Tips for finding the right fit to manage your lawn maintenance business.
Hey, Clippers! Dave Tucker here to talk about finding the right right-hand man—or woman—for your lawn maintenance business.
If your lawn maintenance business is on a growth trajectory, there will come a day when you’re ready for help. Maybe you’re tired of doing everything yourself, or there’s just more work than you can handle alone. Either way, you might start thinking about finding another management-level person to help you.
Let’s pause and talk about the kind of person you really need.
You may be tempted to hire someone just like you. Someone who thinks like you shares your perspective and has a similar background. After all, it’s easy to delegate to someone who does things exactly like you would. So it makes sense that hiring a clone of yourself is the best possible approach, right?
Just about every single CLIP user we talked to said the same thing: Don’t hire your own clone.
Why you shouldn’t hire someone exactly like you.
John F. Kennedy said it best: “If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking at all.” In simple terms, there are no fresh ideas to be had when everyone has the same perspective. You might be able to do more of what you’re already doing, sure. But you can’t blaze new trails or explore new possibilities without some new blood.
The other reason to avoid hiring a clone of yourself? It’s too expensive! One networking expert put it this way: “If you’re making $150,000 a year, you’re not going to replace yourself with a $35,000-per-year person.” You might be better off finding a slightly junior person who has great ideas but not your exact level of experience.
How to hire the right manager.
So who, exactly, should you hire? Someone who complements you. Someone who excels in the areas where you struggle. Here is one business leader’s perspective: “You have to be very open-minded and honest about your shortcomings to hire someone with different strengths and personality traits. Contractors who can hire their weaknesses are taking a great step toward improving their business. But you must be able to respect and value that person’s characteristics on the job, every day.”
Simply put, if you’re going to do this successfully, you’ve got to be brutally honest with yourself about your flaws. Maybe you always fumble the books, or you don’t like hiring and managing people. Maybe you’d give anything to offload inventory management to someone else. Take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself what gaps need to be filled. Then fill them by hiring someone who’s better at those things than you are.
Of course, once you hire someone, you can’t just let them run wild. You need to make sure you’re working toward the same goals. Here’s what one business leader has to say: “If you hire for your weaknesses, someone to take on a part of the business you don’t want to do, you need to get regular reports from them and do regular spot checks of their work. You need to learn what they do during the day.”
There are two major benefits to understanding what your new friend is up to. First, you can learn from them. They’ll probably make a few decisions that are different from what you would’ve done. When you see that in action, you can ask them about it and learn about their approach. Second, you can make sure you share the same overall values.
Hiring someone who’s different from you is great, but if you’re too different, you might find yourselves headed in different directions. When you keep an eye on what they’re doing, you can make sure you’re working toward a common goal.
Until next time, keep clipping!