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  #1  
Old 05-08-2013, 06:49 PM
jcamizz jcamizz is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: midwest
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How good do I have it?

I am an employee of an organic lawn care company that consists of me, The owner and another guy that I am in charge of. I make 15.50 hr. The owner (my boss) answers the phone, bids jobs, and makes the job list daily. The labor and quality control is on me. This week I have Aerated 30+ lawns with a walk behind Ryan aerator solo, some lawns are over 1 1/2 acres! I have been in this position for just over 5 years. I know I do great work. Boss receives emails and calls often praising my work Just got a 50$ tip today from a client who appreciates me noticing when something needs done and doing it.
There were talks about me taking over the business as the boss man is pushing 70 and can't handle consecutive full days of work. I am growing very tired of doing all the work for peanuts and He just told me that he wants things to stay the way they are for "at least 5 more years." Sometimes I feel like I cant wait another 6 months.
I love the work that I do and plan on doing it on my own in the next year or two. I guess my question is do I need to get off my high horse and keep working where I do? Or shop around for work @ another company. In your opinions do I have it good? or do you pay your foremen more. I should also mention that he allows me to pull unemployment in the winter.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:13 PM
gcbailey gcbailey is offline
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Location: southern WV
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so that's the work side of it.... how are you making it on the personal side? Is $15.50 cutting it? Do you have a family, life, anything else? It's hard to say how good you have it when we just know one side of it...
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  #3  
Old 05-08-2013, 07:24 PM
jcamizz jcamizz is offline
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I have a wife and daughter. Health insurance for the 3 of us comes from wife's job so I am bringing home more. We are 1 disaster from sinking at all times. I feel that I could find jobs as long as I can get people to walk around their yard with me. I am a local master gardener and very knowledgeable about vegetation and many other aspects of the trade. I am 32 and tired of doing everything by hand. I mean everything. I think he uses the term environmentally considerate just so he wont have to spend money on any equipment.
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  #4  
Old 05-08-2013, 07:32 PM
gcbailey gcbailey is offline
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Well you sound somewhat like I did about 8 years ago before I decided to go for it... I'm 32 now. I decided to go it alone to start a lawn care company and went solo for a few years. I actually had a great job in the IT world, but it decided to migrate to NJ and my wife has a great job at a hospital around here, so it was a tough decision back then, but ultimately I made the right one.

I still use her for our insurance, but I've got 2 full time guys who make just about what you make hourly and 2 to 3 part time summer college guys.

It sounds like something you need to really talk to your boss about with a heart to heart conversation. If he's 70 and truly not capable to doing it full time you need to talk to him about taking the reins over, or buying him out, or going at it on your own... if you feel you're stuck in 2nd gear for the past few years.

I'm in no place or position to tell you what to do, I know it is a HUGE endeavor to try and start and continue to maintain a successful business, and you get 10X the pressure on you when you have employees that you are trying to provide for too.
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  #5  
Old 05-08-2013, 07:34 PM
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jrs.landscaping jrs.landscaping is offline
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If you like what you do and your boss is contemplating retirement see if he will entertain the idea of buying him out. You get to do the job and run things your way and he can enjoy retirement with a nice nest egg from his business.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:53 PM
jcamizz jcamizz is offline
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I wouldn't know where to begin to come up with a number to buy him out. I don't have any money or credit to use anyway. There are no contracts for any clients. Barely any equipment - couple of broken down honda hrr's, 2 stihl fs90's, and a gravely 52". the rest is good ole fashioned hand tools. To top it off, 3 of the biggest income generating clients are living on borrowed time.
He mentioned sweat equity.
I am tired of clients asking me when I can get to this or that, because I never know. so I spoke with him about letting me handle all the calls for existing and new clients. He had no interest in that at all.
Thanks for the input. Just had a bad day man handling that aerator the past 2 days when I should have had a pull behind for the mower @ least for the acre+ lots.
And last week I spread 3000 lbs of corn gluten based fert that I feel was a waste of time and clients money.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:09 PM
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Vecchio Lawn Care Vecchio Lawn Care is offline
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How good do I have it?

Save up for your own equipment and do some jobs on the side until your boss decides to give it. If he is 70 every day probably feels like a week. But what do I know lol I'm only 17. :P
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:09 PM
gcbailey gcbailey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcamizz View Post
I wouldn't know where to begin to come up with a number to buy him out. I don't have any money or credit to use anyway. There are no contracts for any clients. Barely any equipment - couple of broken down honda hrr's, 2 stihl fs90's, and a gravely 52". the rest is good ole fashioned hand tools. To top it off, 3 of the biggest income generating clients are living on borrowed time.
He mentioned sweat equity.
I am tired of clients asking me when I can get to this or that, because I never know. so I spoke with him about letting me handle all the calls for existing and new clients. He had no interest in that at all.
Thanks for the input. Just had a bad day man handling that aerator the past 2 days when I should have had a pull behind for the mower @ least for the acre+ lots.
And last week I spread 3000 lbs of corn gluten based fert that I feel was a waste of time and clients money.
You answered a lot of what his company is worth right there... Basically the only thing you would be buying would be the tools and whatever "good name" value the company has. An established company with a "good name" is worth something as far as bringing in clients in the future, but it's not usually worth as much as the owner thinks.

Do you have any access to the financial side as far as knowing how much per year total the company makes? You know how much you made, do you know how much the other guy made as well as your boss?
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  #9  
Old 05-08-2013, 08:19 PM
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Colaguy Colaguy is offline
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Location: Pensacola,FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcamizz View Post
I wouldn't know where to begin to come up with a number to buy him out. I don't have any money or credit to use anyway. There are no contracts for any clients. Barely any equipment - couple of broken down honda hrr's, 2 stihl fs90's, and a gravely 52". the rest is good ole fashioned hand tools. To top it off, 3 of the biggest income generating clients are living on borrowed time.
He mentioned sweat equity.
I am tired of clients asking me when I can get to this or that, because I never know. so I spoke with him about letting me handle all the calls for existing and new clients. He had no interest in that at all.
Thanks for the input. Just had a bad day man handling that aerator the past 2 days when I should have had a pull behind for the mower @ least for the acre+ lots.
And last week I spread 3000 lbs of corn gluten based fert that I feel was a waste of time and clients money.

Your boss is a cheap skate. He's sitting back doing the easy work while your doing the hard part. He is a lazy owner, as if biz is that good, investing in new equipment would greatly increase his income. He is content with staying at this low level of life.

Forget waiting (5) yrs & see if you can take over the biz. I understand you have no $ to invest or branch out on your own but consider renting out some equipment from a local rental shop. Set up several aerator jobs & rent a top notch machine that will knock out multiple jobs.

Consider sitting down and talking it out with him & let him know you want more of the pie $ and the reasons why. Think it all out before you talk to him though. I suspect if you were to leave, his biz would collapse! Maybe settle on 2 1/2 yrs but get something in writing, not a verbal promise.
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  #10  
Old 05-08-2013, 08:27 PM
jcamizz jcamizz is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: midwest
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Yes, I was just telling him to fire a client who I hate to work for because she accused me of getting mud on her deck and wanted me to come and clean it up. After looking her up he said that she spent 3600$ last year and it was only 3% of the years income for company. He fired her.
I made something like 19k before a winters worth of unemployment. It was just me for more than half of the season so the
other guy made 5k topps. I try to avoid hearing how much he charges people for me to be on their property. For most things it is by the hour 35$ per man hour.
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