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Growing Pains

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by howardsells2000, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. howardsells2000

    howardsells2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 355

    My first employee has started this week. So far he is doing really well. I thought about hiring someone all winter and decided to go for it. Even though I thought I was ready for an employee, I'm wondering if its a good idea or not. I really like the help but at the same time I'm worried about making enough money. He needs to be paid every week. But most of my customers get billed at the end of the month. So I'm paying him with my money. Until the money starts rolling in it will be a scary thing for me. Plus I need to match his FICA and MEDI taxes, pay for workers comp, pay my accountant to file some forms every month. It's a bit stressful to say the least. Then it rained this morning so we got a late start, then it started raining again this evening. So we didn't get a lot done today. I think I'm just venting. I need to get about 20 - 30 new accounts in order to make the same money for myself as last year. I'm sure I will get at least that many more as the season progresses but I'm still nervous.

    Just wondering if anyone else has experienced the same thing and did it work out.

  2. Pristine PM

    Pristine PM LawnSite Member
    Posts: 208

    We have doubled in size since last year, but will only make the same amount. Everything that we take on from this point on will be decent though.

    We had to buy alot of equipment to keep up with the extra work, 5 more employees, we are running two more trucks now... fun times!

  3. spazfam

    spazfam LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    We have also doubled in size but I have been holding off on hiring because of many slow bid selections..seems everyone is at a turtles pace here to get their bids out...then once the weather gets nice we will all be scrambling.
  4. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,755

    Ive gone through alot of growth this season also. But in years past I had to hire on new employees and put my salary on the back burner for a while. I went nearly 2 seasons without paying my self an extra dime! Just paying the bills to keep the wheels rolling and paying paychecks.

    Like I have always been told " if it was easy everyone would be doing it" ! so true! I have ruined mine & others credit just trying to keep afloat during rough times when things went slow or LARGE commercial clients were late on payments. Spent alot of nights at the edge of the bed wondering if when I went to the mail box if one of our large corporate checks would be there to pay employees. I guess there always has to be light at the end of the tunnel or none of us would be chasing after these pipe dreams ;)
  5. howardsells2000

    howardsells2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 355

    I keep telling myself that things will be alright. I enjoy reading everyones stories. Thanks for the replies.

  6. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    You have someone working for you now so take some time off and get out and sell your business. Drive through neighborhoods, industrial parks and anywhere else you can think of. Advertise everywhere and look for more work to keep you and your new employee busy. You will be amazed at how much more work you can get done with an employee. Just make sure you are working just as hard at getting more work as you are at doing the work.
  7. howardsells2000

    howardsells2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 355

    My new employee smashed his hand today. Now I'm worried what will happen. He took the rest of the day off and is going to call me tomorrow if he can work. I'm wondering what if his hand is broken. Do I have to pay his medical bills? Hopefully he will be back tomorrow or Monday.
  8. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    Dude, relax already. When you have been through over 160 knuckleheads in five and a half years, well then maybe we can talk.
    As long as you have the appropriate insurance coverage don't sweat the small stuff.
    Employee management is kind of an art, balancing the business needs vs. employee rights/entitlements.
    The only thing I can say on how to manage people, short of being an NCO in the US Army, is to haunt your local public library and read, read, read.
  9. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Management of people is easy. Just remember to take things with a grain of salt, put yourself in their shoes and see if what you're asking of them is reasonable or vice-versa. I've taken 3 or 4 management classes in college, most of it is common sense. I thought I was going to learn a lot attending business and management courses, but I found out that what I've learned in this business in the last 7 years has taught me more about managment whether it be customers, employees, or just general business than sitting in a classroom ever will. Not bashing college, but basic management is super easy. You'll be fine, don't worry about it.

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