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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you let the painters know what you charge for a job or what is your rate?
In my case, only some of them know what i charge only if i ask them to collect the check at the end of a job.
I'm wondering if it would be better if everybody knew it ?
 

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Outhouse Painter
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700 Posts
Mine don't.

I think it's too easy to get enamored with the INCOME side and thinking it rains $20's all day in the owner world - without also knowing about the EXPENSE side where those $20's keep right on going.
 

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painter extraordinaire
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You should never let them know how much you charge for a job. If they know the contract price, then they can figure out the materials and calculate your profit on a particular job. This would concern me, as your workers may think you are making big bucks and ask for increasing their wages.
 

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You should never let them know how much you charge for a job. If they know the contract price, then they can figure out the materials and calculate your profit on a particular job. This would concern me, as your workers may think you are making big bucks and ask for increasing their wages.
Exactly, I had this one toothless guy - I was paying him $17/hr and he came to me saying he figured I was making good money off his back charging $20/hr and that he should ask for a raise. So basically in his mind I am making a 'profit' of $24 a day and that I should relinquish more of it over. Have fun trying to make a hillbilly like that understand why you are charging $51/hr to cover his $17/hr.
 

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For younger/ more junior employees this has proven bad, as they do not understand how a business is run and end up slowing down to get more hours.
For my crew chief it helps them understand how to allocate resources when I am not around.
 

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my guys know everything.some get it some don't. not my problem.those that get it are the real deal and will be an asset to our company.those that don't usually over value themselves and given enough rope will hang themselves.
I've only had two guys who asked about the numbers while we were doing some NC. SO I layed it all out for them and couple weeks after that I had to fire the both of em - one started stealing materials and tools and his buddy was hockin the stuff at a pawn shop. Guess they figured they weren't gonna get rich with me !
 

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my guys know everything.some get it some don't. not my problem.those that get it are the real deal and will be an asset to our company.those that don't usually over value themselves and given enough rope will hang themselves.
Once I gathered enough intel I went to work for myself.
 

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Premium Member
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Not everyone wants to do that
and not everyone has the business toughness or knowledge.
Note to Dan:
Don't hire toothless hillbillies.
George is right. Not all employees want to run their own business.

I worked for a contractor for eleven years and wasn't paid union wage, but was making a decent living, with steady work. After a few years, he did share his numbers with me because I eventually became an estimator/painter for him. It worked out well because I understood what the parameters were for each job.

If the people you hire are smart enough to understand that your goal, as a contractor, is to manage and direct a prosprerous business, then sharing your numbers may actually help to map those goals. large businesses share those numbers don't they?
 

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The Long Island Painter
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My men see what I get for the job. When I lose they certainly hear it from me and I break down the job at how much was lost. I remind them that if I do not profit, they will not profit as I will give no raises, not contribute to profit sharing plan and will look to replace them eventually. Some jobs you lose at no fault of the employee. I find these to be the fault of G.C.'s, homeowners trying to G.C. or ill prepared designers that have not the slightest idea of proper job sequencing.
 

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Painting Contractor
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My men see what I get for the job. When I lose they certainly hear it from me and I break down the job at how much was lost. I remind them that if I do not profit, they will not profit as I will give no raises, not contribute to profit sharing plan and will look to replace them eventually. Some jobs you lose at no fault of the employee. I find these to be the fault of G.C.'s, homeowners trying to G.C. or ill prepared designers that have not the slightest idea of proper job sequencing.
Agreed. Or a bad estimate.
We all make mistakes.
Sometimes I would tell the guys I screwed up the price
and they might bring it under budget anyway.
 

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If your painters know your budget,
If they know your hourly and have some idea
about the cost of paint, they should figure it out.
I think greed is harbored at every level of the totem pole, and workers are no different. They see themselves getting $17/hr and wonder why you have to charge $40 to make money. I've never known anyone interested in learning about balance sheets, indirect overhead, profit margin, etc. They just want more money. I don't blame them, but I just never seen any 'give' from their side either, their attitudes in my experience have been infantile at times. When I did share stories of attitudes of homeowners or told them the homeowner was unhappy about cigarette butts thrown on their driveway - all I got was to tell the homeowner to go F' off. Yeah, that's real good P.R., of course if I didn't collect the check - how could I pay them. Everyone talks about hiring 'good' guys -I never found any.
 
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