When to Hire a third Employee

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Greendog, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Greendog

    Greendog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    I've been debating whether to hire a third employee, but dont know if its the right time to do so. I can use a driver but that means more money in overhead. I have about 45 lawn mowing accounts plus get a lot of extra work on the side besides mowing. I do have one problem I need to fix first, and that is to narrow my cutting route. I made the mistake of spreading my self to thin since I started my business two years ago. That, I know will have an impact on my profits once I hire a new employee. I need to figure something out cause last year I didnt even had the time I needed to do other important things, like ADVERTISING ETC...I want to be able to send a couple of guys to work while I do my stuff.

    My question is, is there like a rule of thumb to go by when making desicions like these?
    How tight should I keep my cutting route? In terms of miles.

  2. Daily Lawn/Landscape

    Daily Lawn/Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 694

    Just keep in mind that your profit margine on mowing is very low. Where you make your money is on the added services. Last year I made it a point to not be out mowing personally. I had 1 crew do that while myself and another part time helper went and did the oter jobs, which i did 21/2 days a week. The rest of the time I worked on the business.
    As far as tightening up your route, it all depends on what kind of money your making on the job. For instance, I had a customer 20 miles out that just wanted us to come in and do all the string trimming on their 7 ac.property. I would send 3 guys with trimmers for 1 hour and billed $275.00. Was good money, but dropped her in 09 because I picked up a larger, more profitable job in town. The tighter the route, the more profitable.

  3. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 6,462

    A 3rd guy for 45 accounts? Are these real large accounts or something?
  4. Greendog

    Greendog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Not really. The problem is that there is a lot of travel time plus the extra work that comes, in resulting in less production on a weekly basis for me and one guy. Like I said bfore, some accounts are spread thin. I'm thinking of droping a few to cut travel time.:confused:
  5. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    Not knowing your numbers, but I definately couldn't afford hiring a 2nd guy, let alone a 3rd, with only 45 mowing accounts. I'm at double that number, plus the extra work with myself and one full timer, and cant see hiring a 3rd crew member until we are maxed.
    Just my 2 cents.
  6. Greendog

    Greendog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    How many days does it take you to cut all your accounts? You must have a tight route and big cutting decks.
  7. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,131

    You are only able to mow 10 lawns in a day? That's not good.
  8. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    Agree with what everyone is trying to beat around the bush NOT to tell you.

    with 3 guys at 10 a day. soundl like you need to configure your routs. instead of hireing more employees. the issue is MANAGMENT NOT employees.

    makes more sence to drop a few customers or try to pick up a few more in those areas.

    Best of luck to you
  9. Greendog

    Greendog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Thanks for all of your imput guys!:usflag:
  10. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    We arent at exactly 90, actually in the high 70's plus a few EOW's and some once in a whiles thrown in. We mow commercials on Monday, do other jobs on Tuesdays, then mow all residentials on Wed, Thurs and Friday. Use Tuesdays and Saturdays for make-up days if foul weather or sick. Most weeks we will get all lawns done during the week and work 1/2 day on Saturday doing other jobs. Monday is a mix of small and a few large commercial accts, we mow 9 total. The rest of the week we mow at least 20 per day. (To date, our best day is 31)- And yes, our route is pretty tight, we run a 61" ZTR, 52" walk behind w/ proslide and a 36" walk behind on a few smaller lawns, but most of our lawns are 1/2 acre plus. We have several stops of 5 or more lawns side by side.

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