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Work Ethic - "Food For Thought"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by EagleLandscape, May 6, 2004.

  1. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    I don't know about you guys, but I do know everyone has experienced the customer saying... "how can you charge $30 when you were only here for 30 minutes"?

    I'm sure I'm not alone in my hard work ethic. I know I work as hard and as fast as humanly possible during my jobs because I know the sooner I get done with this one, the sooner I can start on the next... so on and so forth, and eventually get home.

    That's the difference between our labor and hired labor, they just work at a half-assed pace, versus us, the harder we work, the more money we earn in a shorter amount of time.

    One guy told me the other day... I don't believe in paying anyone more than $20.00 an hour for "unskilled labor"...

    Well he's not a customer anymore, and owes me $191.00 and does his own lawn now, (not to mention the cut looks like crap).

    I know the sooner I get done, the sooner I can go hang out with my friends that night, and for your married guys, the sooner you can spend time with your wives and kids. But I'm not alone in my theory of working harder to get more money faster, am I?
  2. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 932

    Absolutely not!
    I found that out by having someone help me last week. Being small, I am experimenting. Found out this past week, having him help me for 5 hours, we finished the lawns to be done in 5 hours. Me doing them myself this weekend, I got them done ALONE in 5 hours???
    I think I had the motivation to mow faster, and he was just there to mow.
    I think there is no better motivation to work harder than to make more money, and be home enjoying the family more.

    So I do not think you are alone at all. It is the benefit of the business, you get paid to do the job, not by how long you can milk it out!
  3. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    Jwing, don't let some knucklehead dictate that kind of discussion. He's blithely forgetting that you're not unskilled labor, you're operating a small business. You have:

    A) Insurance costs
    B) Equipment costs
    C) Storage fees
    D) So on and so forth.

    Look, this is nothing but status bullsh*t as determined by occupation. Try to get your money, but forget what this idiot said.
  4. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    My experience exactly! Did 11 "average" lawns in a day alone. Did 11 with a helper. Felt more tired and drained with the helper from having to keep an eyeball on them and give instructions. I think the faster you work the less the first employee helps improve things. And not just employees. My brother worked with me some and it was the same story. Yes, some days I got more done, but after paying their wages I was breaking even or a little behind. It's tough to make the transition.
  5. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,850

    I agree. Help is good - I think more done in a day but when I actually put the number together for the amount of mowing we did, I come out about even. I am better off running myself for 10-12 hours and not babysitting for 9 hours!
  6. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    There is nothing wrong with your work ethic. Don't change a thing unless you can mow even faster with quality results. As far as that customer (ex customer) goes, I say good riddance. There are always people like that but I find that there are plenty more who appreciate the work we do and they don't care how quick we get done.
    I feel the same as you do, the quicker I am done the quicker I can spend time and profit with my family. You have the right work ethic and keep doing what you are doing.
    My help is my wife so we both have a vested interest in the business so I am of little help when discussing hired labor. I do know one thing, I like it the way I have it and don't think I could hire anyone.
  7. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,266

    It,s not how fast you are doing it, it,s how fast can THEY do it. One hour may two. I see it as simply trading time.
  8. lawnmedic1

    lawnmedic1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    It's all in the help you hire. I only keep people that will work as fast as me and give as good or better quality.

    You can not compare man hours on help if they are not trained(with experience), and know the property being serviced...Chuck
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    People just plain and simply do NOT like to pay out more for something than what they make per hour. Mr. Biznessexecutive realizes it takes him 2 1/2 hrs. to do on his lawn what it only takes you 45 minutes, but he doesn't like that realization that even though you have $20,000 worth of equipment working, that he is paying out more per "x" time than he makes. People consider this a defecit. These are the same people that feel that if they can keep you there, waste your time - even with idle chit-chat, that because it costed you more time, it was more worth it to him. I had a pita guy like that last year. Always kept me waiting. Even to collect money,... he would take his sweet time on the phone, or talking to the croanies he had working around his house. He would say he wanted to talk to me, but then expect me to wait. After about the second time, I just started leaving. I'll stand there for a minute or two, but I'll be darned if I'm going to wait around for him like one of his servants. I am WAY TOO BUSY for that!
  10. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Messages: 1,405

    I usually mow alone and I have a guy who does most of my mulch installations and we them them done much faster than I could alone. Its all about finding good help and putting it to use in areas of your business that really need it.

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