Do I want to be known for this?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Az Gardener, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I am active in the industry here locally. I have been on the board of the state assoc and I have taught classes for the association. I am frequently asked by my colleagues how I get Americans to do this kind of work. The fact that I don't employ illegals and am able to profitably run a gardening service has made its way to a local columnist who wants to interview me. I am not sure I want to be at the forefront of this very heated issue.

    For those of you who don't know we (AZ) has passed a very tough anti illegal immigration law that goes into effect in Jan. There have already been lawsuits to stop it but it appears they did a good job crafting the language and it is standing up to all the challenges.

    Will the good publicity be worth the potential backlash from illegals and other potential problems? I have been clean and sob err... I mean have had 0 illegals for about a year but it started several years ago that I made the decision to stop using them it just took a while to figure out how to get the Americans to do the work.

    What say you?
  2. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    I say absolutely, go for it! Great publicity for the kind of people you want to do work for (at least the kind of people I want to do work for.) If you have no illegals working for you, who will lash out at you? I think the heat we are felling is more from places wondering where theyre going to get workers (farmers, landscapers, builders and the like), not so much that they disagree with the law itself. Most people want immigration reform and a way to keep people from coming here illegally, this is a step in the right direction.

    I say go for it. Make your approach that you provide a "luxury" type of service, your work is of high quality and that there are plenty of poeple (legal people) that want to provide a good, quality, luxury service. You take care of your employees and you are willing to pay for skill, hard work and a grasp of the english language!

    For what periodical?
  3. jimmyburg

    jimmyburg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 701

    go for it, be the first on your block to get your name out there, people will remember you. dont worry about anyone else, it sound like you have a good rep where you are with other contractors.
  4. Desertdweller

    Desertdweller LawnSite Member
    Messages: 159

    Is that EJ? I sent him a few comments on his column the other day about the poor landscape guy who didn't know what he would do if the illegals left. I must not write well enough, I never got contacted. Go for it, there are more customers who think like you than you can imagine.
  5. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    Montini is it?
  6. Desertdweller

    Desertdweller LawnSite Member
    Messages: 159

    Yes, I tend to send him a note every other week for his stupid comments.
  7. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    I'm surprised you can wait that long!
  8. Desertdweller

    Desertdweller LawnSite Member
    Messages: 159


    I'll ask you the same question I PM'd Gardner. How do you find the good help in the Valley? I pay very well, health ins, bonus 2 weeks pd vac. etc. I still have a hard time finding anyone willing to work. I won't lower my standards but I want someone who comes across well to the customer, is responsible, dependable, trustworthy etc. I can't grow if I can't find good guys.
  9. HBLandscaping

    HBLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Let us know how it goes.

    There are 5 large established companies located within 2 miles of mine. 90% of these companies employees are Illegal, Mean while I've been in business for 6 yrs now and have 2 full time and 2 part-time employees who are all "american". These employees (Myself included) consist of 4 Volunteer Firefighters, 1 Retired Paid Firefighter, 1 Police Officer so my whole work force is made up of " American Heroes " as people say (After 9-11). I know that it is cheaper to have others work for us but that doesn't matter to me. I'd rather pay $10 an hour to one of these guys then $4 to an illegal. I have thought about putting the fact that this (My) company has these type of guys for workers and that we are "100% American" but around here (Maryland Washington D.C & Virginia) has a large illegal population, but just recently some counties around here are starting to inact laws like in AZ, But my county hasnt. I dont know if using that fact that we dont hire illegals and that we as a company employ and are made up 100% of local Volunteer Firefighters & Police Officers. Im not sure like you if using these is good or bad for business.
  10. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    As much as I would like to get "big" I dont have the luxury so I havent shared in the hiring troubles that many have, even people that are willing to pay well for good employees like yourself. I am employed full-time in local gvt, though I still manage to pull 25-40 hours a week on maintenance and irrigation. I employ a co-worker from the PD who works with me on his days off. We do well, but I dont have the time to expand now, so I am not and have not been looking for additional employees. If and when I do use labor, its from a temp/labor agency.

    I understand your dilema and can only imagine it will get worse. Hopefully, the services we provide will be harder to come by, raise rates, and make quality employees easier to come by and retain.

    I would chose you over the next guy, apples to apples.

    I reitterate the question. Do you really want to be working for the kind of people that would think less of you for employing good & honest American citizenry rather than illegal's? If you are uncomfortable telling someone you or another works Fire/PD, I wouldnt want them as a customer; Cut your own grass, you ex-patriot!.

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