Originally Posted by Gypsos
Just trying to get some insight and ideas as to the best way to do things. First some background...
I am a one man band. I explain this to my customers and they take it or leave it. My core business is cutting grass for PP. I do cleanouts and repairs as a fill in. My work load is growing. At the current rate I will have to stop accepting any new work in 4 to 6 weeks. In fact, about a week ago I turned down the opportunity to take over another nearby city becasue it would be just too much for me.
The next logical step is for me to add people and equipment. So...
Those of you with crews. How do you handle picture taking and work that has to be called in from the site? (i.e. something unexpected they found when they arrived)
Do you trust a crew member (lead?) to take the pictures?
What about something that they would need to handle on the spot but would require a phone call to your customer?
My thought would be to train them personally and then give them a route to run for lawns and handle the rest myself. Your thoughts?
I guess my big fear is trusting crews not to damage my equipment.
What about subcontracting work? Do you do this, and if you do how do you handle the subs?
You hire them on to help you. The good thing for you is that you're turning work away. This means if you bring on 2-3 more guys to work with you, you should be able to get more work done with the extra hands.
This is where you step back and take a field manager approach. Rotate each member of your crew through the photo taking process. Train, train and refresh the training.
As far as tools breaking, of you're doing just grass, buy good tools. However you want to address the use or misuse tools is up to you. Deduct from their pay check of its warranted or just eat the cost. If you have as much work as you say, the cost of lawn tools shouldn't be much. $300 weed eater. $1200 mower. $600 blower. Find a pawn shop.
The way I outfit my employees is this. 4 weed eaters per truck. 2 of them are back ups. (2) echo Pb 770t blowers per truck. 2 self propelled mowers( no need for walk behind or zero turn for most jobs here) plus fuel, oil, trimmer line, burlaps, contractor bags, 2 hedge trimmers and 1 power pruner.