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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by germann, Mar 13, 2003.

  1. germann

    germann LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 259

    How in the world do you work 80 to 90 hours a week? That is like 15 hrs a day, 7 days a week. It's hardly light that long. My customers would be mad, and a rainday would ruin you. An employee working 70 is just as bad. :dizzy:
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Like most of us, you deal with business related stuff 24/7. There is paperwork, billing, payroll, insurances, equipment maintenance, etc. that goes on when your not on customers properties. Its real easy to sink big time hours in.
  3. GraZZmaZter

    GraZZmaZter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 740

    Im behind Hoss on this one. Its easy to sink long hours into your business. I have EASILY logged over 100 hours in a week several times throughout the season.

    Your figures are way off ... 15 hours a day * 7 days is 105 hours. not 80-90.

    Even at my 100 hour weeks i can still have 9 hours and some change per night for free time.

    You need to bust out the calculator.
  4. germann

    germann LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 259

    I can see how you could rack up 100 hrs a week if you include everything you do that is business related. However, It should be avoided. Running short on sleep could cause you to make a dumb mistake. Hope you guys are not doing this regularly.
  5. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    Actually, it's more like 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, or maybe 6 days a week, 15 hours a day. That leaves you just enough time each day to eat, sleep, shower, sh**, and shave.

    But I think anyone who works that many hours is, unless they just really love working (hey, I enjoy this, but not so much there aren't better things I'd like to be doing), p*ssing away their life chasing after money. You rarely hear old men sitting around talking about how they wish they'd romanced fewer girls, had less fun, spent less time with their families and friends, and worked more when they were young. My dad worked those kind of hours. He had a heart attack at 54, and and his knees were shot and he's now looking at knee replacement surgery. He also was a bear to be around, anybody would be who was that busy all the time with no time to wind down.

    You also are obviously going to have problems getting to all your properties if it rains or someone takes a sick day or gets hurt or you have a major equipment failure if you're booked up that solidly. it's not like you can ask the guys to work an extra 10 hours to catch up if they're already working 70. A major source of my new customers is people who are tired of haphazardly timed service by companies that are just too busy to handle things when problems come up, which always do. Eventually you will get "unlucky" weather and staffing conditions and I bet as you get bigger and bigger you'll find much of your customer base eroding away as fast as you gain new business.

    And if your help is working 70 hours a week consistently, you'd probably be better off hiring more people and not paying the overtime. Productivity drops off the more hours one works at a physical task, there's no getting around that. There's working, and then there's PRODUCING. Two very different speeds out there. I have a hard time working with helpers because they are so slow compared to what I'm used to, even when they're not goofing off.

    I see a lot of crews in construction and lawn maintenance working till dark every day. I also see them working at less than half the pace I do in my much shorter work day. I'd rather hustle it up and get the work done in a reasonable work day. 12 hour days, young as they may be, are hard to keep up if you're working fast.

    You also seem to have found some super hard working help, rare these days. By my rough calculations, if these guys are making even $10/hour, that's $400 for the first 40 hours, $450 overtime pay for the next 30 = $850/week. Not bad for seasonal work, but eventually they'll realize that they can work half as many hours on their own and make the same pay.

    My brother is a "sucessful" guy in management in construction. Works long hours at the office, then comes home and handles phone calls in the evening. He makes a great salary and lives in a big home. But he also resembles the walking dead. No interests, hobbies, few friends, no time for anything HE wants to do. He can't carry on a conversation because he doesn't have time to keep up with current events or politics and he's too tired to care. Any tidbit of free time he does have is consumed by family obligations (visiting inlaws, grandparents, etc) and he's 40 lbs overweight because he never gets any excercise. His kids are pretty wild and at least one is emotionally disturbed because he's too busy or tired to give them attention and discipline them. He just seems depressed and going through the motions at family gatherings. So much for modern "sucess".

    If your business model is based on 90 hour work weeks, it may mean your plan won't work with 50 hour weeks and might need some rethinking, unless you want the above as your future.

    There's a whole world out there unrelated to money and work. I feel sorry for those who don't explore it.
  6. jlewis

    jlewis LawnSite Member
    Posts: 140

    A regular day for my "regular" job is 11 hrs including drive time. Currently I am going to PSU 3 nights a week Mon, Tue, Wed. That creates a 16 hr day including drive time. I have not started with my lawns - after work adds 2.5 hrs to my regular day. I am currently finishing a basement on Saturdays - 10 hrs. 80 hr weeks are not unheard of for me. I kiss my daughter (18 months) goodnight on Sunday and don't see her again until Thursday evening. Is it worth it - Nope! I want the degree and that is taking a lot of time right now. I also agree that I can never make good money working for someone else, so I am trying to get the home improvement business of the ground.

  7. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    There is always something that needs your attention when you strive to be the best you can be. Answering customer calls, doing bids, equipment maintenance, paper work etc can really add to your day.


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