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Employees taking over

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by PTSolutions, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    from OH
    Messages: 2,331

    wish me luck!

    Tuesday will be the first day for our company that we will have employees taking over the mowing duties.

    My brother(19) and I (24) have been running this company ourselves for the past 7 years and we have experienced excellent growth to the point that this year we run 2 full time employees and 2-3 part timers.

    The rain this spring has put a serious back log on our landscaping side of the business so my brother is pulling off of mowing to help me out with with that side of the company. Plus this way I can show him the ropes as I will be getting married in July and attending law school in Aug. and therefore be only a high level manager for our company and my brother will be taking over my responsibilities as a field manager.

    I feel that we have a good chance of making this work as the guy that will be running the mowing crew is an excellent employee. We have gone through a lot of crappy guys to find him. Hell, he even made us a website, something Ive been trying to do for over a year now just havent had the time.

    Just wanted to see if anyone has any advice from companies that have been through this before?
  2. mikemat31

    mikemat31 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    May I ask you a question. I see your going to law school soon. I am 16 and my parents love the fact I am working. They just don't want me to be stuck doing this the rest of my life. May I ask you do you have future plans to become a lawyer, and are you going to continue with the landscaping. How did you juggle college and landscaping at the same time.

  3. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    Pro Touch,
    I am sure the intentions of planning for a smooth running transition is in mind, but never under any circumstances allow your employees to run your company. A good field crew leader is only as good as the boss running them. Your brother need not put stock in these guys no matter how efficient and good running at this time. I mean, don't get complacent to their abilities and intentions. Their is a multi million dollar competitor of ours locally, that turned his enterprise over to his--just out of college son, and instantly the employees started dropping off like flies. The one's his son didn't fire,left and joined up with the others that were of higher position and started their own company. The real kicker is...........one employee was a Spray Technician and the other a Irrigation Technician. Now, these two ex-employees have taken most if not all of his Commercial and Industrial accounts. I mean, 150,000 dollar a year accounts.!!!! Pretty big chunk of his pocket book was slide out from under his feet.
    The nursery that he owns has reduced their annual sales by 50% and what is left is not looking too good for this year. This company supplied my plant stock and all other materials for years. Now, it is looking grim for them as if the sales aren't there, then nothing else is either.
    You will get married and go off to become a Attorney, so your intentions are elsewhere and the sudden burden will get shifted to your brother. He needs to realize that things aren't always on the Golden Cow side when a partnership is separated.
  4. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    from OH
    Messages: 2,331

    I see your point, but I think i may have stated my position incorrectly. I only meant that our mowing division will be handled by employees, everything else is still in our hands. brother, my father and I. Even after law school I intend to have a high level position just to make long term strategic decisions while my brother and father handle the day to day operations. The one employee was territory manager for mowing and spraying for a well known company here that got bought out by Davey for their accounts.

    Mikemat- it was hard especially during snow season when the crazy hours would mess with my sleep schedule. I did accounting undergrad with minors in supply chain management and entrepreneurship. Im blessed that i have never been a big studier. I went to class and paid good attention and took good notes and I maintained Deans list throughout my undergrad. It was tough but I gained alot of experience and was never a poor college kid, hell I drive an 09 lariat f350 superduty. Im not trying to brag but Ive always believed in enjoying the fruits of your hard work (saving is good too!)
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,452

    Way way tooo early to be putting two guys in management. You need a lot more people before you get away from working full time in the field.
  6. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    Two things....Have them time in and time out. Just a simple thing their mowing schedule that they hand in at the end of the day. What time you got there and what time you left. If nothing else so you know exactly how long everything takes them so if you get new guys you can show them how long it took the other crew. People get comfortable and you can see how long things took them and make sure they aren't stopping for lunch for an hour.

    The other thing...make sure you take the time to look at their work periodically. Just make sure everything is being done properly. I put a lot of pressure on my guys to be fast and efficient but I don't want them cutting corners in the process.

    This is honestly my best advice....I am assuming that the guys you will be sending are already well trained and know what they are doing. It is difficult to let them off the t*t but it is how you grow!

    It can work...it is a logical step. Good Luck!
  7. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,038

    nepatsfan hit it dead on clock in and out so you can track job times it will show you who needs to go and when
  8. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    Maybe, but if their set up correctly, maybe not. I don't plan on staying in the field myself but one or two more years.
  9. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    i agree with everyone here, a bit of all those is needed really .

    good luck, it aint easy at all. we have many good crew members right now, but none of them are quite what we are looking for in a crew leader position. you know what i mean.

    seams those are really few and far between, especially when you are very picky like we are.
  10. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,038

    and the worst feeling you can get as a business owner iswhen having a great guy ,knowing he is able to run crews and then realize you overburdened him and he is so strict on your guys due to the idea of failing the company that it kills his crews marral. I have seen that ......its like hitting the self destruct.... some times its better to let him work into the position slowly then just saying go .

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