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Think about the $$$

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by OnMyOwn, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. OnMyOwn

    OnMyOwn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    (This is for all of the smaller companies)

    Do you complete your own maintenance / cleaning, or pay someone else to take care of it. As a small business owner, it is always enticing to do something yourself to save $. Consider the fact that cleaning and maintenance may be costing you $. It may not be green dollars in your fist, but it can definitely be opportunity sales / cost lost.

    My point is that I sell my hourly services at a minimum of $40.00 per hour. I pay my lower level guys $9.00 to check oil, power wash, sharpen blades, clean trucks and trailers. In other words, or soft $, I can have them working for 4+ hours on my equipment, as long as I can go out and sell (1) additional hour of labor. It also gives me more family time and keeps me from digging grease out from my finger nails.

    Granted the soft hourly rate + benefits / taxes, etc. push up your costs to different levels, but this is manageable as long as you track your overhead.
  2. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    Unless I had more than I could handle myself, I wouldn't pay someone else to change my oil. But wash the truck and Sharpen blades I say go for it. I think it's better that way you don't have to do everything. You can just sit around the shop and watch. But when it caomes to cahnging oil and anything under the hood or on mowers I would definitley do it myself, that way I know it's done right. Plus who wants a $9.00 an hour employee playing with a $1500 plus dollar motor.
  3. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    I would do it myself or have an employee do it either way. If an employee is not competent enough to change oil or blades then there are other issues that need to be dealt with. However, as far as working on the mowers I would take them to the dealer. Most of my machines are still under warranty and if one of my guys crack it open then "bam" there goes that warranty. I have had my dealer do everything in the past and it cost you big time. I see where you are coming from about your time being more valuable. However, that is only if you are utilizing that time(i.e. selling or more time with the fam). I do agree with you that those things are more important than the $9 - $12+ that you may pay an employee to do the work for you.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    It's a good strategy. Someone recently posted a link to an article, basically saying the same thing. You pay people to do $10 an hour work so you can use the time to do things that only you, the owner, are qualified to do. So long as you actually do something productive with that extra time.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    This is overhead. BUT it is part of the $40 per hour so in reality you need to sell many more than 1 hour to cover it. If overhead is 30% of costs-that is $12.00 of every hour or production. 4 hours of labor at $9.00 plus burden is more like$11.25 x 4= $45 or 45 / 12= 3.75 hours of work to cover the maintenance.

    And this points out the #1 reason why so many go broke, no matter if you do maintenance yourself or pay to have it done you must pay someone to do it (even yourself). If it is not covered in overhead you are losing money.
    You can not put your time into the business without the business paying for it or you are not pricing right.
  6. Planet Landscaping

    Planet Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 607

    My employees do all that stuff, Thats why I have EMPLOYEES. My time is better valued on payup sales payup and customer relations(and my family):waving: .
  7. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,711

    i agree with jpocket. do it yourself so you know its done right!
  8. The Ranger

    The Ranger LawnSite Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 208

    The point is you will achieve much more working on your business than in your business
  9. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    most people would rather just waste the time on the internet and skip cleaning the equipment?
  10. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    Why would overhead by an issue on paying an employee to work on equipment? I would think you would need factor in overhead when you are billing out for this employee. This maintenance work he is doing would then factor into that overhead.


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