Solo vs. Crew

Some guys will never higher a crew and others would never work alone.
What are your thoughts on the two options?

It’s my opinion that 2 people can’t do a job twice as fast as 1 would do it.
But a larger home or commercial account usually wants you in and out quick, which would require a crew.
We have a crew that can work together when necessary, but they almost always run their routes alone.

I don’t want to wear all the hats in my business…for now I wear most.
I started this business not to “own a job” but to own a business.

[B]Success is a matter of personal opinion.[/B]
Success to me in this business is having a large company and helping people support their families with jobs. Success to me is only having to wear the “business owner” & “entrepreneur” hats.

my 2 cents: if you’re not growing in business, you’re dying…so it seems to me that at some point even a growing one man show must get help to supply the demand they have created.

as long as you’re happy, it doesn’t really matter.

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I think it depends on the kind of work you do,
For small store front jobs, 1 guy is more efficient
For small to medium size houses with no storms 1 guy is more efficient
For most other work IMO 2 guys are about 25% faster than, double 1 guy
There are a lot of jobs I would not even consider without help, whether from a safety standpoint ( ladder holder on a few awkward sets) or from a speed standpoint ( homeowner doesn’t want to spend all day waiting for you to finish)

If you just want a job and want to do the work yourself- thats fine. Most of us had that vision at first. You have to make a good living for yourself before you can employ others. I did it for 6 years and it was an awesome experience to learn the OJT for myself.

As I reached my mid 30’s, things changed for me. Even though I had a helper, there just wasnt enough time to get everthing done and that we were maxxed out on work and places to put new clients. Working seven days a week got really old.

You will find that you will have very limited potential working in the service end of the business instead of running the day to day operations. I have had those guilty feelings of having the crews out working in the elements while Im out running quotes in an air conditioned van all day long. You just have to get over that.

Long story short- If you can provide work for someone to fill your shoes while you are concentrating on growth and bringing in work (AND MAKING A PROFIT), thats a great thing for everyone involved in the company.

There is nothing wrong with working alone, I did it for a while … myself. But I thought that if I was to ever get hurt or sick… my paychecks would stop. And of course I couldn’t have that, so I started hiring and training.

That too was one of my biggest concerns. when I reached 30, I realized that I wasnt going to live forever! :smiley:


I agree. This thought process is what I am concentrating most on this year. For the last year this type of “Business Ownership” was good to me, but I had good employees. They left. Some by their choice, others by mine. I am re-hiring now.

ANd they will stop coming in. Yep, I am taking this lesson from Chris…again

Not only that, but I don’t want to work my a$$ off forever either. I want to retire comfortably with a very successful business in the bag and a huge nest egg in twenty five more years.

its interesting to see many of us have had similar experiences.

for most of my 20’s i cleaned windows solo, when i did hire others to help it frustrated me that it only saved about 25 - 30% of the time. But now i’m in my 30’s i want to put down the squeegee and concentrate running the business. i’ve hired one helper so far and now that he’s trained properly, the actual time on the job is close to half. Hopefully soon i’ll hire another guy and train him so i don’t even have to do the actual window cleaning

I did a couple years solo until Mrs Squeegee joined me full time. Right now we are doing well. Maybe in the future we will have employees but right now we’re having a blast!

I recall those days in my life with fondness, Tony.
My wife hopped right on as my coworker when we got married, then we replaced her with an employee, then I had a bunch of employees doing windows, house cleaning, restaurant kitchen cleaning, etc. Now I’m down to one full-timer and a few part-timers and we run a pretty efficient operation.
I found that two can often do the work I “knew” I needed three to do.
I’d also like to do more business work and less labor this year. We’ll see how that goes!

Does the wife still help out in the business, Dan?
I also forgot to mention how much work we seem to get (from referrals) due to being a husband and wife team. It seems to put many of our customers at ease.

[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]One of the benefits of going it alone is the customer’s feeling at ease thing. Being able to start and finish when I want to is another benefit. The quality of the work and no redos is a third. :rolleyes:[/FONT][/COLOR]