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Well, I know this is the debate of the ages here on Lawnsite. Many people swear by staying a Solo Op. and many people swear by employees. But I'll tell you what, right now I'm dang happy that I'm not a Solo Op.

I broke my foot two weeks ago on a Sunday. I could walk on it but it was very painful. Definitely couldn't work on it (e.g. lift anything, push a mower, etc.) I did do a little light pruning and fixed a few sprinkler heads but I kept a very light workload for myself the first week.

This tuesday, I had surgery and they put two pins in my foot. After surgery, I've been totally laid up for the rest of the week. Finally, today, I can come up to my office and type for a few minutes without having my foot elevated. But the rest of the week I've been on the couch, having to put my foot above my heart at all times. Working via Nextel and through my good employees.

I'll be able to go out a little next week and give a few bids and check in on a few jobs but I'll still be on very light duty. And it will just slowly get better from there. But if I were a solo op. just mowing lawns every day, there's no way. I'd have to stop for at least 4 weeks. That could be detrimental to one's business. Thankfully I have a great foreman who can do the bidding for me and my wife has now been trained to handle most of the office work. And the crews are out doing their jobs still so I can afford the time off. I'm still taking and making 40-50 calls per day, but all on the couch with Fox News on in the background, a soda in my hand, and my foot up in the air.

I guess that's one way to do business. But I'd prefer to actually be out working. Fortunately, though, I was able to still keep working and making money because I wasn't a solo op.
 

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Sorry to hear about your accident. I was laid up due to emergency hernia surgery about 3 years ago. If I had not had good help, I would have been out of business. My 3 helpers really came through for me, and that episode ended any thoughts I had about going back to a solo type operation.
 

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Sorry to hear of your misfortune with your foot. If you don't mind me asking, how did you break it?
Got to definitely agree with you, it is risky being a solo op. But what I find even more risky is when a guy is solo, and they are taking unnecessary risks like dirt biking, quad riding, waterskiiing, etc. I think when a guy is solo, they got to realize that they can't do all those fun athletic activites, cause if a mishap occurs, they are going to be up a creek with their business.
 

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1MajorTom said:
Sorry to hear of your misfortune with your foot. If you don't mind me asking, how did you break it?
Got to definitely agree with you, it is risky being a solo op. But what I find even more risky is when a guy is solo, and they are taking unnecessary risks like dirt biking, quad riding, waterskiiing, etc. I think when a guy is solo, they got to realize that they can't do all those fun athletic activites, cause if a mishap occurs, they are going to be up a creek with their business.
Jodi, It's funny you mention the above. I am for the most part solo but I am getting big enough to maybe start hiring. It is always in the back of my mind to be careful in everything I do because if I get hurt the ship might sink.

Last year I went on a houseboat trip to lake of the ozarks with friends. There is a well known party spot on this lake know as party cove and generally 500+/- boats vist this cove on the weekends. When I was there I watched a guy get backed over by another boat while he was swimming. The guy surfaced after about 30 seconds (seemed like forever) and was cut from his armpit down past his buttox. When they pulled him from the water the gash looked to be 2-3 foot long and about 6 inches wide. Thats when I thought to myself that I didn't need to be there due to the risk of such occurances. I then left and went home. I have a family to take care of and if I'm hurt and can't work my family would suffer due to my carelessness.

I'm not sure if the hurt swimmer made it or not(I hope so) but it really opened my eyes.
 

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My sentiments exactly Jim.

That is why I have employees. If I got hurt and could not work for any measureable time (without my people), I would be up the proverbial creek without sufficient means of locomotion...just another way of putting it LOL.

Hope you are healthy and about soon Jim.
 

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rodfather said:
My sentiments exactly Jim.

That is why I have employees. If I got hurt and could not work for any measureable time (without my people), I would be up the proverbial creek without sufficient means of locomotion...just another way of putting it LOL.

Hope you are healthy and about soon Jim.
AFLAC!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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You'd better hang on to those employees. Sounds like you have a great crew. Pay them well but don't spoil them. It's a fine line.

I've had new employees walk off of a half done job because they were tired after 4 hours. :angry:
 

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Exactly. My mowing guys make $15 an hour and crew foremen (mowing) get $22.50 an hour. To me, it's well worth it...
 

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If I couldn't work for for weeks I'd probably loss half of my accounts, My business would be in dier straights UNLESS we are in a drought!!!
 

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rodfather said:
Exactly. My mowing guys make $15 an hour and crew foremen (mowing) get $22.50 an hour. To me, it's well worth it...
Unfortunatly, because of the cost of Workers Comp in this industry, I struggle with paying $12.50. Of course I only have seasonal employees, spring and fall. Hard to find anyone for that wage who only wants to work 4 months a year.
 

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rodfather said:
Unfortunately, you are mostly correct there Kelvin...but I wouldn't call them glorified kids btw.
Calvin seems to have a problem with the neighborhood kidz. Perhaps they won't play with him and that's why he sits in Mommies basement and makes up those wonderful statements, which, by the way, I am compiling for use in a book I'm writing. May I quote you Calvin?? Ummmm, I let you play with my Grandsons Hot Wheels track.

Peace
 

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1MajorTom said:
Sorry to hear of your misfortune with your foot. If you don't mind me asking, how did you break it?
Got to definitely agree with you, it is risky being a solo op. But what I find even more risky is when a guy is solo, and they are taking unnecessary risks like dirt biking, quad riding, waterskiiing, etc. I think when a guy is solo, they got to realize that they can't do all those fun athletic activites, cause if a mishap occurs, they are going to be up a creek with their business.
I do play church league softball, but not all out. I'm the left fielder, so I'm not apt to catch a screaming linedrive skipping off the infield in the face or something.

Also, when I run the bases, it's pretty much from one base to the next, stop, unless the outfielders for the other team can't catch the ball, then I'll trot to the next base.

I agree, you've got to have a contigency plan. I've got my dad and an uncle that are both retired, so they can cover for me somewhat, hopefully enough where my customers will realize the lawns are being addressed.

I also have a short term disability policy that'll cover my monthly bills for 6 months incase something catastrophic should happen to me, at which point my wife is instructed to bail on the business, which should take about 6 months to sell out.
 

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rodfather said:
Exactly. My mowing guys make $15 an hour and crew foremen (mowing) get $22.50 an hour. To me, it's well worth it...
$15 an hour mowing, and $22.50 and hour being foreman?
That is not gonna buy anything in NJ, there is no way I can afford a house or buy a boat and of course , lifestyle with that income.
 

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MTR said:
$15 an hour mowing, and $22.50 and hour being foreman?
That is not gonna buy anything in NJ, there is no way I can afford a house or buy a boat and of course , lifestyle with that income.
They're mowing grass, not performing brain surgery.
 
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