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Hiring help

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by CutsForLess, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. CutsForLess

    CutsForLess LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    Well I am at the point where I have to stop taking customers or hire some help. My schedule is full and I still have calls coming in everyday so lately I have just been turning down work, I would like to wait till next season to hire someone, that way I can get some more equipment and run a full time crew other than myself. I really like to work alone so I was thinking of hiring two people and giving them a truck and equipment and maybe 35% of all the acoounts they take care of. Tell me what you think.
  2. Laner

    Laner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 327

    I have had employees for the past 4 years. I work a full-time job besides my lawn care business, so I know that I cannot take care of all the properties on my own. Which is why I hired employees. My biggest problem has been finding the right people that are willing to do seasonal work. We also do snow removal, but when we are in drought periods during the summer and winter, we don't have a great deal of work to fill-in, so they start looking for something else to do. I have paid hourly in the past and have had very good workers that work hard and fast to get the jobs done and give them bonuses each year. The last couple employees definitely slowed down to earn more money for less work, so thier bonus reflected that last year.
    I am looking for more employees and wondering what is the best method of pay for them, such as hourly, by the job, percentage of each job?

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I would be a LOT more comfortable if I were you, to hire someone now, train 'em, and if you find a good worker, they can run the second crew next season. Just hiring two guys and turning them loose probably won't work out well. At least you would have the one guy trained to do things your way.
  4. westwind

    westwind LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 444

    You will lose quality control! Look at you equipment first, are you the most efficient one man crew out there? If not, take those steps first. Example: Consolidate your route, less windshield time. Are you running stander or z machines? These will improve your route times with a lot less money out the door. Consider all the costs of an employee, tax, insurance, soc. sec. etc....
    Expend all other avenues before hiring an employee. Your profits on one worker should vastly out-weigh his wage and the cost of the equipment he is using. If you do find that a worker is the right choice, do not let him out of your sight. Quality control is the name of the game. Good luck!
  5. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 43,014

    Well said.

    You may also consider raising your prices.
  6. Grass Happens

    Grass Happens LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    Its all about systems and accountability. Before you hire someone, talk to an accountant to figure out how much a 10$/hr employee REALLY costs. Your not planning on paying cash under the table are you? Check references, and do a back ground check. If they lied to you on the application, what else are they going to lie to you on? Set up systems to ensure quality.
    I have been debating on trying to figure out a flat-rate system, a-la auto-shop style. Anyone try this?
    Just remember, most theft is an inside job....
  7. rudeboy

    rudeboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    what part of Texas you in
  8. CutsForLess

    CutsForLess LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    Im in Longview Texas which is in the northeast part. We finally have had plenty of rain this year for a change, last year at this time I was mowing dirt. LOL

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