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What do you pay "emergency" help?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Hubjeep, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. Hubjeep

    Hubjeep Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    A friend of mine has about 15 residential accounts and one truck. He called me saying his truck may not be back from the repair shop and we may get snow, asked if he could ride along with me and do his driveways.

    All, good, no prob, I am always ready to help... but then he said he will pay me 50% of what he gets. This threw me, I would be doing him a favor to help him KEEP his customers, not so he can make money on me. 50% sounds like the bare minimum you would pay a (stranger) sub, not someone who is saving your butt last minute.

    If he was helping me, I would pay him 100% and be thankful my customers are still happy, as well as him, then make money the next storm.

    What do you think?

  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    A cup of coffee while plowing and some beers after.
  3. Hubjeep

    Hubjeep Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    I was thinking all or nothing. Friends and money together sucks.

    He said he got 50% when working as a sub for a guy, I felt like he wasn't really valuing my effort with that comment.
  4. quigleysiding

    quigleysiding PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    Did he say how much half would be .
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    hope he never finds out about that with you.
  6. Hubjeep

    Hubjeep Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    No, and I don't care if it's $10 or $1,000, just don't lump me into a "sub" category when I am doing you a favor.

    Half is probably about $700 if I had to guess.
  7. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 622

    How flushed is the friend?

    Does he need half to pay the repair bill?

    If you were being hired to sub for someone would you expect to get what that business guy is charging the customer?

    Because no contractor is going to sub out work at 100% of the gross.

    What goes around comes around and pay back is a ....
  8. ColliCut

    ColliCut Member
    Messages: 33

    Interesting topic. If you were doing doing it for "free" as a favor to your friend, I think some kind of fuel reimbursement would still be in order, at a minimum. I don't disagree with expecting 100% of his charge, though. If I wanted to take a vacation and needed someone to cover my accounts, plowing or lawn care, I'd offer 100% or pretty near it. I think that's appropriate for a one-off favor request. I don't think this request is related to subcontractor rates at all.
  9. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    So he's a friend and he's giving you $700 to do 15 driveways. Sounds pretty fair to me. Maybe you'll need a favour in return sometime and he will charge you the same.
  10. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,123

    I always work out the payment ahead of time, that way there are no disappointments afterwards. If you are bailing him out because he does not have the proper backup equipment I think you should get at least 80%. Now after the fact he has offered 50% and you do not like it. Is your friendship worth the other 50%?
    If I asked someone to bail me out last minute, I would pay them whatever they wanted so I had accounts after the fact.
  11. skorum03

    skorum03 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,994

    I had this happen to me the other day. My truck was in the shop and I hired a friend to take care of 7 of my properties. Except I didn't ride with him and paid him 100% of what I would have made. He was happy to make a quick extra $200
  12. jhenderson9196

    jhenderson9196 Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    I'd be ashamed to offer my friend less than 100%. He'll, I'd be ashamed to offer ANYONE less than full amount for bailing me out.
  13. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Even better is to agree on a price and at payment time refuse the money.
  14. Mitragorz

    Mitragorz Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    This. If he was a real friend of mine, that's all I'd take, even if he offered me money. Hell, this past snow we got, I almost had to call on a friend to drive my truck bc I was out of town. I told him that I'd throw him a few bucks and his response was, and this is a direct quote: "Don't worry about giving me money :). I'm sure we will make it up in rounds of beers."

    Of course the offer of payment is nice, but I'd never take it from a friend. Coffee and beer is all the payment I need.

    Now If I'm left to posting on Craigslist for last-minute help... Then I'll pay whatever it takes to keep the customer.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  15. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    How good of a friend is he? My opinion is if he a close friend do it to help him out, if he just a I know the guy & we have talked or hung a few times I'd want what I would charge, even if if more then he make or only half what he would make.
  16. jhenderson9196

    jhenderson9196 Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    There are many servers of friendship. What many people call a friend, I call an acquaintance. I count my true friends on one hand, with fingers left over. You don't take money from friends. On the other hand, true friends don't make a BS offer like that either.
  17. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 595

    In over forty years our firm has helped other friends out from time to time while not asking for a dime. "A friend in need is a friend indeed." Just remember he may need to help you out one day as well. Fifteen drives for us is a couple hours. No big deal.
  18. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,403

    Money is probably tight with his truck being down. I would be happy with 50%.

    I help a friend of mine all the time. Sometimes he pays me sometimes he doesn't. But he helps me just as much
  19. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 622

    I have a friend that is 72. He has had me do front brakes for him. He was a mechanic though can not do the work himself any more. I did not charge him. He can not get down and dig and repair a sprinkler leak. I have done a couple for him. I told him to keep the money. He has come out and helped me with some landscape work and snow work when my son's were not available.

    When ever he has worked for me he has never asked how much is the pay before he said yes. He has never complained with what I have paid him. Times it was not as well as I would of liked.

    He's always been there when I call him. This past fall clean up is where I saw that he slowed down a lot this year. Though he will not slack off. And if he's done with what he is doing and sees something has to be done he just takes it upon himself to pitch in.

    To call someone a friend then take every dollar from the work coming in shows that he is not viewed as a friend.

    First time I ever heard of someone subbing that expects to get paid the list price that the job went for.

    Finally someone worse then USM.

  20. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    This is one reason I won't plow with out a "back up" truck ready to go. If my truck brakes down, I just grab the other and use it until I can get my main truck back up and going.
    That being said, 2 saturdays ago, we had a major storm come through and 3 of my residentials were not even accessible until the road to thier subdivision was opened up from cars stuck in the drifts. I call a buddy of mine who used to sub for me and asked him if he would come out with his superduty with a V plow. I told him all he had to do is wait for me to get stuck or open up any part of the drive I couldn't do. All he ended up having to do is make 2 passes on 1 drive. I paid him $100 bucks to "stand by" and wait for me to get stuck. In my opinion, that is a good investment, because if I had gotten stuck, it would have been a long time to get a wrecker there and would have cost me a lot more money.