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How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?

 
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:38 PM   #1
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How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


Here's my situation:
I've never had my own company with employees and overhead. I'm a GC that has been working for myself and other GC's, just bouncing between my jobs and others. I usually get $200-300 on my license per pay depending. But I'm not that steady doing that (NC San Diego) so I got hired on with another GC that wants me to run all San Diego (he's and hour north). He's a marketing genius and the work has been 20-30 hours per week but getting busier.
Here's the problem: He has me take the lead, contact or visit the client and estimate the job. During the week I spent probably 10-15 hours estimating and driving around (my fuel) that he won't pay for.
He's paying me $25 an hr to do all this and physically do the work.
I'm your typical GC with 23 years in the trades, 11 licensed. All tools, truck etc. very versatile and every client is happy.

My Question, should I be getting paid for run around and estimating?

He pulls $25 an hour on me but has all overhead (office lady, marketing, insurance) but no office.

My wife just keeps bugging me to ask for more money and paid estimating. I'm just hoping this takes off and the money he promises will come thru. He's good at growing a company as far as I can tell.

Thanks

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Old 11-28-2012, 03:06 PM   #2
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


You should add a post to the introduction sub-forum.

People will know a little better where you are coming from if you do.

You will not get direct answers to what you should be paid ($), but people can be helpful sorting out what you should be paid for.

From your post, it sounds like the guy you are working for gets a good deal from you. If you are working as an employee, any company time is not your time. I pay my guys as such and don't ask or expect their time for free.

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Old 11-28-2012, 03:19 PM   #3
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


I'm the wacky one that doesn't mind doing freebies. But restrict it. Meeting clients, submitting bids for.free is fine as long as your winning a decent amout of those bids.

I get around 80% approval. So to me, its not a big deal. Some only get 30%, thats when it gets to be an issue.

Add ALL the hours you do work for this fella in a week divide by a weeks pay. Still $25/hr?

Personally, I am happy with $15/hr. But my lifestyle is set for that. If you aint makin a comfortable living, move on. Don't mix business and friends, you're bound to lose one (if not both).
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:45 PM   #4
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


Id you dont have marketing you can only take what he chooses to give you. 200_300 per day is starvation dor me and im in a less expensive market. I shoot for 5 6 and,the bank grows. This is speaming as a o.e man show with pt help.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:56 PM   #5
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


$25.00 an hr.....
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:19 PM   #6
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


Not to be snarky, but you are no where near the typical General Contractor. You are basically a hired employee with no W/C or taxes being withheld.

I can totally relate to your situation though, and I am sure many here can. It was normal operating procedure 20 years ago. However, these days it is barely legal and is great for him, but really bad for you.

I do jobs at those rates every once in a while to help someone out or if it is a quicky that might lead to something else. For me, not someone else. I couldn't survive on a daily diet of it though. It makes it impossible to have any down time because you are chasing small bits of money around.

I wouldn't burn any bridges, but I would try and break away as much as you can on your own. At 25 bucks an hour, he is paying you what I would pay a highly skilled W/C'd employee. Is he paying you percentages above your wages if you bring in jobs, do you get more if you find and sell the jobs yourself? Those of course, should be none of his business. Did he make you sign a non-compete contract?

So many ways you are getting burned by this and probably don't even know it. Staying under him keeps you from growing your own business and finding a niche to fill on your own. If he suddenly pulls up stakes, you have no real base to fall back to.

I do speak from experience in just this situation. In some ways a steady paycheck is great, even a small one. In other cases, the need to bring in money on a daily or weekly basis makes you hungry and that makes you move out of your comfort zone. This is how you move forward and hopefully become successful. It is scary, but so much more rewarding than you can imagine.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:47 PM   #7
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


Thanks for the feedback. i understand all that you guys are saying as regards the negative in this situation, and I know he's getting the upper hand. I made $25 when i was 20 years old. But here in San Diego, I cant' find anyone, HO or other company willing to pay well (like 6 years ago). On my own so far (1 year here) all the bids I've won were based on me at $30-35, my laborer at $15, but I couldn't keep steady flow.

I have PM'd for other company's and was highly praised with my management but I've never succeeded at my own show. I'm hoping that this company does grow big and I'm in from the ground up. I think I should just view that free time as an investment.

I just want a company to pay me very well and make lots of money and send me on a 2 surf trips a year. Is that too much to ask?
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:57 PM   #8
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


So, are you paid as a w-2 employee, or a 1099 sub? In a typical week, how many hours @ $25 per hour and how many @ $0 per hour?

I might not think of it as much of an investment, as a LOT of people (in general) will churn and burn...meaning as soon as you aren't working for peanuts, they go to the next guy in line.

And there's a never-ending line.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:05 PM   #9
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


You got a license, tools and over 20 years experience and you agreed on 25$ an hour?!!

I was making that with no license, no tools and like 6 years exp as a lead carpenter, just working on the site.

No wonder your wife is pissed.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:15 PM   #10
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


I agree with JF.
I've had both type of employees , One who does'nt bill for all his hrs, and another who billed me for taking a dump, and talking to other trades. Guess which one is still employed.
I add on hrs to his bill if I know he's short.
I'm not trying to take advantage of anyone.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:26 PM   #11
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


I'm paid 1099.

That what I'm dealing with D. I was making $50 6 years ago, then $40 then $35, now I've applyed for hundreds of like jobs, PM, Lead, Super nobody will pay! I know what I'm worth, I know I'm valuable but I can't even get in the door asking more than $25. This is San Diego CA, I figured the pay would be higher. But i'm not the only one I've found.

IDK if its the south of the border influx that brought it down but its lame.

I make $25 an hour, 2 hour min 20-30 hours a week working. All time driving to leads and estimating is no charge, prob 10 to 15 during the day and evening thru week.

We have a big job coming up, I guess I'll see how that goes....
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:33 PM   #12
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


Large marketing agents, GC's, Landlords are notorious for this stuff. He is taking advantage of you.

If you really add up the numbers, (mileage, insurance, licensing, tools, TAXES, free hours, etc) you may find that you are making about $5 an hour or less. IDK what your numbers are, but you may find it takes about $25 an hour just to cover expenses for a 1 man show.

In fact, you may find that you are paying him. Get a job at McDonalds, in the end, you will make more. Not to mention you would at least be covered by Unemployment and Workman's Comp.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:00 PM   #13
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


Quote:
Originally Posted by salth20 View Post
Here's my situation:
I've never had my own company with employees and overhead. I'm a GC that has been working for myself and other GC's, just bouncing between my jobs and others. I usually get $200-300 on my license per pay depending. But I'm not that steady doing that (NC San Diego) so I got hired on with another GC that wants me to run all San Diego (he's and hour north). He's a marketing genius and the work has been 20-30 hours per week but getting busier.
Here's the problem: He has me take the lead, contact or visit the client and estimate the job. During the week I spent probably 10-15 hours estimating and driving around (my fuel) that he won't pay for.
He's paying me $25 an hr to do all this and physically do the work.
I'm your typical GC with 23 years in the trades, 11 licensed. All tools, truck etc. very versatile and every client is happy.

My Question, should I be getting paid for run around and estimating?

He pulls $25 an hour on me but has all overhead (office lady, marketing, insurance) but no office.

My wife just keeps bugging me to ask for more money and paid estimating. I'm just hoping this takes off and the money he promises will come thru. He's good at growing a company as far as I can tell.

Thanks

ps, I'm new to the site and can't keep away. I love shop talk and the banter
I have always been a believer that you give all you can to the boss and let him see what you can do. If he does not want to share, than he is a pig and the best thing you can do is stay long enough so you can understands how he markets his company and then strike out on you own.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:44 PM   #14
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


Don't give that evil bastard any free time.

Andy.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:11 PM   #15
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


After 23 years as a GC I'm surprised you don't recognize what's going on here. You mentioned you also do your own work so my question is "what do you charge"? I mean, the difference between that and what he's paying you should be some indication of the answer.

At 20-30 hours a week he's not a marketing genius, he's just a guy who figured out how to play you.

You seem like a nice guy and you seem like you have good experience. If you do your own work as indicated what's the hold-up from being a full fledged business.

If I were you I'd study marketing and start growing a business.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:58 PM   #16
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


Have you looked at what you are making with this guy? 30 - 45 hours worked with an income of $500 - $750/ wk. Your making $14.29 - $18.25/ hr. Thats working for a 1099.

What makes you think things will change when things take off?

Doesn't seem like that great of deal for you.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:23 AM   #17
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


M2akita: how did you figure that equation?

I think I'm going to start marketing here in SD and see where it takes me. I'll tell him my plight and see if he want to work something out. I'm thinking that I'm wasting time at this point with him. I just calced the numbers: for a good week so far, 25 paid hours at $25=$625, total hours for him 30+. I can make that in 2.5 days

Why did I even ask thIs stupid question?
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:33 AM   #18
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


Quote:
Originally Posted by salth20 View Post
........................

Why did I even ask thIs stupid question?
It's most important to realize your situation. And maybe some insight has you rethinking what you are up to.

Here is something I put a lot of faith in - "Do what it takes to get to work every day. if you do other things will work out"

But that doesn't mean to work blindly or for peanuts or like a fool.

It sounds like right now you have some income. Before you shut that source down, get your strategy in place. This might take an hour or it might take a month. I don't have any idea of what you are capable.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:40 AM   #19
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


Quote:
Originally Posted by salth20 View Post
M2akita: how did you figure that equation?

I just calced the numbers: for a good week so far, 25 paid hours at $25=$625, total hours for him 30+. I can make that in 2.5 days

Why did I even ask thIs stupid question?
Did you figure your mileage, tools, taxes, s.s., medicaid, insurance, and other overhead?

In SoCal, I would think a quality licensed/ insured contractor could make that in 1 to 1.5 days. I am in central Kansas, so I might as well be in another country as far as the market, cost of living, and economy goes.

So I really don't know how much you need to make, but I do know you need to factor in ALL your costs into the equation.

Last edited by ryanshull; 11-29-2012 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:45 AM   #20
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Re: How Much FREE Time Do I Give Boss?


This post might make a great sticky. This is a very common trap contractors get caught in.

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