Q. for guys with multiple crews / larger companies

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JimLewis, May 23, 2002.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Hey, as we grow even larger I am running into a challenge I was hoping to get some guidance on. This question is specifically to those of you who have companies with several hundred accounts, 6+ employees, and / or multiple crews (3 or more).

    Currently we have 7 employees. 2 - 2 man crews and 1 - 3 man crew. The first two are just maintenance and the 3rd is comprised of my foreman and two laborers. The 3rd crew is very seasonal and does all of our irrigation, installations, clean-ups, pruning, etc. jobs.

    Lately, my foreman has been thinking of leaving. This would happen sometime in the next year. He wants to look for something less physically strenuous. He works his butt off for our company (does 2x the work of a normal guy) and is just getting very worn out with all of it. Currently he's out on a back injury. He's phenomenal with what he does. He knows the business up and down and is worth a fortune as a foreman to me because he can start and complete any job with zero guidance from me and he'll do it right every time.

    I was considering replacing him with another crew lead / foreman person and then promoting him to a position where he'd just be offering guidance to the 3rd crew but not really working with them all the time. Instead, I'd have him out drumming up new business (flyers, etc.) and giving 75% of my estimates for me. He already gives some of our estimates for us and is great at it.

    My thinking is that if he were out constantly drumming up new business for us, I'd have plenty of money to pay for this new person to replace him.

    Then, during the winter we'd keep him on doing more hands-on work. We only need 3 people during the winter. And winter work is not strenuous. Just leaf raking usually. Then, the next season he'd go back to doing estimates, overseeing certain jobs, etc.

    One reason this would be good is because I often get overwhelmed with all of my duties. I have tons of office work and tons of estimates to give. If he were giving some of the easier estimates, I would be relieved and be able to keep the office and schedule more organized.

    What'd'ya'all think? Good idea?
  2. CLM1103

    CLM1103 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    I owned a fairly good sized construction company for 30 years with a lot of employees. A man like this is almost impossible to find today. I would do whatever it takes to keep him and look for new ways he can pay for himself. I don't think it will be nearly as hard to do as trying to replace a man like this especially after you have been used to the type work he does.

    Good luck

  3. garydale

    garydale LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    I'm with Charles, you need to keep him! Spend the time to find out what he needs to keep him happy and growing.

    He sounds like a good candiate for training. Could he pass on his knowledge and experiance to your up & coming young people?
    Training your own is better than trying to find someone.( If they are good they will end up starting their own Co..)

    It's time to deligate most of your work and start to enjoy what you have built.

    All your key people should be training their replacements. Your Co. and they can't grow if you don't have people up and coming.

    Good Luck

  4. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    I dont run three crews, but i decided to go to work for a LCO in my town this summer and mow my accounts on the side to get more experience with installation type of stuff. We have three crews, and each one has a seperate foreman. The mowing foreman, only goes with us to the condo complexes to oversee the work, and usually he just bids jobs and oversees the crews. sounds like you should keep him, and make him the guy who makes sure the crews are performing properly, and maybe pass some other duties on to him like bidding and equipment repair.
  5. Starling Lawn

    Starling Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    Jim,create a position for him like operations manager,then you decide the job description.He could jump in wherever needed.Thats what we do with 6 plus crews.I oversee the crews and do whatever is necessary.Budro

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