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Old 07-31-2015, 07:22 PM   #1
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Default when did you decide it was time to hire/sub help??

when did you decide it was time to hire/sub help?? Doing an exterior this week and its a full scrape, chaulk fill type with lots of trim. While I'm working on this house I keep thinking wow with 2 or 3 guys I would been done faster. Am I ready for employees. ..probably not but it could be soon.

Do I need to be 2 to 3 months out? Easier to sub it out or actually hire with work comps and such. Where might one find a employee anyways..... craigs?

Thanks for any insight. Growing pains.
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:39 PM   #2
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before you hire any subs or additional employees you need to put the G/F or wife to work ..........
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ole34 View Post
before you hire any subs or additional employees you need to put the G/F or wife to work ..........
That actually seems like a good idea! And if it doesn't work out, you don't have to worry about a disgruntled ex employee stalking you. It's probably a good idea to also hire that dopey nephew or cousin we all have. You have the opportunity to turn them into productive members of society. And if not, you can always cut them loose without worrying about retribution.
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:02 PM   #4
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That actually seems like a good idea! And if it doesn't work out, you don't have to worry about a disgruntled ex employee stalking you. It's probably a good idea to also hire that dopey nephew or cousin we all have. You have the opportunity to turn them into productive members of society. And if not, you can always cut them loose without worrying about retribution.

the BLOOD pool must be exhausted at all costs !!!............
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:05 PM   #5
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when you have a oiled machine that is running very smoothly adn very profitable then you are ready to grow and not before IMO here is a great read on the matter

Make Money First, then Grow the Business
By Monroe Porter



It was suggested that I provide some insight on how to overcome obstacles that contractors often face when growing their businesses. Before I begin, I want to go on record as saying that growth is not your friend. Whatever tasks you do poorly now will only get worse as your business grows. If you do not manage people well, increasing the size of your staff certainly will not help you overcome this issue. If you do not like paperwork, accounting and the numbers, how is growth going to reduce these issues? I cannot name one shortcoming that you might have as a businessperson that growth would help you overcome. While growth is the main goal of most entrepreneurs, it is also the single greatest danger to their businesses.

If you are not realizing a $100,000 a year owner’s salary and company profit in your contracting business, your first goal should be to reach that six-figure income. Most of the people in my networking groups make such an income. In fact, if you were not nearing that figure, I would probably ask you to leave the group because I would not want to charge you for something you can’t afford.

It is pretty easy to earn this kind of money if you get the basics right. If you can’t do the basics, you do not need to grow. Your goal must be examined before attempting to get bigger just for the sake of growth. My 27 years of experience as a management consultant has shown me that rarely does someone become more profitable by growing. Instead, businesses are structured at different levels and stages, each of which can be profitable.
Growth requires more people, more cash, better systems, more equipment  and the list goes on. Do you know a contractor who went broke? I bet that person had a lot of work. So, how come he or she went broke?

Wonder, Blunder and Now What?
Let’s start by reviewing the history and stages of contracting. Stage 1, we will refer to as wonder. Most contractors start in business and wonder what they are doing  a truck, some tools and off they go. Most new contractors start by moonlighting. On their regular job, they get paid $15 an hour; the boss makes money and charges more. Going into business full time seems logical. In the beginning, new contractors do not have a lot of overhead. They work out of the home, they use the same truck they drive back and forth to work, and they have no marketing expense because they appropriate most of their customers from their old company.

When the owner is on the job every day, it is a sure thing that the company provides excellent workmanship. When you perform good work at low prices, you grow. As you grow, the business begins to change but prices and systems stay the same. Soon you have to hire other people to help you. Once there are more employees, you spend more time dealing with material, giving estimates, and so on. Suddenly, there is a lot of work but no money.
Now you have officially entered the next stage of business: blunder. You have a lot of work but even more stress. The harder you work the worse the stress gets. The chaos grows, and suddenly you find yourself spending a good deal of your time babysitting employees and acting as an overpaid delivery boy. You may even hire supervisors and others to help you. But, instead of getting better, the whole mess just gets bigger.

As the owner puts down the tools, several things happen. First of all, you are not on every job, so details begin to slip. The workers don’t seem to get things done as fast as you do. Before, you were just earning wages. But now you are thrust into the role of manager. So what do you do to get out of this mess?

1. Increase your prices. You must build a non-working owner’s salary into your prices. If you have five employees and each works 2,000 hours a year, this equates to 10,000 hours of production. If you want to make $50,000, it takes $5 an hour to pay your salary. If you do not build this into your price, it will not be there to take home. Raising prices and slowing growth will allow cash flow and systems to catch up.

2. Increase the time allotted in estimates. Understand that your crew is probably not going to get quite as much done as quickly as you did. Not only because they will not work as hard but also because of planning and communication. In the past, you did both the estimate and the work. Now there is a communication issue. The person doing the work is not the person who quoted the job. Without the owner on site, it can take 10 to 25 percent longer to get the same job done.

3. Develop supervision. If you are not going to be on the job yourself, you must find a foreman or lead person to run things in your absence. Every job needs leadership. In the beginning, you may have to stay at the site the first half of the day to get things moving and manage the details.

4. Develop systems. Your employees are not mind readers. You must develop systems to communicate customer expectations, job specifications and job costing. Without simple job costing, you will fail. You must understand where you make and lose money.

Moving Forward
What if you have a business that is bringing in $1 million or more per year, you understand the numbers and want to move to the next level? Basically, what you want is a less owner-driven business. This brings on another whole new set of challenges. My experience has been that most contractors are much better at managing jobs than they are at managing middle managers. Thinking outside of this job box can be quite challenging. Also, owners often mistakenly think management needs little or no supervision. Before going down this road, you must ask yourself what you like and dislike about your business. If you enjoy selling and being in production, you may not like your new role as coach, advisor and scorekeeper.

There are two distinct paths to take when growing the business for the purpose of making the business less owner-driven. One approach is to replace the owner’s role with middle management, making the owner the overseer of managers. The second approach is to develop a manager/salesperson that does some of the same tasks the owner performs and helps to run the business in the owner’s absence. Understanding your personality will help you decide which approach is best for your company.

I am making the assumption that the purpose of your growth is to create an enjoyable business, not just to make more money. If the business is unprofitable, hiring more sales people and managers will probably not increase profits until you fix what is wrong. If your owner’s salary and profit is not at least $100,000 a year, you should not hire a manager or salesperson. You can easily make $100,000 a year by yourself. If you don’t, you need to fix that first. Your goal should never be to grow so that you can make more money. The goal is always to make money to grow.

-----------------
Love this article, thanks Bill
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:06 PM   #6
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I know, I know. this all seems a little low brow. I'm sure someone will post a thousand word paragraph on policies and procedures regarding hiring practices for a painter...did I mention painter?
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:07 PM   #7
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OMG! I swear to the Almighty I posted before I saw Mac's fifty thousand word paragraph! Uncanny!

Last edited by CApainter; 07-31-2015 at 09:11 PM..
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:40 PM   #8
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Would never deal with exteriors and no help to begin with. I get tired just thinking about it.
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Old 08-01-2015, 01:16 AM   #9
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To the OP, I was in the same boat and just hired my first helper, two actually but fired one within two weeks. This is my third full year in business as a paint contractor and I have grown each year. I just reached 100k in sales as a OMS in 2014. To grow that sales number you have to raise prices or increase your job turns. I raised my prices again this year and have been booked solid 1-2 months out for the entire year. Hence the need to start a helper and train. I hope to raise prices again next year and add a second soon as long as jobs are booked out well in advance. I have talked to a company about subbing but not sure if that fits my style as I like to be part of the job supervision and work.
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Old 08-01-2015, 02:54 AM   #10
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Sell the work, then figure out later how to do it. No sales, no growth period.

Most will say crap like: have 3 months salary in the bank first, or other stuff like that.

Get out there a find the work first, no need in having help standing around scratching their butt.

As far as savings...well you make short term sacrifices for long term goals.

You don't need money to grow, you need sales. So what if you have to burn a few bridges to get there.
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole34 View Post
before you hire any subs or additional employees you need to put the G/F or wife to work ..........
Best person I ever worked with since moving back to Ontario was my wife. I swear I felt like she was working harder than I was at some points. Sadly, she only lasted a few days as she couldn't handle the sun or the heat. I probably could have extended this if I hadn't put her on sanding rusty wrought iron handrails which looking back was kind of stupid.

Funniest thing was lunch time. I usually mash a sandwich down in two minutes and get back to work. She pulled out a fully loaded picnic basket and made us stop and enjoy the meal for at least a half hour while sitting in the grass. Probably the only lunch break I've ever actually enjoyed.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:02 AM   #12
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I say focus on finding one good guy first, its not that hard especially if you are working side by side with him. Trust your gut and get rid of them quickly when they start screwing up and move on to the next one, but know the difference between not knowing any better and simply not caring, because we all screw up, but you want some one that cares, dont be friends with them, respect them and expect respect back, makes sure you can always no matter what take care of paying them, make sure you explain your expectations up front, and dont keep no body unless you get that fuzzy feeling inside.
Every person I have ever fired I was always much happier after they were gone and thought to my self I waited to long to fire them. ANd I have fired a bunch. Getting your first helper is a eye opener and very good for your profit
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildbill7145 View Post
Best person I ever worked with since moving back to Ontario was my wife. I swear I felt like she was working harder than I was at some points. Sadly, she only lasted a few days as she couldn't handle the sun or the heat. I probably could have extended this if I hadn't put her on sanding rusty wrought iron handrails which looking back was kind of stupid.

Funniest thing was lunch time. I usually mash a sandwich down in two minutes and get back to work. She pulled out a fully loaded picnic basket and made us stop and enjoy the meal for at least a half hour while sitting in the grass. Probably the only lunch break I've ever actually enjoyed.
That is awesome. First thing I did was put my younger brothers to work. They both did ok atfirst but then got sloppy and I had to release them. After that I had my wife helping me here and there and now she's with me pretty much every day.

Kinda like your story I used to skip lunch to get home faster. Now she packs 2 colors and its kind of impressive the lunch's we have some times.

Lot's of solid advice here.

Think what I will take from this is grow it more, be more profitable. Fine tune my systems(how stuff gets done). Be more organized and drive efficiency in all things.

From every thing I have read and feel. Currently not ready for a official helper. However I do feel like it is literally around the corner.

Thanks for all your advice guys and for the article.

Last edited by Surreal Painting; 08-05-2015 at 09:20 PM..
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:41 AM   #14
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"Fine tune my systems(how stuff gets done). Be more organized and drive efficiency in all things".
The universal keys to success. Without it, you're just treading water.
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