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Does anyone pay their full time guys thru the winter?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Gerg21, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Gerg21

    Gerg21 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    I been in the lawn care and landscaping bussiness 9 years this coming season. I have had many people work for me even my best friend bad move. its hard to find someone who is ok with a seasonal job that has no benifites DOES EVERYONE HAVE THIS PROBLEM? I have had the same guy with me for the past 3 seasons great worker and he has never missed a day I pay him good $16 per hour 40 hr a week even if it rains. He needs full time in the winter now that hes getting older 25 even if we do snow its ony work if it snows and even then most storms only give us 2 days work. I have even offered for him to buy a truck and i would partner up with him he does not seem interested tho I have a few ?
    HOW MANY OTHERS HAVE THIS PROBLEM ?
    HOW MANY YEARS DOES THE AVG WORKER LAST FOR U ?
    WHO PAYS THRU THE WINTER ?
    HOW MANY GUYS HAVE GONE SOLO FOR THESE REASONS ?
    WHO WOULD RATHER BE SOLO?
    IF U HAVE A BIG BUSSINESS HOW DID U DO IT? I NOTICE LOTS OF BIG BUSSINESS ARE FAMILY OWEND
    ONE MORE WHO IS SOLO OUT THERE ? FULL TIME NO WEEKEND WARRIOR MAKIN BEER N BOAT GAS MONEY THEY DONT COUNT!
     
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,960

    Need to consider putting the guy on salary and smooth out his pay so he does get check all year long. Then you have to build the business so you have winter work. What does Brinkman do with their core guys up north. In our area they continue making visit to site all winter and we do the same. Got to have commerical like resturants and hotels and car lots etc. that must be maintanined all the time.
     
  3. LibertyFarmLandscaping

    LibertyFarmLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE TX
    Posts: 1,062

    I have enough for 2 to 3 days per week for 2 guys. Then my brother who builds metal buildings uses them on the other days. He gets backed up alot in the winter with his regular crew due to bad weather.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  4. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Posts: 4,165

    I am solo with a helper for the summer and been debating about adding a fulltime guy also. I have seen lcos pay guys through winter cutting fire wood and plowing. He didn't do that again. A salary for 12 months is what will get the best workers. Having the guy understand 45 to 50hrs during the summer is full time and makes up for the winter slow down. Most would understand I would think. Keep a tab of hrs and see how it works out.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. lyndont

    lyndont LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    Anyone with a brain would just go out on there own with this type of job unless they can make a lot of money working for someone else. If you could keep an honest hard worker I would treat him right because otherwise he's turning into competition.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. oldclawn

    oldclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 280

    My feeling is (possibly shared by other) is that if you are charging properly for your goods and services, then you should have no problem paying your employees during the winter season. How can you ask someone to bust hump for you all season then cut them loose. What kind of real business is that. Employees have families, children, dreams just like you--it's not all about the almighty dollar--it's abouyt treating ther important people in your life with dignity and respect.
     
  7. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,045

    OLDCLAWN - Has a point. When I worked for my old boss he would cut me off in the winter unless it snowed. I told him I got bills to pay as well. He gave me a $300 bonus on Christmas and ended up leaving for good after 3 years of torture from one of the smartest and cold hearted person I ever worked for.
     
  8. MOHUSTLER

    MOHUSTLER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,376

    It is hard to keep people through the winter. Id work out a system with them to where your still paying them jsut not thier full $16 an hour. Mabey drop him back to 10-12$ and give him a steady paycheck. Then if your using them for snow or something along thoes lines when hes doing hard work pay him his 16 an hour again.

    Or option #2 is put them on salary. Most dont like that when in the summer they are busting a$$ for you and getting the same they do in the winter to sit on thier butt.


    It is a fine line between wasting your money on them and keeping them busy. Most of the time in the winter if you can break even and keep him employeed its a win.
     
  9. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,741

    Interesting thread. I'm just wondering if any of you have considered, or have hired, guys that are retired? I don't necessarily mean someone 65 plus. There are lots of people out there retired from the military, civil service, etc, perhaps in their 50's who perhaps would enjoy working, but don't need 12 months of income, insurance, etc. If you run 2 man crews, you could even try to find 4 retirees, each of which would want to work 3 days a week. I know if I didn't have my own mowing business, I'd jump on something like that myself.
     
  10. TMlawncare

    TMlawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,197

    We battled this for years also. This is our solution to the problem. It only applies to full time employees. Our full time employees work from March 10 to Dec 10. Each month they get a paycheck for a set salary. In December besides their monthly check they go on unemployment till March 10. During this period they receive a weekly check from unemployment. They get a paycheck from us when the work doing snow removal.(they report any hrs worked each sunday to unemployment). What we also do is a year end bonus/incentive. Depending on how the entire company did reflect on how much the bonus is. Usually bonus is around $1200 per ft employee. This bonus is to help supplement there unemployment through the off season. We have had this program in place for three years now and seems to work well.
     

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