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-   Starting a lawn care business. (http://www.gopherforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=32)
-   -   1st helper expectations (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=6581)

Larry's Lawns 01-25-2008 07:22 AM

What I find most on mind during the offseason is growth and my 1st hire. I can keep guessing wildly, or ask the forum and maybe get some experienced opinions.

Anybody have good advice on how to find the right guy and then keep him??
In trying to look forward to this, I keep forseeing a conflict between keeping good help (if lucky enough to find) with enough consistant hours to stay, and the ineviteble 'too wet to mow' periods. *Putting myself into those shoes, I don't think I would be to excited about an 'I'll call you when I need you' income even if it has high potential to be more consistant later.

Your experiences and advice are appreciated.

Larry Puckette
Larry's Lawns
Seguin Texas

Little's 01-25-2008 12:50 PM

I just happened to find a guy that is the hardest worker I have ever seen. I found him without even looking. I parked by a "labor Ready" agency and was walking to the business next door to it when he approached me and told me he was willing to work hard. He handed me his phone number and address. I didnt think much of it at the time since I wasnt needing help at that time. It was about 2 months later when I called him to help me.
He is 46 years old and does twice the work of a 20 year old and never complains about anything. He is ALWAYS willing to work, and has never turned down any offer to work.
He has told me several times that he will help me finish jobs without pay, just so he doesnt have to sit at home and be bored! I know it sounds too good to be true, but he has been helping me for almost 2 years now, and I am not looking forward to the day when I have to find someone else to help me. I pay him $15 to $20 an hour where I would pay most others maybe $10.
I guess I have been lucky.

F3Nelson 02-09-2008 12:11 PM

Its my experience that employees SUCK, I dont care how well you treat them or pay them.


That is all

ABurlison 02-09-2008 03:33 PM

I'm fortunate to have a Brother in College, he only goes until around noon or so, so he's available to help when I need him, and he likes the sporatic cash. My suggestion would be to find someone like this, either a relative or a family friend who has someone younger who just needs some sporatic cash every week.

Steve 02-09-2008 07:17 PM

Do you feel he will help you bridge that gap between needing only part time help to a full time employee?

Can you for see at what point you would need to hire someone to help you full time?

ABurlison 02-09-2008 07:36 PM

You know this is really a tough situation, because I'm like the rest of the guys, I wouldn't trust anyone else to operate my business but myself or my brother, so to hire someone I don't know, I would be really be skeptical, cause afterall who can perform the work better than myself. The other scenario would be hiring someone as a worker along side myself, that I train to do the job and do it well, and if I can justify the $10/ hour which is $400 per week at 40 hours a week, than I would go for it, but the labor costs really needs to justify hiring this second worker, and yeah you'll have to keep them busy or they will go elsewhere, so I could try and keep them working as many hours I could to 40 hours a week.

Steve 02-09-2008 07:38 PM

Ultimately do you think it is better to just be a single owner operator and that's it? Sometimes calling in extra help once in a while? Is it just too much of a pain to have to hire on employees?

ABurlison 02-09-2008 07:52 PM

Although I think we all want to become large enough to hire on crews to work for us, I've been called quite a bit lately to bid on apartment complexes and commercial properties where all they do is complain about the currect company, their crew does this and their crew does that and they point out all the things the hired help does or doesn't do, and they ask me do you provide personal service? And I do because I'm the owner/operator and I feel more and more businesses and multi unit complexes are looking for that. Not only that, but they want people who speak english, no offense to minorities, they are for the most part good workers, but if the property managers and such have problems, they should be able to communicate with the workers and not have to call the owner every time. I keep hearing about this more and more, and people are getting tired of it.

All Aspects Landscaping 02-09-2008 08:18 PM

This is a double edge sword guys... you work solo... you are limited to how much money you can make... hire guys and become a factory that loses 25% of jobs each year right? Best thing I think to do is grow slow... find that guy.. train him right and give him a truck after 1 year... in the meantime, you have to market to get more work for next year... It takes planning to grow... You have to learn how to manage people... whether you are cutting grass or hardscaping, you need to manage your men... Put policies and procedures in place that you yourself follow... set an example... hold your men accountable for things....know whats going on upstairs... We do a friday meeting everyweek... 10 mins, pick a subject and discuss it... offer a challenge for your guys and the winner wins $50.00... Keep guys motivated... and happy...know whats going on with them, but let them know you are the boss.... dont be afraid to be honest with the guys... We have 8 full time guys last year and next year it will be 12... I know all their names, birthdays, and marital status... but when I pull up all I see is arses and elbows...I command respect.... or else they get fired...

Steve 02-09-2008 08:23 PM

James,

Quote:

Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]offer a challenge for your guys and the winner wins $50.00..

What kind of challenges would you recommend?


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