Drought continues: I think I'm glad I'm solo

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Wayne Offiler, Aug 28, 2002.

  1. Wayne Offiler

    Wayne Offiler LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

    As of the last couple of weeks, total ban on outdoor water use (so much for sprinkler systems). But, I am keeping busy. Bed work, tree trimming, brush cutting, etc. I can always find work for myself, but what do you guys do with your help when there is no grass to cut? Do you lay-off? If so, can you get them back when you need them?
  2. drobson

    drobson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 237

    I have a couple of guys that work for me, but they are not full time because I don't have full time work for them. I use them on jobs when I need the extra help or when I'm just not available to work. Luckily I don't have to worry about a lot of full time employees. But I guess if I couldn't find other types of work for them, then a layoff would be the only way to go.

    So far here in Norther MA the water bans are mostly odd and even nights after 7-9pm and not total bans.. Keeping my fingers crossed...
  3. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    If the works gone, they are gone. Nothing you can do about it. You just hope that when things pick back up they are still avaliable.
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Well, we don't have droughts here in Oregon. But when work slows down (especially in the winter) we begin to lay people off. Actually, most of the time it just works out by itself. Someone quits, gets fired, or has to go back to Mexico right about the time we are slowing down. Then I don't have to lay anyone off. I'd say it works itself out like this 75% of the time. And then 25% of the time I have to lay someone off.

    I never really worry about getting them back. I always seem to find more workers whenever I need them. Of course, I keep my main guys. I keep 3 on all year. I wouldn't want to lose them.

    But I am curious about your reasoning. See, when times get bad (drought, recession, etc.) I see it as a big benefit that I am NOT solo. The way I see it, if I have 7 workers and we are making lots of money and then we hit a recession or something and lose 50% of our income I still have my own income covered. I may have to lay off half of the workers but I'll still have enough business that my personal income isn't affected in a big way. And if things got REALLY bad (e.g. depression) then worse case scenario I'd still be able to have enough business to feed myself and my family. I may have to go back to being solo but even if I lost 90% of my current business I could still make good money just being solo. But if I were already solo and lost 90% of my business, that would SUCK!
  5. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    the thing about solo v. employees is that with employees i'm able to have more customers. if i were solo with say 40 customers, and a drought hits, i have 40 clients to get some work from to keep me busy.

    if i have employees i have say 120 customers to get work from to keep the guys busy. and make money-hedges, gardens, whatever. in fact, it is only when the grass slows in summer that i get my jobs list caught up.

    and another thing to help secure income is to use contracts, and offer fertilizing and weed control. that way you can absorb a lower income due too drought, or whatever else.

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,129

    Droughts are along the same line as "my mother-in-law just drove my Corvette off a cliff". There's good and bad things about droughts. Droughts give me a chance to get the "extras" done for my clients. If I don't get these done before leaf season, then I'm in big doo-doo. Back when I had employees and we had a drought, they understood, but also went hunting for another job, which is understandable.


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