About what # of clients per individual office staff needed?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by sedge, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. sedge

    sedge LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 33,575

    I am trying to come up with what a decently staffed efficient office is for the number of clients we have. So i am wondering what some of you have for your size of operation.

    We have about 300 mowing clients and about 100 weed in feed clients. 80% resi's and 20% com.

    Currently there is 2 full time office staff. Duties include scheduling, billing, giving estimates, selling incoming calls and taking customer service calls. 85% of our billing is done by credit card, so very few statements need to be sent out. Credit cards get run the day after each service. Office is open 6 days a week during the busy season.

    This includes my brother as one of the office staff.

    Thanx in advance
  2. texpro

    texpro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 67

    ask your brother
  3. DuallyVette

    DuallyVette LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,167

    If you'd charge their card once a month instead of daily, you could cut your office staff in half.
  4. qwerty

    qwerty LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    What issue(s) do you have with your current staff? Too much sitting around or too much running around? If there is a magic number of clients-to-office staff, it depends on what systems you have or want to have in place.
  5. jlouki01

    jlouki01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    I would compute your office staff based on your revenue. For instance I don't have a ton of accts but we have good revenue and we need office staff badly.
  6. TheLandyman

    TheLandyman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    definatly charging them at the end of each month vs. the end of each service would cut down a lot of office time. what are weed n feed customers? customers you just do bed and lawn fertilization?
  7. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,781

    Where do you fit into the mix? Are you one of the office guys - out in the field with crew - wrench turner? I run about the same - but office personal is "thin" for me. They are the costly ones on my payroll and need to produce results during the day - not me putting out fires within the office. All my design work for landscapes are subbed out - % of job is what she gets paid. When in doubt hire a tempt agency for a while and see how that works. Alot of my high end clients have an accountanting firm or office business firm handle all there financing - we get alot of checks straight from these type of businesses.
  8. sedge

    sedge LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 33,575

    Charging this once a month is a big no-no. They can have a $100 plus bill and then don't have room on their card. if you keep it at the one mow price of $28.99, then that amount works out pretty good to be charging. Not as many charge backs.

    Weed n feed is weed control and fertilization, sorry for the poor explanation.

    I was a crew leader last year and will do all the chemical/fert apps this year. I am trying to help him make this a more efficient business, so that's why i am asking. I have certain ideas, which i feel migth be right, but not sure.

    On the office staff part, i think there is just a lot of wasted time. There are so many mistakes with billing, schedules and etc, and i cannot figure it out with the small clientele base that we have. For me, one person should be able to take care of everything in the office as of up to now. But maybe I am expecting to much, I dunno. Just wanting your ideas. Thanx
  9. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 25,392

    1 full time person shouls be able to manage / bill and do the ordering for at least 1 million $ worth of work. If they are not , somethings wrong.
  10. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    When I worked for another LCO, I was the 'office staff' for a couple years. I could deal with it easily myself, we had about 450 mowing customers and another 200 or so treatment customers. BUT in the busy season, when I was out much of the day estimating, we'd hire someone else on a temporary basis for a few months to answer the phones.

    Why not bill in advance, then you wouldn't be behind if the CC gets declined? Don't you have a transaction fee on top of the percentage fee with each transaction? Seems like it would add up.

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