Need advice on hiring a landscape designer

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by peck, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. peck

    peck LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    I need some advice on hiring a landscape designer. My company has experienced steady growth in our landscaping sales. Right now i have a maintenance crew and a landscape crew and have to juggle guys from the maintenance side to help with landscaping. I am thinking of hiring a landscape designer that we have used for all our landcape designs. He would be our designer/foreman for all of our landscape projects. This would free myself up to expand other business ventures such as our landscape supply company. What are typical structures for as far as pay and commissions that you guys out use. I was thinking salary plus commissions. But i wanted to check with you out there that have been through this for the first time by bringing on a landscape designer full time. Any help would be appreciated. We are about a $700,000+ a year company. 1/3 snow plowing. 1/3 maintenance and 1/3 landscaping. I started a landscape supply store 2 years ago and have had alot more people asking for landscaping and believe that this field will expand very nicely. i just want make the right moves and not overextend myself with trying to do it all with out the right help. Any suggestions and advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,938

    When you say foreman, do you mean on the jobsite running the crew and working on the install all day?
     
  3. peck

    peck LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    Overseeing the job, laying out elevations, plants etc. Guiding the crew through his plan from start to finish.
     
  4. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,938

    So more like project management? That makes more sense. I was going to say, if he's on site all day, each day - when do designs and sales happen? PM makes more sense, as long as your crews are solid and have a good crew leader so they don't need babysat. Unless you're working a really tight geographic area I can't see a designer getting to the site every day on a big job. If the guys are laying 2k sq ft of pavers they shouldn't need the designer once layout and grades are established.

    I've worked for several companies doing design/sales/project management. Everything I've done was straight commission, 7-15% (depending on the company) of the installed total. 10% seems to be pretty standard across the board if there's no base salary. Based on what you said, though, about the installs accounting for 1/3 (so approx $250k) - that's tough. Or is the designer also going to do maintenance sales?
     

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