Last night i decided that it's time to go from having one full time employee, working with me, to getting another van and employee next spring. It'll be my 10th year of trading next year so it seems fitting. My plan is to send the new and old employee out on my current round of regular commercial and residential maintenance jobs and get a small, cheap Transit connect and new set of tools for myself and work alone picking up all the one off jobs i am currently turning away. That way i can guarantee the new employee the hours straight off. Has anyone else made this jump in this way? I think i will be posting lots of questions about new tools, van and hiring over the next few months!



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    • PRO

      Great to hear it's all going well, keep us posted on how you are getting on!

    • PRO

      Great to hear Helen. Well done on your achievement:)

    • That's great to hear Helen, work generates work and it won't be long before you need to fill the seat next to you in your new van...........and so on!!  I never had a great strategy, just to turn out good work when landscaping and on the maintenance side, to 'improve each garden year on year'.  The result? A continual moving forward, we now have two x 2 out on maintenance, with me picking up the bits and pieces.  I am happy with that size as I am around retirement age and the business will provide me with a very nice income for a few more years yet without breaking my back.

  • Well done. It's having staff you can send out to get the work done (whilst you can work on marketing and growing the business) that's the difference between actually having a business, and just being self employed. 

    Best of luck with it.

    • PRO

      Unless of course you want to be self-employed and aren't interested in running a business. Stuart, your posts make me want to meditate!

      • Steve, I do sometimes seem to have that effect on people. 

        I completely agree with you. I'm not suggesting that building a 'business' should be the name of the game for everyone, in fact quite often the opposite. I think a lot of people get carried away after being told they absolutely have to build a business that will scale well. 

        I'm simply self employed myself. I haven't had staff on the payroll for years. 

  • PRO
    keep a very good diary, it will help later when there is trouble with staff. There will be trouble.
  • Have you thought about how much extra it cost to run x 2 vans. X 2 petrol/ diesel . X 2 insurances. Employee liability. X 2 set power tools. X 2 van upkeep. A lot more expenses. ? Your Have to be charging quite a bit to cover them costs. Just a thought.
    • PRO
      Yes I've spent the last 6 months planning and going over the numbers!
    • PRO

      If you fill the vehicles with operatives you have 2x the income.....(a slightly simplistic view)

      Doubling up on tools adds flexibility. If we have a mower/strimmer/hedgetrimmer in for repairs we can pinch them from a team who is unlikely to be using that piece of equipment that day which means we can always deliver on our contracts.

      Having a bigger team (for us) allows us to take on bigger jobs, have more flexibility with kit and become less of a lifestyle business and more of a proper company.

      For the record we are a team of 7 with a pool of 3 vans and one pickup (useful for towing).

      Well done to Helen for taking the plunge - we did it years ago and have never looked back.

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