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Employee pay rate

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by hackitdown, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. hackitdown

    hackitdown Member
    Messages: 55

    I searched a lot of the forums, but I had no luck finding any info, so sorry if this is an old question.

    I run a small landscaping business in Massachusetts, and offer residential driveway plowing. Last year I did 25 driveways myself, no big deal, about a 5 hour route. I plow after a storm ends. Typically we get 10 to 15 storms per year. No shoveling.

    This summer I bought a 2nd plow truck. I want to expand my customer list and have my landscape helper take about 20 driveways. The route will take him 4 hours or so per storm. Usually there are 2 or 3 storms a year which require 2 pushes, so he may work 8 hours for big storms. He has no plowing experience, but is smart and trustworthy.

    I want to hold on to this employee, and am willing to be a little generous to do it. How much should I pay him? If he only works 4 hours, should I give him a minimum? What would be fair?
  2. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,190

    I would definatly pay him more than usual if these are the only hours he will be getting. No sense in paying him just enough to screw-up his unemployment benfits, or he may not be around for long.

    I run my own const. business, whick is also seasonal. 4 fulltime employees, 3 of which are married with children. We NEED to make good profits in spring/summer/fall to make up for long winters. It's my job (IMO) to make sure these guys can make it through the winter on there income. If that means paying them to do odds & ends around the shop for a few weeks in winter, so be it. I can do all of this stuff in winter myself & save the labor costs, but I'm risking losing good empolyees who can make me far more money in summer than the little they cost me in winter for these few weeks.

    I guess my point is this: Hiring your first employee (legitamatly at least) is one of the biggest steps in a small business. When I did it years ago, I looked to many business owners I knew for advice. In hindsight, the best advice I got was to make sure you can offer the employee a good living if you want them to stick around. Good Luck.
  3. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    In order to retain this person and promote good service to your customer; keep in mind how you personally would like to be compensated with the amount of experience you have if working elsewhere.
    Since it is your truck and insurances and hopefully new accounts on the horizon, I'm hesitant to expect the employee will out perform you. that said... consider half the amount of accounts being plowed. I would compensate in the tune of $15-20 per hr. JMO
  4. ppandr

    ppandr Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    We pay our employees double there regular hourly rate to plow...no minumum amount.
  5. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    We use the payscales of the County or Municipal Crews as a guide to what would be considered "good pay"
  6. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    I would consider that Great Pay.

    I would do half of what the account pays. This gives them insentive to get done faster, and maybe getting more jobs for you. You are still makeing money and paying for the truck, ins, etc. And you get to keep them on.

    What would be the minimum you would get out of bed and go out in the cold for?
  7. ExecutiveLawns

    ExecutiveLawns Member
    Messages: 91

    I have 5 full time and 3 part time guys and in the the winter my priority is to keep the full time guys with hours and $$$$ so they dont go somewhere else or collect unemployment. Employee retention is everything to me, I spent alot of time and money training them and getting them up to a good production speed.

    As to you question on how much to pay....
    My guys normal pay is between $11.00 and $17.00 an hour. In the winter that is what they get paid for shop work, holiday lights, and anything else we have going on except snow. When it comes to snow work they are paid 1.5 times their normal pay so between $16.50 and $25.50 for the time they are actually out working in the snow billing hours out. When they come back to the shop to wash trucks and equipment they are back to their normal pay.

    As long as my guys are getting close to their normal paycheck amounts every week they dont care if they worked 25 hours pushing snow or 40 hours in the shop. Except for the fact that they like the time off.
  8. mtk469

    mtk469 Member
    Messages: 57

    Our guys are paid between $10 and $18 / hour depending on what they are doing. Shoveling, running a snowthrower, Driving a truck etc.