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When to hire an employee??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 2k1yzfr1, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. 2k1yzfr1

    2k1yzfr1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    I have been doing lawn maintenance for about 5 years now, but just in the past year I have got to the point where I can't do it on my own without some part time help. I'm mowing about 70-75 properties at the moment and I'm pretty much maxed out without hiring someone else. My only employee (my 15 y/o brother) just started back to highschool today and now I'm solo until 3:45. For the past couple years I have been paying him $6 a yard which most of my yards with my current equipment averages him about $14-$18 an hour. I keep purchasing faster equipment to keep up, but I'm at the point where I've got the best mower for almost every yard (except a 44" for the 48" gates, but the 36" isn't that much slower.) I'm kinda stuck in the point where I can't get anymore work b/c I don't have help, but I can't get help b/c I don't have any extra work. So my question is when did y'all get to the point where you decided to have 1 full time employee help you out?? :confused:
  2. spin2098

    spin2098 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 131

    well I don't know your whole sitution. One thing you have to look at is can you keep up on your own? If you can then don't hire someone else. However your not going to be able to grow much more. When I was cutting 40 yards I had someone helping me. It just made my life so much easier and less stress. With 70 plus yeards I would look for someone maybe 2 days a week. That will help you out and allow you to expand a bit more. That is just my opinion.
  3. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    It's a tough step, but you have to get the employee. Get them oriented to your ways, procedures, etc.. You can and will have to actively pursue more work then at that time. It's just the way of business.
  4. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    Sounds like to me with 70+ yards a week (if your not under pricing them) you should be able to hire someone else and not worry about paying them. If you don't have enough work right now to hire a full time person do it any way and put them to work helping you advertise when you aren't mowing. whatever your decision is, good luck and let us know what happens. I think it will take some stress of of your back if you got someone to hep you though. I'd hate to think I have to do 70 yards each week by myself.
  5. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Posts: 1,405

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do...
  6. 2k1yzfr1

    2k1yzfr1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    If need be I could do it all on my own, but I really like having some help. During this summer with my brother and I were able to mow on average 50-55 yards a week in about 25 hours. I remeber a good friend of mine telling me we need more work so we can get to a 40 hour week, but I didn't want to take on anymore yards with the thought of what do I do when my help goes back to school. Another thought I had next year was to drop every yard that's not weekly and just take 35 yards and do them myself and let my brother branch off on his own since he'll be 16 then. If I did that I would be cutting my pay by 35-40%, but I would have 35 nice non PITA yards, everyone on a set schedule, and no money going out to employees.
  7. 2k1yzfr1

    2k1yzfr1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    I haven't underpriced a yard in 2 years, actually I'm atleast $12-$20 more per month than most cutters in the area. I'm not cutting 70 yards a week b/c I still have the 10 day and 14 day crap I've had for 4-5 years that needs to be done away with. Find the work isn't really a problem since I have been turning it down for the past 5 months by just overbidding. I think I shouldn't have any trouble finding work since this past year we passed out about 800-1000 door hangers in March that got atleast 20 weekly yards. I guess it is just that I'm scared to get to the point where I have to rely on employees. It seems like every employee I've tried in the past has never been up to my expectations (except my brother).
  8. spin2098

    spin2098 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 131

    the employees never will be you and you have to remember that. Teach as best as you can but nobody in reality will ever live up to your expectations I found that out first hand.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    You need more work to pay a helper-- You need a helper to get more work. This is the hardest part of going from solo to crew as the first one will take a huge precent of you income and at first you will not be making any more money. And at first it may even take you longer to do the work because you have to train them.
    You have to make a decision now that you want to be solo or run crews. If solo than start raising prices and you will be making more money and some jobs will drop so you will have less to do.
    If you want to run crews it appears that you are at the point that it is time to hire. Hate to say this but it would have been best to hire when you bro. was still with you as than you could have been training and production would still be happening. Go to Baylor's job board and see if you can get some part time help.
    Do not pay them too much until they can earn their keep. Good luck with it and remember--Hire Slow, Fire Fast..

    By the way, I lived in a State park not too far (Mexia) from you for a while. You live in a real nice town.
  10. 2k1yzfr1

    2k1yzfr1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    PMLawn what's your name?? Just wondering b/c I sold a mower to someone in Mooresville NC a couple months ago.

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