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New worker going solo for first time!!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by dtelawncare, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. dtelawncare

    dtelawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    Yesterday my worker started going out by himself. I still ahve my full time job, and business is growing well. He has been working with me and doing a great job. He worked yesterday and today by himself and did fine. He had a schedule to follow and had a place to put actual times and notes. My nerves were jumpy at first, but now I feel good about it. I will make a little less at first though. I feels good to make about $150 a day without showing up at a customers place. Now I need about 5 days a week of it. After reading the post by Jim Lewis I made the decision to take the chance on someone else handling more things.
     
  2. Bustus

    Bustus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 181

    That must be a very fulfilling feeling. Just make sure you keep your employee happy so he doesn't leave you and start his own company anytime soon.
     
  3. dtelawncare

    dtelawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    I am going to try and do just that. I don't have a full week of work for him yet, but I am trying. Now that he will be doing most of the manual work I can get to advertising and stuff. He has been putting cards out at several places. He understands that the more I make, the more he makes. And Yes it feels very fullfilling.
     
  4. dtelawncare

    dtelawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    I am going to try and do just that. I don't have a full week of work for him yet, but I am trying. Now that he will be doing most of the manual work I can get to advertising and stuff. He has been putting cards out at several places. He understands that the more I make, the more he makes. And Yes it feels very fullfilling.
     
  5. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124


    I hate to burst your bubble but it won't last. He will either do it on his own or quit or milk the clock or a combination of all three.

    Just how much will this guy gross in sales per day? 250 - 350???

    You pay him how much??? 10/hr = 120-150 a day with taxes.

    How much does it cost you to run your business for the day??? 100-175

    How much is your salary for your work behind the scene??? 50 - 100 a day???


    Bottom line __________________________________ You will lose money.


    I wish you the best and hope you make money but I think you should crunch some numbers first.


    kc
     
  6. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I actually discussed this scenario myself with Jim Lewis...

    Really, you can't do it all, work in the field all day, do estimates, paperwork, etc. Something has to be delegated.

    With the time to devote to the business end of it, it should work out well.

    I may even go this route later this year, something has to give, I'm passing up work because I'm too busy in the field to do estimates. Definitely by next season :dancing:

    Keep us updated on your progress...
     
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830

    It gets even crazier, later on....

    This year was the first year I made my second big leap. The first big leap was like 8 years ago when I hired my first employees and starting sending them out to do the manual labor and went into the business management side of things. That has been a big learning curve.

    But this year I took a much bigger leap and hired a LOT of extra support staff. Some of you maybe read the [long] email about that earlier in the year. Well, since then it's gotten even crazier. First I hired people to handle 80% of the work I used to do. Office staff, a maintenance manager, an irrigation manager, construction foreman, etc. So the theory was that I would be less busy because I had delegated 80% of what I used to do, in terms of management stuff. But what happened is we actually ended up growing like crazy! So much so that all of the people I hired to do what I used to do are all working 50 hours each week and I am working 60! Go figure that one! We're now hiring helpers for them!! Unreal.

    My new goal is to replace myself entirely. Which will take another few years. To train someone to bid and manage the larger installation jobs is what is so hard. But I have a guy who is up for the task and I think he can do it.

    Anyway, just wanted to chime in and say congrats for those of you taking the leap to grow your business and move into management. And beware, the NEXT step is even more crazy. But in a good way. Money is rolling in finally. A little less stress than previous years. And a lot more money.
     
  8. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 562

    i too was stressed about sending a guy out. What was to keep him from going it on his own?

    Well, lots of things that are pretty easy for me, that most people flat won't do. Bidding jobs. MOst people HATE bidding, let alone don't have the experience to do it.

    Borrowing money to buy equipment. Most people that work for 15 an hour CAN'T borrow the money to buy equipment.

    Cash flow. Most people making 15 an hour can't afford to do the work this week, and get paid at the end of the month. It really was surprising.

    I was a computer consultant for 15 years before doing this. I saw a LOT of small businesses, in a lot of different arenas. It always seemed to me that all small businesses reach a maximum size. This size is DIRECTLY related to teh comfort level of the owner. All owners have a size they are comfortable with, and all owners limit the size of their company in one way or another.
    Only the owner can do bids. Lawns can only be mowed if owner is there. The owner reaches organizational maximum to where they don't return phone calls for bids in a timely manner.

    For sure I am guilty of this.

    regards,
    doug
     
  9. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    Keep it up. I have been doing it for 5 years now. I work FT as a mechanical engineer and have a guy that works for me full time. Finding the right person is key. I have had my share of bad eggs and lost some good ones at the start of the next season. I have a good one now and things are going really smooth. I will never make a killing but I only average about 250 hrs per season and clear about 12k before taxes. A bit better than my other job and I get to be outside and have the luxury of writing off a lot of stuff that gets used "solely" for business purposes. My FT job pays way too much to ever make working solo landscaping. Plus all the benefits that come along with it.
     
  10. emil35

    emil35 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    Thats great you did that. I would like to be able to do that soon, seeing I have college next fall. Maybe you guys that have done it can help me out so I too can stop "working the fields" as you could put it
     

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