Solo vs employee's

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by smallstripesnc, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. smallstripesnc

    smallstripesnc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    All of your replies have been very helpful. Im going to stay solo to keep things simple and I can really focus on getting a tight route and work on my pricing and speeding myself up.
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  2. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,746

    yeah getting yards close together is huge. i've only had that luxury a few times. that's where you really make the money. last year i had two across the street from each other. i was in and out in about 1 1/2 hrs and i was making $110. hard to beat that. too bad one of them moved and the other decided to start mowing themselves lol.
  3. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    I start my helpers at 10 and workem up to 12, crew leaders start at 14 and work up to 16, but they have to be really good to get to 16.
  4. EverestLandscape

    EverestLandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    Small stripe, i had the same issue and thoughts as you did when i got over 30 accounts. I was seeing where i could save time and speed up the route. I have 7 houses that are well over 2 acres with fenced in pool areas and doing them alone took me 3 hrs a house minimum. But on the other hand my other accounts took me 20-30min in and out solo. So having three guys including myself would have worked great on the big houses but the small ones it would have been counter productive. So i have just one other guy now that does maintenance with me an when we do pavers or construction of any type i call in other people. In 2012 we only cut grass two days a week but this year hopefully I can do three days because the grass grows and it has to be cut; people will wait on construction projects. And small yard signs and good quality stripes are the best way to get calls. 60% of my calls for maintenance last year were from people who saw my signs.
  5. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    That's the point.
    It's unskilled labor.
    I wouldn't put a new hire on an expensive mower on my valuable accounts.
    They would start by trimming and blowing.
    I'd like to pay them what they're worth but, there is a minimum wage law.
    $8 or, minimum wage is fine to start with until someone demonstrates some skills.
  6. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    $25 cuts way to low. How many square feet these property's?

    10 lawns solo

    14 with two

    I would think you should do better then 4 more lawns with two men.

    You are doing 40 lawns a day now and you largest mower is a 36".

    Forget getting a 2nd 36". You need to increase production capability with a larger mower. 48", 54", 60", before you add a 2nd employee.
  7. Brucelawns

    Brucelawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    I had this thought process 4 year's ago. Should I hire someone or stay solo. You can do more work with two people compared to one. More work equals more profit. You say that you can get up to 30 calls a day. That's hard to believe but for argumentative sake. If you get that many calls you are letting a lot of business walk. The more work the more profit. If you don't have enough work for another guy (40 hr week) then be straight up with the guy and he'll stay around. If you say you are turning down lots of work that means you can't do it all meaning you need more help to get the jobs done.
  8. Brucelawns

    Brucelawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    Each area is different. In my area (next to Chicago) we service alot of small properties. We can do 50 lawns in one day (one crew 2 or 3 guys) easy and our average lawn price is $25. Some lawns take 3 to 5 min to mow. No lie! I've timed them. I understand the responsiblity you have when you get a employee. It's really not that bad. It's actually great! You don't have to do as much of the labor. That's how business works. You hire people for labor and do the jobs while you look for the jobs and or help with the labor until you get bigger. If you stay solo you'll always be solo and never grow. I was solo for 4 years while I went back to school. Customers look at you differently when you have employees. It makes you look more professional. Bringing in more work and more work equals higher profits.
  9. Brucelawns

    Brucelawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    And the lowballer poster guy. What kind of thought process is that? Sounds to me that you are playing a game with customers. You tell them that if someone offers a lower price then you might be able to work with them for a lower price? What the...? How about doing a great job and offering a fair price? Unbelievable!
  10. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    50 lawns a day! WOW

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