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Accidental Painter
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Next month I finally roll out a new service & hire an employee.

I have one little detail I am struggling with though.

I kinda want to keep my pricing away from my employee. But at the same time want to be paid promptly.

Should I send him out with a pre-filled invoice & have the customer pay in the mail?

Should I keep it all snail mail? Mail invoice, they mail payment.

Should I set aside a day to drive around & collect?

I worry that if the employee finds out pricing info, after a few months he will become my competition. I don't need that headache.

As this is a 3 hour service, & he will be doing 2-3 a day i just cant envision any other way to collect payment than by having the employee getting paid at the end of the job.

How do you service guys with employees do it?
 

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I have my employee invoice and collect payment on the spot for service work.

Pay him well and supply him with the proper transportation and tools (except hand tools) and send him off in the morning with a stack of work orders and let him return with a stack of checks or CC receipts.

If it is someone that has enough on the ball to send them out on their own, they should realize all the money the bring in isn't profit.
 

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Chris
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260 Posts
Sounds like you need to take credit card payments over the phone. I have many customers that have rentals and do not live here, so I take credit card payment up front for new customers, and if I have someone who just wants to use a credit card.

I suggest square up, it is super easy to set up and is in my account the next business day. 3.5% + 15 cents fee for keyed and 2.75% for swiped... no other fees, and free card reader that plugs in to your phone's headphone jack.
 

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Super Moderator
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11,970 Posts
A sole service employee needs to not only know what you charge, but be able to hand write invoices at completion so he can collect.

Train him well and have your phone turned on when he has questions while completing the invoice.

(If he's not a dumbass but you will find that out quickly)

Helpful hint. Get his facebook page and see how much he is partaking during the time he is supposed to be working if he is anywhere under 30.:rolleyes:
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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13,170 Posts
If you don't trust a person, they'll pick up on it pretty quick and you'll lose a good employee.
 

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Chris
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260 Posts
He never said he didnt trust the guy!

He said:" I worry that if the employee finds out pricing info, after a few months he will become my competition. I don't need that headache."

It sucks to train a guy to do quality work and lose him because they think the grass is greener. If you train most guys to do all but find the work and deposit the checks, they usually think they can do it all.
 

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Accidental Painter
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
He never said he didnt trust the guy!

He said:" I worry that if the employee finds out pricing info, after a few months he will become my competition. I don't need that headache."

It sucks to train a guy to do quality work and lose him because they think the grass is greener. If you train most guys to do all but find the work and deposit the checks, they usually think they can do it all.
We have a winner!

Bathtub reglazing here is well underserved market. Huge demand with only 2 other sole proprietors doing it.

My concern isnt trust with the money. Ill know pretty much instantly on that one.

My concern is revealing too much info. He will know proprietary info as it is. I do not want him to know enough to become my competition.

Compensation isnt an issue. He will make $50k a year. Here $30k is comfortable.

I was just curious how the service based guys like plumbers & other handymen handle billing.
 

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Every plumber, electrician, appliance repair guy, garage door service guy etc.---- that I have ever used on my home-----dispatches an employee(s) who do the work----- then the employee presents a bill AND collects payment on the spot via check or credit card

so if that system works well for ALL of them
and it doesn't work for YOU??????
then the problem, I think, isn't the employee.
JMHO,
Stephen
 

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The Ultimate Wire Hider
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It's just like Coca-Cola. Everyone can find out what's in it but not everyone can figure out how to make it.

I have no problem with my employees knowing what I charge for my services. If my employee starts a business based solely on his objection between what he earns and what I charge, he isn't likely to become my competition. If he is worthy to become my competition, he will regardless of what he knows about my company.
 

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2 choices...either he collects the check or you mail out invoices later

when i worked for someone else i never collected the $$...once i saw the invoice on the counter top and realized he was making $400 an hour off of my work.....then i remembered how he fought me when i asked for a .50 cent raise once

you need to choose what you want to do....odds are he will find out what you charge anyways.

dont call your customer 1 hour later and ask for a credit card....either charge them on the spot(what id do) or send them an invoice and wait 30 days
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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13,170 Posts
He never said he didnt trust the guy!

He said:" I worry that if the employee finds out pricing info, after a few months he will become my competition. I don't need that headache.".......
Sure sounds like a trust issue to me.
 
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I own stock in FotoMat!
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every employee with eventually quit to work for someone else or go out on his own

they will take the info they learned from your company and use it against you.
A-yepper!

Welcome to the wonderful world of Free Enterprise.




FWIW, I wonder how much experience, knowledge & training the OP took from his old employers. :whistling
 

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Accidental Painter
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I hace only ever dealt with small time service guys (one man shows) so i am unfamiliar with how someone with employees billed.

Looks like having the employee collect payment is the norm.

Yes, there kinda is a trust issue. I am giving alot of info to someone else, & hoping not to be burned. It's scary, but i guess necessary.

Guess i need a printer & tablet for billing now...
 

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im kind of on the fence with this one....I mean, id love to go to work for some one who is paying $50k a year and eliminate all the headaches of being my own boss. To be able to go back to getting up with the alarm and going to work, and at the end of the day clock out and play.... I think if he (employee) has ever tried to venture out on his own, then he'd understand your costs and the time you put into it all. Keep him busy and paid, and he'll have no reason to be envious of what you charge...

BUTTTT!!! if he is younger, and they all think they know it all, he most likely will decide to try it himself thinking like i did....that the money will fly in, that you will have all this free time and work less hours....LMFAO!!! boy did I not think that one through.

I dont believe it is a trust thing at all. I dont care if he was the most trust worthy person on the planet. If he thinks he can do better on his own, he will leave. and he cant separate what he knew before and what he has learned with you, so that WILL be put towards his new business venture.....

ultimately, if you want to be paid ASAP, sounds like you have no choice but to send him with invoice and have him collect.....Or if willing to wait for payment.....send it and receive payment within 30 days. I found people are more likely to pay on the spot though, while a man is there in their presence. otherwise, you are always chasing your own money.....
 

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I too am in a similar situation but my problem i find is that they can do the work but do not have the drive or the personal skills to seek out, discuss, get add on work and then complete the work, they simply just want to come and do a job and go home, often times leading to them getting overwhelmed and just standing there.

I since changed how i use my helpers or workers and switch them to either a % of the job or pay a flat rate amount. 99% of the time its more then they would have made elsewhere and they are more then happy to finish the job faster. I still have to babysit them sometimes but i usually work enough in to cover a break.

If the worker knows how much you make sure they might be jealous or want more but if you take care of them then they will take care of you. Be reasonable with your expectations.
 

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Collect payment at the time of service. It really is the best. The customer is there, you or your employee is there, and all they have to do is ask for a check. Once that opportunity is passed, you just have to hope they answer your call or send you a check. That isn't nearly as good as just already having the money instead of tracking down payments. That's just adding an extra burden for no good reason.

Probably the first call he goes on the customer will say "so it's $***, are there going to be any additional charges, or is that the total with tax?". Then he'll know, right then. You can't keep your prices a secret from him, don't even try.

We have an even bigger problem in pest control. You hire a guy, teach him the job, find the customers and everything else running a business entails, he works for you for a few years, quits, and then tries to take all of your customers that he has a relationship with and has been servicing for years. It really is theft, and there is legal recourse, but it is a major hassle.
 
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