First day not solo!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DoetschOutdoor, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Posts: 1,818

    Well, I had to move back to school last week and mowing 30 lawns a week is not really possible anymore so for the first time in 8 years of mowing I finally had some help. WE got 8 lawns done in just under 3 hours, including drive time. Most of these yards took me 35-40 mins by myself last week and we were getting them done in just under 20 mins with me on the WB and him trimming/blowing. Only bad thing is that this buddy of mine is only temporary as he has a 40hr/week job. Today was an exciting day because I realized how productive I could be with 2 guys and it only makes me think what I could make if I had more accounts and a couple reliable guys. The plan for next year is to get 40 weekly accounts @ $35, pay my helper $10/hr and I think we could get the lawns done in two days, helping keep my costs down. But then again, I have to get an internship somtime soon and classes are only getting harder so we will see how my plan unfolds next year
    Ian
     
  2. mark12

    mark12 LawnSite Member
    from Ar
    Posts: 125

    I've wondered what kind of difference it would be with a helper....I'm solo and just about to finish my 1st season mowing. I usually complete a job about every 35 to 45 minutes...and then off to the next location. I think next year I need to look at my accounts and divide them up according to location to cut down on my driving. Good luck and let me know how it goes with a helper...if you keep up that pace or get faster.
     
  3. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,552

    How long do you think you can keep a guy trying to make money working 2 days a week. It may work for a college kid, temporarily, but unless you can give someone 40 hours a week or more...AND...give em something to do in the winter, you are going to have a tough time. its the 40 hours a week more than the winter work.
     
  4. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Posts: 1,818

    Grasscapes, I was thinking about that today about how it will be hard to find someone who will be happy with only working a couple days a week but I also do alot of other work that they would be used for. I know a few guys that have done landscape previously that have other part time jobs and Im going to be looking into seeing if they can arrange their schedules to at least help me mow a few days a week and I can take on the other jobs by myself or with their help if they have the time. In the long run, I would like to be able to continue my business when I graduate in 2 years because I am growing at such a rapid rate that I do not want to leave the business. As of right now, I can not take on any more accounts without extra manpower. I have the equipment, knowhow, etc. to run a larger op. but I simply need more help. My business has been growing very rapidly the last two years and Im getting tired of doing all the work myself. Only time will tell I guess.
     
  5. sjj14

    sjj14 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 97

    Quality help! there is your snagging point. As mentioned already getting reliable, quality help is not an easy task. You have seen the light with man power making you money and not cutting into your profits but finding that help is the challenge.
     
  6. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    of course i dont know your overhead but having 30 accounts @ $35.00 each is only $1050.00 per week. then fuel $75.00 ,labor $10.00 per hour @ 20 hours(parttime) $200.00 x 2 people,material $50.00 you are already at an expence of $525.00 . that only leaves 525.00 per week for taxes, insurance, and unforseen expences . i think you are on the right track though .i think i would stick with only 1 helper for the rest of the season so you can make more bank money then try 2 next year when you get those 10 other accounts. jmo.
     
  7. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    oh yeh , forgot to mention . i go through labor like water over here . i pay a salary whether they work 10 hours a day or 1 . plus i buy breakfast and lunch .they are making a killin but noone wants to work .
     
  8. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,552

    I think its something in the NC water. On average, the help I hire lasts 3 days. I have had an ad in the paper and a job order with the unemployment office continuously for the past 3 months. All I would get calling is losers. I changed the ad recently to say Drivers license and transportation REQUIRED. that resulted in call volume dropping to ZERO. I have actually had people expect me to go get them. LOL
     
  9. MountainMow

    MountainMow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    I used to work for a guy that had never had a decent employee. They were "all sorry". In between stops thats what I listened to. He had a list a mile long of sorry employees, and an even longer list about why they were so sorry etc.. I guess hes riding around now telling someone how sorry I was.

    At any rate, I realized that while it is hard to find good help, it is just as hard to find a good person to work for. Being a good employer/boss/supervisor is a skill. Some are able to learn it, and some are not.
     
  10. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,552

    I suppose to be a decent employer we are supposed to let them lay out when they choose, give them 18 bucks an hour, buy them lunch, and let them slack off all day?
    I gave a decent wage for not so hard work (lot of drive time). I dont cuss at them, push them, etc. just ask that they do it right. Most of them said its too hard for them to do. LOL. They wanted me to pay them cash, under the table too which I will not do.
     

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