Youre About To Outsell Your Labor
Youve put the finishing touches on your latest marketing campaign. Youre ready to send it out.
Its got solid upsells. Youre hoping it makes a lot of money.
The Question to Ask Yourself: If Im successful with this campaign, what would the strain on my business look like?
Two answers:a. Wouldnt hurt us at all. Crews have room to add jobs, even if Im wildly successful.b. Would strain the crews they were added to. Their schedules are close to full already.
If new jobs would push crews too hard, its time to get more labor.
You should always be selling. You dont want to stagnate! Youre right to run that marketing campaign.Lawn care customers have an average life of 2 years. That means a stagnant company will be a dead company within 24 months.
Counting on a static customer base because you cant sell anymore work without hiring anyone is the best way to sign the death certificate for your business.
Similarly dangerous is running a marketing campaign, especially a good one, and not having any idea if your company can keep up with the growth.
Most Contractors Do Not Approach Recruiting With The Same Proactive Planning That They Do In Other Areas
Think about the extensive budget youve built for your business. If youre an LMN user, then you probably already know the value of planning ahead for revenue, cost of goods sold, overhead, and equipment purchases. By building a thorough budget and a clear estimating process, you can set yourself up for pricing your business profitably all year long, so you can hit the revenue and profit goals you have set for your company.
A lot of entrepreneurs approach marketing with the same rigor. They analyze marketing spends and the cost of lead acquisition. They plot home shows, flyer campaigns, and client networking strategies to ensure there is consistent lead flow. These are great practices, and the same mentality can and should be applied to how you recruit.
Once youve launched those efforts, youll need time to let the resumes roll in, and then more time to call them, interview them, and finally onboard them before your team is ready to rock. To do all this properly, youll want to map out your plan, and then plan out the time youre going to spend executing each step of that plan, so that youre primed to tackle landscaping jobs by the time the weather perks up.
How To Hire A Lawn Care Service To That Manicures The Lawn
Even though the neighborhood kid trying to subsidize their allowance is charging an unbeatable rate, its always better to pursue the business of a professional lawn care service. This is especially true if your property is used for residential or commercial ventures.
AestheticsThe aesthetic value of your properties are usually the first thing potential tenants notice when they are making evaluations. A well-manicured looks clean and can give the impression that a particular property is safe.
SafetyBeyond impressions, tall and overgrown grass can pose safety concerns that parents of small children will take note of right away. In southern states threats such as fire ants and snakes thrive in tall unruly grass just waiting for an unsuspecting person to make the wrong step.
LawsBeyond safety and aesthetics, in some states your properties are required to have a well-manicured lawn to keep up with city ordinances.
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Determine Payroll And Recordkeeping Best Practices
When onboarding your new hire, youâll need to have a payroll system in place and follow recordkeeping best practices:
- You must keep employment records for 1 yearYou must keep payroll records for 3 years
- If youâre hiring your first employee in Texas, the state minimum wage is $7.25 per hourâthe same rate as the federal minimum wage. However, Michiganâs minimum wage is $9.65.
Your payroll systemâwhether you do it by hand, use software, or outsource to an accountant or payroll companyâmust account for employment taxes:
- Federal income tax
- Social Security and Medicare taxes
- Additional Medicare tax
Access Workers With Specialized Skills
Since every project is different, you may run into instances where you need a specialized expertise for the job. Using temporary labor gives you a way to leverage specialized workers, like irrigation technicians, trained arborists and equipment operators, for short-term work. In addition, you may gain other potential advantages by sourcing temporary workers with specialized training or certain equipment. Instead of sourcing the expertise or tools required to complete the job, save yourself some overhead by requiring whats needed as a prerequisite for your next temporary hire.
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Lawn Care Business: An Overview
An idea to start a lawn care business isnt a bad decision but is rather very good. But not all ideas can be turned into fortune just because those ideas are good. In order to make your business idea a reality and a success there is much that you need to do. One such thing is understanding your business.
Understanding requires understanding the lawn care industry not as an outsider but as an insider. In order to understand it would be better for you to first work in the business as an employee for at least a year. This is will give you deep insight regarding the lawn care business its pros and cons, chance of success and failure, investment and return on investment.
The other way is to network with people who are in this business. Understand their perspective and their experience in this industry but it would at the end of the day will remain only their perspective.
You can also do deep research on this topic by accessing through online blogs, websites, books and journals available. Moving ahead, the next step forward is accumulating all the information you have gathered and writing it in the form of a plan which is well structured having a definitive strategy regarding your business and how you plan to execute it.
Stretching Employees Too Thin
Rarely will an office set their employees outdoors for an hour or so to pull weeds. But, many companies with a warehouse or janitorial team will expect these employees to step away from their important tasks to perform outdoor maintenance and cleanup, which is not their expertise. Let your employees focus on what you hired them to do, and hire a different set of outsourced employees to focus on the yard. Its what landscapers do best.
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Why Company Culture Is Vital For Keeping Employees In Todays Market
Think about it. Your average lawn care employee will be working 10-12 hours a day during the height of the growing season. Plus, your crews will also be working over the weekend, completing jobs that were rained out earlier in the week.
In other words, you want to make your lawn care companys culture a pleasant one that employees look forward to going to work rather than dreading it.
If youre just starting your lawn care business and youre learning how to hire good lawn care employees, start with establishing your companys culture.
Is there a lot of backbiting and gossip? High turnover? Then, you may need to improve your companys atmosphere.
While your company may be new, you can still incorporate positive cultural practices by offering
- Free coffee during tailgate meetings
- Perks that dont cost you a lot of money
- Extra time off for employees
- Paid holiday time.
Make working at your lawn care business fun too. Friendly competitions and free pizza can bring people together. Of course, paying your employees as well as you can afford to will foster goodwill and make your company an attractive place to work.
Get Started With Gigsmart
Create your free hiring account and post your first Gig to be connected to temporary lawn care employees who can help fuel your business. today. To create a free Shift Gig, elect the orange Create button to get started. Add worker skills, hourly rate, and gig details such as description, address, date and time. Soon after you get started with us, youll find that GigSmart is the easiest, most affordable way to find and hire top notch landscapers.
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Scale Crews Based On Project Needs
Hire workers based on the demands of each project. Rather than having too many full-time employees on standby, hire temporary workers to help with large or last minute projects.
Since you likely experience increased customer requests based on a variety of factors like the weather, the time of year, and your location, you can utilize temporary Workers to quickly scale your team as those variables change. By supplementing your crew with flexible labor, you can easily offer more hands on deck to get projects done to completion on time . Temporary labor makes it easy to scale your workforce, without the unfortunate downside of having to dismiss or let go full-time employees once projects are complete.
Why You Need A Lawn Care Employee Handbook
A lawn care employee handbook gives you four points of legal protection according to an article at LawnandLandscape.com:
- Each lawn care worker or staff gets a written job description that specifies clear-cut expectations, job duties, and any other responsibilities that your employees must complete.
- A lawn care employee handbook covers many policies and systems that work together for your lawn care business.
- Your employee handbook should include a solid safety program that applies to each employee. In the age of COVID-19, your safety program needs to include CDC and OSHA guidelines for lawn care businesses.
- You need a well-written lawn care employee handbook. Your handbook should cover a wide range of issues and policies. Copying and pasting a handbook template thats haphazardly written wont cut it.
Your employee handbook is a legal document that will protect you in case you have an employee problem. Invest in a professional to write one for you or have your human resource person write it for you.
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Example Of A Lawn Care Company Overview
Green Yard Champs is a team of 6 lawn care pros that help our customers keep and care for lush green lawns, and maintain safe walkways in the winter. We started in 2010 and were only growingour mission is to provide pristine lawn care service to as many Edmonton homes as possible.
Were a team of friendly, yet straightforward people who treat our customers like old friends. Loving the job matters to us, so we take feedback, team building, and professional growth seriously. Everyone on staff is eligible for bonus pay, and we make accommodations as best as we can.
Hire For Experience Not Potential
Mike Smith is the owner of Elite Lawncare in Crystal Lake, Ilinois. Today, he is a leader in his market, but Mike still remembers his first years in lawn care.
Elite Lawncare quickly learned that hiring new, inexperienced employees held them back.
For us, we found that hiring newer employees was a mistake while our company was small, Mike says.
Inexperienced labor may be cheaper, but it also slows down the growth of a business. So, Mike’s company looked for experience:
We found employees who had worked for other large companies came trained, knew how to complete the work on their own, could be trusted, and came to us with good ideas of their own.
Experienced professionals, Mike explained, might have insider info on your competitors or advanced knowledge on business processes that will help you grow.
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How To Start A Lawn Care Business
Blake is an award-winning consultant, writer, and speaker. As a consultant, he helped over 700 biz owners start and grow their business. His expertise is featured across Fit Small Business in starting a business content.
This article is part of a larger series on Starting a Business.
A lawn care business does basic grass maintenance like mowing, edging, weed eating, and blowing. Learning how to start a lawn care business starts with understanding costs that include equipment, business licenses, insurance, and depending on your state, a mowing license. You can pay yourself around $60,000 a year with a well-functioning lawn maintenance business.
Every lawn care company needs to file as a legal entity. This protects the owners personal assets if a lawsuit were to occur against the business. Incfile is an online legal service that walks you step-by-step through registering your lawn business as a legal entity. Register your business today for only $49 plus state fees.
Heres how to start a lawn care business in five steps.
S For An Official Hiring Process
- The Interview – Take your prospective employee to neutral ground. A coffee shop works well. Ask them questions about their work history, experience, etc. Only you can judge if they fit in your company.
- Background Checks – Protect yourself. Try Crimcheck.com for background checks. You might also want Motor Vehicle Reports if this new employee will drive a truck.
- The Offer Letter – Make your decision official by sending your employee an Offer Letter. This is a two-sided letter. It sets expectations for your employee and protects your company if that employee fails to meet these expectations.
- Payroll – Use a payroll tool. Service Autopilot integrates with Quickbooks, a payroll software that is practically industry standard at this point.
- Legal Paperwork – Taxes, hiring forms, payroll deductions, etc..The requirements are different for employment in the United States and hiring in Canada.
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Tips For Hiring New Employees
Finding employees is one of the hardest parts about being a business owner in the green industry. If you can find viable applicants, you then have to hope they will actually show up and be good on the job. But, there are a few ways to help improve your chances of finding and keeping good workers.
Here are eight tips from Lawn Doctor to find the best employees.
1. Have a process in the first place.
If you spend a little more time at the beginning setting up your landscaping companys process, you will be a lot better off in the long run. Spend some time creating written, formal procedures on what you need to do. You will be thankful you have such a system in place the next time you need to hire a new employee.
2. Have a paid referral system.
One great way to find quality staff is to get referrals from the quality landscaping staff you already have. So, offer your current employees a paid bonus if they refer someone who is hired by you and who lasts for at least 90 days. This can immediately lead to a better pool of applicants.
When you are hiring, you are not just looking for someone who has skills and experience at landscaping. You also want to find employees with the right attitude. One way to do that is with a more detailed, specific job application than you may have done in the past.
4. Come up with good interview questions.
5. Check references.
6. Check job status with E-Verify
7. Have employees sign a job contract explaining what is expected of them.
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Lawn Care Business
You can start a lawn care company with as little as $2,000 to more than $100,000. How much you spend depends on your equipment needs. You can begin a lean-budget mowing business with used equipment stored on a truck you already own, a business registration for $150 and liability insurance, which costs around $400 a month. Lawn maintenance business expenses increase as you add industrial lawn equipment, trucks, trailers, employees, and an office.
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Where To Find Temporary Landscaping Employees
Many landscaping companies continue to struggle with retaining employees due to of fluctuations in scheduling, job complexity, and job type. After experiencing challenges with hiring, retaining and scheduling, Colorado based Cosyleon Landscape Concepts turned the GigSmart Get Workers to quickly scale their staff as seasonality, demand, or job complexity requires it.
Whether youre a business that offers landscaping services or an individual looking for a summer lawn maintenance company you can rely on, you can find and hire skilled help for any outdoor project with Get Workers.
If your needs are immediate, we can help you find qualified, temporary labor in less than an hour. If you have a scheduled project coming up, you can hire up to 30 days in advance. Through GigSmarts Get Workers app, workers are rated and reviewed, allowing you to select the best workers for the job. The best part is all eligible workers hired through the GigSmart platform are insured, which means potential accidents that might happen on-site wont affect your business insurance policy or raise your premiums.
How Long Have You Been In Business
Experience is important and one of the best ways to gauge whether a lawn care company has it is to ask how long theyve been in business. The trouble with brand-new businesses is that they sometimes turn out to be fly-by-night companies that dont stick around that long.
Weve heard horror stories of people who have gone through the process of hiring a lawn care service only to have them pick up and leave town with no notice, sometimes even cheating them of owed services with no refund.
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Your Most Valuable Employee Cant Work On Important Tasks
Youve taught him to estimate. Youve helped her become a proficient bookkeeper.
Neither of them is able to do the high-level tasks youve spent time training them to do because theyre stuck doing menial work, entry-level stuff theyve been doing since day one.
Its dangerous to hold up a good employees progression, especially if youve trained them in or promised more challenging, higher-level work to them. That employee could take those skills somewhere else, potentially to a competitor. Hire more lawn care employees to replace seasoned, skilled employees. They’ll make you more money when you let them spread their wings.