How to get out of the truck?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by exmarkking, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. exmarkking

    exmarkking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    so it's me and 1 helper servicing 52 weekly properties. I drive the truck and run the mowers, he does all the trimming, blowing, spraying ect. I would like to get out of the truck and start growing the business, but it can't be as easy as hiring another guy and walking away. What sets did you go through to accomplish this? Did you make more money once you made this move? Was it worth it? There are so many things to think about when you turn someone loose with your truck, equipment and customers.
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  2. CollegeMowers

    CollegeMowers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    I would start transitioning slowly. I was in your position a while ago but remember two years following where our profits were the same because I was out doing less of the physical labor and more office work.

    Make sure your helper is trained to be an effective crew leader and knows your expectations on a customer service and workmanship level. Then start taking a day or two off per week. You can supplement the loss of profit by going out on irrigation service calls or doing other work. It is going to feel like your doing this in vain for a while until you are able to get back those profits and grow.

    Another thing i noticed is my pricing was sufficient for my business model at the time (me and two helpers) but once I started to transition out of the labor I noticed my pricing would not support my desired business model. I then started pricing everything by the hour (although i wont always give the customer our hourly rate).

    So my advice; transition slowly, save a majority of your money to help with growth, make sure your pricing things now for your future business model.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  3. exmarkking

    exmarkking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    Yeah I figured I would have to take a pay cut for a while. It's getting to be to much for me to be in the truck all day and do business stuff all night. Plus we have reached our max as far as taking on new customers. Do u feel lil it was a good move for u?
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  4. CollegeMowers

    CollegeMowers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    I make a lot more money now and have not lifted a rake or shovel (besides purchasing a brand new one) in about 3 years.

    I think it really just depends on your desires. I do not want to be a 50 year old contractor who has a bad back and knees. Also, I am a way better manager/employer than a laborer. My guys can do a way better job than I can.
     
  5. CollegeMowers

    CollegeMowers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    I have buddies who LOVE being out in the field doing the work and do not want to deal with the stress of managing a bigger business.
     
  6. Groundworxky

    Groundworxky LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Just make sure you trust your soon to be crew leader and be sure he's going to run a tight ship in your absence.
     
  7. exmarkking

    exmarkking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    I don't want to be wore out at 50 either. I would definitely have to ride around and check quality, talk to customers, estimates ect.
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  8. CollegeMowers

    CollegeMowers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    For sure. I put all of my crew leaders on a commission and it has worked flawlessly.

    They get a base rate per account if the job is done and then they get and exceptional rate if the job is done to our standards (meets a list of criteria).

    This way they are motivated to move quickly because they make more money the more they get done. They are also motivated to do a really good job because their is a big difference in pay if they get the "exceptional rate". I also make a commission chart for up-selling services (mulch replenishment, seasonal color, etc...)

    I then give them an hourly rate for the year for side projects, seasonal clean-ups, etc..
     
  9. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    One idea is maybe go ahead and hire another guy. You can ride along or drive. Don't do the work, just oversee. Do this for a few months. I know it sounds dreadful. Maybe bring your computer and play office work in the truck.

    Just an idea. Then when you trust the guys, let go
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  10. exmarkking

    exmarkking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    I'm still scared of the thought of it though. I mean I have worked so hard to get it where it at, and consider the equipment my own whereas when you turn the guys loose with it, its not going to be kept as nice
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