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To go solo or to get bigger and hire help?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jusmowin, May 7, 2001.

  1. Jusmowin

    Jusmowin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 727

    Im at the cross roads and thinking of going in the yellow pages or keep solo. I have 20 yards as of now and have a helper (not very helpful most of the time) that works part time 2 days a week . My question is should I get bigger and hire a full time person or Two, this will mean more biz but having to pay more to workers,more equipment ect ect.OR should I just keep my clientel and maybe add a few more clients and do it all my self and hire a temp when I need to do clean ups or lots of mulch,this way I can keep most of the money in my pocket and not have to worrie about help doing quality work or showing up ,insurance,workmans comp ect ect? Im just wondering what you all would do in this situation.

    Thanks for the help.
  2. Michael Fronczak

    Michael Fronczak LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230

    Been there, I have had an enployee most of the last three years.
    In 1998 my employee left, decided college soccer was more important. I did all the work myself, got rid of all the accounts I didn't like, was sortof enjoyable. Last season I was working solo in begining of season, was very nice, if I wanted to sleep in a little I could, wanted to work late I could. Then I got two large accounts, now the bus is even bigger, somtimes I would really like to go back, to when it was myself. Employees can be a pain in the a$$, somtimes their great though, you have to find the right one, if you can your set. Right now my cousin is working for me, some days he works out great, others....well. A little advise...don't hire family.
    The right person, one that will stick with you, wants more than just check at the end of week would be a beautiful thing. Look hard, make sure you get along & most importantally that you can work as a team together, I've found there is nothing more frustrating than
    explaining how to do somthing that has been done 100 times before, or explaing how to do somthing, then going to do somthing else, and they do it differently(less efficiently)than they were instructed to. Good luck.
  3. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 542

    Dear Justmowin,
    What's your equipment list look like? If you have two production mowers and two of everything else seems like it would make sense to hire a full time person. I have 65 accounts w/ one helper. We have two of everything and rip through lawns pretty fast. We trade off on every other yard to stagger our work ( one person mowes, the other person edges and trims. Then we flip). It is definately riskier to go it alone but then it is often difficult to find decent help. Just some thoughts...

  4. eggy

    eggy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,062

    I would get some full time help, Guys in this buisness wh go solo forget what happens if they get sick??? Whois goingto run the biz when I want to go on vacation??? who is going to run the biz if I want to venture into other things??? Just my thoughts, but be sure you can afoord the help first...if not build your buisness to that point. I have a fellow I trust that can run the biz of mine, so its time for me to venture out into other things..just my thoughts
  5. Go on vacation?

    I am on vacation for 4 months of the year!!!!

    If you are going to buy some real labor you better have a real plan and be aware of all the pitfalls of being a "real"
  6. Stonewall

    Stonewall LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    You might think about buying bigger and better equipment to do more work by yourself.

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