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  #11  
Old 02-08-2011, 02:14 PM
Texas Lawn Texas Lawn is offline
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First note: Please use commas and periods in your posts, they are a great tool.

Second: I think everyone has this problem. I dont think its worth it to go solo. If you can increase your winter services, you are able to decrease the amount of time they are not working. Also there is lots of seasonal work they can get in the winter and you should let them know early how long you will have work for. In this industry, year round work is a luxury for most.
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  #12  
Old 02-08-2011, 04:36 PM
TMlawncare TMlawncare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Lawn View Post
First note: Please use commas and periods in your posts, they are a great tool.

Second: I think everyone has this problem. I dont think its worth it to go solo. If you can increase your winter services, you are able to decrease the amount of time they are not working. Also there is lots of seasonal work they can get in the winter and you should let them know early how long you will have work for. In this industry, year round work is a luxury for most.
Yes, there is seasonal work in the winter for your employees to pursue. That is exactly what you do not want them to do. After spending a lot of time and patients finding the right employee the one thing you don't want is for them to start working for someone else. Many times that little seasonal job turns into a career for them. When your season is just getting ready to kick off you find that you have no employees returning. Most companies worst nightmare.
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  #13  
Old 02-08-2011, 05:32 PM
oldclawn oldclawn is offline
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AMEN! That's why we structured our entire book of business, pricing and services to be a REAL business, so that ALL employees felt they were apart of it at all times with no fear that their job was "seasonal". You can't realistically build your business AND your workforce at the same time. With a seriously experienced crew you are free to pick and choose jobs not worrying about manpower, quality, etc!
On a slow winter, there's not much to do up here that produces income, but there's always schools, clinics, seminars, shop chores, painting, cleaning--only a real brain dead person could be bored! When it snows (which this winter has been good)--we are able to handle the highly structured run we have with a minimum of stress--whether I am personally here or not! That's mighty fine people working for you--and in a sense--working for themslevs!
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  #14  
Old 02-08-2011, 06:05 PM
exmark user exmark user is offline
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Location: erwin tn
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1. When theres snow they can plow
2. Someone can do maintenance on equipment and clean stuff and organize
3. If you have a greenhouse they are working on plants and plating that sort of stufff
4. Tree trimming
5. Most hispanic employees will go to mexico for winter and they celebrate Christmas for 1 month or longer

- If you can mow from mid March to mid October then do leaves from mid October to mid November trim trees from mid November to mid Febuary and then Applations from mid Febuary to mid march.

Give or take a little on timing. Grow your business to stay busy all year and take time off at christmas!

Just my .02!











then do leaves from mid October to mid November

Last edited by exmark user; 02-08-2011 at 06:13 PM.
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  #15  
Old 02-08-2011, 06:51 PM
RECESSION PROOF MOWING RECESSION PROOF MOWING is offline
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No. For the vast majority of owners...not smart money spent.

Guys in this business are way, way too fickle. Don't get burned. Trust me...there's a good batch waiting for work each and every year. You pay people not to work during the winter at your own risk.
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  #16  
Old 02-08-2011, 08:36 PM
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Exact Rototilling Exact Rototilling is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOturkey View Post
Interesting thread. I'm just wondering if any of you have considered, or have hired, guys that are retired? I don't necessarily mean someone 65 plus. There are lots of people out there retired from the military, civil service, etc, perhaps in their 50's who perhaps would enjoy working, but don't need 12 months of income, insurance, etc. If you run 2 man crews, you could even try to find 4 retirees, each of which would want to work 3 days a week. I know if I didn't have my own mowing business, I'd jump on something like that myself.
Ok....better than older tired - retired guys [no offense intended] but instead go for younger full time firefighters who really don't need the money as badly as most people working for someone else in this biz.

Pros:

Typically NOT drug users
Less inclined to be smokers due to non tobacco fire districts rules.
Not going to be a convicted felon so no need to run a background check on them.

Cons:
May show up to work beat tired and haggard from running EMS calls all night or fighting a structure fire making them more prone to mishaps accidents etc.
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Last edited by Exact Rototilling; 02-08-2011 at 08:40 PM.
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  #17  
Old 02-09-2011, 10:05 AM
Texas Lawn Texas Lawn is offline
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Originally Posted by TMlawncare View Post
Yes, there is seasonal work in the winter for your employees to pursue. That is exactly what you do not want them to do. After spending a lot of time and patients finding the right employee the one thing you don't want is for them to start working for someone else. Many times that little seasonal job turns into a career for them. When your season is just getting ready to kick off you find that you have no employees returning. Most companies worst nightmare.
Id have to disagree. Im not going to pay someone if there is not work. Im not going to prohibit them from finding other seasonal work if I have nothing for them. Notice I said seasonal work, meaning work that is only for the winter season. When that seasonal work is over, they come back and work for me. If you are that worried about losing someone to another company, what makes you think it couldnt happen any time? I make sure that I run my business so that they cant wait to come back and start working for me. These people have families so if im not going to have work and allow them to make money, I encourage them to go out and find something
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  #18  
Old 02-09-2011, 10:26 AM
TMlawncare TMlawncare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Lawn View Post
Id have to disagree. Im not going to pay someone if there is not work. Im not going to prohibit them from finding other seasonal work if I have nothing for them. Notice I said seasonal work, meaning work that is only for the winter season. When that seasonal work is over, they come back and work for me. If you are that worried about losing someone to another company, what makes you think it couldnt happen any time? I make sure that I run my business so that they cant wait to come back and start working for me. These people have families so if im not going to have work and allow them to make money, I encourage them to go out and find something
First, you don't encourage your best full time employees to seek work elsewhere. Second re-read the last sentence and see if you can make sense out of it. Third if you don't understand yet go ask your mom.
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  #19  
Old 02-09-2011, 10:47 AM
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MOturkey MOturkey is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exact Rototilling View Post
Ok....better than older tired - retired guys [no offense intended] but instead go for younger full time firefighters who really don't need the money as badly as most people working for someone else in this biz.
No offense taken. I realize I can't do what I did when I was 20 (I'm almost 60), and retired firefighters are one segment of the population I was thinking of (civil service employees). Someone 55 might not be able to keep up with a 20 year old kid in an out and out race, but they also tend to have a better work ethic, show up on time, be less apt to complain if they have to work a little late, because they don't have to pick the kids up at school, etc., and, unlike a motivated younger employee, won't be thinking about finding something better as soon as it comes along. Also, an older employee is much less likely to spend half the day texting or talking to his girlfriend on the cell phone.
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  #20  
Old 02-09-2011, 10:58 AM
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mslawn mslawn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMlawncare View Post
Yes, there is seasonal work in the winter for your employees to pursue. That is exactly what you do not want them to do. After spending a lot of time and patients finding the right employee the one thing you don't want is for them to start working for someone else. Many times that little seasonal job turns into a career for them. When your season is just getting ready to kick off you find that you have no employees returning. Most companies worst nightmare.
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldclawn View Post
AMEN! That's why we structured our entire book of business, pricing and services to be a REAL business, so that ALL employees felt they were apart of it at all times with no fear that their job was "seasonal". You can't realistically build your business AND your workforce at the same time. With a seriously experienced crew you are free to pick and choose jobs not worrying about manpower, quality, etc!
On a slow winter, there's not much to do up here that produces income, but there's always schools, clinics, seminars, shop chores, painting, cleaning--only a real brain dead person could be bored! When it snows (which this winter has been good)--we are able to handle the highly structured run we have with a minimum of stress--whether I am personally here or not! That's mighty fine people working for you--and in a sense--working for themslevs!
I agree. Great post.
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