Not sure what to do next

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by jeeperscrow, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. jeeperscrow

    jeeperscrow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    I'm in that phase where I am still in the field. I have a couple of people who help me out here and there. One on a regular basis and the other part time, but I still do most of the work. So my question is how do I get myself out of the field? We use my truck to do the work so I don't have an extra vehicle to send folks out in. I'm sort of losing my mind. My business is growing, and I don't have a proper way to deal with the growth. I'm turning down people for work now because I just can't do it all. What would you suggest I do?
  2. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,376

    Contact your local chapter of make an appointment, make a plan and move forward. Your in a holding pattern ATM. Sooner or later you will need to land and decide which direction you want to go.
    Make the decision now and stay on course.
    easy-lift guy
  3. 123hotdog

    123hotdog LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 482

    I am in a similar situation. I have three part time guys. The only one I am comfortable turning loose in a truck is only able to work on weekends. If you have the staff, you only need the equipment.
  4. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    You need to hire one full time guy you can trust and get rid of the three part timers.

    The best way to grow is when you have 50 hours of work a week you hire 1 PT man for 10 hrs. Say two 5 hour days.

    As you grow to 60 hrs you increase him to 20 hr. Continue till he becomes FT. Then as hours increase you add a new PT with the intentions to make him full time.

  5. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Posts: 1,899

    Do you have a business plan? Even the simplest of plans can serve as an aid. For the record, my business plan is only one page yet serves as the platform for my business......and has worked competently.
    There are also many free business plan templates available all over the internet for download.
  6. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,376

    Or he could just contact like I suggested earlier and see about any mentoring programs available. The cost is also free.
    easy-lift guy
  7. Locqus

    Locqus LawnSite Senior Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 708

    Well first off, its a good problem to have as far as problems go! Congrats on peaking!

    I was there as well, and yes we tripped a bit when I stepped out but we recovered.

    Step 1. You need a number 2. Someone almost as good as, or hopefully, better than you at operations stuffs. Can drive, cut a lawn like you want etc. Train and search. This guy is key. Your general is the most important guy. He needs to care about it as much as you do. I brought my managers on as part-owners when I stepped back. IMO you need to have an owner on the ground to run effectively. Obviously this gets blurred when you grow past a certain point. But I digress..

    Step 2. Systems. You need somewhat of a system of checking between the field and back office. Be it texting/calling, Locqus, SAP, or any other software type system. Something that gives your operations guys some accountability and lets you know what work they are performing during the day. Opens you up for quoting and billing etc. Which will be more and more important as you grow.

    Step 3. Double life. Instead of going cold turkey, I went every other day in the field. Then it was twice a week, then once. Then none. A step down process.

    Step 4. Prep for a bumpy beginning. You are the one not doing the actual cutting anymore, so sadly the reputation you have built is somewhat sidelined. Its the new guys you are promoting. If they are good, things will go smoother, but there will always be discrepancies between their work and yours. They will get better with time as well. This one was the hardest for me to realize and deal with, to let go and delegate.

    Not all the steps, but maybe a few hints of helpful stuffs in there. Goodluck! Remember, its a good thing!
  8. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MD/NC
    Posts: 2,299

    Are you a part time or full time business?
    How many hours are you currently working?
    How many hours are the others working?
    Are you licensed/insured?
  9. jeeperscrow

    jeeperscrow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    Full time.

    over the past four months been working about 10 hours a day in the field, then however many other hours once I get home sending out bills/creating invoices/creating schedules/planning/tax stuff etc...Looked at the calendar to see my last month and saw that I had two days off out of the entire month including Sat/Sun...been insane! But insanity is a good thing this time of year!!

    Full time help working about 30 a week part time about 20.

    yes yes (of course!!!!)

    my other issue with this is when winter comes around there's no work for me much less my helpers. Maybe that's why it's so hard to find good help in this business. Because at least for me there is no work in winter. So these guys have to go find another source of income for winter months.
  10. VacaValley Landscaping

    VacaValley Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    Just out of curiosity, what services are you offering? I understand EVERYTHING gets slow during the winter months, there has got to be a legitimate service to offer during down months to stay busy enough. Where we are located, very very dry right now which makes things tough of course, which also brings to the point of wildfire and prevention. I've had elderly folk from the valley call and ask to create firewalls etc, it may not keep an entire crew moving but can keep you afloat

    Best Regards,

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