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YOUR hours

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by tthomass, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. tthomass

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

    Those of you that own your own business.....do you keep track of your hours? Here is is 2:40am on Monday and I'm just wrapping up a late day. Today is not the norm for a Sunday night but it is for a weekday.

    I typically log 17hrs+ per day to the company Monday-Friday and another 8+ on Saturday/Sunday (conservatively). I no longer can even remember getting off work at 5pm, nor what its like to have time to do anything. This is what it takes for me to be where I am and fortunately I've already begun my withdrawal from field work. Problem is I've gone from one to three crews this year and portions still require me in the field.

    101 hrs+ per week.
  2. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,943

    I used to track my hours. I found I was more efficient and productive when I did, but spring was nuts- time tracking became one more thing to do and I blew it off. I feel you on the hours though. I'm having an outpatient surgical procedure done Friday and I'm not thrilled at losing half a day.
  3. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    And our employees wonder why we might not be all warm and happy to see them each morning.... They get a steady check with no stress, consistent hours. We get a 60 to ? hour long work week with the posibilty of having to write a check to keep working.

    I don't track hours anymore. When it is billable time for a project yes. I do like a little more balance in my life though. We work 4 tens, and that gives me Fridays to chill and be in the office or meeting with potential clients.
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    I dont track my hrs. I work from the time i get out of bed till I get back in bed and close my eyes. I sleep about 5-6 hrs a night. Thats 18-19 hrs / day.

    This is where you stop and do some soul searching and some DEEP thinking about life.

    This has been on my mind since last October.

    And wanna hear somethin funny? On AOL they have news and articles that pop up when you first log on. YESTERDAY they had an article about an attorney. He was a young, rookie attorney. He had won some decent profile cases. Got an innocent man out of prison. He was making $120,000 / year. Working about 80 hrs a week. The article stated that basially equated to him making $40 / hour. Just like contractors - attorneys have billable and non-billable hours. Long story short, he left practicing law and got a job at a university as a law professor. With structured hours and having time to enjoy life.

    You take your hours you work and divide that into what you make a year, and I bet what you make less per hour than a server at a busy restaurant.

    It takes long hours to build a new or fairly new business. If you do not have a plan for the business that at some point entails a way to eventually balance your personal life with your business life - you need to stop and ask if it's really worth it. For us contractors to work such hours is fine and dandy.........until kids come into the picture. It's fine and dandy..........until you meet someone you fall in love with, and after 2 years of you only having Friday nights and Sunday mornings to spend time with that person - that person gets feit up and the relationship becomes strained.

    We have alotta clients that are experts in construction yet they only work 40 hrs a week, and make tripple digits and great benefits. All thanks to the DC area being home to so many facits of the federal gov't...........

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  5. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    I bailed out early one friday last year to go to the shore with my wife and it forever changed how one of my workers views me. He has basically implied on several occasions that he thinks as soon as he leaves on friday some magical party starts where I have caviar fed to me on gold platters, while being fanned by banana leaves, and swimming in hundred dollar bills. Nothing is farther from the truth. Banana leaves are hard to find around here. I have tried to explain to him many times that while he is home watching the world cup I am spending my weekend meeting clients or gathering materials for the next week. They never get it. Also it is good to know your hours to an extent, but dont calculate your wage because you might find you make less than your workers some weeks.
  6. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,322

    I'm in the same boat with you guys, I havnt worked less then 100 hours in a week as long as I can remember. Gets old,real old. Its made me think about going to work for a company like davey or brickman. Become a manager and pull 100k easy. Limited stress,health benefits, shorter week. Makes me think about it while I'm still young. No more broken equipment freak outs to!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    Other career possibilities will be market dependent.

    Take a larger metropolitian area and working for another landscape company as a manager and pulling $75-$100K is very much a very strong possibility.

    Take a smaller market full of mom and pop operators and where the biggest landscape / hardscape company is a 4 crew company - and a manager would probably get $45k-$50k per year.

    Just to be able to come home in the evenings and be able to sit out on the front porch and enjoy the sunset would be a treat for me.

    Also, And I have mentioned this is the past - I know someone that is a manager for a large trucking company. A few weeks ago I iwent to his office. In the parking lot was a brand new Cadillac. I said "who's caddie is that?" He responded "One of the drivers. Our drivers make around $80K per year". They work (5) 10 hr days and they're home every night. Driving a truck - no one looking over your shoulder. No customers to pretend you like. No employees breakin your stuff up. Makes you think.......

  8. tthomass

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

    I don't mind the hours, I'm single too. The "x" used to say things along the lines of "you're the boss, you can do what you want".......hahaha, that's cute.

    I pull the hours for several reasons. For one, there are 7 people that depend on a paycheck from me and some of them have families making that more than 7 people in some fashion dependent upon my efforts. Now, the good news is the business is growing to the point I've begun hiring others to do some of my "stuff" in an effort to reduce my work load. I'm certainly paying my dues, as many of you are, but soon it will finally pay off. It's a great thing to see something grow.

    I do look at this business as a stepping stone but to what I don't know exactly.
  9. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    If I have 5 employees and they have kids - I usually say something like "I have 12 mouths to feed".

    As you get older you get wiser. As you get wiser you start to think "I'm sacrificing quality of life for others"............

  10. AzLawnMan

    AzLawnMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 409

    My thoughts exactly. I am actually sitting on the beach right now in my rented beach house for the week. I told my employees I wasnt going to be in this week and if they thought they could hold the "fort" down while im gone. They actually were happy that I was leaving, they said they will finally get a vacation from me! Anyways, trust your employees and you will live alot easier. If you are hands on with everything that involves your company you will have those long hours. I am at the shop by 530am and home by 3pm most days. My main forman usually locks the shop up and fills me in on any problems over the phone on his way home. I just talked to him and he was taking down a 30ft palm and scheduled an appointment to get the dump truck serviced in the morning, and was emailing me info to bid an install and 3 apartment complexes. Trust is what employees want, give it to them and it will pay you back 10 fold. If thay cant handle it, then your stuck. If an employee ever talks to me about my money or how much he thinks I make, I make it very clear that is not accetable, and next time he will be fired. Works every time. You are the boss and they work for you. Two way street, they have a job and you make a living.

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