Hiring A Third Employee For My Business??

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by tamo, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. tamo

    tamo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 213

    Our company is currently just myself and my brother. This will be our 7th season coming up.

    Right now we both make a good salary and the business makes a good profit.

    We don't have to pay workman's comp because we a partners in the business.

    The way we operate is to Mow Wednesday - Friday and do installs like patios, walls, new lawns ect... on Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday if need be (mostly only in the spring).

    We both work our asses off especially in spring but work really well as a duo. We both have a great work ethic, never late, sick, and understand the faster we work the sooner we're done. Never any problems.

    We're not completely maxed out on earning potential. As the grass slows down in the summer some customers who don't water cut back to every-other-week. August always seems to be a bit slower for installs too. That time can be filled. The rest of main season March-November is filled, and we work pretty steady through winter with clean ups, installs, and year round maintenance customers.

    We're at a crossroads where we can start to hire employees, but I wonder if it is worth the headaches I hear about.

    Right now we have a great thing going. We're very comfortable financially, but its all our labor. FYI I'm 36, he is 31 soon. I can see the company growing and we can't keep up our pace forever.

    Anyone else been in a similar situation? Thoughts?
  2. Fahzu

    Fahzu LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119

    My thoughts are...grow slow. I'm 36 too and love my employee (most of the time). I hired him part time almost a year ago and it has been good so far.

    Try starting with someone part time. If they don't work for you, get rid of them asap! If they work well for you, it will free you up to grow the business and get them more hours (and so on). My advice is to find someone with experience too. My guy is a hard worker but still lacks a lot of the technical expertise to do everything I can. He can mow, edge, and blow. I trust him entirely with those jobs but when it comes to other things I still have to be on site.

    My business had been running for 7 years as well before I hired a regular guy. Things went well until December when we slowed down. Had to cut his hours just a little, but we have survived...so far.

    Workers comp is expensive and going up. You'll have less flexability with your estimates when you have more overhead which might cost you some jobs.
  3. NC Greenscaper

    NC Greenscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    Everyone that has employee has been in a similiar situation. It really a matter of what you want from your business. Do you want it grow? Or is it just a job or you and your brother that you will just leave at some point? If it is the later then I wouldn't go through the trouble of hiring employees. I would work on becoming more efficient at what you do and more selective in the pricing of your jobs. Start doing work of higher value. Then you can max out your income without worrying about employees.

    Also, as you get commercial work they are going to require workers comp and business insurance. I wouldn't want to have any employees without workers comp regardless of what the law requires. What if something happened to one of them while working for you.
  4. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,947

    I'm in the same postion. I've had the same part time college guy the last few summers. I fear he won't be back this year.

    I'm 34 and slowing starting to realize I'm not gonna be able to go full throttle tossing Fert bags or pine straw bales around. Sometime I feel hiring a full time or at least summer time guy would be best to ease the burden on me.

    I could really use a reliable guy to help....especially on weeks when we have a full mowing week plus application round or a big mulch job etc. I feel if I had someone I could find filler work for them by inspecting properties for little things that need to be done.

    This may be my year and I guess I will hire a guy. My problem is that I currently bust my tail and don't work a full 40 hrs a week in the field but all that could change with a few new accounts or referrals
  5. Utah Lawn Care

    Utah Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,548

    If you're more busy than you want to be, and charge what you should be I don't see a problem hiring a new guy. The more you pay them the better they will be too. Even if you have to pay him 13/hour you're still earning 40/hour from having him around, or whatever your man hour pricing is. You can always try people out for a week then tell them you don't need their help anymore if things aren't working out. The extra time can give you more time to market, and grow the business bigger. The next step would be expanding to having a second crew etc. Good luck.

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