balance between work load and more employees?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Ramairfreak98ss, May 29, 2007.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210

    This for 2007 has become my largest fought issue.

    This is my first year full time in this business, meaning i have no other "desk" job anymore and can dedicate 5+ days a week to this business 7am-7pm or more.

    Last year, i had my brother help a day here and there. Now im looking to possibly hire him FULL time.

    I just hired my first employee "part time" but for a few weeks, hes been working with me ~40hrs a week. Problem is, now that im a "boss" i need to be with him almost all the time to make sure hes doing the right things, and its causing me to not be nearly as productive as i once was alone.

    Suddenly this week with Memorial day weekend, i dont really have any landscaping lined up for this whole comming week, until i cut lawns on Thrusday and Fridays so I really have no work for my "part timer" besides the two days.

    When i do get these large landscaping jobs though 10-20k in work, im swamped for easily a week. I feel like i need 5 employees not just myself or 2-3 guys total.

    How are the other companies managing their possible inconsistent workloads/jobs with more employees 2-5?

    Do you pay them strait pay of 40hrs a week for a seasonal "salary" base or by the hour "part time" with no guarantee of hrs per week?

    What is done in the winter/fall/spring when work is not as in demand as the summer months for landscaping and lawn care? I know i get leaf cleanups etc, but those last a few days and im done. Its not nearly keeping me busy all of October and November.

    Last year on the east coast, i went out for snow twice! Thats it, there was nothing so how do you manage any extra employees with no winter work?:confused:
     
  2. mkroher

    mkroher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    I'm 95% solo. In my cell phone... I have about 20 phone numbers of "illegal immigrants".

    I do all the mowing, lawn treating myself. If I get a big job coming up, I go down the list in my phone and call them up. Usually, they have a regular job.. like painting, or construction and can't help...but they ALWAYS have a friend/brother/whatever that is sitting home doing nothing. No experience needed...just be a laborer..help me out for 2 days....run that wheelbarrow and move that dirt pile and fill ground zero.

    The customers don't care who's on the property, as long as they see ME there all the time. Give them a company shirt.

    I do the same thing in the winter too. Be on top of the forecast and make phone calls as soon as possible. I pay well too, I won't take advantage of good help. Pay well and they'll want to help again.
     
  3. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210

    thanks mkroher.... Of course that doesnt give me a solution lol but its good insight at least. Im sure others have a lot of difficulty in this area since most companies are small, not very large. As i dont consider myself a small guy, i am underpowered many times but then other times im sitting home waiting for more business, so to speak.
     
  4. ncls

    ncls LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 441

    I started off solo. I built my business by doing almost all maintenance. Weekly cuts. Built it up until I had a full time worker, 50+ hours. Then built another crew with weekly lawn care. Then replaced myself, and started doing full service. Now I have 3 full time crews, plus myself and spot labor doing installs, design, new lawns, sod, etc. This way, there are two of us to help with clean-ups, etc. at the end of the year.
     
  5. theturfboss

    theturfboss LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 47

     
  6. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210

     
  7. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,085

    I just pay my normal rate with no guaranteed hours. For the most part I just have one guy that works with me, and he is understanding that the hours are going to be inconsistent in this industry. The guy I use is a senior in high school and so he just gets more free time on the easy weeks, and more money on the harder weeks. Since he doesn't have any bills to pay except his car it's a win/win situation for both of us either way.

    Hope this helps a little, nice setup by the way.
     
  8. sgl41377

    sgl41377 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 191

    I have been using a guy that wants to work, but his schedule does not allow him to work a lot of hours due to a wife that works full time and kids at home. SO, my answer is, advertise and talk it up to friends and family. Let them know what you are looking for and someone will show up. My guy works about 15-25 hours a week which is perfect for him. He had no prior experience in commercial work and I have been training him myself. I hope to do a lot more fall cleanups to keep him hired on and I can easily pay him 20 hours a week year round to keep him.
     

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