hiring and paying techs

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by greenskeeper44, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. greenskeeper44

    greenskeeper44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    After 3 seasons I have realized that I am maxed out and am now going to hire someone to do the applications so I can work on the business and grow it.

    My main question is how do you guys pay your techs. Hourly, Salary, Production?

    I heard larry talk about a 2% production bonus. If he would elaborate that would be great.

  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    IMHO I think your pay plan should be in line with your Business Plan. Production bonus and sales commissions are tools of Companies like TG/CL who have 3,000 accounts but who have to continually advertise on radio and TV to replace accounts gone bad quickly.

    I always paid Salary plus quarterly Bonus based on company profitability. This takes in factors like Call Backs and Customer Retention and Sales. It also goes in line with Our Work is Our Advertisement. Word of mouth is not only powerful, it is inexpensive.
  3. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,131


    Great post!!!!!

    That only makes sense to pay someone on profitability as if you are paying a guy on on how much he gets done he may screw up. But if you are paying him on what you make he will do a good job!

    I also like what Larry is going but think this may be a better way just do keep mistakes down and quality up.

    I just pay my guys a good hourly rate and no bonuses! :)
  4. JD2320

    JD2320 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132


    Have a safety bonus , sales and retention bonus, but production commissions are asking for trouble in my opinion.
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I think you all might be missing a very valuable part of my post about employee Pay scale. Your pay plan must be in tune with your business plan.

    Take the TG/CL type operators who only know how to BS Customers and have no real Horticulture Knowledge. Their Blow & Go type treatments fit the Production incentive commission perfect. The company makes $ 400 an hour one day and then $ 2500 the next on a one Minute TV advertisement to get replacement customers for the ones they just lost due to the poor Blow & Go treatments.
  6. JD2320

    JD2320 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    I was agreeing with you and Rcreech. I just don't think production bonuses are a good thing. If blow and go is part of your business model then fine. Give a production bonus and set a goal.

    Otherwise just pay the man a fair wage and offer incentives so he is careful, willing to sell the service too, and do good applications and service calls which boils down to good retention.
  7. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,650

    :laugh:Damn Ric, you enjoy walking the tight line!
    I am against production bonuses also because I believe it promotes the "blow and go" mentality and worst case scenario..."ghosting". Sales and retention bonuses are great when a tech has his own route that he's responsible for. Also, quarterly profitability bonuses are great tools as well because if a guy doesn't make it at least 3 months, you're out nothing and it's a great indicator of work quality and could be a deciding factor on whether it's time to cut the guy loose or keep him on. Great ideas here guys :clapping:
  8. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,924

    Okay here's a little. We have to pay overtime after 40 hours per week. This is one reason my guys rarely work more than 40 hour per week. To accomplish this, one has to be extremely organized & efficient. Conversely, if the majority of one's pay is based on "incentive", you can work them as many hours per week as you wish and not have to pay overtime. (at least in Iowa)

    We base our rewards/pay on quality. We have NO quotas. We base our pay on a 20 -step program. This includes personal cleanliness, and many many other important issues regarding dealing with the public. This has done us well over the years.

    If anybody wants a list of important factors that we use to reward employees, please let me know.

    ric -- you were told by moderators to lay off my back, but each post you make, attempts to make mention of MY business and my team by quoting from my posts and associating me with TruGreen/ChemLawn. Why???

    At age 70, I thought you would be more objective. Shoot me in the foot if you want. No hard feelings either, cuz nobody needs that. *trucewhiteflag*

  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    The Point I am trying to make is from top to bottom there is Athletic Turf, Fine Turf on upscale homes, Utility Turf on working class homes and Ground Cover for erosion control and even Pasture Grass. Each has it's different market and business plan. Therefore Each should have a pay plan based on the goals of the Business Plan. I would like to think my Business plan is Fine Turf. However I am now looking at Utility turf and ground cover weed patches with the Idea of Chemical mowing. My pay plan would be different than fine turf.


    If your Business is a carbon copy of TG/CL then the shoe fits! WEAR IT. Because they have the worst reputation in the Green Industry. If not! don't be paranoid.
  10. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,650

    I agree. I take care of properties for doctors, lawyers, public officials and even used to do the former middle weight boxing champs yard. But I also take care of lawns for "working class Joes" like me. They want nice lawns too. Neither one would stand for "blow and go" much less "ghosting", so I'll never use a production bonus per say.
    In my opinion a production bonus would be in line when I have 10 miles of Utility easment for a vegetation control contract if I did ROW work and I told my guys "you get it done in XXX amount of time and I'll give you XXX% of invoice in addition to your hourly wage". IMO, that's where a production bonus would be best used with the least amount of headache. Otherwise, the possibility is too great for catastrophe...at least with my "business model"

Share This Page