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Steve Jobs once said, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people”. I couldn’t agree more, especially after observing the hard work I saw during my internship.
During the writer’s research they have discovered that over the recent years the landscaping industry has done well in its market and is expected in the foreseeable future (2019 to 2023) to continue a healthy growth, according to Daedal Research the growth is mainly due to, “the increased outsourcing of landscaping services to third party companies, focus on enhancement of corporate campus environment, increased spending on construction of private non-residential entities…”.
Meaning that many companies are hiring landscapers not only for new buildings but also to improve the older buildings within cities. The writer has done a forty-hour internship at “All Around Rocks and Soil” a landscaping business owned by a couple by the name of Helen and Todd Binford. During the writer’s experience in landscaping, they have come to find the advantages and difficulties of running their own landscaping business.
Some of the disadvantages would be keeping employees working due to working long hours in the harsh summer heat, where they would want more higher-paid wages for doing and saving up to buy your own equipment, which can be costly if the equipment becomes wore out or destroyed.
Yet the advantages include setting your own work hours, and knowing you have loyal customers who are likely to keep going to you and advertising your business to others. The disadvantages could be solved simply by offering your employees more benefits to working with your company, such as flexible, longer breaks. In addition, possibly buying better equipment so that way it would break and even making separate savings for emergency funds for the company.
One of the several things this writer took note of during the internship was that most of the newer employees were young men in their early twenties to thirties, yet they seemed to lack the motivation to do any work due to the conditions they work under.
Simmers said that “I’d hire someone and then after a week or so, they’d just disappear and I’d never hear from them again. It’s embarrassing to have to call a customer and let them know I’ll be late that week to mow their lawn or put down fertilizer because I just don’t have the guys.”
The workers within the company had to endure the hot summer heat, while only getting a break every now and then to rest and cool off. Sometimes the meals they would eat would not have sufficed for the amount of work they had done and the calories they have burned. Let alone a lot of them don’t drink enough water or bring enough.
During Marissa’s interview with Mr. Bodnar a manager at a local landscaping industry he had said that “Getting the new work isn’t that much of a challenge,” he says. “It’s getting the help on board that wants to stay for the long term. I’m finding that it’s more profitable right now for me to operate as a solo operator.” This is a severe problem, especially when the job is not in the typical workplace.
Of course, the writer had it easy, they were mostly inside in an air-conditioned room, with any takeout food they pleased. And the majority of the work was assigning people to tasks, picking deadlines for projects, ordering more supplies, along with basic math for perimeters of where the construction would take place.
As the internship continued the writer had learned that their most important task was to keep their employees content and more encouraged to complete the task and make it less miserable for them. By being an extra helping hand the writer was able to help refill water containers for the workers to drink more often as well as do a food run for the workers.
After a few times of doing this, there was definitely an improvement with how the workers acted towards their jobs. The result was similar to what John Shields had mention in his book Managing Employee Performance; “The presence of intrinsic motivators generates positive job satisfaction, while eccentric motivators generate negative job satisfaction”.
In addition, while working in the industry, the writer had learned that the company they interned for had been robbed a few months back with their equipment being stolen. The company itself was smart about how they budgeted the funds, yet they lost the majority of their savings funds for the company by having to rent out new equipment for the meantime while they try to figure out the next step after. The money was supposedly was to buy new and more advanced equipment for the workers, furthermore allowing the company to pay their workers more, while also not needing to find more employees.
According to Taylor the author of the magazine state of the industry 2019, “The lack of labor is also causing contractors to become more interested in technology. Contractors are hoping better software and equipment can make the business more efficient with fewer employees.”
The writer had learned from these things do not go out as smoothly as one would hope, even with a plan and staying on top of tasks. My solution to this would be until they can afford better equipment is just to keep their end and pay their employees more while saving up to buy their own equipment again.
This goes for the industry as well, if the industry continues to grow then smaller companies who can’t pay as much to their employees as bigger companies can be taken down. Since there will be a higher paid choice somewhere else.
If you rent the equipment instead of owning it if the machine breaks down the owner that they are renting from would have to hire someone to fix it and it would be out of their pocket not the smaller company. Of course, once the company is stable and its employees are content with the amount the make, then sure companies should start investing in their own machinery.
Even with all the trouble of the company, there are some bright sides. While being an intern there I came to notice the majority of the customers were loyal and seemed to have come back often whether that be business, homeowners, and even other landscaping companies.
The customers always were cheerful when they had walked in, and that was due to the service they had received. I noticed that even if the customer was difficult the owners were patient with them to the point even a new customer who was unhappy would leave happy.
A great thing about this is that those loyal customers who have been with this company for ages always will recommend you to others looking for your field. Another thing to note was the business hours, some may find this a disadvantage others will find this an advantage as I have. Due to the seasons, they are only really able to work or have contracted during the spring and summer, and a bit into fall. Yet the majority of the work comes in spring.
In fact, that means that the company does not have to work holidays or drive to work in harsh weather conditions. As for the disadvantage side of this would be not making money during the winter, or having to find a seasonal winter job to help pay the bills. Especially if you are an employee and not the owner of the company. Which is another reason the employees would want more money, to make enough to pay the bills for a year without having to have two different jobs.
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