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What to do??

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Mow Master, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. Mow Master

    Mow Master LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I am currently working for a large grounds maintenance company trying to learn the ropes to eventually start my own business. I've been working very hard for this company for about two months now, and they still will not let me mow. I string trim all day. I understand that you have to start somewhere, however, they only pay me nine dollars an hour to string trim and blow 9-13 hours a day, 5 days a week. Whats even worse is the the others on the crew are total jerks. They all are on major power trips and and sit around and do nothing while I whip and blow entire sites on my own. Is it worth sticking it out and keep working hard for these guys with the possibility that they will never teach me what I need to know????? Also what is the best way to quote a job??? I think the company I work for goes by the man hours it takes to finish or something. :help: :help:
  2. northmichigan

    northmichigan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    starting your own business is more than 'getting to mow' you need to study the business end of things and work on your people skills.bidding is more than man hours when you are starting a business. study your market and equpment needs for that market.
    figure at nine an hour fifty hours a week you need at least 450$ to be where you are then there is equipment costs,insurance and overhead.
    take classes ,read lawnsiite,visit dealers and talk to people.
    good luck,
  3. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    You're starting out at more than I did. That was some time ago though. It's been awhile, but I don't think I was allowed on the mowers for several months either. I did a lot of trimming and then worked with the sprinkler tech as well because at that time he was way behind. (I got to do a lot of digging while he watched). Glad that didn't last too long. Just long enough to get him caught up. It's early yet. Wouldn't worry too much about it. One day a guy won't show up or will quit and they will put you on a mower. As for the business end, what he said ^ is right. Start taking some classes.
  4. a1 lawncare

    a1 lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    first quit worrying about the other people, and most importantly don't gripe to the owner or your boss, work hard, and eventually the situation will rectify itself, i wont turn the new guy loose on a high dollar property or on a high dollar piece of equipment, but if i have some rough area mowing i'd consider it the perfect place for a new person to learn the operation of the equipment, like the others have mentioned take in as much as you can, don't let what the others do (or in this case don't do) affect you, in the end the owner, or your foreman, will notice and you diligence and hard work will be rewarded, one way or another :) .

    best of luck
  5. Mow Master

    Mow Master LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for your time and advice. I will stick it out and keep working hard. As a matter of fact my foreman just quit Friday, so their probablly will be some people moving up. I have been learning a lot about the actual work, but does anyone have a place to get information on the ownership/managerial side of the field, things like bidding. It would help out a lot. Also besides looking through the claaifieds, where can i find some good deals on used equipment. I really want to find a 48" thats in good shape, what brand do you reccomend??? We run Lesco because we do a lot of stripping, and deck lifting.
  6. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    You can learn about bidding right here! Ask away! You can also us e the search feature up towards the upper right of the control panel bar and look up estimating and so forth if you wnat to speed up the answers. Business side books? Do you have a library card? Tons of books on accounting, economics, supply chain management(yes it applies to services too), also look up stuff like the book Gureilla Marketing. Books on finance are good too. You may be able to find some good used college texts floating around out there on half.com. The board will most likely help you the most though.
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I don't fully agree about the not stepping up and saying something. I agree not to put it in a way that you are complaining to the boss, but I would turn it around into something positive. Go in and tell him that you are MORE than eager to learn different aspects of this business, and that you REALLY want the chance to run a mower, as YOU feel you can be more proficient by being conciencious and planning out ahead of time the coverages. Let him know that you are ready for more challenges and that you are EAGER to take this on. He will look at this in a VERY positive way, and know that he doesn't just have a "trimmer" who is content doing the same mundane tasks everyday, but that you need more challenging and growing positions...THAT is saying more than probably 80% of the OTHER guys he's got working for him, inCLUDING those who are riding mowers. I mean, you SEE that THEY are slackers! You never know, he may end up pulling one of these guys who are not pulling alot of weight off and PUT you on a mower. It happens...I've done it in my business, and your situation happened to me when I was 18 and working for my first lco. Just let him know.
    Here's a story for you.
    Bill and Charlie went to work for the railroad many years ago. They sweated it out on the rails driving spikes, made their checks, and went home. One day, Charlie was swinging the hammer, and Bill was gone. Years later, Charlie was hooking up some rails for the spike drivers, and a train backed in to commemoorate wher the tracks are joining together. Out walks the President of the Railroad, and with him is Bill. Charlie says to the guy driving spikes."You see that man up there with the President? I know him. We hired in to this railroad at the same time."
    The other man said. "Really? What happened? Why is he in a nice suit and you are down here carrying rails and driving spikes?"
    Charlie replied. "Because when we hired in, I came to work for my weekly pay..................Bill came to work for the railroad."
  8. a1 lawncare

    a1 lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    and a good story, i guess what i should have said is don't complain all the time, but runner your 100% right on your approach of running the equipment, the owner, crew leader or whatever needs to know your interested and not just there for a check :)

    best of luck
  9. Mow Master

    Mow Master LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks again for the advice. I really appreciate it, and i could not agree more. The story was great, Joe, and I see your point. I am going to talk to my boss and let you know how it goes. I think this site is the greatest tool I have found and hope that I will soon be able to help people like you guys have helped me!!!
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Every person that ever worked for me spent a majority of the first YEAR with the trimmer. There is a reason:
    1. The mower will do its job, but trimming is a detail job that makes or breaks the entire property. We need people to learn that first and foremost.
    2. It takes more than a few months to get really good and fast with a trimmer. It really takes about 2 yrs to get awesome with one.
    3. If you know how and what to trim it makes it easier when you start mowing. You already know where the mower can and can't go. You have a better understanding of the guys that are now trimming. You can also help and give advice and direction to those trimming.

    So, stop worrying about everyone else and cowboy up. Someone at some level will notice if you do your job and don't slack. The lazy people on the crew will surface to the powers above soon enough.

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