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picframer
05-05-2010, 05:46 PM
My son handles 95% of this and it works perfect, anyhow and she will probably read this, I was contacted by a female, around 35, military reserves looking for work. I am not gender bias, get the job done I really don't care what sex you are or color.

So I hire Thea, well I am here to tell you she can work 98% of the guys into the ground, hands down. I had her on a chipping crew the past two days, even the client was shocked, talk about a work horse and a very beautiful personality, a keeper for us. She is working with me tomorrow as she wants to drive tractors, sure thing as we need more loader operators and with two tractor trailer loads of sod and 16 trucks of top soil at various sites, lots of work there.

I will post a picture tomorrow as we are all within 10 min of each other 17 staff at the moment and I called my son this afternoon and asked that he find at least four more, on the condition they be full part time, we are meeting at a central subway for lunch, should be quite the show, 5 trucks with trailers and 17 staff in Uniforms.

So when looking for employees folks, don;t put the blinders on, there could be a gem right under your nose.

Steve
05-06-2010, 12:45 PM
I'd love to see a picture of your trucks all together at the meeting and all your staff at the subway! That would make for a great shot!

Is it possible she has had some training with heavy equipment in the reserves?

picframer
05-06-2010, 05:06 PM
I'd love to see a picture of your trucks all together at the meeting and all your staff at the subway! That would make for a great shot!

Is it possible she has had some training with heavy equipment in the reserves?

Today was insane for us, 17 staff at 5 sites and thunder storms which arrived around 3:30 so everyone worked through lunch, I am exhausted tonight for some reason, cooking my world famous pepper steak and having a cold one!

Steve
05-07-2010, 12:56 PM
I dont know how you are able to manage all of those employees without pulling your hair out!

picframer
05-07-2010, 04:29 PM
I dont know how you are able to manage all of those employees without pulling your hair out!

I don't have a lot to pull, today was so hard, thunder showers late yesterday and through the night, trying to move top soil was a nightmare and the sod was desperate heavy, only finished about 60% of the jobs scheduled for today so we are all working tomorrow.

picframer
05-08-2010, 05:04 AM
I dont know how you are able to manage all of those employees without pulling your hair out!

I had a meeting with my son last night as this has been heavy on my mind the past couple of weeks, we have to make some changes as it seems adding more staff is doing little more than throwing fuel on the fire so to speak, we have to downsize as I am getting tired of putting the hours in that I do, 80++ a week and really falling behind in administrative work.

We could find someone who could handle emails, estimates etc but there is only so much we can do, we are very efficient with routes, moving equipment, we have a lot of gear but could use more however one has to decide just how large do you want this animal.

A crew finished a landscaping job late yesterday, I went to pick up a loader to move, owner was there, super guy and we have done a few jobs for him in the past and his employees, he has the largest printing company in the city, we got on the topic. He informed me his wife's brother owns a landscaping/lawn care company about an hour outside the city and went through what I am two years ago, he sold everything, took a brake and went back into business this year with three employees and refuses to take on work more than two weeks in advance for landscaping and 50 lawn care clients, this seems to make sense, it would mean we could/would probably sell some equipment but at least I could have a life again.

It's been an interesting ride, at the same time I have far too many customers waiting, most are patient but when you are booked 11 weeks in advance, two or three bad days a week because of weather or what ever has a real negative effect on people at the bottom of the list in pushing their projects off, we are full staff today in an effort to get cought up, I have avoided working full staff Saturdays due to burning people out and overtime but have no choice.

We have tried subbing out, referring people to other companies etc. non of this has worked well as we just haven't found the right company and I don't have time to look.

Fresh Cut
05-08-2010, 11:43 AM
Andy,

What software do you use for billing and scheduling of jobs? What do you use to schedule employees?

Steve
05-08-2010, 02:19 PM
he sold everything, took a brake and went back into business this year with three employees and refuses to take on work more than two weeks in advance for landscaping and 50 lawn care clients, this seems to make sense, it would mean we could/would probably sell some equipment but at least I could have a life again.

Isn't it fascinating how in the mind of many business owners, they would love to have a huge company and be very busy, but when you get there, you find that it takes way too much energy.

Do you think this is the same for other industries as well or do you feel in this industry the owner simply has to be involved a lot more than not?

picframer
05-08-2010, 02:34 PM
Andy,

What software do you use for billing and scheduling of jobs? What do you use to schedule employees?

Billing is Simply Accounting

Scheduling Jobs I use Google Doc's, staff log in whenever and put their name beside jobs they want to do, I review it each evening to ensure jobs for at least three days in the future are staff'd

Lawn mowing because it's weekly never changes, I wrote the program that runs this, it emails the mowing crews the evening before, also my accounting software prints work orders 48 hours in advance and the staff are given these daily.

picframer
05-08-2010, 02:36 PM
Isn't it fascinating how in the mind of many business owners, they would love to have a huge company and be very busy, but when you get there, you find that it takes way too much energy.

Do you think this is the same for other industries as well or do you feel in this industry the owner simply has to be involved a lot more than not?

I am not really sure Steve but what I do know is I decided a long time ago if a job wasn't fun I would leave or make changes. This industry tends to be more hands on by the owner compared to other companies I have owned or run.

Steve
05-09-2010, 02:15 PM
Do you ever wonder what makes things fun or not fun?

Do you think it has to do with the amount of time you have to put into something? When you have to put too much time into something, no matter what it is, it becomes not fun because you can't take a break and do something else?

Fresh Cut
05-09-2010, 04:51 PM
Do you ever wonder what makes things fun or not fun?

Do you think it has to do with the amount of time you have to put into something? When you have to put too much time into something, no matter what it is, it becomes not fun because you can't take a break and do something else?

Freedom!

It's the reason I work. I need freedom. Freedom of choice, freedom that financial security affords, freedom of time restraints, etc.

picframer
05-09-2010, 06:46 PM
Do you ever wonder what makes things fun or not fun?

Do you think it has to do with the amount of time you have to put into something? When you have to put too much time into something, no matter what it is, it becomes not fun because you can't take a break and do something else?

When I wake in the morning and can hardly wait to get to it, that is fun to me, working 7 days a week, 12 to 16 hour days and not being able to keep up is very fustrating, I appreciate all the business however managing this many people is driving me around the bend.

I would like to take a day and just work around my own peoperty which is what today was to be but then my lawyer friend called and wanted some excavation done, sounded like a simple afternoon project however on my drive there he expanded the project, now it will be there at least 9 weeks, I will probably back out of some other excavation jobs, with the price of fuel I have to look at the bottom line and we are not adding more equipment.