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what do you think of my new goal?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i'm looking to make a change. this being my first full time year, i more than met my goals, i didn't have to kill myself, and i consider the season a great success. goal for next season: i already have an employee who has proven himself trustworthy, honest, and more than capable of being a lead man. i will promote him to crew leader, send him out with a helper. they will have 80 lawns a week to mow. they will be paid salary. if they want to hustle, and get the 80 done in 3-4 days, fine. if they want to drag it out over 5 days, that's ok too. i will personally handle all the ferts/chemical apps, and have a small route of 15 lawns a week that i cut alone. any trimming /landscaping i will do alone or utilize the crew on saturdays at an hourly rate of pay, separate from thier lawn cutting salary. any rain or setbacks....tough crap, they have to finish thier 80 lawn grasscutting route to be paid thier weekly salary. this will cut my already low hrs down to about 15-20 a week, and provide an excellent paycheck. i have worked with the crewleader for over 2 yrs now, i'm sure i will not sacrifice quality by sending him out without me there. any input?
  2. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    I'm nowhere close to having a crew go out unsupervised, but one thing I'll do when I get there is to check on the crew's work after they're done, at least in the early going. I'll discuss any problems with them before the customer calls me. I'm sure there are other ways of conducting quality control, but I don't know what they'd be.

    Once it seems they're running pretty tight, I'll be more likely to wait until I hear a complaint, but from time to time, just to keep things on the up-and-up, I'll still do the occasional checkup.
  3. Aproct

    Aproct LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61


    I am getting to that point myself. I have been training my one employee and training him to what I expect from the service that we proved to the customers. Things have worked out really well. He knows how to use all the equipment and recently started to learn the proper techinques to driving the Z-rider. I have told him that he will be running a crew next year and good things will work in his favor. I have been kicking around the salary or hourly rate myself. He is a hard worker and will drive the crew to get the jobs done asap. I just think there are pros and cons as to which one will keep overhead low. It would kill me to be paying him for not working when it is raining.

    I dont' know, that's a tough one.....
  4. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,864

    Bobby, if there is a week of rain, do your guys go without a paycheck? You may want to check on how your state handles salaried people and the possibility of week(s) without pay. The reason I ask is that people are often salaried for a reason. Hourly seems to be more of what you want to have the benefits of, but I could be wrong. States very and I'm just playing the devil's advocate.

    Dayton, Ohio
  5. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    Sounds like a do-able plan to me. You could also put it on a percentage basis also. This way they only make money if you make money....but that would be a tough call and probably not a good way.
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    based on the 80 lawns a week plan, i could write myself a paycheck of $1000 a week, only on that end of the business. then there is all the additional income ....my 15 lawns, all the ferts, trimming, etc. looks like a check of roughly $1600 a week, for working 15-20 hrs.
  7. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,487

    It sounds like a good plan to me. If I were your employee, I think that I would be thrilled with that idea. But as an owner, I would be checking behind them to make sure that they are not rushing through the jobs just to get done and providing bad service and poor quality. That is the only downfall that I see.
  8. stizostedion_vitreum

    stizostedion_vitreum LawnSite Member
    from ND
    Messages: 51

    My family and I recently started in this business....I work a fulltime and a part-time job outside the LC industry. Our/my goal was to only manage and market the business for my wife and two employees to handle all the labor/jobs.

    I'm not asking how to handle the quality control aspect... however, my plan on paying everyone including my wife (supervisor) is to pay everyone on a per job basis. This way I can bid the jobs based upon time and then setup the payscale based upon efficiently maintaining the contract. I want the opportunity to be lucrative for all employees, but I also want the peace of mind that the work is being performed efficiently and I believe this style would promote that. As long as supervisor is able to insure quality work. I haven't been able to check the regulations yet, but I really don't see why it wouldn't work or be legal as long as this scale amounts to more then minimum and is a suitable wage.

    Anyone else paying by the job?

  9. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    Bob- it does sound possible to me. But I will say this. I've been sending out two crews for almost 5 years now. I sub out chemical apps and most of my time is spent doing estimates, meeting with clients, collecting money, and making sure all the equipment is up and running for the guys (O.K. maybe some Lawnsite in between lol).
    I've learned that even the best workers will not do the quality work or respect your equipment the same way as if you are there with them. This means more broken sprinklers, fences, windows, corners of patios, gates, and even car accidents. Not only will you have to deal with more client complaints, you will be running back to the dealer for parts and repairs because your equipment gets beat up more. This is a real problem when you have lawns to do or other projects to take care of. You can blow off your phone calls until the evening, but that means spending more time at night.

    I'm not saying not to do it, Bob. I know you have a no BS attitude and that's a big plus. I, like you never planned on being behind a mower for years and years. I hire people to do the work for me. But that opened up a whole new group of problems and stress that I didn't have when I drove the truck and had two workers with me. Honestly, I hope this move can allow you to cut back on hours and make more money. But I work just as many hours now as i did 5 years ago. I do make more money, though. Good luck, Mike
  10. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,864

    Al Inc, et al....

    with regard to damages, etc that occur when you are not with a crew and the possible lack of respect show, howabout tying in a monthly/every 6/yearly bonus to crews based on lack of damages? yes, it shouldn't have to come to this, but it would keep it in the forefront of their minds but it gives them a stronger sense of ownership in their work. similar to bonuses i pay my window and siding crews for no injuries and no property/equip damages and it definitely works. i do it as a 5-10% bonus dependent upon category.


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