big or small

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by garth1967, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. garth1967

    garth1967 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 640

    im interested in peoples views on the pros and cons of staying solo or employing people im between a rock and a hard place at the moment
  2. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    You know what they say about opinions? :D
    Nothing wrong with with employing a cpl. people that you can look over. Any more and you need to start hiring foreman's to over look the work and then it a whole diff. game. With 1-2 employees you can make $$$ any more and you really need alot of work and PATIENCE to fix the screw ups that will come with more employees. I found at the end of the yr the NET was almost the same with 2 as with 8-10 employees but the headaches were a lot less.
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I have 8 guys at the moment. I have very few problems. And I pay very well too so that helps I am sure.
  4. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,648

    Three years ago I had 11 people on the payroll and I felt like a full time babysitter. Last year I was aggravated to the point that I fired 9 of them and life has been nicer ever since. We kept the managers and now we do the work instead of hiring complete morons who need daily instructions on how to wipe their as$. I now go to work later, enjoy my family more and have a higher paycheck :) . And no "i have an earache I ain't comin' in". Currently we are looking to hire a part time person with experience to do some of our gardening, weeding, shrub trimming etc... but overall life is good.

    Rod, I too paid very well but the drug addicted kids who were getting $12/hour couldn't produce and wanted more, more, more. Money in my area didn't equal quality employee.
  5. big king

    big king LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    :realmad: employees suck no matter how much you pay them they think they are worth more .What's the point in having employees if you have to go behind them. , babysit them.If you can do the work by yourself it will be a lot less aggravation, you will be happier with out them.
  6. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,648

    I'm not sure that if we, the landscaping industry, just get the bottom of the barrel losers that are almost unemployable or what. My family owns several other businesses, not landscape related, and on the sales side they are well educated and if not well educated they are well presented. Most of the laborers on the service side are also more responsible. Several are hard workers from other Latin American countries. It just seems that in southern NH where foreign workers are unavailable, the white kids are idiots.
  7. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    White kids who will "lower themselves" to manual labor are usually the ones who have failed out of the "easy jobs" and are trying their best to fail out of ours as well. Blame it on drugs or whatever, but we are rapidly becoming an unemployable nation.

    Having said that, I can't even begin to think of staying solo or small for that matter.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    This is just what I've heard ...
    Paying your employees more:
    - Will NOT make them work harder.
    - Does NOT make them show up on time more often.
    - Does NOT reduce theft / scams.
    etc, etc...

    Far as I'm concerned, I'm doing this because I can't deal with the BS of being around other workers (the constant games and politics) so unless I find a perfectionist who knows everything (like me, lol), it just ain't happening. To be blunt, I don't have 3 thousand dollars to spare for hiring / training.

    But I do agree:
    With 1 truck + trailer, TWO and maybe three guys is the MOST productive, but if you have four then you're better off with 2 trucks + trailers.
  9. newbomb

    newbomb LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 391

    Kids out of high school and those in college have a self esteem issue. That is, they have too much of it and for no apparent reason. They have done nothing but be spoiled rotten and cry. So you either get some of these kids till they whine and quit, or you find derelecks who try to cut grass on their way to being laborers for a roofing contractor. I pay this one kid that helps me several more dollars an hour than he will ever find until he has skills and most days I wonder if he realises how good he has it.

  10. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,930

    Last year, I had one 30 hr per week employee and had an extra guy for when we got real busy. We were mowing 55 residential properties, all about 5k to 8k square feet. I was bringing in alot of money but alot was going out. Workers comp, payroll taxes, wages ($11 per hour per guy).

    I decided to go solo this year. I culled out 10 crap yards, and kept 45 good ones. I also bought a toro 52 ztr. I work a little harder now, but I already have a pretty healthy savings account. Customer complaints are non-existant now. I will stay solo until my son is old enough to help me.

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