Owning your business (help)

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by JCLawn and more, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,287

    Good post.

    You need to hire the people who are the best fit for the company culture you are creating and you need to fire anyone who doesn't fit your culture. You are the boss…you are responsible for hiring the best candidate possible and retaining only the best employees.

    Part of your hiring process should include a minimum of a 90 day temporary employee training/evaluation period. During the first 90 days you need to train and evaluate your temporary employee as you help guide them and prepare them to transition into a position within your company. This 90 day period gives both you and the employee some time to figure out if you two are a good fit for one another. The temporary employee needs to earn a position in your company. Usually, the temporary employee is payed at a reduced rate until he/she earns a position within the company.
  2. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    So then with this heightened expectations of employees we need to provide year around work. How have some of you guys done this?
  3. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,094

    Very good points here! Also, it's obvious that communication is key; and even when we know that to be true we still minimize it.

    Bring your concerns to your employees. Ask them what would help them feel more ownership in the business; more inclined to work harder?

    Chances are they'll say more money...but they might just give you the answer you've been searching for.

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again; expecting different results. Sometimes we have to do things differently...sometimes that's communicating with our employees.
  4. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,287

    Written employee handbooks, employee training manual, detailed job descriptions, policy & procedure manual, reviews & evaluations, warnings, company hierarchy, etc. "Systems" start with documentation.

    You have to hire only the best and retaining only the best.

    You have to train your employees to use your systems and you have to empower your employees to keep the systems under their control as efficient, productive and profitable as possible without sacrificing quality. Then you need to reward your employees when the improve your system.

    The employee needs to take ownership of the systems within their control. You need to release that system to the employee and give the employee all the "tools" they need to be successful at their position. You need to hold your employees accountable and you need to set goals with your employees.

    Read "The One Minute Manager" by Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson as well as the other books in this series. They are all easy reads and they are short and very informative "stories".
  5. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    So with all these procedures, do you think its still possible to stay competitive price wise??? I have a little experience with that from a past job, and it was a time hog.
  6. Efficiency

    Efficiency LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 1,551

    You simply need to budget for it. You likely won't be able to afford it with your 1st or even 2nd hire but as your company grows, you do need to plan to keep your KEY employees on year round. We will keep 4 on full time this winter. Sure, I could save big money and lay everyone off each year but what is the intellectual capital worth with them knowing our processes, systems, and clients knowing them as a critical part of our team?
    Do the filler guys on your maintenance crew need to be full time? No way. You can replace them a dime a dozen. Do your route managers who have direct contact with clients need to be full time? We say yes. Remember that concept of a mission statement? You need to decide who is "mission critical" and be sure to put the right people in those positions and keep them on year round.

    The best thing here is you can make your business whatever you want. I hate reading and like writing even less. But, you must do this or you won't ever see progress.
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    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  7. JContracting

    JContracting LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,878

    That's something I forgot to mention, documentation. Do you track all your working hours? Track the time at each job and who was all there along with what was done, track the amount of time spent on meeting with clients, amt of time spent working om estimates, doing accounting etc. You can't manage what you don't track. Eventually everything you do will be done by someone else who is on payroll and you must know how long these tasks take.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,007

    Good points AW, but if you want to follow those steps, I would add a step seven. Have the employees sign a non solicitation agreement for current customers and employees. If you are hands off and none of the customers know who you are, one motivated employee could hang out his own sign and steal your clients and employees and have a ready made business
  9. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    I have thought of putting main guys on salary plus bonuses so they would have a regular income in the winter. That would be a massive undertaking to save for.
  10. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,287

    Yes. The time you invest up front to lay a solid foundation for a successful business is a longterm investment so do not expect an immediate return on that investment.

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