Solo ???? Or not

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Wright48, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Wright48

    Wright48 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    I had one other guy working with me this past season and i cant tell you that the help wasnt great because it was, but with that comes all the headaches of having an employee the occasional late start call outs checking on his work training ect. also trying to keep him working the whole season. I know that for spring and fall clean ups i will need and extra hand but im just wondering if theres any solo guys out there and how many lawns could you do on averge in a week?

    lets face it the economy is in the shitter and not having to pay someone each week plus all the payroll taxes along with it would be a good thing
     
  2. gasracer

    gasracer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,049

    I have guys that I use "on call". I just use them for the big jobs and do the rest of them solo. I have done every one of my yards solo so I know how long it takes and can plan the day either way. Small 1/4 acre yards you can do 10 a day.
     
  3. loupiscopolandscaping

    loupiscopolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 320

    the good thing about solo is that you can build a STRONG relationship/friendship with your clients...they hired you and they want you on that job!...good for landing jobs, but bad for completing them since your limited
     
  4. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,645

    I appreciate solo work, as I don't have to coordinate and pay workers, and I enjoy a good working relationship with my customers. However, I want to grow and the only way I can achieve that is by having employees.
     
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Sub-contracting is much simpler that 'employee' relationship. Find someone who doesn't need or want fulltime work and is able to be available on a reasonably regular basis. Don't expect that the world is out there to serve you, but run the business in an amicable fashion. A good working relationship with one person, is worth being patient about.
     
  6. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    Employee's are a necessary evil if you want to grow your business but you can also make a decent living working solo. I would say a 4 day work week mowing 10 lawns a day would be a good way to go. That would give you 1 work day and weekend for other jobs like small landscaping or a rain makeup day.
     
  7. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,887

    How long is your work day? Have you ever done more than 10?
     
  8. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    To each his own, but I have to agree with smallaxe and others - sub contracting is the way to go. No worries about keeping them busy...no worries about the extra overhead.
    Think about this - how much more revenue do you have to produce just to pay for your employee? How much did your insurance go up? Did you need to purchase extra equipment? How much more was your advertising cost go up just to gain the extra work? How much more abuse did your equipment take?
    The gap between solo and not is one that should be carefully planned out and not just jump into it.My advise is do clearly look at realistic numbers and is the ROI worth it?
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  9. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,645

    Jeez, I would just hate to rely on the type of person that is willing to be "on call" and has nothing else going for himself. It's hard enough to find a descent, reliable employee that is a regular and wants regular work.
    I don't mean to belittle the people who work for us and make us money, but we're simply not dealing with "type A" personalities in the first place.
     
  10. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    That depends - right now your labor force is as good as you are going to get it, lots of talented people out there without a job because of the economy. Unemployment benefits are running out. The last sod job I did in December, I had a guy work for me that has 12 years of experience in landscape - he has been unemployed for the last two.
    I have a guy down the street that is a foreman for a larger construction company begging me for extra work because he can really use the money for this and that.
    I would guess it would depend on your location and the unemployment rate - but given the country's numbers - I have a feeling that you can find someone with talent if you look hard enough.
    I have a source that is a contractor himself......he has about 40 people on call at any given time.....he gets to look like a good guy for finding them work during their non peak seasons, which works for me.
     

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