Winter

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by tthomass, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    What are your winter plans concerning business? This is only my second winter and worked straight through last winter with only about 2 weeks of dead time.

    I am heavily considering closing for January for reasons including:
    -burned out, need time off and want to see the folks/work around the house
    -organize and construct an extremely more effective filing system including Quickbooks. My older brother will be handling that.......his talent, NOT mine.
    -network
    -seminars
    -constructively organize the business reguarding what I want to do, where I want to go and how I will get there
    -employee handbook........lay down the law
    .......and a lot more stuff but you get the idea

    I want to hire a true foreman this spring and do not see that really being an issue. More of an issue will be the guy that has worked for me for the past 16 months most likely won't take kindly to being his assitant.....things just aren't clicking for him as I had hoped. He's a friend of mine (problem #1) and may ultimately have to let him go so that the business will continue to grow constructively.

    Once I have this foreman I will of course want to keep him. I can't lay him off in the winter, I don't see that being a healthy business decision. What do you do in the winter with your 'key' guys? I don't want busy work just to keep such a person busy as I see that also being an unhealthy business decision. I also don't want to pay someone to sit at home for a month doing nothing. What do you do?
     
  2. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    unemployment? i know a lot of guys, especially masons look forward to the time off and collecting.
     
  3. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    I just don't know if it is viewed favorably. I do see your point. I may be thinking more of if I lay off someone they may go shopping for another job.
     
  4. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Inside stone work!
     
  5. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    It IS a seasonal job you know. You guys will see all too soon that it's not all about keeping your guys busy. Winter is the time to do exactly what you listed. Get away, go on vacation, attend seminars, and get together with your crew and analyze what worked what didn't and get a solid game plan together for the seaon to come.

    We do snow work and interior work in the winter, but it's something occasional not 5 days a week. Hibernation time, enjoy life.
     
  6. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,636

    If you are a business owner you cannot collect unemployment in Canada. Can you in the states?
     
  7. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    not as a business owner, as far as i know. i was referring to his employees, at least the ones he want to hang on to. most guys who take this kind of work understand that it is seasonal work. some of my guys have had jobs at home depot over the winter. the bottom line is if you take care of them during the season and they like the work, they come back in the spring.
     
  8. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    TThomas- You could just load up all your tools in 'Blue' and come work for Team Rusk in our tent city and keep the guys busy. You might learn something from us jersey guys.
     
  9. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    Yeah but when your backlog dries up from us being there for a couple weeks then what? :)
     
  10. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    We will BBQ or something then!:drinkup:
     

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