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View Full Version : Employees - How much do they really cost?


IN2MOWN
05-13-2009, 04:26 PM
Im finally going to break down and hire someone. Solo going on 9 years now and I just cant do it myself anymore.

Im going to start out around $8.00 per hour. I think thats pretty fair considering all he will be doing is trimming and blowing.

How much is that really going to cost me after workmans comp and all the other great stuff I have to pay into.

Fvstringpicker
05-13-2009, 05:06 PM
A good "guesstimate" is 120-125% of their wage.

IN2MOWN
05-13-2009, 05:37 PM
A good "guesstimate" is 120-125% of their wage.



Wow...

Thats like a punch in the stomach...

Fvstringpicker
05-13-2009, 06:02 PM
Right off the bat you've got 7.65% matching FICA + unemployment +W/C. After that you'll have to prepare/file quarterly payroll tax returns, deposits of withheld/employer matching tax and issue w-2s. If you take the time to do some of the bookkeeping yourself, you will save some money.

IN2MOWN
05-13-2009, 07:40 PM
Right off the bat you've got 7.65% matching FICA + unemployment +W/C. After that you'll have to prepare/file quarterly payroll tax returns, deposits of withheld/employer matching tax and issue w-2s. If you take the time to do some of the bookkeeping yourself, you will save some money.



Is this all something that I would use an accountant for or a payroll company?

Also cant Quick Books do it? I used to use QB but only for invoicing. If I remember correctly I could enter the state I live in and it would automatically update with all the new tax laws and stuff.

dKoester
05-13-2009, 08:10 PM
I have employees and go through quickbooks for payroll. Its easy once you get all the accounts set up. Its a breeze. Its your first major step in growing your company. Congratualations

bohiaa
05-13-2009, 08:30 PM
Right off the bat you've got 7.65% matching FICA + unemployment +W/C. After that you'll have to prepare/file quarterly payroll tax returns, deposits of withheld/employer matching tax and issue w-2s. If you take the time to do some of the bookkeeping yourself, you will save some money.

this may or may NOT be true, Check with your state for the rules.

any co. under 5 employees in TEXAS is NOT required to carrie WC.

PTP
05-13-2009, 09:10 PM
Do you really expect to get competent work for $8 per hour? If you can, then the sky is the limit for you. I have my reservations though.

Today, my helper made $18 per hour. He gets paid by the job but that is what it worked out to. He does the edging, trimming and blowing. We mow 1/4 acre lots and we averaged 3 per hour all day today.

I think that it is better to pay well and to have really good quality help than to hire someone for cheap and go crazy when they act like a neanderthal. (picture of a guy pointing the blower at the trees and watching the wind blow.)

grasshopperslawn
05-13-2009, 09:28 PM
I use ADP for payroll services. I let them handle all the taxes and filings with the Irs. I figure it was 33% additional with all the fees, taxes and Workman"s comp. so add 33% to the weekly earnings and that should be close.

IN2MOWN
05-13-2009, 10:58 PM
Do you really expect to get competent work for $8 per hour? If you can, then the sky is the limit for you. I have my reservations though.

Today, my helper made $18 per hour. He gets paid by the job but that is what it worked out to. He does the edging, trimming and blowing. We mow 1/4 acre lots and we averaged 3 per hour all day today.

I think that it is better to pay well and to have really good quality help than to hire someone for cheap and go crazy when they act like a neanderthal. (picture of a guy pointing the blower at the trees and watching the wind blow.)



Yes I expect that.

Running a trimmer and blower does not merit $18.00 per hour.

lawnman_scott
05-13-2009, 11:42 PM
Yes I expect that.

Running a trimmer and blower does not merit $18.00 per hour.a person working 40 hours at $8 will take home less than $300. I suggest you go to the comm lawn care section and start a thread complaining about your employee, why wait.

JDUtah
05-14-2009, 12:52 AM
A good employee isn't just pushing a lawnmower and holding a trimmer.. they are showing up on time, every time.. and much more...

A good mowing guy is doing more than just mowing... unless you like to compete with the 15 year old neighbor boy that will mow the price shopping customer's lawn for 15 bucks...

IN2MOWN
05-14-2009, 07:17 AM
a person working 40 hours at $8 will take home less than $300. I suggest you go to the comm lawn care section and start a thread complaining about your employee, why wait.



He'll be a PTer and a highschool kid who is the son of a friend looking for a summer job.

He's a hard worker, a good kid, and very reliable but Im not paying a 17 year old almost 20 bucks an hour.


If you guys would like to contribute to the meaning of this thread then by all means do so. If you want to piss and moan about entitlement go to the Political forum and join the democratic party.

PTP
05-14-2009, 07:41 AM
Yes I expect that.

Running a trimmer and blower does not merit $18.00 per hour.

Over the years, I have found many incompetent employees that cannot even do that efficiently. However, I have also had many others who were exemplary.

It's not just running a blower and a trimmer that merits the money. It's the fact that he shows up on time with a good attitude. It's the fact that I only need to tell him once about how to do things. It's the fact that he works so hard that I have trouble keeping up with him. It's the fact that for every dollar that I pay him, he makes me two dollars.

When viewed as a single issue, reason tells you that an entry level position is not worth paying that much. However, when you take into account the whole person and what they will benefit you and your business as a whole, it is most definitely worth it. I would rather have just one really competent employee than two average ones.

PTP
05-14-2009, 07:45 AM
Another thing to consider is how your business is set up. I really don't know your business and so am only speculating.

If your business as a whole is not run efficiently, then you will not be able to pay well. If you have a lot of drive time, poor paying jobs, etc., and have trouble grossing at least $50 per man per hour all day every day - including drive time - then you will not be able to pay. It will cost you more than it is worth.

IN2MOWN
05-14-2009, 08:06 AM
Another thing to consider is how your business is set up. I really don't know your business and so am only speculating.

If your business as a whole is not run efficiently, then you will not be able to pay well. If you have a lot of drive time, poor paying jobs, etc., and have trouble grossing at least $50 per man per hour all day every day - including drive time - then you will not be able to pay. It will cost you more than it is worth.



My routes are pretty tight so there is not a ton of down time from job to job. By myself on a good day I can usually average 2-3 an hour. I have a minimum of $37.00 a cut which is pretty average for around this city. I try to stay very competetive with other companies.


I understand what people are saying about the $8.00 an hour and if this was an adult looking for a career and a company to grow with I would pay him more then that. I remember what is was like to make $5.25 an hour carrying a trimmer around all day. It sucked. I know that.

PTP
05-14-2009, 09:10 AM
It seems like you are providing a good service to your customers and are charging appropriately for it. They expect good service and you expect to get paid well. That same principle transfers over into the employee realm. Expect much - pay well.

If this particular employee is not able to provide a high level of service, then find somebody else. However, if he is capable of doing a mans work, then he is worth a mans pay.

DeereMan85
05-14-2009, 09:50 AM
My routes are pretty tight so there is not a ton of down time from job to job. By myself on a good day I can usually average 2-3 an hour. I have a minimum of $37.00 a cut which is pretty average for around this city. I try to stay very competetive with other companies.


I understand what people are saying about the $8.00 an hour and if this was an adult looking for a career and a company to grow with I would pay him more then that. I remember what is was like to make $5.25 an hour carrying a trimmer around all day. It sucked. I know that.


Does it really matter how old the person is? It pisses me off to no end when an employer pays someone more because they're married/have kids/have rent to pay, whatever. If the kid works his ass off for you, shouldn't he make the same money a 40-year-old would doing the same thing? You talk about entitlement: that's the very definition of it. You should pay based on the person's ability to do the job and nothing else. Otherwise you're just making excuses for taking advantage of a kid who probably doesn't know any better.

ED'S LAWNCARE
05-14-2009, 04:33 PM
Does it really matter how old the person is? It pisses me off to no end when an employer pays someone more because they're married/have kids/have rent to pay, whatever. If the kid works his ass off for you, shouldn't he make the same money a 40-year-old would doing the same thing? You talk about entitlement: that's the very definition of it. You should pay based on the person's ability to do the job and nothing else. Otherwise you're just making excuses for taking advantage of a kid who probably doesn't know any better.


Not exactly...There must be a probational period. I myself would think that is what the 8 bucks would represent. Only after he has proven himself should he earn more. This goes with age. By normal reasoning an older worker will learn faster and have a better work ethic than a kid. Now don't jump on me there are exceptions both ways. No matter what a probation period is needed no matter how old or how much exp the person has. You run you biz your way and they need to learn that, and while this learning curve is happening you are losing effiency which may be costing you money. When the employee can earn you money not cost you then pay more.

lawnman_scott
05-14-2009, 06:16 PM
He'll be a PTer and a highschool kid who is the son of a friend looking for a summer job.

He's a hard worker, a good kid, and very reliable but Im not paying a 17 year old almost 20 bucks an hour.


If you guys would like to contribute to the meaning of this thread then by all means do so. If you want to piss and moan about entitlement go to the Political forum and join the democratic party.
What did I say about entitlement? Heres a thought, pay him $7 instead of $8. That will save you $15-20 a week then. By the way, no one outside of Kansas with one part time employee will be able to awser the question, because most companies that write wc have a minimum policy. You have to find one of those companies that writes wc policies in Kansas, and find out what it will cost you. Then add about 8% to cover fica&med. Get irs pub 15 and you will be set.

DeereMan85
05-14-2009, 06:22 PM
Not exactly...There must be a probational period. I myself would think that is what the 8 bucks would represent. Only after he has proven himself should he earn more. This goes with age. By normal reasoning an older worker will learn faster and have a better work ethic than a kid. Now don't jump on me there are exceptions both ways. No matter what a probation period is needed no matter how old or how much exp the person has. You run you biz your way and they need to learn that, and while this learning curve is happening you are losing effiency which may be costing you money. When the employee can earn you money not cost you then pay more.

Well in my experience, most of the middle-aged guys who are still out working as crew members and not as foremen, managers, etc., are probably doing so because they aren't smart enough or don't work hard enough to have moved their way up in the world by now. I agree that the kid is only running a trimmer and doesn't need to be paid some ridiculous figure--I just disagree that his pay should be any different than anyone else who can perform equally well because of his age, marital status, family situation, etc.

I've worked for guys like the guy who started this thread, only we were doing hardscapes. Our foreman had 3 jobs he was overseeing and left me in charge when he wasn't around, which was all but an hour or two a day. I was a college kid with an unrelated major, in my first year landscaping as a summer job, managing full-time middle-aged men because I was the hardest worker and most intelligent. I made less than some of the guys I oversaw. The boss wouldn't give me a raise because "You're summer help and don't have the experience they do or kids to feed, and I can't pay you more than the other new guys because if they find out they might quit." Luckily my foreman went to bat for me and I finally got a raise when the year was almost over.

It just pisses me off when I see somebody taking advantage of a kid just because he can. If the kid isn't worth it, that's fine, but not paying him well just because he's still in school is a bull**** excuse to screw him over. It's because of people like this that most people think landscapers and LCOs are a bunch of mouth-breathing idiots--rightfully so for anyone intelligent and hard-working who has worked for a guy like this. If you won't pay a smart, hard-working kid what he's worth, he's not gonna stick around--leaving you with a bunch of overpaid morons who are too dumb to do anything else.

bonerigo.1
05-15-2009, 12:12 AM
I use an employee leasing company (staffing group). I pay 39% of the employees wage per hour and use them for as long or as short as I need them. The company cover workers comp., employee ins, payroll, and anything else. I essentially work for myself when I get in touch with Uncle SAM. Costs a little bit more but budgeting is easy and so is getting new employees if the old ones dont work out.

IN2MOWN
05-15-2009, 01:47 AM
Well in my experience, most of the middle-aged guys who are still out working as crew members and not as foremen, managers, etc., are probably doing so because they aren't smart enough or don't work hard enough to have moved their way up in the world by now. I agree that the kid is only running a trimmer and doesn't need to be paid some ridiculous figure--I just disagree that his pay should be any different than anyone else who can perform equally well because of his age, marital status, family situation, etc.

I've worked for guys like the guy who started this thread, only we were doing hardscapes. Our foreman had 3 jobs he was overseeing and left me in charge when he wasn't around, which was all but an hour or two a day. I was a college kid with an unrelated major, in my first year landscaping as a summer job, managing full-time middle-aged men because I was the hardest worker and most intelligent. I made less than some of the guys I oversaw. The boss wouldn't give me a raise because "You're summer help and don't have the experience they do or kids to feed, and I can't pay you more than the other new guys because if they find out they might quit." Luckily my foreman went to bat for me and I finally got a raise when the year was almost over.

It just pisses me off when I see somebody taking advantage of a kid just because he can. If the kid isn't worth it, that's fine, but not paying him well just because he's still in school is a bull**** excuse to screw him over. It's because of people like this that most people think landscapers and LCOs are a bunch of mouth-breathing idiots--rightfully so for anyone intelligent and hard-working who has worked for a guy like this. If you won't pay a smart, hard-working kid what he's worth, he's not gonna stick around--leaving you with a bunch of overpaid morons who are too dumb to do anything else.


You really need to get over yourself. Like I said earlier, he is the son of a friend. I talked to his father and we agreed upon a wage that he thought was suitable.

I apologize that we did not consult you and that you dont approve it.

bohiaa
05-15-2009, 08:03 AM
What you may be missing here is............. An Employee WILL MAKE YOU MONEY

IN2MOWN
05-15-2009, 08:26 AM
What you may be missing here is............. An Employee WILL MAKE YOU MONEY



Why is this so hard to understand?


Do people here actually read the entire thread?

He is a kid. He's 17 years old. His father called me and asked for help getting him some about 20 hours a week worth of work. I asked him what he thought was appropriate pay for his son. He told me minimum wage. I told him I would start him out at $8.00 per hour.

For a guy with ZERO experience that has NEVER had a job before I dont think its that bad.

If you guys want to pay him almost $20.00 per hour Ill let him know and he can come work for you.

Thanks to everyone who hijacked the thread and turned it into something stupid. I really appreciate it.

DeereMan85
05-15-2009, 10:07 AM
I apologize for the harsh tone of my previous posts. I've been hosed before and it strikes a nerve when I think I see it happening to someone else.

The thing is, paying him a decent (not excessive--there is a big difference between 8 & 20) could end up making you a lot more money in the long term. Paying better may sound like entitlement, but there are many selfish reasons to pay well.

You said yourself he's a "hard worker, good kid, very reliable." Wouldn't you want someone like that coming back every summer? If the kid goes to college, you could have him back the next 4-5 summers or more, allowing you to pick up more accounts as he gains experience and capability. Maybe he'll decide he has a career in lawn care--probably not though, if he thinks it's a job for minimum wage flunkies. If he thinks you're screwing him, he won't come back next summer or any other, leaving you to find new, inexperienced help every year and hindering the growth of your company.

Maybe there's no chance of him becoming regular summer help, but if there is, you're going to have to pay him more to make him want to come back next year. He won't want to come back and work his butt off for the same wage his buddies are making lifeguarding at the pool.

/steps off soapbox

PTP
05-18-2009, 09:08 PM
Why is this so hard to understand?


Do people here actually read the entire thread?

He is a kid. He's 17 years old. His father called me and asked for help getting him some about 20 hours a week worth of work. I asked him what he thought was appropriate pay for his son. He told me minimum wage. I told him I would start him out at $8.00 per hour.

For a guy with ZERO experience that has NEVER had a job before I dont think its that bad.

If you guys want to pay him almost $20.00 per hour Ill let him know and he can come work for you.

Thanks to everyone who hijacked the thread and turned it into something stupid. I really appreciate it.

That puts it in a different light.

Dad asked you to hire his son. That tells me that the son is not motivated enough on his own. If he isn't motivated enough to find the work, he will probably not be motivated when he is doing the work.

The low pay still bothers me but in a different way now. I would have trouble hiring someone who thought that they were worth only $8 per hour.

But, this all may work out very well for you. I wish you the best of luck.

Kelly's Landscaping
05-25-2009, 01:38 PM
The pay sucks but that's your call iv probably had 40 employees in the past 7 years and trained close to 100 before that when I use to be a foreman for someone else. And I can say starting pay doesn't seem to improve the workers value what so ever and IV started them from 9-15 an hour and been disappointed at every level. This is hard work though and as such should be compensated that way in other words starting pay should be 3-4 dollars an hour more then minimum wage. Which in my state is already close to or over 8 an hour.

You asked the cost so ill break that down for ya I have 2 great guys that work for me and my partner iv trained them and kept them for years one dates back till before I started my own company 7 years ago. They are both 25 they both are paid 16 dollars an hour and we work them 50-60 hours a week each. We get to pay the 7.65% for social security we get to pay 4.5% for workmanís comp and another 6.9% for unemployment since they both collect in the winter months. What that means is their time and half pay costs me close to 29 an hour each. As a result they each regularly break 1000 a week with me it seems 55 hours is the magic mark where they hit that.

That may be a bitter pill to swallow for you but what I get for it is loyal dependable employees that intend to stay with me for many years to come. As I have said iv had tons of other employees when you finally get real good ones your do what ever you can to keep them you can not be starting each season with the issue of now who is going to work for us. If you do youíre stuck at an income level and your hover there for years. As you cannot acquire more work cause you cannot seem to ever finish what you have. Vet employees who know what you want are worth their weight in gold and mine show up dump the trucks load up all before I even get out of bed then I work with them till dark.

Obviously you starting with a virgin worker so his pay should be a lot less then 16 an hour. But you also get what you pay for in the end you have a teen that will likely not stay with you more then a season or 2 if youíre lucky. Welcome to a new level of stress any one that hasnít had employees yet has no clue what its like. And you thought you didnít like Dems before give it a few years as a boss.

IN2MOWN
05-25-2009, 01:59 PM
That puts it in a different light.

Dad asked you to hire his son. That tells me that the son is not motivated enough on his own. If he isn't motivated enough to find the work, he will probably not be motivated when he is doing the work.

The low pay still bothers me but in a different way now. I would have trouble hiring someone who thought that they were worth only $8 per hour.

But, this all may work out very well for you. I wish you the best of luck.


Wow...just wow...talk about jumping to conclusions...

lawncuttinfoo
06-13-2009, 09:30 AM
$18 per hour in OK is WAY above average

http://www.oesc.state.ok.us/lmi/okccwage02/EnidMSA.pdf

page 193

supervisors median $10.05

workers median $7.12

LouisianaLawnboy
06-13-2009, 02:06 PM
He'll be a PTer and a highschool kid who is the son of a friend looking for a summer job.

He's a hard worker, a good kid, and very reliable but Im not paying a 17 year old almost 20 bucks an hour.


If you guys would like to contribute to the meaning of this thread then by all means do so. If you want to piss and moan about entitlement go to the Political forum and join the democratic party.

10.00 is more like it. 18.00 is WAY to much for first time helper. 8.00 is a low.