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I should keep going........Right?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by TheTurfTender, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. TheTurfTender

    TheTurfTender LawnSite Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 130

    I am thinking of hiring a guy to run the day to day operations of my business. As some of you may know, I just started this thing a few months ago (Feb), but I have grown my client base to near 30, and I have 5 estimates ready for next week so the list should continue to grow.

    I just got an offer in my previous line of work that doubles my projected 2nd year REVENUE for lawn care. It may be irresponsible not to take it. That being said, I still want to run this business, and grow it into something I can focus on full time. For now, I would like to hire someone to do the actual lawn care for me. I have a guy in mind with about 10 year’s exp, and don’t mind growing with the business, so I have that part down.

    I am looking for two kinds of responses.

    1. Some may think I am getting in over my head, but I assure you I am up for the challenge. I would, however, like to know what kind of contingencies I should be prepared for aside from the catastrophic.

    2. How should I set up the employee relationship? I have the truck, all equipment and insurance (General Lia, Bonding, Appropriate licenses, etc). I don't have worker's comp. Should I purchase it, or can I set him up as an independent contractor? What other ideas should I be thinking of on this one?

    Anything else you want to throw out there I will respond to and see if I can configure a work around.

    If all else fails.....I have a bunch of equipment for sale and a pretty decent client list!!! :)
  2. IMAGE

    IMAGE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,134

    Workmans comp is pretty cheap, at least it is here. Its like $4 per every $100 you pay the employee. But it is capped at a max of about $1000 that you would have to pay in each yr per employee. That being said, i would hire an employee if you feel its neccessary
  3. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    for 30 accounts, I don't think thats worth it... your employee is going to want good pay for running the ship on his own...25K min...you are going to need gross 75 at least....25 for the employee,. 25 for overhead(fuel, equiment, taxes, insurance) and 25 for your pocket...any less and its not worth the headaches.

    will 30 accounts pay the bills.????what happens when you lone employee decides to leave in the middle of summer and you are stuck.... What happens when the employee starts doing cash jobs using your equipment and your gas?

    employee's need day to day supervision. and I don't think you employer will look to highly when you are on your cell phone every day taking with prospective clients or talking to your employee...

    just some food for thought....Pick one....full time job or full time lawn care...

    also you cannot hire him as a independent contractor since he is using your equipment and you are dictating the schedule, he is an employee...
  4. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,633

    Take the job. Give the employee a try, you have nothing to lose if the only other option is to close up shop. If he sucks, try another guy. You can use a payroll service like Paychex, they can help you with everything needed for employing a guy.
  5. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    What I do is, take someone with me and see how he does,
    not only does the "NEW Employee" need to be able to do the work, he's also a "Front man" MEaning he's the one that the customer see's, He's the one that people see doing the work. He better be on bord, Or you can loose your A$$......

    you will have to check with your state for state laws, Dont take anyone's word here on the law.......

    Good Luck
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I think it would be irresponsible to hire someone at this early stage in the game.
  7. TLClandscaping

    TLClandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    BE CAREFULL! Make him sign a non-compete agreement before hand "if it sticks in your state".
  8. SilkKnitter

    SilkKnitter LawnSite Member
    from Zone 5
    Messages: 57

    That is a great idea!!! You should also see what kind of work he does. You don't want a hack taking care of your customers.
  9. TheTurfTender

    TheTurfTender LawnSite Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 130


    I did a ride-a-long with the new guy today. Like I said, he has 10 + years in the business, so he was actuallly willing to share a few ideas with me. He is excited to have an opportunity with a new company and likes the growth potential. Additionally, he did some great work. I am being careful and realistic with him as far as the expectations go, and let him know that there is only 2 1/2 days of work as it stands right now.

    We did get 3 calls for estimates tomorrow, and I already had one set up, so he sees that as encouraging as well.

    I am going to pay the $700 for Workers comp and have him sign the non compete. That's really it as far as the paperwork is concerned.

    Image....$25 k for Six months of work and 2 1/2 days of work.....Will you hire me for that? If I can make a few hundred bucks a month for the time being and get some expierence running a business at the same time, I think it is going to be worth it.

    I may fall flat on my face, but it won't be the first time!! It really seems manageable. Estimates, paying the bills, and returning phone calls promptly when I get home from my day gig doesn't seem to imtimadating to me. I am thinking that is when most people will want to talk anyways.
  10. mtnzone

    mtnzone LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    why dont you make him a managing partner??

    Gives him a vested interest in making the business grow.

    Pay him a salary or wages. tell him once he proves himself after second year he can put money into the businnes to purchase part in only 10% increments and now more than 30% total this way you maintain majority ownership and have final say in all manners.

    Also after 1st year if he does well give him healthy bonus..
    Second year give him profit sharing at the same time he is allowed to buy into company.. that way he can use the profit sharing for purchase in. you dont lose anymoney.. and if he takes the idea have it worked up by lawyer stating the percentage of profit sharing each year. and his responsibilites as being a junior partner in an increasingand profitable business...Just make sure that you keep the majority but also give him the right of first purchase offer if you decide to sell.

    you have just gained a valuable pertner who has experience and for the first two years before he is a partner or not you have an employee that will want to work towards the futre..

    This will also give you both time to assess how the relationship works if at all...

    you have nothing to lose. and everything to gain this will allow you to expand the business, gain a good employee hopefully, and for you too concentrate more effort on the other job...

    my 2 cents..

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