opportunity comes knockin. do i answer it?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lawn crafters, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. lawn crafters

    lawn crafters LawnSite Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 440

    Well here is my long story. i am currently in school fultime. i work by myself afterschool and get a few lawns done, and on saturdays i have a helper. My question is i am faced witha opportunity to have a family friend mow while i am at school. if i did this then i could double my work. the problem is that would not be as easy as it sounds. my question is would this be a smart buisiness decision or sa foolish one. this guy would only work in the spring and fall and i and my helper now would work in the summer. also wat would you pay someone like this guy? how hard would it be to pick up say 25 more accounts? how would i go about doing this because i would need to get the accounts fast?

    just to clear any confusion my helper is alkso in school so he can not do my route.

    my goal would be to operated just like dreamscapes landscaping.

    any guidence i am open to suggestions
  2. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    this is an issue we all face at one time or another.....

    Do I have enoulf work to keep someone busy?

    this is a Question you will have to answer your self.....
    however I advise against hireing a friend,
    also. whild your in School, what happens if this employee has a breakdown the other side of town ? does he call you? does he call a tow truck? can you afford it?

    as you grow you will learn it's not too wise to put someone out there by there self.
    its a safety issue.

    Best of luck in your decission
  3. lawn crafters

    lawn crafters LawnSite Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 440

    Well he isn't really a family friend he is more of my dads friend.
    I would have the word for him.
    He would have to call my dad he would take care o the brake downs for me

    DLAWNS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,780

    I personally wouldn't do it, but only you will know what would work best for you.
  5. Kennedy Landscaping

    Kennedy Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,597

    Yeah I agree with dlawns. Personally if it was my company I would not do it. However though if you do get the work then I may reconsider but to hire a guy and then have no work for him wouldn't be very good for either of you. Just my 02
  6. DSLND

    DSLND LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,205

    This opportunity came for me last year.

    I had my helper working for me (77 years old) and I was always there with him to train him and to make sure things got done the right way.

    Mid-September, we got six days of rain and we only finished maybe 1/3 of the accounts that week.

    So the next week was going to be crazy. All the properties had just gotten two feet of rain, and some didn't get cut the previous week, so I knew there was going to be a lot of double cutting.

    I really couldn't afford to skip school. I know I would fall behind and I just don't want to do that.

    So I sent my guy out during the day while I was at school to knock out a few properties for me.

    I sent him to small accounts, that he could do with a 21". Nothing high-end, no commercial, and nobody who has anything special that only I know about (hidden objects, irrigation stuff, etc.)

    He did 2-3/day for 4 days and saved me a whole day of mowing. We ended up getting caught up, and I contacted all the customers and everybody was happy. I actually had him continue to do this until the mowing season was over.

    But I was incredibly, incredibly lucky. This was a once in a liftime employee. A family friend who cared about quality, followed what I said and did and really helped my company this past year. I know that it is extremely difficult to find guys like him.

    I had my guy working for me for four months before I let him go out on his own. He knew the properties, and knew my equipment and what I expect. I would have never sent him out on his own after little experience with me.

    Here is what I would do if I were you: Have this guy work with you for a while, a few months at the very least. Show him how you run things, and what kind of workmanship you expect. Send him to a low-end property and let him do all the work. See how he does. If he does good, slowly loosen his chain but don't move too quick, you could loose some accounts if he doen't do the job right.

    It was hard for me to send my guy out on his own. I have always been the foreman at jobsites when I had guys helping me, and I tried to work solo a lot to make sure the job was done right. I had my phone turned on all day at school, and if he did have a problem, and would ask to use the restroom if he did call. He also knew both dealerships for the mowers and I told him if for example, he got a flat tire on the truck to take it to the garage and get it patched, but let me know.

    Hope this helps and good luck!


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