as a full route.
Which means your paying more like $600 to get that route done.
No you're only "Saving" $210 per week in payroll vs, making payments on new gear that's costing $275 per week to sit around half the time.

That's not such a clear decision.
OT can be arguably warranted, until you pass the half way mark.
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