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Holy crud - schedule destroyed!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Arvydas, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. Arvydas

    Arvydas LawnSite Member
    Messages: 143

    Man, I feel like I'm starting a lot of threads right now on problems with employees. Please talk me out of quitting the industry.

    Short story: My maintenance crew leader gave his 3-4 weeks notice last week, and was going to work another 2 weeks or so while I trained his replacement and 1-2 other new crew members.
    We just started a big installation project this week, so I was going to work on that with my other employees while he handled all the maintenance accounts with his assistant.

    He just texted me at 9pm saying how sorry he was, but he was offered a job at the same place his wife will be working where they're moving, and today will need to be his last day working.

    WTF! He's been a great, reliable crew leader and we've had a great report since he started. This is wildly unexpected. :hammerhead:

    So I'm now stranded mid week, with a new install just begun, and I'm going to have to be the crew leader on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and maybe next week too unless I can find someone fast.

    I'm going to have to postpone so many clients and try to explain why everyone is getting pushed back at least a week. No one else is trained on the mowing routes and using the trailer enough yet. :wall

    What the heck?! Anyone else been in this situation? How did you handle it?

    Days like this make me feel like switching industries and starting a new business. I hate that, because I love the green industry.

    Please help. :laugh:
  2. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,494

    Plan ahead
    You’re depending on people instead of systems
    That’s the problem
    When you depend on people too much they can feel the pressure
    Enough pressure isn’t worth any amount of money and someone is always offering more money than you.
    So the only thing you can control are the systems you put in place,
  3. Charles

    Charles Moderator, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 11,810

    Ya people have a dream of sitting back in the office with their feet propped up. Crews hauling in the cash. Welcome back to reality. Nothing you can do but get back in there and work until you find someone else to be the leader. This is a common happening in other type businesses too. But other type business are large enough to have back up systems in place besides relying on Owner
    BrandonV likes this.
  4. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,499

    Get use to it , thats how this and most other businesses work .
    Mark Oomkes likes this.
  5. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,404

    I feel your pain. I have had similar problems for a couple of years now. One problem I see with smaller companies is the lack of depth in employees. Seams like I need an extra guy who can fill in where needed.
  6. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,733

    Sub the mowing
    RussellB likes this.
  7. Oxmow

    Oxmow LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,089

    Only one problem with this...NO people...NO systems!

    I think it's Micheal Gerber in The E-Myth that tells you to put together a company structure chart. Obviously EVERY name there to start with is yours. What you try to do is replace your name in each position with a body. However you can't do it without BODIES!
  8. OP

    Arvydas LawnSite Member
    Messages: 143

    Thank you for the replies everyone. I definitely don't expect to be sitting back hauling in cash, but I certainly wasn't expecting a previously reliable crew leader to bail after promising he'd work for another two weeks and help train his replacement.

    Ted, I hear you on the systems. And then like Oxmow said, no people, no systems!

    Snomaha, I've thought about subbing out mowing but I don't think my clients would accept that. Many of them were used to be doing the mowing 5 years ago, and have now gotten accustomed to the crew. If a sub started showing up (possibly with a different name on the truck) I think they'd be baffled.

    Man, what a pickle.
  9. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,494

    It’s not SPECIFIC names you’re trying to put there.
    You need to get more involved with Marty’s systems and teachings before you find fault in them and say they won’t work.
    They work for him
    He runs a business in the same world we do, same challenges.

    Like I said
    Don’t base you success on someone else
    A person occupies the slot
    But there’s also a system for replacing them, just like a system for replacing you.
  10. Green Mentorship

    Green Mentorship LawnSite Senior Member
    from Heaven
    Messages: 321

    We learned last year the value in keeping an extra field team emplyee on staff at each branch at all times. We usually hire more than we need and are often rotating our "plus 1" into their own route as a prior FT guy drops off for attendance or other issues. Hate to say it but you need to keep 1 "live round" in the chamber at all times.

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