Mike Fitzpatrick on Labor
Blog by: Mike Fitzpatrick, Vice President of U.S. Lawns.
Labor is our greatest asset…
Regardless of the industry, the most successful companies have exceptional employees. One thing all U.S. Lawns franchisees share is the recognition that having a super star team is mission critical. But, even though labor is the greatest asset of every commercial grounds care business owner, it is also the biggest expense–a startling reality when one considers all the specialized landscaping equipment necessary to effectively service customers’ properties.
…and our biggest expense.
In fact, labor is 40 to 45% of our franchisees’ operating costs. Part of the reason for this is that today’s ultra-competitive labor market makes hiring a challenge. And for U.S. Lawns franchisees, this is exacerbated by our commitment to operating very ethically and above board. Every franchise owner carries workers comp insurance, pays overtime, doesn’t pay cash under the table, and uses only legal workers, whether they come through a guest worker visa program or have other proper documentation, all of which translates to higher labor costs.
U.S. Lawns Franchisees are committed to operating ethically.
So, while our franchise owners do not compete with “lowballers” that are not operating their businesses properly, U.S. Lawns franchisees approach business with the philosophy that a responsible contractor is not afraid to compete with responsible contractors.
So, U.S. Lawns Franchise Owners must effectively manage and retain employees.
But, this also drives the need to effectively manage and retain existing employees even more. How? By being the best place to work–investing in people and training them to be the best in the industry; doing good job sequencing; operating efficiently; providing the right equipment for the right job; having a good safety program.
U.S. Lawns Home Office Supports Franchisees
Another big differentiator between U.S. Lawns franchisees and other small, local landscape companies is that while our franchisees fully own and operate their businesses, they have national support from the U.S. Lawns Home Office. Support that comes in the way of processes, systems, scheduling tools, and other tools to promote efficiency on job sites;
The Home Office also helps franchise owners understand, budget and plan for peaks and valleys in their labor costs, and we even provide resources for recruiting and training, so that every local U.S. Lawns franchise has what they need to be the best place to work.
The U.S. Lawns Star signifies a responsible business owner
So, next time you encounter a U.S. Lawns Star see it with the knowledge that there is a responsible commercial grounds care business owner local to your area, employing citizens in your neighborhood, serving clients in your community, and being backed by a respected national network–and you can bet that U.S. Lawns franchisee has what it takes (and then some) to deliver.