Owner Operators Vs Owners w Employees

Hey, I was just wondering how many guys on the board are owner operators still, or prefer it that way, vs how many guys have employees or contractors cleaning for them?

This is not trying to say one way is better than the other at all. Or that one knows more than the other. I am just curious to know what the percentage is out there of guys with employees vs operators.

I started as an owner/operator, after 2 years doing all the work myself I began sub contracting lots of work because I could not handle it all. It just so happens, that the company I was subbing work to had some business and began sub contracting me out too. I got along great with the owner, so we ended up doing a “trial” partnership feeding each other business and splitting it all 50/50. After about 6 months of that business picked up more and we decided to merge our companies. We kept my company name and vision and dissolved his company and bought the trade name to DBA. Since then, every year we have been growing and doing great opening different divisions of our company. Long story short, at this time I have 17 employees and a handful of contractors I work with.

Can we make a poll here? Thanks in advance!

Owner/Operator/Dishwasher Here…I think there is a way to do a poll here just not sure how sorry Ty.

We have run it both ways at the moment I take care of all the work and my business partner takes care of all office work. We make a great combo. And would like to grow more and more every day. We just started opening the window division after the janitorial was taking off. It goes hand and hand lol. I would like to know as well. I really like both ways but it’s more of how busy we get’


John K Wyatt
All Washed Up Window Cleaning

Owner with employees. Looking to grow more so I can get out of the field.


Different market and States make the employee route easier.
Out here in San Diego very very rare a company with employees

I’ve been solo for first half of 1st year, then started having helpers on big jobs. Since I moved across country I have been practicing solo for the past year. Slowly I am luring my wife into the business. I do the outsides, she does the insides. It works out great since she has social skills and I like to be on a ladder in the sun with my earbuds in.

I think sometimes it takes help to bump up to a bigger operation. Some money lent by a friend or family, or business mentoring. I like being in the filed, but I also find it hard on the old body working 8 hours a day 6 days a week.

I find it hard to get good employees. Where do you look. Some people look through family or church networks, or maybe post ads on college campuses. If you go for college kids, they are clean cut and likely more articulate. If you go for guys who have experience painting or roofing, you get experience with ladders, heights and work ethic, but not necessarily good social skills or appearance. It’s a toss up.

You don’t want an employee that is dull, but do you want too ambitious of a go getter. They may decide to start their own company and steal your clients. If someone is too smart, they may get bored with routine work. Do you let them wear headphones to cope with the boredom? Is wearing headphones ok by OSHA?

Seems like you open a whole can of worms if you decide to go the employee route. Seems like it would be best to be prepared and have a very efficient system in place standard operating procedures before you plug people into the mix.

I personally, like working with a team of people. Only the right team, though, not just some random collection of people.

At the Top of the Thread:

  • Click “Thread Tools”
  • Navigate Down the Dropdown List and Click “Add a Poll to this Thread…”

Sorry, forgot to actually answer the Original Post. Solo right now (have to, just starting out). Inclined to stay that way, but another friend said the same thing and now he has 13 employees.

Thanks for the HELP, the poll is up, please vote.

No problem. Took me awhile to figure it out when I first tried to post a poll too :smiley:

Hahah. So true about employees, but to be honest I would much rather have a guy that’s a little rough around the edges with a great work ethic compared to a college guy (I’m a young guy as well) but my generation is full of quitters and guys that don’t know what work is. If you are the owner your are the face of the company. And I do being on every job site with the help. Or a crew leader.

Treat your guys. With respect and like a human, people don’t move on if they like what there doing! Heck buy them lunch once and awhile. The small things are what keep your good employees

I have employees, I hired our first one about a year in


Owner personality/skills: driver/thinker/doer/talker
Avg invoice amt/job size (size of “tetris game pieces” to work with): storefront $10+/Residential $200+/commercial bldg $500+/highrise or institution $1,000+++
Level of onsite customer interaction: none/some/a lot/the face of the company
Level of administration interaction: none/some/regularly/a lot more


every possibility under the sun

obviously for the simplest and largest multi employee company it’s gonna be a focus on:

large commercial, no customer interaction for employee

All County is definitely an anomaly in the residential world

Owner trying to get out of the field. 3 employees

Just how big is all county?

All County

3 ft should just about get you out altogether Dave, I would think, not quite?

Someone help me out, didn’t Chris just have a video or thread about how many jobs a day or week? was it a 100 jobs a week or 1,000?

probably 10,000, lol

I think it was the 1/2 off postcard video it was said?

I couldn’t really get out until I hit 5