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how long were you in business before employees?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnwizards, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,439

    how long were you in business and how many accounts did you have before employees? i'm at about 60% right now 34 accounts, was wondering how did you know it was time for employees? did you work a couple of months 7 days a week and get burnt out or did you gradually work the employee in? thanks.

  2. Bobdidit

    Bobdidit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I have grown my business every year and was solo up till this year, I work a regular full time job that gives me lots of flexibility. My neighbor has been semi retired and hounding for the last 2 years about helping. I asked him early this spring about how serious he was and how much he wanted to work, I've seen his work and felt fine. I have bumped up to 30 accounts that come out to about 21-22 lawns to mow every week. We work 10-12 hours per week and that is enough for me, anymore and I probably would dump it. Last year I was mowing 15 on my own and I was working 14-18 hours. He isn't great help, but I'm not getting younger and I do appreciate getting home earlier. If I were to do this full time, I've thought that I would shoot for 40-50 (8-10 yards per day) on my own and acquiring some part time help for anything over that. The main things I am looking at doing next year in my campaign to grow, is to focus on getting my route tighter and improving my efficiency and profitability, currently netting about $40 per hour after help, etc...to work more in specific areas and minimize the travel which doesn't contribute to bottom line--still a necessary evil though.
  3. DuallyVette

    DuallyVette LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,952

    I got my 1st employee after I filled 3 or 4 days a week, mowing solo. There were always little side jobs to fill the week.
  4. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,439

    thanks for the reply. i guess lawnsite didnt chase away all the good guys after all. :waving:
  5. mississippiturf

    mississippiturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 674

    9:30 here!!! I only have 16-20 accounts and my income is not solely lawn care, so I have been using a high-school kid from up the street to allow him to make some summer money. I'll go back solo after school starts in a couple of weeks. I started last spring.
  6. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    You can start thinking about help when you have become sick and tired of turning down more money than you are making alone. Full filling these 9 things would be a great start. If you skip # 5 you might aswell just give everything you own away right now and shoot yourself in the face.

    1) You are willing to take a risk

    2) when you have a license to conduct business in your state

    3) you pay your taxes

    4) you have liability insurance

    5) you have purchased Workman's comp.

    6) you have a working solid business plan you follow to a fault

    7) your business is on solid financial foundation with reserve resource's

    8) you have 8 month minimum payroll reserve

    9) you have low debt to income
  7. DuallyVette

    DuallyVette LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,952

    1 through 5 are good. 6 though 9 mean that you don't have enough #1 and enough faith in your ability and the economy. I'll let the new employees pay down the debt, and increase the reserves. No risk, no gain.
  8. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    I do agree.... their is room for flexability

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