For the LARGER companies with secretaries

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Runner, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I have a question for those larger companies with secretaries. I have a friend that has a business (lawn & landscape) that does about 3/4 of a million a year (just over 800 this year). He has hired this girl who has done alot for him, and completes the work, although, now it is to the point that he will need to hire an assistant for her. He pays pays her approx. $50g per year (just over), salary. This covers all seasons, including slower times like now. Now, here's the thing, she works right out of her home, so she doesn't have an exact start up time, or quit time, she gets a phone, and she does make bank runs and such. He still takes about half the calls. Well, she has just approached him and let him know that SHE thinks she is worth more than that...alot more. She is asking for closer to mid sixties, I believe, (1200 a week). My question is,..and I'm asking this for him, what is the average base salary for a person for this position in this size of company? He is in the position that he is unable to do this sort of significant raise. It's like he says,...NO one gets that sort of raise. She has been working approx. 60 hrs per week, and he was just going to cut the hours down, and tell her to just work 40 hrs., and he'll cut her off there. She will have help, also.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    she kinda has him by the short hair on that 1
    the problem is he let her have to much info on his biz
    and now she sees what he is makeing and wants more
    heard this more then once
    as for pay does he have a office for her to come to rather then letting her work at home?
    if so make her clock in and pay her more per hour if he wants but cut her back to 40 like was said but if she shows up at an office he can kinda keep tarck of her and see what she is really worth
    at this point he may just have to fire her because she now feels that she is worth more then she is
  3. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    Like everything salary will be relvent to location, but with that said I think even in Mich she is already WAY overpaid. That type of position is a $25K-40K job.
  4. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    I was going to say the same as Mike. For around here, she'd be overpaid at 50K.
  5. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    So is she a glorified secretary, or is she a secretary/accountant/office manager? Does she do payroll, taxes, etc... or just open mail, answer phones, and make deposit runs? Does she handle ordering supplies, scheduling repairs and maint? Does she design any of the advertising, etc..

    I guess I am asking completely what she does. Becuase if all she does is answer phones and make bank runs.... $50k is WAY overpaid. If she has combined duties of accountant and payroll, office manager, purchasing, etc... well than possibly $50k is reasonable.

    Also, since she is salary, how does she count her hours... sitting at home watching Oprah and waiting for a phone call? I used to work at home for an employer, and I never got much done. It always took twice as long at home compared to an office.

    Does she have any other perks to go with her $50K? How about health care, bonusus, can she use the phone line for personal calls? Company cell phone?

    If she does most of the extra things I have listed, then she may be worth a little more than $50k, but she better be alot more than just a glorified secretary.

  6. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    Oh, to my understanding an average salary for a secretary working 40 hrs per week answering phones and handling light computer data entry is about $25-$30k. Add another $5-$10k for slight increase in responsibility, such as bank runs, etc...
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    To answer some of the questions, She does do payroll to an extent, but not all. This company uses a payroll service, so all the employees are paid through that. She does provide all the hours and such, though. She tracks all that is performed so it gets billed out. She does all the accounts recievables and payables. Her hours are counted by her knowing how long it taks her to do all this. It's not like she's cheating or anything. She's a great person, and does do her best. There IS alot to do, because she handles about 50 calls a day (he handles the other 50). As far as perks, there is a bonus, but no healthcare. She gets a cell phone and has free reign of it. It wouldn't be an issue if she leaves of taking his info or anything..they've known each other for a long time. He may just have to cut down the hours and hire someone else, though. At this point, this is always a better solution. Thje problem with working at home though, is that the distractions can cost alot. When you get up to go do something, by the time you come back, sit down, and get refocussed, it can COST you another 15-20 minutes.
  8. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    Something else for him to consider Runner is that she may be "bluffing". I had a forman back in 1997 that was making really good money with me. They got what I call too comfortable in their job and came to me and said, "Well boss, I hate to do this but xyz landscaping as offered me $10K more a year to go with them....but i don't won't too as I had rather stay with you, but it is $10K". Well, I was 99.9% sure they were bluffing, but it also pizzed me off because they were trying to play me and I had been good to them. Well, they were a great employee, but I told them. "You know what. I know old John that owns xyz and that is just a great chance for you, so I'll consider this your notice with no hard feelings". You could really have heard a pin drop. They started backtracking and humming and hauling and I said "Nope, I can't let you turn down I job offer like that. Wouldn't be fair". Of course there was no job offer as I did know the owner and called him later and ask. It was all a bluff and last I heard they were working in retail for $7.00 an hour....cost them a $20.00 an hour job at the time and me a good employee.....but I refuse to play games.

    One important thing to remember employees are help not friends. I know that sounds harsh and I don't mean you don't need to be good to them, but they are hired help and short of that paycheck they wouldn't be there I assure you.
  9. RHayden

    RHayden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    I agree with MM here. Sounds like she is overpaid at 50k already. And she may very well be bluffing. Our part-time office manager doesn't work near the hours this one does but handles about all of the above mentioned tasks and she only costs us around 25k and that's including labor burden. No way I would consider an almost 30% raise.
  10. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    I think $35k for her job is about on par. Maybe $40k if you figure no health care. But he can find some girl to do it for $10-$12 per hour, and even if he paid her for 60 hrs a week for 52 weeks thats only $36,400-43,680 (overtime figured in) per year. And as you say its slower in the winter, so overall it would be even less. And I assure you there are plenty of people that would do her job for $12 an hour.

    I had a brother-in-law working for me 3 years ago. I started out paying him $8 per hour, then I made it $10 after a few weeks. He was really slow, I ddint make any money off of him, but he was helping me keep the business going while I was working my full time job and the customers seemed to like him. It literally cost me money out of my pocket to pay him he worked so slow, but I figured the equity in acquiring the customer base for when I left my other job was worth the trade off. A few months into the season, he was complaining nearly daily about the work and the pay, so I raised him again to $12 an hour. Again I was making very good money at my other job, so it wasnt a big personal financial hit, but it was horrible as far as the business was concerned, but I was essentially over a barrel that late in the season and not ready to make the transition away from my other job yet. Well, a few weeks after that, he calls me on the phone one night to tell me that he got a job offer for $15 from another lco that he knows. I was furious. I could not even speak to him, I handed the phone to my wife. All I could see was my business being destroyed in front of my very eyes by some worthless peice of crap that didnt even realize that he was already overpaid to begin with for the amount of work that he produced. (I mean slow, 1 hour per lawn average solo - 8-10k sq ft average). I refused to pay him more, I did not know if he was bluffing or not but I flat out refused to take it any further, he had already pushed me twice that year already. After I refused to match it, he said it was just a joke. He finished out the last month or so at $12 an hour, and needless to say our relationship has been severely soured since.


Share This Page