The landscaper asked…

“Should I start a new crew?”

It’s a simple question.

But it’s not always easy to answer.

So I asked… “Why are you thinking about starting a new crew?”`

Well, we’re using a lot of overtime…my guys are working 50 to 60 hours a week right now. We know overtime is expensive but it’s hard to get the right people to actually do the work with the right level of quality. So we just keep pushing.”

The next question I asked was, “Do you own the equipment for another crew? Like…will you need to add a truck, mowers, or hand-held power tools?” 

The landscaper said, “Yes. I already have the equipment.

I replied, “Then you need to think about it like this. Since you own the equipment for another crew, you have already started another crew! You’re simply not profiting from the equipment investment you’ve already made.”

I said, “What’s holding you back from making money with that equipment?

The landscaper replied, “I don’t really have the right people to start another crew.

OK…let’s talk about the people problem for a minute

It happens every Spring season for lawn business owners. There are more opportunities for work than you can handle with your existing team.

If you want to grow your business, yes, you should add another crew.. But that creates work.

There are four things you need to consider before adding a new crew. These include:

    1. Do you have more than 40 hours of work per week for your existing crews?
  • Do you have the equipment required to start a new crew?
    1. Do you have the quantity of people needed to start the new crew?
  • Do you have the right skills, training or capabilities in place for the new crew?

About 8 out of 10 times I am asked about adding a crew, the answers are “YES” and “YES” to questions 1 and 2.

About 8 out of 10 times the answer is “NO” or not really for questions 3 and 4.

This means the biggest obstacle to starting a new crew is: 

1) the quantity of people or 

2) the training required for your new hires to be able to maintain quality and/or productivity standards.

The truth is: 

  • Finding the quantity of people you need requires one set of skills. As long as you choose to be an employer, you’ll always need to hire people.
  • Training employees is a responsibility with no finish line. Training will never end. Training will always be an obstacle until you choose to fix it.

So…just to put you at ease on these topics…You will NEVER be done with hiring or training! Never!

But you can develop systems (or enhance your systems) and procedures that will help you with the never ending process of finding, hiring, and training employees.

It’s true that there have been times (like when they invented covid-19!)  when equipment was hard to get. But… for the vast majority of history, the two obstacles for growth are:

  1. FINDING Employees 
  2. TRAINING Employees

So, if you have more than 40 hours of work per crew and you already have the equipment, why would you ever hesitate to start another crew? 

We’ve heard two reasons for hesitation from lawn and landscape contractors over the last few decades.

  1. Business owners are concerned about maintaining quality or productivity with new employees.
  2. They have employees that really enjoy getting overtime, and they fear that when they reduce overtime they will lose those employees. 


Special Note for H2B employers: We know many landscapers hire temporary guest workers through the H2B program. Some of those employers are fearful of cutting overtime hours. They are afraid the guest workers will get mad and quit or leave to find another employer.  If you are a contractor who is using an H2B workforce, and you are worried about losing employees by adjusting hours to reduce overtime, just send us an email to and put H2B in the subject line. We’ll make sure we share best practices for dealing with this problem. 


We know that the challenge of finding, recruiting, hiring, training and keeping good employees plagues many landscape business owners and can sometimes make you want to pull out your hair! But before you do that, READ THIS in case you missed it last week.

And don’t forget… there is only one way to duplicate yourself! 

You gotta have people! 

As always, we are standing by ready to help.

Talk soon,

Tony, founder

Super Lawn Technologies


PS – If you need quick help with HIRING, this new resource will help you.

If you need immediate help with TRAINING lawn and landscape employees, Click here to get immediate access to our 13 module Train Your Employees digital program.

The reality is after 35 spring seasons we’ve learned a thing or two about finding, hiring, training, and retaining Blue Collar employees.

The fastest way for you to improve your skills on these subjects is to learn from other people’s success.

Invest time, energy and money to improve your entrepreneurial skills.  Rarely will you be disappointed in your investment.