when is the right time for an employee?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ManleyLawn, Nov 14, 2003.

  1. ManleyLawn

    ManleyLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    hey guys at what point in your business where you financialy ready to take on a full time employee on the books.? Did you say when i hit 50,000.00 i will get an employee or for instance like $75,000 then is it time? I am always busy and always get burnt out this time of year. i had a guy in school mow with me to get caught up more than a few times but i'm not sure if financially i am ready for a full time employee... thanks for your help.
  2. the scaper

    the scaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 690

    think about it this way, you can get a helper to do half of the work if not more for about the cost of one or two mows per day.
  3. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    Or you could drop one or two mows per day and not need a helper! That's the thing that always bugs me. I get some help, I gotta take on more work. No help, same amount of work.
  4. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    This is a question only you can answer.. no exact dollar amount either. When you are ready to expand & you can afford to pay someone. That's when it's time in my opinion.
  5. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Hey Manleylawn, how big are you, how much equipment do you have. How many places do you have to mow. What are your short term goals. What are your long term goals. Give us a bit more info.
    It shouldnt be a matter of how much you are presently earning, but rather how much you want to grow your business and if you want the headaches in trade for higher earnings. With me, I started hiring after I hade my schedule so full that I had to work 12 hrs a day and most yards I couldlt get to for 8 or 9 days. I started turning away a lot of new offers that werent next door to exsisting customers. I hesitated to hire anyone because of the difficulty in finding good help seemed imposible. I thought I would just do it myself with good equipment and then I could become choosy in the new customers I take bidding higher and higher. If I didnt get them, so what. Now that I hired a few helpers, Im only working 8 hrs and realizing more than I made in 12 doing it solo. I had to purchase more equipment and Im fixing more stuff. Workers can be a headache if they dont show up or like to stand around too much and stuff, but all my lawns get cut once a week now and Im bidding new jobs.
  6. the scaper

    the scaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 690

    what you just said would make sense if your only doing 4 or 5 yards per day, but if you're doing 8-12 or more think about it, you would only be doing mabey half of the work for only the cost of 1 or 2 mows. this = less burn out and more money. if finding enough work is a problem then you probably dont need a helper.
  7. TRex

    TRex LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW ,TX
    Messages: 487

    Find someone who may not be the brightest light but is motivated to work, this way it will not cost to much and do not take on more work until the employee has earned they're keep and shows up on time. I had a guy help me one day who was walking down the street and asked me if I needed help and I did but of course I told him I did not. He was persistant and stated he needed any kind of work, so I had him help for the rest of the day and he had enough brain power to be worth $50 for the half a day he worked and I do not regret it one bit. You should be able to tell from the school student that helps you wheather or not it will be profitable.
  8. GardenTech

    GardenTech LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    II IIIIIIII.....your social life consists only of sleeping...
    II II............you're constantly telling clients "Next Week"...
    II IIIIII.......you feel you're leaving potential income on the table...
    II II............you're afraid to answer the phone...
    II II............you're not afraid of Headaches....

    ...then put somebody on PART TIME, preferable towards the latter part of the week ( when you're always running behind )...teach him/her to weedwack or pack blow...leave the lawn striping ( and operation of your mower-your most expensive piece of equipment) to yourself until you're sure they can "cut it". Pay them cash( to avoid all the paperwork and make it a little more appealing without costing you an arm and a leg ). Give it a month and if it does't work out the way you expect, you let them go...bottom line is that if you play it right, you might get to go fishing on a nice Saturday afternoon once and a while, instead of in the pouring rain!
  9. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Never pay in cash. Plus, if you dont have proper insurance (Workmans comp), you are playing with fire if worker gets a rock in his eye or slices his hand open cutting trimmer line or any serious injury. You can get sued big time and lose much more than gained. Have all proper paperwork in place when hiring unless your a big gambler
  10. GardenTech

    GardenTech LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    You're absolutely right PJS, I was just trying to K.I.S.S...
    A small LCO, and particularly a One Man Operation in most cases can't truey afford all the time and paperwork and Money it costs to put a part timer "on the Books", but if you want to C.Y.A., it 's right thing to do...

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