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Time to do it ....?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Sharp Services, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. Sharp Services

    Sharp Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    First of all let me say ... Mike be nice!

    As most of you know I have been running a part time lawn service for several years. I am a cop full time. Well my business is about at the point that I can't handle anymore work, but the phone is still ringing.

    I need to make the transition from part time to full time and I cannot quite my police job (to close to retirement and benefits). So I need to start a crew and buy another truck ... only I don't have enough work to pay for them.

    The plan ... finish the year out with the help of my son, advertise heavy at the beginning of next growing season and hire 1 guy to train and turn loose.

    Has anyone had much luck with a one-man crew or should I keep hitting the streets until I get enough work to keep 2 guys busy?

    Any help and direction would be helpful. This is a big step for me.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Sharp Services

    Sharp Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Hard to believe that no one has any suggestions. Oh, well?
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    In the beginning, I had just one guy and let him loose all week. It worked out pretty well in fact. Then as business expanded, we went to 2 and 3 man crews (for mowing).
  4. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    Personally I don't like the idea of one employee working by himself everyday, plus it's real easy to overbook one guy. Get yourself a 2 man crew that way you'll generate more $$$. One guy is only good for what $1500 per week, and that until he gets tired. You figure $700 of that is going to be his pay. Then your left with $800 and change to pay for fuel and whatever breaks.

    Now you get 2 guys they generate $2500 per wk just mowing. Now you'll have $1400 after you pay them, if your paing the main guy $15per hour and his helper $9 per hour in a 45 hour week.
  5. nbizati

    nbizati LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    jpocket hit the nail on the head. Go with the two man crew. Plus if one of the guys bails on you then you still have one emplyee generating $$ as you look for a replacement. Good Luck
  6. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    two man crew is much better in my opinion

    maybe I just have a bad taste in my mouth from this past winter.
    I tried to be a nice guy and Keep my helper at +/-40 hours by through out the slow season by working him alone and only doing spot checks.

    long story short he padded his hours and I lost $2000 a month worth of business because of his poor performance.

    Sure I should have done a better job checking and lots of other things, but the bottom line is if you have two guys one will be in charge and that whole authority thing seems to help performance.
  7. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    Wow 700 a week, when I was crew leader I made 7.50 an hour thats was aprox 9 yrs ago though. Not real sure but don't think its much over 10 now in this area, which would explain the lack of good help to get:dizzy:. Only ex-cons with major felonies or no hablas(no english). So in that regard solo or 1 good partner is best here.
  8. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    We are basicaly at the same point, we have 3 part time guys Mon-Sat. We all get out of our F/T jobs at 3pm and blast off 9-10 lawns a night Mon-Fri. and do installs Sat and sometimes Sundays. Its getting to be too much for me to handle. But in my opinion, one man crews are better than nothing but I would really try to secure enough work for two guys. I hate trainning new guys but if you only have one guy and he quits then your always back to square one. But if you have two guys at least you have one to fall back on. Plus I firmly beleive two guys can get quite a bit more work done rather than just one.:waving:
  9. Grimmy

    Grimmy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Staff with 2. Agree with jpocket.
    By the way. Female crews have worked well for me.
  10. Sharp Services

    Sharp Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Thanks for the insight. I am trying to secure enough to start out with one man and then hopefull soon after add a second man.

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