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When did you add employees and stop running solo?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by JohnsonLawn, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. JohnsonLawn

    JohnsonLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 400

    This is my 7th season in business, running part-time the first 4 seasons and then turning it to a full time thing. I have noticed that the past 2 years I have seemed to gross around the same amount and this year I appear to be on track to be close to the same amount. I am always working my ass off, but never seem to get caught up and always feel like I am making clients wait longer than they should to get work finished. I also pass on alot of new work, as I just do not have time to take it on. I have often thought of hiring 1 person to make things easier on myself, but to be honest I am afraid of making that step. I am a control freak and letting go of the reigns a little scares the life out of me, but I am getting the feeling that I have hit the proverbial wall as a solo and need to make a move in order to start making better money and grow my business. I am also afraid of all the added costs and responsibilities that come with having employees and fear that once I have them I will not be able to keep them busy all the time. Guys, I am really starting to feel burnt out and very stressed about not getting work done it a timely manner. I hate feeling like I am letting customers down, though they never complain, I am not meeting my goals I have set for them. I could really use some good sound advise right now as I feel like things are starting to get a little out of control. Thanks in advance fellas.
  2. Ric3077

    Ric3077 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,113

    I know exactly what you are talking about I was the same way...I did everything myself and was booked out 2-3 months with projects...after the 1st year I realized I needed to get a full time helper...it was a great move...now everything goes much quicker. And if I get a mower stuck...it sure is easier getting it out with another guy there! Where a helper really comes in handy is the landscape end of things. We are about 50/50 with mowing and landscaping and the jobs just get done so much quicker with that help. Now I am needing to add another crew which is again a bit scary as I won't even be on the jobs at all I will have my own crew doing work and a second doing other jobs...
  3. Prolawnservice

    Prolawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 612

    I look at it like this, If you currently are working 80 hour weeks, then there is more than enough work for another full time guy. If you have four full time guys working 50 hours, then Its time to hire another one and so on. Its easy if you have the work, why kill yourself, spread it out.:waving:
  4. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Add guys. Once i added guys i got a little lazy. But its a good lazy.
  5. JohnsonLawn

    JohnsonLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 400

    That is just it, some months I cannot keep up at all, but then others the work load is lighter and I keep up fine. I still am not able to take on other work, especially bigger projects.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I add a person when the 35 hour workload per week increase is substantiated
  7. firefightergw

    firefightergw LawnSite Gold Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 3,340

    I ran into the same thing my first year. I went out on a limb and hired another person, part time. One of the best decisions I've made. Bringing on another person pays for itself. I found that when I was busy, I turned work down because I was behind and then when I would get caught up I would be fine. However, bringing on another person allowed me to take on more work and because I accepted a lot more jobs I didn't have the up and down thing going. I was busy all the time. When I got too busy and started turning work down again, I hired guy number two and so on. You really don't start making good money, at this, until you can start billing for the work of others.
  8. bullethead

    bullethead LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 273

    About a month into our first year.
  9. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    yup.... been RIGHT THERE, Hired some helo and this kid burned me.... " Long story "

    a little gun shy now. but I have been working my fool self to death.

    I'm in the process of moving things around and going to bring on a GOOD helper as quickly as I can
  10. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    Hire him!! The more man hours you can bill out for the more money you will make.

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