Good help hard to find....

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by ADVANCEDOHIO, Jan 23, 2009.


    ADVANCEDOHIO LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    Sounds like he made a decision and so did you. Hope he makes it. Ever heard of employees signing a waiver or agreement against bidding on or trying to take customers for a certain period of time. I have a friend that moonlights with a snow plow and he said that guy made him sign one??? I will try and get a copy of this and make it avaiable for anyone whos wants to see it. It might only be for "sub-contracting" type of work....not sure.
  2. paradise32258

    paradise32258 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    yea i have a wavier now but i didnt not have it 3 monthes ago when i hired him. but its like what was said earlier in this post you try to help people out and give them extra hrs. etc. and they crap on you.. he said he will sign the wavier on monday, lol he states he wants to be friends haha im like ok you called out sick 3 days last week and someone i know seen you cutting grass one of those

    ADVANCEDOHIO LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    Sounds like.... Thanks for stopping "buddy". Wish him luck. He will see whats involved in starting a business doing this. If I hadnt got in so deep so fast I might have considered not doing it. Its been tough but Im getting by and Im very hopeful for this year. Overall its looking very very good already. Just been plowing snow lately and I gotta tell you Im glad I added that service. Its been very profitable.
  4. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    I think you may have over reacted ... if he's just doing it during the slow season to make ends meet ... I'm not sure that's a conflict of interest !! It would be different if he was stealing your clients, but it doesn't sound like that's what happened.
  5. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    I hadn't gotten this far in the thread yet, my apology ... it sounds he needed to be let go !!
  6. JLL25

    JLL25 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    The best thing to do is keep taking applications and weed the guys out that aren't going to work, before the end of thirty days so they can't draw unemployment on you. If you actually get good help, or someone with a good work ethic and common sense, then treat them right. Don't make open ended promises, and any commitments you make to that guy--KEEP.

    Be honest with your guys about everything, and if you can't be then just avoid topics that you don't want to discuss in detail. Let your guys know what you expect from them, and likewise what they can expect from you. Set goals and have evaluation periods, give them something to look foward to. Throw them a $50 if you had a really good week, and you know they really contributed to that.(maybe even a real THANK YOU)

    If a guy has been with you for a while and he wants you to look into insurance or some retirement or a bonus package or whatever, then either do it or tell him that you can't afford it right now. Don't drag it out and put him off, remember you might be the boss but your company is only as strong as its weakest link. If a good guy has busted his ass for you he begins to feel like maybe you should show him some respect, and show some legitimate concern for his future (as he is the future of your company).

    Maybe after you've had a good guy for a while he might decide that he really enjoys a certain part of grounds work more than the others. Say he really likes irrigation, or landscaping, or arboriculture. Maybe you should put together some options to help him explore those possibilities within your company, lay out the guidelines and once again whats expected of him, but let him run with it.

    Finding a good guy is definitely exhausting, but keeping them shouldn't be all that hard. Finding really good customers can be a pain, but most of us would bend over backwards to keep them. Sorry to carry on...I'm one of those good employee's but I'll be branching out on my own this year, seven years with the same grounds company and I'm just realizing that sh!t's never going to change unless I do it for myself.
  7. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 849

    This is really what it takes. The only thing is if I took on all of that expense I would not be making any money. If we could get our wonderful government to keep their hands out of our pockets, I could spend the tax dollars on employee benefits. But as it is now, I can't do all of those things you do to keep employees happy. Yeah, I could charge more. But we are not talking 5% increases. It would take extreme price hikes to cover those added benefits. So, at best I would be back where I started. Some customers would stay with me and pay a lot more for services, but many would drop me for little Timmy down the street.
    I feel like my pricing is already a little above the average for my area. Well, some may be average, and some accounts need a price increase. But it would not be near enough to cover the added burden of paying those benefits. Well, that's just my take on the matter. I mean this is a biz where someone is always willing to low ball. So, it is like a balancing act.
  8. Fiano Landscapes

    Fiano Landscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    I guess it all depends on what you are doing. We are a far majority landscape construction firm. I would agree for the people cutting grass for a living. The problem around here is that everyone is cutting grass. I always have had a passion for the design/ build side of the industry. In this area price is a very small portion of the deciding factor, when a customer is putting tens of thousands of dollars of faith into you. I find that we take up so much of our time chasing dollars for 9+ months out of the year doing maintenance. When I can make 4x-5x the money, and have a whole lot more profit each month.

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