Hiring help, how much to pay?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by dmk395, Nov 2, 2002.

  1. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 1,003

    Right now I am a young owner-operator who wants to grow. Currently I have a few partimers who are terrible......but then again I get what I pay for. Is it worth paying out $15 an hour (for instance) for someone good, or hire 2 that arent as good or reliable for the same money (hoping one shows up), hoping that one day one of these guys changes? Its probably a no-brainer if I can get the work....just curious what some would say.
     
  2. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,309

    I have one guy that I use and I pay him more than I would just someone off the strret. He knows what he is doing, busts his butt all day and is very reliable. I'd rather pay a little more and getting someone good than have the headaches of less qualified people. Your customers will judge you by the work they do.
     
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I start new people at $12 an hour. After a week or so of getting to know what's to be done, I bump them up to $15 an hour. If they haven't learned the ropes within 2 weeks, it's "hasta la vista, baby"

    I'm pretty good at knowing who will make it and who won't. Oh, crew leaders make $20 an hour BTW and they know I go ape s*** over call backs. I think this year we had a total of maybe 3?

    I think John Allin is totally right...you do get exactly what you pay for.
     
  4. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 1,003

    Rodfather,

    To be profitable what do you have to bill somebody out for (average) per hour to be profitable. If I were to hire someone at $15 per hour, with half of paid health insurance, would $40 per hour be enough?
     
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I bill them at $65 an hour. Let's remember one thing...out of an 8 hour shift, you are only billing them on the average for about 5.5 hours. We've done spreadsheets and those are the numbers we have come up with.

    I know this topic has been on LS before too.
     
  6. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    I will not work if I cant get at least $45 a manhour. I do try to get $65 though.

    I will pay a man $10 an hour off the street no matter what experience he says he has. After I see results I will raise his pay according to his skills and productivity. I would top out a crewman at $15 hrly. Crew leaders start at $15 off the street and go up according to leadership and productivity.
     
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Green Pastures...is that who I think it is under your name? If so, you picked a beaut.
     
  8. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 1,003

    So roughly you both look for about $350 per day per man?
     
  9. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    No, I look for $520 or 8 x $65, however that is not always possible, so I will not work for less than $360 or 8 x $45.

    Just cant pay the bills AND make a profit if I'm not getting at least that much. I learned the hard way it's better to sit home and work on maintaining equipment or work on getting a new flier together or getting your quarterlies together than to be out there in the hot sun working for less than what you're worth.

    I've determined in my mind that I'm not going to let customers and scrubs dictate my pricing and my company's policies to me. If you want to deal with a reliable, dependable, clean cut, quality job doing, non drunken, non pot smoking, insured, licensed, tax paying, trained, schooled landscaper who can spell, and hold intelligent conversations without tobacco juice dribbiling down my chin..........these are my prices. This is not the thrift store, the prices are NOT negotiable.

    When the plumber comes to your house do you tell him what youre going to pay......NO, you suck up and give the man his $65(+) an hour.

    If we, and I mean ALL OF US TOGETHER, would stick to our guns, and for GOD'S sake quit undercutting and bad mouthing each other, we could routinely collect $65 an hour just like the plumber. Think about that one for a while.

    Just my opinion.......
     
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Exactly...or more if possible.
     

Share This Page