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Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by grassmonkey0311, Oct 11, 2018.
What is ( calling off ) ?
I run 2 solo crews,
And 1 - two man crew.
We do bigger property's so a two man crew is good fit for those.
Property's are split in half basically for the two man crew. Each guy responsible for their sections.
Trimming mowing blowing. Not much windshield time. At most 30 minutes per day or less.
The 2 solo crew's do property's that are farther out of town but are larger yet. 80% mowing 20% trim and blow.
I'm one of the solo crew's.
The 2 man crew is not quite as efficient, but they also do multiple stops. And a few residential property's.
If one of them calls in sick then it just turns into a solo crew that day. And I can jump on some of those property's to keep them on schedule if need be.
Calling off work...some say calling in...
What makes them not quite as efficient?
I've had most all of what you described above. I've had guys say "if I have to work with him alone ever again I quit"
I've had very important jobs scheduled for a day where I need all hands on deck and one guy calls out that ruins the plans and throws the rest of the weeks schedule off.
I've had a vacation planned for me and the family for Friday-Sunday and I need all my guys there to get work done and someone calls in sick which I go into panic mode! I can't have a relaxing vacation knowing that all the work isn't going to get done that week and that I will likely get phone calls while on vacation about missed services.
That's why I at least want 2 guys in each truck. IF one calls out sick the other can at least get out and get something done.
I've considered having 2 2 man crews mowing all week. One 2 man crew trimming shrubs & doing upsales work. And 1 additional floater that can fill in where needed. That's my 1-2 year goal
Mainly windshield time.
Also I'm sure a few minutes BS-ing in truck off and on. Which anyone would would do. But it adds up. Just part of having employees. As long as they don't abuse it.
Any down time gets doubled with 2 man crew. Work time stays the same 1 man hr work is 1 man hr work.
I try to always have machines ready to go everyday.
Fuelled up, extra gas cans, 2 cycle can full. Otherwise you have 2 guys sitting at gas station doing non billable hrs.
I've got their route where they can get it done in 38-40 hrs each week. That is their goal to stay on schedule each week.
As mid summer hits I keep mowing less, and dump a few more property's into their schedule to keep them right about 40 hrs. Plus we alway pick up a few places throughout the season. Its really been working great this yr.
Free'd me up to start adding more side job's as mowing crews keep on schedule. Plus I love being out by myself again. Kinda like being a solo operator again but with 3 others out doing routes. Best of both worlds.
This yr was the first time ever that I took some vacation during mowing season.
10 days off done to FL to be with Our Daughter and family over 4th of July and her birthday on 7/7.
The week before I left we busted tail. Got a couple days ahead of schedule
I really double checked everything.
They had keys for spare trucks & trailers. Backup mowers.
I also timed it out because 4 of my gone days were sat/sun plus fourth of July was day off. So they only had 5 days to keep thing together.
My ph did not ring once for any problems, a couple times just to ask a few questions.
That was nice to get away in season.
My other thought was, well if there is a major issue it will still be there when I get back. Or not.
We bought a travel trailer/camper last year ( on 4th of july ) our goal has been to take 1 trip per month Fri-Sun. So far we've done well and only missed a few trips due to being sick etc...
Really makes you feel like a legit business owner to be several hundred miles away and your business is operating without you there!
I Only tell this story, not to take away from original post but to maybe lend a lesson on what vacations do for us.
I for one know that each and every one of us the week prior to a vacation work like hell to get things in order for a vacation so that it's not chaos while we are gone. The major thing we tend to do that week prior and seemingly only then is we make check list on what stuff needs to get done before you feel comfortable enough to leave your team.
One of the biggest things you do naturally is you cut out all the BS that you would normally do that wastes time during the week and you FOCUS, you focus on what's important and you get it done so that you can leave for vacation. You only do what is important for your business to be a success while your gone.
If we could only carry that focus and mind set all year long!
This is something I may be doing either 2019 or 2020 to free me up some more. I'd hire him/her as a swing driver so they can do additional clean ups but also cover the route if needed. I think it would be a huge benefit because I've had the same stress you were posting about and it would be a big relief knowing things are somewhat covered. Plus, it's always great knowing the business can run without me being here.