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  #11  
Old 03-14-2013, 11:59 PM
dllawson dllawson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southeast, GA
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CollegeMowers has given you some excellent advice, especially regarding your pricing.

Let your worker be in charge, drive the truck, and mow for a day, then a few days, then a week. Make sure he is someone you would trust with your customers and your equipment.

You could then hire a part time worker. Do some properties as a three man crew, and also let your worker and the part timer do a few of your least important properties. This combination should let you add a few more accounts, test your worker as a crew leader, and give you a some time to sell more/run your business.

You can continue to grow this way until your part timer becomes full time without much additional expense. You can check your pricing by making sure you are still making money with a 3 man crew. If are profitable enough to put back some cash to pay for a truck and equipment for a 2nd crew you should be in pretty good shape.
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  #12  
Old 03-15-2013, 12:24 AM
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CLS_Birmingham CLS_Birmingham is offline
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Location: Birmingham, AL
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Originally Posted by 205mx View Post
One idea is maybe go ahead and hire another guy. You can ride along or drive. Don't do the work, just oversee. Do this for a few months. I know it sounds dreadful. Maybe bring your computer and play office work in the truck.

Just an idea. Then when you trust the guys, let go
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I'm in the exact same boat as you. I have two different divisions, landscape & maintenance that are headed by myself and my business partner. What i'm working to do is transition out of maintenance and into a management role. One thing I'm gonna be doing more of is what 205mx said. I'm gonna let my employees handle the mowing, weedeating, trimming, ect. Meanwhile I can handle calls, office work, ect but also I can pull weeds, spray, ect to improve my properties and still keep an eye on everything. I'm hoping this will allow me to start grooming my lead guy to take over.
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  #13  
Old 03-15-2013, 12:44 AM
HDLLandscaping HDLLandscaping is offline
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Location: Mansfield MA
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If a major concern is the upkeep of equipment you could make sure there is a time once per week to do equipment checks and cleaning, or once every two weeks or what you see fit. This may encourage employees to keep equipment looking and running better so that this day will not take up their free time, make that day a day that everyone is paid minimum wage to encourage them to keep equipment in proper order?
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  #14  
Old 03-15-2013, 05:23 AM
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exmarkking exmarkking is offline
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Location: North Georgia
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Keep them coming!! I love all the info I'm getting from the ones who have made the jump over to the other side. Thanks
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  #15  
Old 03-15-2013, 07:22 AM
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Bunton Guy Bunton Guy is offline
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Location: charlotte nc
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Originally Posted by CollegeMowers View Post
I make a lot more money now and have not lifted a rake or shovel (besides purchasing a brand new one) in about 3 years.

I think it really just depends on your desires. I do not want to be a 50 year old contractor who has a bad back and knees. Also, I am a way better manager/employer than a laborer. My guys can do a way better job than I can.
Im the complete opposite....I haven't found anyone who can do even close to as good of a job as I can. I had one former employee who could run the show and his quality was great...but the sad part is he went to work for a pest control company making $70K a year. No way I can hire a maintenance tech at that rate
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  #16  
Old 01-03-2014, 06:17 PM
newguy123 newguy123 is offline
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Exmarkking, how'd it go, did you relinquish control last year? Any updates?
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  #17  
Old 01-04-2014, 08:58 AM
boucherlawn boucherlawn is offline
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Location: Millersville, MD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exmarkking View Post
I'm still scared of the thought of it though. I mean I have worked so hard to get it where it at, and consider the equipment my own whereas when you turn the guys loose with it, its not going to be kept as nice
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My findings have been that no one (even your best friends or family) will ever take as good of care of your equipment as you have... If they are someone you trust, they will try and they will have great intentions but the more you grow the more things just happen to break or get worn out without anyone knowing "what happened".

One of my biggest struggles in this transformation is properly training someone to "Manage" a crew. The guy who took over my lawn truck does an amazing job of lawn service himself, but still after 3+ years of running my lawn crew absolutely struggles to the core with managing his crew on a job site. Which to me sounds incredibly poor when written since they service the same damn 100 yards every week. I can take his 2 crew members out and finish his cut list for the day in sometimes 1-2 hours faster, yet no one can explain why we moved along any quicker...

Getting out of the truck on a daily basis certainly gives you freedoms to run and grow your business but brings on a whole different sector of headaches it seems.
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  #18  
Old 01-04-2014, 11:59 AM
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kemco kemco is offline
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Location: Memphis TN
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Please keep the advice coming in, this is exactly where I am at in my current biz I need to get out of the truck to grow it any more, just very apprehensive. I'll be keeping an eye on this thread, some really good thought IMO.
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  #19  
Old 01-04-2014, 04:21 PM
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cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
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I'm also in the process of completely removing myself from the field this year, I tried last year but it never worked out so I ended up still part time in the field, it's a really hard transition. Weather is a huge issue also, keeping everybody busy when it's raining and they need to work, if you don't work them they go elsewhere.
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  #20  
Old 01-04-2014, 05:39 PM
newguy123 newguy123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpllawncare View Post
I'm also in the process of completely removing myself from the field this year, I tried last year but it never worked out so I ended up still part time in the field, it's a really hard transition. Weather is a huge issue also, keeping everybody busy when it's raining and they need to work, if you don't work them they go elsewhere.
Was the lack of available work the main factor you couldn't get/stay out of the truck? Please indulge if you don't mind.

Thanks.
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