When is the right time to hire

ptonsparky

Senior Member
Location
NE (9.06 miles @5.9 Degrees from Winged Horses)
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I have been on Planhub, I found that one from another post that you mentioned it. Problem with the town I am in. It has nothing but Homes. We don't really have to much commercial or industrial construction going on in this town. It a retirement town for Californians, 90% of the work is residential Remodels and new homes. Everything on plan hub is at least 60 miles away and I can't bid on them without having help, and I don't want to just hire some random person to help. I have worked with people that come from organization like TRADESMAN INTERNATIONAL, kinda bottom barrel(I was with them for a year :)).
I need to get in with a good GC around here. Though they already have there guys and won't try some one new. The few GC/house flippers I have worked for I stoped because they do crap work and are more disorganized than me.

My wife is trying to help but maybe I should hire a secretary before a j-man/apprentice. Then she/he can make calls, schedule thing outs bill out. Then I can just focus on work. Does that seem like a good way to go?

Any option I chose will be pursued once I finish my fixing up my office building. doing that on the weekends :rolleyes:
Thanks you guys for your input I take bits and pieces from all of it.
Good office help is a must.
 

paulengr

Senior Member
When did you guy decide when the right time to hire was.
When work was booked for x months?
When you had x amount in savings.
When you just felt ready.
I am either looking for an apprentice to help me or a journey man so I can focus on PR, and getting jobs.

When you have enough work or can reasonable for see it to justify another person. The first one is the most difficult because effectively you need to either not have enough work yet or do twice as much work leading up to hiring.

But you said the magic words…if you have more time to do sales and marketing, how much extra business do you expect to bring in? How much tine do you devote to it now? If you increase your time on sales by sag an extra 20 hours a week how much are you increasing tine spent on sakes/marketing? Assuming it’s equally productive how much more business can you expect it to bring in?

You have to also consider the expenses. There is the fully burdened cost of an employee (wages, benefits, taxes, administrative costs). There is the acquisition cost (finding one, doing background checks). There is a training cost…they won’t be productive for some amount of time, maybe never in which case the business takes a hit even after terminating them. There is a delay between doing increased sales and actually seeing a bump in new business. All of these will be additional costs and you have to absorb it into your operating capital…money in the bank or increase in operating loan.

The second is easier because your cash flows have increased and reducing your time doing the work isn’t as big of an adjustment.

As to numbers the ones I’ve seen thrown around is it takes 3-6 months to get an apprentice to be productive. So you might want to consider 3 months of fully burdened labor costs as a minimum. As to fully burdened a good rule of thumb is take the hourly rate and double it but these days it might need to be higher. At a $15-18/hour rate once you add in FICA and other costs you are breaking even at $35-40/hour, so the rule of thumb might mean triple the hourly rate as a fully burdened cost. So at 500 hours (about 3 months at 40/week) that’s $17,500-$20,000.

I know it sounds high but it’s not unrealistic. And don’t forget it might be a month before you can walk away and do any sales and marketing instead of direct supervision. At best it speeds up your jobs with an extra pair of hands. So the extra time doing sales doesn’t come right away.
 

jmellc

Senior Member
Location
Durham, NC
Occupation
Facility Maintenance Tech. Licensed Electrician
My thought is that Journeyman may seem expensive, but is probably cheaper than an apprentice. (at first). I have a guy working for me now who isnt even completely green. He has dabbled for years, done stuff for friends and rewired part of his house. I can accomplish easily 5-6 times what he does. That apprentice may seem cheap but their lack of speed will probably amaze you.
Not everyone works at record speed. I have long been criticized for being too slow & I have slowed with age too. But I have always done good work, with few complaints & few warranty issues. I’ve been called on many times to fix what Speedy slapped together with duct tape & chewing gum.
 

mtfallsmikey1

Member
Location
Winchester Va.
Occupation
Chief Engineer
You need more than just anyone if you want them to do the work while you BS. This is coming from personal experience.
Apprentices take time. Don't expect them to 'know' anything for four years.
I hired when my back hurt so bad from doing it all, I couldn't.

Finding someone is another deal. I am wanting to retire. A local young EC would like to take on some of my customers and purchase some of the stock I have. The biggest draw for him is 'does my help come with the sell?'.
Sure! It's called a lucrative consulting contract!
 

jmellc

Senior Member
Location
Durham, NC
Occupation
Facility Maintenance Tech. Licensed Electrician
You need more than just anyone if you want them to do the work while you BS. This is coming from personal experience.
Apprentices take time. Don't expect them to 'know' anything for four years.
I hired when my back hurt so bad from doing it all, I couldn't.

Finding someone is another deal. I am wanting to retire. A local young EC would like to take on some of my customers and purchase some of the stock I have. The biggest draw for him is 'does my help come with the sell?'.
Sharing the load doesn’t mean BSing. No one can do it all alone forever. I remember many projects where cleanup was all mine, after killing myself all day doing installs & fixes. The times I could hire some help made some things more bearable.
 

ptonsparky

Senior Member
Location
NE (9.06 miles @5.9 Degrees from Winged Horses)
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Sharing the load doesn’t mean BSing. No one can do it all alone forever. I remember many projects where cleanup was all mine, after killing myself all day doing installs & fixes. The times I could hire some help made some things more bearable.
Part of meeting and dealing with customers is BSn. It takes time and is not always productive but it needs to be done just as much as cleaning up after the project is complete. Added help allows it. Very few of my customers say exactly what is required immediately without some sort of pleasantry.
 
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