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Not sure what to do next

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

  1. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MD/NC
    Posts: 2,292

    Working that amount is crazy. When I set my business up, I wanted "family" time, and came up with mowing Mon-Thurs, leaving friday and sat open for rain. If it doesn't rain, then we do our upsells-mulch, shrub trimming, etc.

    I'm not the best at giving advice, I did things backwards and took a HUGE risk. Hopefully I can help a little. Are you financially OK with stepping back and letting them take over? Your payroll is going to go up with them covering for you, which may mean less money for you. You'll also need to buy another truck for them. If thats the case, you can fill their schedule and you pick up the slack on the rest of the work you would otherwise be turning down. A key thing to remember is they will never do the work as you do...quality and time wise. If none of that will work out for you, maybe look into efficiency and reschedule/readjust what your doing now to add more lawns per day with the crew you have until you can save enough to step back.

    Don't get too caught up on your employee's. If they like working for you and like their jobs, they will do what they need to make money. Whether they pick up second jobs, weekend jobs, spouse makes enough where they don't have to, in college, it doesn't really matter. The off season is the same as well...I had one guy who became a bartender. He applied for the job a month before our season ended.

    I think my best advice would be to get another truck, keep the 30 hour employee working 30 hours, and send someone out with him. You pick up the extra slack, get another helper if you need it. This way they are only working 30 hours, so you can get a feel for it, adjust accordingly on things, change policies of need be, and fill their schedule. Worst case, if it doesn't work out, you can go back to doing what you are now.

    This year was my first time sending guys out on their own. It's been quite a challenge, but I have everything dialed in to where it should be. For example, I started out paying hourly, caught them milking the clock like crazy. They really had the "I'm in it for me" attitude. After I changed them to incentive (Commission based off the daily sales of the route), the BS stopped. I had a turnover in crew, fired one guy after 5 days, and have a new crew. Wouldn't change it for the world.

    If you decide to step aside and let them take over, I'd suggest starting it next year. With the season half over, you can make policies/procedures and work on everything in the off season. That way you start fresh next year with a gameplan in place.
  2. Locqus

    Locqus LawnSite Senior Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 708

    "If you decide to step aside and let them take over, I'd suggest starting it next year. With the season half over, you can make policies/procedures and work on everything in the off season. That way you start fresh next year with a gameplan in place."

    solid advice as well. Big changes should be handled in off season if possible.
  3. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,472

    Raise your prices.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. BeastMowed

    BeastMowed LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    working ON your business instead of IN your business is the biggest step you can take. You will never make any real money doing the actual work. There just isn't enough hours in the day. You have to leverage your employees to make you money. Once you have that down, you can scale it up and then you can make a comfortable living. It's much easier said than done, but its possible. Good Luck
  5. jeeperscrow

    jeeperscrow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    Yeah I was already thinking this would be my winter homework. There's no way I can make a bunch of changes right now. I was just trying to get advice as to what to do. Things really grew for me this year, which is great of course, but they managed to grow a bit too much and I wasn't ready for the whole dealing with employee thing. It's very hard for me to find someone who will do the work the way I want it done in a timely fashion. So it gets to the point where I'm like what am I paying it for I'll just do it. Then I realize it's hard to do it all myself. Really going to spend a lot of time over the winter on this and a good business plan.

    Thank you for the great advice!
  6. jeeperscrow

    jeeperscrow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    I offer regular maintenance, then gutters, pressure washing, clean ups, pine straw, mulch etc. I am not licensed to spray yet, but that is also part of my winter homework to get the license. That might help a little in winter. I basically had no work in January and February this year, (I was even applying for work around town because I hadn't saved well for winter last year...doing much better on that this year) then March hit and things blew up.
  7. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 896

    Start with the above advice.

    You are working in your business if you are pushing a spreader, running estimates or making A/R calls. You are working on your business attending a seminar, reading a business book, facilitating a strategy meeting...don't confuse providing indirect labor and stepping away from the company.

    You will be spending a great deal of time working "in" your business until the 20 employee or 1 million mark - different for everyone, but those numbers tend to be when you need to have structure and processes in place or you tumble back hard.
  8. southerntide

    southerntide LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Alabama
    Posts: 5,997

    once your register as LLC and if you drop back to solo you're stuck in LLC tax category keep that in mind
  9. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,110

    Llc or sole propertieship doesn't matter when you're solo. You'll be taxed the same

    If you inc it'll be different
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. jeeperscrow

    jeeperscrow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 288

    It's funny b/c I actually dropped my prices to start this season to gain more customers. That plan worked very well. Now going into the next season I will be raising my prices :)

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