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  #21  
Old 11-22-2013, 12:14 AM
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.'s Avatar
A. W. Landscapers, Inc. A. W. Landscapers, Inc. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpllawncare View Post
It all starts with the interview process, DO YOU EVEN CONDUCT A FORMAL interview? Don't HIRE people, RECRUIT people, make it so people are WANTING to work for you, create a culture for your company that says "Man I WISH I COULD GET A POSITION WITH THAT COMPANY" You need a formal recruiting system, tell people you only recruit the best of the best, think about how the military does it, they don't hire anyone they recruit.
Good post.

You need to hire the people who are the best fit for the company culture you are creating and you need to fire anyone who doesn't fit your culture. You are the boss…you are responsible for hiring the best candidate possible and retaining only the best employees.

Part of your hiring process should include a minimum of a 90 day temporary employee training/evaluation period. During the first 90 days you need to train and evaluate your temporary employee as you help guide them and prepare them to transition into a position within your company. This 90 day period gives both you and the employee some time to figure out if you two are a good fit for one another. The temporary employee needs to earn a position in your company. Usually, the temporary employee is payed at a reduced rate until he/she earns a position within the company.
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Scott
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.
www.awlandscapers.com

Hustler X-One 60"
Wright Stander RH 36"
eXmark 21" ECXKA21 Mower
Stihl FC110 Edger
Stihl FS90 Trimmer
Stihl FS55R Trimmer
Stihl HS56C Hedge Trimmer
Stihl MS391 25" Bar Chainsaw
RedMax EBZ7100 Blower
Earthquake 16" Rear Tine Tiller
Honda 9" Mini Tiller FG110
2014 GMC Sierra Denali HD
7' x 16' Enclosed V-Nose Trailer
6' x 12' Dump Trailer
Equipment & Work thread: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=415830
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  #22  
Old 11-22-2013, 12:22 AM
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JCLawn and more JCLawn and more is online now
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So then with this heightened expectations of employees we need to provide year around work. How have some of you guys done this?
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  #23  
Old 11-22-2013, 12:28 AM
newguy123 newguy123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpllawncare View Post
It all starts with the interview process, DO YOU EVEN CONDUCT A FORMAL interview? Don't HIRE people, RECRUIT people, make it so people are WANTING to work for you, create a culture for your company that says "Man I WISH I COULD GET A POSITION WITH THAT COMPANY" You need a formal recruiting system, tell people you only recruit the best of the best, think about how the military does it, they don't hire anyone they recruit.
Very good points here! Also, it's obvious that communication is key; and even when we know that to be true we still minimize it.

Bring your concerns to your employees. Ask them what would help them feel more ownership in the business; more inclined to work harder?

Chances are they'll say more money...but they might just give you the answer you've been searching for.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again; expecting different results. Sometimes we have to do things differently...sometimes that's communicating with our employees.
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  #24  
Old 11-22-2013, 12:52 AM
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.'s Avatar
A. W. Landscapers, Inc. A. W. Landscapers, Inc. is offline
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Originally Posted by JCLawn and more View Post
I'd be happy to get to 5. I've had a similar thought process on how to do it. Now how do you make an employment system that promotes productivity and responsibility without you cracking the whip?
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Written employee handbooks, employee training manual, detailed job descriptions, policy & procedure manual, reviews & evaluations, warnings, company hierarchy, etc. "Systems" start with documentation.

You have to hire only the best and retaining only the best.

You have to train your employees to use your systems and you have to empower your employees to keep the systems under their control as efficient, productive and profitable as possible without sacrificing quality. Then you need to reward your employees when the improve your system.

The employee needs to take ownership of the systems within their control. You need to release that system to the employee and give the employee all the "tools" they need to be successful at their position. You need to hold your employees accountable and you need to set goals with your employees.

Read "The One Minute Manager" by Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson as well as the other books in this series. They are all easy reads and they are short and very informative "stories".
__________________
Regards,
Scott
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.
www.awlandscapers.com

Hustler X-One 60"
Wright Stander RH 36"
eXmark 21" ECXKA21 Mower
Stihl FC110 Edger
Stihl FS90 Trimmer
Stihl FS55R Trimmer
Stihl HS56C Hedge Trimmer
Stihl MS391 25" Bar Chainsaw
RedMax EBZ7100 Blower
Earthquake 16" Rear Tine Tiller
Honda 9" Mini Tiller FG110
2014 GMC Sierra Denali HD
7' x 16' Enclosed V-Nose Trailer
6' x 12' Dump Trailer
Equipment & Work thread: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=415830
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  #25  
Old 11-22-2013, 12:58 AM
JCLawn and more's Avatar
JCLawn and more JCLawn and more is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. W. Landscapers, Inc. View Post
Written employee handbooks, employee training manual, detailed job descriptions, policy & procedure manual, reviews & evaluations, warnings, company hierarchy, etc. "Systems" start with documentation.

You have to hire only the best and retaining only the best.

You have to train your employees to use your systems and you have to empower your employees to keep the systems under their control as efficient, productive and profitable as possible without sacrificing quality. Then you need to reward your employees when the improve your system.

The employee needs to take ownership of the systems within their control. You need to release that system to the employee and give the employee all the "tools" they need to be successful at their position. You need to hold your employees accountable and you need to set goals with your employees.

Read "The One Minute Manager" by Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson as well as the other books in this series. They are all easy reads and they are short and very informative "stories".
So with all these procedures, do you think its still possible to stay competitive price wise??? I have a little experience with that from a past job, and it was a time hog.
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  #26  
Old 11-22-2013, 06:17 AM
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Efficiency Efficiency is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCLawn and more View Post
So then with this heightened expectations of employees we need to provide year around work. How have some of you guys done this?
You simply need to budget for it. You likely won't be able to afford it with your 1st or even 2nd hire but as your company grows, you do need to plan to keep your KEY employees on year round. We will keep 4 on full time this winter. Sure, I could save big money and lay everyone off each year but what is the intellectual capital worth with them knowing our processes, systems, and clients knowing them as a critical part of our team?
Do the filler guys on your maintenance crew need to be full time? No way. You can replace them a dime a dozen. Do your route managers who have direct contact with clients need to be full time? We say yes. Remember that concept of a mission statement? You need to decide who is "mission critical" and be sure to put the right people in those positions and keep them on year round.

The best thing here is you can make your business whatever you want. I hate reading and like writing even less. But, you must do this or you won't ever see progress.
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Last edited by Efficiency; 11-22-2013 at 06:21 AM.
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  #27  
Old 11-22-2013, 07:23 AM
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JContracting JContracting is offline
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Location: Champlin, MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. W. Landscapers, Inc. View Post
Written employee handbooks, employee training manual, detailed job descriptions, policy & procedure manual, reviews & evaluations, warnings, company hierarchy, etc. "Systems" start with documentation.

You have to hire only the best and retaining only the best.

You have to train your employees to use your systems and you have to empower your employees to keep the systems under their control as efficient, productive and profitable as possible without sacrificing quality. Then you need to reward your employees when the improve your system.

The employee needs to take ownership of the systems within their control. You need to release that system to the employee and give the employee all the "tools" they need to be successful at their position. You need to hold your employees accountable and you need to set goals with your employees.

Read "The One Minute Manager" by Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson as well as the other books in this series. They are all easy reads and they are short and very informative "stories".
That's something I forgot to mention, documentation. Do you track all your working hours? Track the time at each job and who was all there along with what was done, track the amount of time spent on meeting with clients, amt of time spent working om estimates, doing accounting etc. You can't manage what you don't track. Eventually everything you do will be done by someone else who is on payroll and you must know how long these tasks take.
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  #28  
Old 11-22-2013, 07:40 AM
ztman ztman is online now
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: mountain pa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. W. Landscapers, Inc. View Post
Still working on it myself.

You need to create systems. Then you use these systems to train your replacements (employees). Keep replacing yourself in various aspects of your company's operations and eventually you will have a company that is pretty much self sufficient.

I've convinced myself that this is the process to follow:

First step is to remove yourself from all physical labor duties (your focus is on sales, job site management, accounting, business operations, executive management).

Step two is to remove yourself from daily business operations. A good operations manager should be able to handle almost every aspect of running the office/scheduling/ordering/bookkeeping/accounts payable/accounts receivable/human resources/marketing/etc. (your focus is on sales, job site management, executive management).

Step 3 is to remove yourself from job site management (your focus is on sales, executive management, and you start to reinsert yourself into some of the accounting functions because as your company grows your operations manager will start to become overwhelmed with the workload).

Step 4 is to remove yourself from sales (your focus is on executive management and you fully reinsert yourself into the accounting functions so that the operations manager can focus his/her attention on everything else).

Step 5 is to remove yourself from accounting (your focus is now solely on executive management).

Step 6 is to remove yourself from executive management by hiring a CEO (your focus is to communicate to the CEO your desired path for the company's direction and then sit back and watch it happen while you count the money).

Note: I also think it might be possible to switch steps 4 and 5.
Good points AW, but if you want to follow those steps, I would add a step seven. Have the employees sign a non solicitation agreement for current customers and employees. If you are hands off and none of the customers know who you are, one motivated employee could hang out his own sign and steal your clients and employees and have a ready made business
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  #29  
Old 11-22-2013, 09:02 AM
JCLawn and more's Avatar
JCLawn and more JCLawn and more is online now
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: MI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efficiency View Post
You simply need to budget for it. You likely won't be able to afford it with your 1st or even 2nd hire but as your company grows, you do need to plan to keep your KEY employees on year round. We will keep 4 on full time this winter. Sure, I could save big money and lay everyone off each year but what is the intellectual capital worth with them knowing our processes, systems, and clients knowing them as a critical part of our team?
Do the filler guys on your maintenance crew need to be full time? No way. You can replace them a dime a dozen. Do your route managers who have direct contact with clients need to be full time? We say yes. Remember that concept of a mission statement? You need to decide who is "mission critical" and be sure to put the right people in those positions and keep them on year round.

The best thing here is you can make your business whatever you want. I hate reading and like writing even less. But, you must do this or you won't ever see progress.
Posted via Mobile Device
I have thought of putting main guys on salary plus bonuses so they would have a regular income in the winter. That would be a massive undertaking to save for.
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  #30  
Old 11-22-2013, 11:17 PM
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.'s Avatar
A. W. Landscapers, Inc. A. W. Landscapers, Inc. is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 1,304
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCLawn and more View Post
So with all these procedures, do you think its still possible to stay competitive price wise??? I have a little experience with that from a past job, and it was a time hog.
Yes. The time you invest up front to lay a solid foundation for a successful business is a longterm investment so do not expect an immediate return on that investment.
__________________
Regards,
Scott
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.
www.awlandscapers.com

Hustler X-One 60"
Wright Stander RH 36"
eXmark 21" ECXKA21 Mower
Stihl FC110 Edger
Stihl FS90 Trimmer
Stihl FS55R Trimmer
Stihl HS56C Hedge Trimmer
Stihl MS391 25" Bar Chainsaw
RedMax EBZ7100 Blower
Earthquake 16" Rear Tine Tiller
Honda 9" Mini Tiller FG110
2014 GMC Sierra Denali HD
7' x 16' Enclosed V-Nose Trailer
6' x 12' Dump Trailer
Equipment & Work thread: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=415830
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