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Downsizing, well I did it.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by proline32, Mar 8, 2002.

  1. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Posts: 278

    Well, I though that I would run just a crew and myself supervising the crew this year down from having three crews last year, But After some thought I decided to just work for myself and I Informed my remaining 3 employees today that they will want to start looking for jobs and they should check with other landscape companies. I just got tired of being a babysitter and it really wasn't any fun anymore dealing with employee issues. Besides this gives me the chance to get rid of some lousy accounts and work on getting more profitable smaller accounts. Basicly I'm gonna keep a spare set of mowers and trimmers as back up tools. I found a smaller shop to move to and I'll save $$$ on the rent and sell every thing else off and pocket the cash. I like working by myself and I won't have to deal with the tax and L&I issues that pertain to employees, and I think I will make more profit if I can control cost better. I just don't feel like taking over the world anymore, I want to make plenty of money during the season and maybee take most of the winter off and spend the time with the missus.
  2. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    Sounds like a plan to me. I guess I'm not the only one who feels he's better off staying solo. I've delt with employies 2 times and that was enough for me. I'm sure there has to be advantages of having a crew but I guess I'm happy just having to deal with me. I'm sure there will be some conflict on this one. LOL
  3. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    I do not have a large opperation but I do have a couple of employees that make money for me all the time. It seems when you are solo you have a set limit of revenue. Say you work 40hrs by yourself and bring in $45/hr. That is $1800/week. But is you have a worker with you, even if you pay him $15/hr, you will make $90/hr at the job. After you pay him you now have made $75/hr X 40hr week = $3000. It may not be as good as I stated but I don't know how the profit could be less.
  4. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 509

    Please do not take this a derogotory or disrespectful because it is not meant to be, I am looking to grow to a few crews and just curious.

    Is it that you do not like mananging the crews or that you are unable to find manageable crews??

    I also do not understand the profitablity argument. I would rather have margins 60% of 200K (120K in Earnings and 80K in expense) per year that 80% of 120K(96K in Earnings and 24 K in expense). This is assuming that an employee is only can only allow you to derive 60% income and costs you 20% of your margins. (I realize these margins are not real, just numbers I picked out of my Friday-wasted brain.)

    I can understand the notion that no one will ever do the job as good as we can because we have a vested interest they get a paycheck. Heck, I may get into this and find the extra $$ aint worth the hassle. Just curious on your take.

  5. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Posts: 278

    well I figure to do about 5000 per month by myself. The goal is to work my butt off during the summers and then take a couple of months off and goof around.... you see, I spent years working hard and trying to make as much money as possible year round and rarely ever took vacations, well I just turned 38 recently and I have had a change in the way I look at things, I really don't need to make a lot of money to be happy, my wife has an excellent job that she is happy with that pays well, we don't have a lot of debt issues now and my kid has turned 18 and is out of the house. If I make 45 grand this year that is fine, I plan to enjoy doing things, and make work fun again.... Yes I basicly did not enjoy managing personel, I did not enjoy the fact that people didn't show up for work or whatever, and I really enjoy working by myself, I don't need to tell myself constantly to make sure that you don't mow the grass to low or make sure you wear your ear and eye protection.
  6. slplow

    slplow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354

    Proline32,I think you should keep one worker . Just think about it, if some thing happens to like you break your arm or for some other reason you end up in the hospital. There will be someone getting some work done and making you $$. I my self had more than one crew and found it was to much of pain for a # of reasons and now its 1 worker and me. Things get done right the first time and all the time.
  7. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Posts: 278

    You are correct there scott, actually I have that worked out with a frind of mine who also is an LCO, Sometimes when he needs a break I cover some of his accounts and when I need him it's vice versa but I have though of having just one employee and getting a kid who just came out of high school training him well and giving him decent pay. You know, molding that skull full of mush into something that will do things your way. It's certainly better than flipping burgers..... The wife runs a KFC restaurant and some of her people are always asking me for work....... she has this one guy who would make a great worker and I would offer the guy $10.00 to start as a trainee.

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Posts: 665

    From what I gather from friends who run multiple crews, the big losses happen in labor overtime and workers comp. insurance.
    Second is equipment repair and/or replacement due to abuse,
    Third is extra hours for interviewing/hiring/payroll....ect.
    I agree one employee extra on your truck will be beneficial.
  9. bababooie

    bababooie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    i agree, all i ever hear is, how hard it is to find good help. i dont know how these co. with 10-15 guys do it?
  10. bababooie

    bababooie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    i agree all i ever hear is , how hard it is to find good help,i dont know how these co. with 10-15 people do it?

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