Maintenance Labor %

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by RBatten, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. mjlcare2

    mjlcare2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 200

    Dang.. I need to find me a new insurance company then.. nobody is covering my workers comp under an umbrella policy.. shoot, I've got to be insured to take a piss these days.. everybody wants to put their hand in my cookie jar!
     
  2. This is exactly what I was thinking. If you can't pay a simple bill, how should you be trusted to lead people? Not the kind of person I would want in charge of thousands of dollars worth of equipment and people's well being....

    I do agree with the business vs. the job. The goal is to have people making money for you. That doesn't mean you can't go out with the crews, but I don't want to be the guy running all the equipment either....

    Here's the thing though, if you have too many employees and not enough work, get you azz back out there....
     
  3. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    Call and ask about a umbrella...I have a feeling that you will figure out that you are covered to the extent that you can/will feel safe should something out of the ordinary happen. A umbrella is just that - it is designed to make sure YOU are covered -hence the name umbrella.

    Lets look at the facts...how many employees do you have? Are you required to have workers comp? What structure is your business? How much liability is your company really at risk for? If you should happen to be sued what assets do you/the company have that they can legally come after in the state of FL? If needed in the dramatic circumstances that something tragic did happen, would it be best for you to file bankruptcy and then open the exact same company under a different Name? IF structured correctly what is your liability.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  4. RBatten

    RBatten LawnSite Member
    from FL
    Posts: 101

    Poet,

    I don't believe I have or am complaing about my labor %. I started this post to get some feed back on my %. The feedback I have received is that it is in line with industry Best Practices.

    Unless I'm missing something 35-45% is good. I won't be able to run 14% labor unless I am the crew with a helper. Thats not what I'm looking for.

    I do agree with the phone thing and I will have a chat with the guys this month.

    Just for the record, my excess labor is hourly so when the work is done, its done. They don't cost me any additional money. So letting them go would not be a good idea. They are trained and work well together. Right now they don't need to work 50hrs a week, they work 35, and thats what they get paid for.
     
  5. mjlcare2

    mjlcare2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 200

    I've got 8 employees, I am required by law to have workers comp, and most of my commercial accounts require it. The other owner and myself are exempt from the W/C. I have to carry a 3mil/2mil general liability policy again because of the commercial places, some are some pretty big and expensive buildings. Legally they could come after everything with the business name on it, shop, equipment, bank accts. whatever they want. The other owner and myself are personally not liable but the business is. I've checked and double checked on the insurance, its what I gotta have.. If we were just doing residential yards, I wouldn't need any insurance.. its not like they ask or even care.. and If I'm doing say a sod or landscaping/ irrigation job and something goes wrong and the whole yard/landscape dies or the irrigation springs a leak or whatever, my insurance would kick in and pay the damages
     
  6. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 43,014


    Mike, I'm confident you will do well in the future with your operation. You are an intelligent man. That said, don't fall into the trap of thinking you have everything figured out. Do that and you will limit yourself.

    There's a world of very high end clients that will not flinch at a $20K per year maintenance budget on their residence. Some, a lot more.

    And that's a world that is extremely profitable....

    .
     
  7. Glad someone on here gets it.....
     
  8. That's what I meant to do the first time.....
     
  9. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    I understand why you are required that amount of insurance and do not be surprised if residential start asking for insurance. I have never had them ask for license or insurance until this year, i actually had two request with the last two months. One stated that she had called many people and many responded but they could never prove they had a license or insurance. As you know proving this is not a hard or time consuming process as you simply call or email your agent asking for proof to be sent and they will take care of it including a hard copy if you want. I always thought that with the cost of basic gen liability most operations had that down here but from the one residential customers input it simply does not sound accurate
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    I do not doubt that market exist T nor that it is profitable or that it can be, but i am sure you would admit that it is a much smaller market with more limitations on obtaining those accounts.
    My complaint was not so much about one style of account of business model as it was against that we are guilty of some lawnboy logic from time to time but in todays market if you are not careful you find yourself in our hot weather do hard work for much less you could make doing a simple mow n blow job. I figure you are smart enough to read between the lines and know what i am referring to.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

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