Found someone to manage my whole company. Pay?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jau250, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. jau250

    jau250 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    Last year we did about 120, 000 gross with a good net pay. I was mainly running solo with some help with some friends and some sub work. We do absolutely no mowing. I want to get out of the area for a year or so but dont want to give up the business. I found someone to manage the company for me while im away. I will be overseing everything on the books, but he will be taking care of it all. I will be leaving him with everything including two trailers, contacts, tool, and maybe a truck if he doesnt get one.. I plan on paying for any new tools, insurance, payrole, quickbooks, and repairs.
    How much should I pay him? To give him more of an insentive to get more work and work hard I am thinking of giving him a percentage of profit on a per job basis. Has anyone ever done this before? Let me know your thoughts.
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  2. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,287

    With only $120,000 gross revenue do you believe your company is producing enough revenue to support you, your overhead, your "some help with some friends and some sub work" and a full-time hands-on operations manager (or whatever you want to call his job title)?

    After you paid yourself and covered all expenses and overhead, and paid your friends and your subs last year did your company retain a net profit somewhere in the neighborhood of $60,000?
     
  3. 123hotdog

    123hotdog LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 482

    Sounds like you have built a profitable business. Good luck trying to find someone that will grow it with the same drive you have. If you are going to do this and this is legit; you must make this guy a partner at like 35% and make him buy in. I personally would never take a partner or walk away from my business. It's my life. But hey, I understand. To each his own. If you don't find a way to make this guy vested in the business, he can walk away at any time. Get a contract with an attorney and a non-compete clause. This is a battle that I don't think you can win. Keep posting, I'd be interested to see how it goes. I have other business ventures than this that I am getting off the ground and as I doubt it, I could be in the same boat one day.:dizzy:
     
  4. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,446

    I'd say go with the profit based pay so there's not only motivation to work, but you're somewhat protected from ending up upside down on labor. 120k is not enough for a business manager but plenty for 1 employee and what you really need is a babysitter so you have a company to come back to.

    Don't count on it supporting you when you're not working it but your plan is better that shutting down operations for a year or two.
     
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,142

    So what does this business do if you do no mowing.:dizzy: Oh by the way your great idea will not work. Who is salesman and will these part time workers work for this new guy or will they be mad you didn't give them a bigger role.
     
  6. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 916

    Ill bet they wont like it one bit. Oh well, too bad now do what your told!
     
  7. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,716

    40-50k, plus company truck/ phone........
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  8. ColliCut Land Mgmt

    ColliCut Land Mgmt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 139

    Lots of negativity in here...

    First you need to understand how much you profited last year, had you not paid yourself a dime. Then deduct an "efficiency" variable to account for the fact that he will jot be as profitable as you. That's what you'll have to work with for this guy's salary.

    I'd recommend a weekly or biweekly salary that is fair but not excessive, coupled with a performance-based bonus/incentive plan that is calculated and reported to him monthly but not actually paid out until the end of the year. This will keep him aware of how much he'll lose if he chooses not to stick it out.

    It could work, if you stay engaged. Biggest problem is your "absolutely no mowing" approach. Do you have any recurring maintenance-type work or is it all short-term project-based?
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  9. BrandonG

    BrandonG LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    I'm not really sure I could trust someone to be in charge of your very livelihood...as someone said, no one could ever be as dedicated and interested in its success as you are.

    For the job you do, you'd have to pay someone what you profited in order for them to give the same amount of crap about your business as you do - that's why you make the profit.

    How interested will this guy be in adding new business, if he's not going to get paid for it?

    Are you sure he's going to maintain your equipment as well as you, if at all? It's not hard for someone to delve into that "oh well" attitude. If your business is mainly customer service, are you sure he's going to treat your customers as well as you?

    $120k gross a year is really not a whole lot.

    Somebody is going to have to supervise your supervisor, and if you're not there to do that, then you can assume there will be no supervision.

    I'd really think twice before you put your entire business, income and reputation into the hands of another.

    It might end up being something you're going to hugely regret, or it might not. But even if there is a 10% chance of regret, that's still way too high of a chance, that you cannot afford to take. And it doesn't matter who it is. Even if it were your brother, good friend, wife, doesn't matter.

    This is not a risk you want to take.
     
  10. shane-pa

    shane-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 337

    you must make this guy a partner at like 35% and make him buy in


    ABSOLUTELY!

    there is no way I would have a manager with me not there without forming a corporation and force a buy-in. this ties him and forces success or dooms failure. if he fails your business, or insurance liability, or other catastrophe, you have his buy-in money. make this non-refundable if he loses. offer a buy-back when you return. I would also have a no compete clause in case he tries to steal your customers. get a lawyer.

    some things to think about.
     

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