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I have an offer of employment I am considering and would appreciate your opinion.

A person I've known for years who has had his GC license several years went in business for himself 2 years ago (previously he was involved with commercial roofing).

He's running it out of his house with his wife, does mostly home additions and roofing, subs just about everything out. He wants to hire me as an estimator and salesperson to free up more time for himself and get off roofs.

I am currently in sales, considered qualified for the job, I have been giving him leads for about a year.

He is offering me his current truck plus vehicle expenses, a phone, laptop, a salary and either a sales commission or profit sharing plan, details on neither determined yet.

What would be an appropriate salary and additional compensation opportunity for this position?

If I offered to work on a contracted basis (use my vehicle etc.) how much should I ask for to get on a roof, provide a proposal, and try to sell it?

If I work on a salaried plus basis, I was considering also asking for all the business on something I could sell that he had no interest in getting involved in that I would either do or sub out myself (something like pressure washing). Is asking for this reasonable?
 

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Thunder, I run 3, soon to be 4 businesses from my home. I am required to have commercial space and I do but operations are run from here. I like working by the pool in only a T shirt and baggies, taking a dip now and again.
The guy sounds legit and I can only go by your account. If his wife is working there too, they have thrown all of their eggs in one basket and have to make it work.
As to compensation, you are going to make that decision. It's different all over the country.
Generally, if you get a side job that has absolutely no 'conflict of interest' most of the people that I know won't object. Conduct that business on your own time, have the customer call you at night. If I catch one of my guys giving estimates for one of his jobs when I'm paying him, we have a problem. I have had much worse.
 

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I am a estimator/salesman/project manager. I have a small salary of $300 a week, plus commission of 25% of my job's profit. I have a company truck fully paid for by the company including gas. I also have a company cell phone. I should also mention if I make a mistake I share in the loss just as if I would in the profit.

Many salesmen I know make 5-7% commercial and 7-10% residential. I know a few companies that pay 10% flat commission and $350 a month if they use their personal vehicle.

I keep myself so busy at my current job that I seriously wouldn't have time to deal with pressure washing etc... If I did it would take away from my roof and siding selling time.
 
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Thanks for your response.

He is a good guy, legit, professional.

It would be clearly understood up front that the business I "took for myself" would be quoted at "any time" and I would be offering these services along with "his" services at the time I visited prospects. What I offered would "compliment" the services he offers. I would not sell anything in any manner he didn't approve of.

(Ex. If he sells paint but not the brushes etc., I would offer the brushes etc. at the time I was offering "his" paint.)

Being that I would be a salesperson on his behalf, I view this as an opportunity to develop a relationship with a customer that could pay off down the road if the prospect does not award him the work they are requesting at the present time.

If the customer doesn't buy what "he" is selling now, but they buy what "I" have offered now, I've developed a relationship and can keep calling on this customer which opens opportunities for "him" later.
 

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Why wouldn't you back into it starting with what you are worth?

For example take an accountant looking for new employment, if the person is 25 years old moving from a job paying $35,000 a year he/she would be looking at making maybe $40,000 now. A 35 year old accountant moving from a job paying $75,000 would be looking at making maybe $85,000. What does this have to do with you? It illustrates that people in different phases of experience doing the same type job don't work for the same wage.

Where are you in your career? What are you worth? What do you want to make? If it is $40,000 a year? then back into this job how much of whatever you have to sell working whatever amount of days per week you have to, to make X amount of money.

I always prefer that method because it usually results in an opportunity where you set yourself up to make a lot more money once you get good at what you are doing.

Whether you supply a vehicle or they cover all your expenses it still is figured the same since you just back out your expenses to determine your net. If it costs you $5000 a year to drive your own vehicle to do this job, then him supplying you one is worth $5000 to you.
 
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Thank you for your response.

I like the approach you recommend. He has asked me if I would like either a incentive plan or profit sharing plan (which would cover my "value") and I'm also going to ask for the opportunity to sell some type of side work for myself. I'm not sure what someone should be paid in base salary to get on roofs and market and sell for a contractor.

I was considering asking for a flat fee plus mileage (using my vehicle) for conducting inspections and putting together a proposal plus a commission if it sells, and commission on anything else I sell or develop a lead for.

In my view, using your own vehicle/phone, etc., to get on a roof, and put together a proposal for anything within 20 miles of the center of the city should pay $75 - $200 depending on size, time needed to conduct inspection and write up, then add mileage for anything outside that, then get something additional if you are also trying to sell it and do. The same type fee would apply for other contracted work. I doubt that any roofer or contractor would pay that much when they can hire someone much cheaper to do the "dirty" work and have office staff put together the proposal.


I have a friend who worked for a residential roofer in a city of over 1 million people. He did no soliciting, he got on 4-6 houses a day, did the estimates and handed the proposal to the customer, used a company vehicle etc, made about $35,000.

I have another friend who worked for a commercial roofer in the same city. He had to get his own sales leads, had to sell 140% of his salary before receiving a commission, company had him in a rickedy truck, and he had to travel as much a 500 miles a day to conduct inspections and do minor repairs for "house accounts." For this he got $28,000 a year, no benefits, no profit sharing, no 401k.

These 2 examples are part of what has me confused as to what this type job should pay.
 

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Mike, Your worth only as much as you think you are worth. No more no less. Experience has nothing to do with it unfortunately. Some people are very talented but ask for low pay. SOme people are not talented at all but think they are so ask for alot of money.

Paying salesmen is easy. "I'll give you X number of leads and x% commission. If you want a raise, sell more jobs."

I get zero benefits, except the cell phone and vehicle. I get no holidays no sick days and no paid vacation. I get as many leads as I can balance and I make much more than 35k a year. I don't know of any roofing salesmen that make that little. Perhaps our markets are different.

3 leads a day is pretty typical. Pretty much any "Salesman" worth anything can sell at least 30% of his leads. This means one sale per day.
 

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My brother in law sold roofs for a very high priced roofing company for 1.5 seasons. He was being paid similar to Grumpy and made more money selling cars which is what he had done 8 years prior. Now he sells homes and couldn't be happier. Another salesman at his roofing sales job sold one huge apartment complex for $2,000,000, he was left with a check for $200,000, he took the rest of the season off!

The best money is an owner operator style roofing business. Your the boss you make all the calls and you see over all the finances. Making 6 figures is a piece of cake if you know what your doing! I went to school with two guys who at the age of 19 decided there were going to open there own lawn care and landscaping businesses. Now at the age of 26 there making $250K a year each!!!

If you know how to play your cards right anything is posible. I should know I'm a high school drop out and making more money than I ever thought posible. BUT, with more money means more bills, more IRS, and more stress.
 

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Douger, That's actually really odd. After my first fall (3rd season) I almost quit to sell cars. The stress was unbelieveable. I was selling jobs too cheap so we had too much work. I identified the problem and began raising my prices ever since.

Douger, when I hear owner operator I think even smaller than what you posted. IMO an owner-operator is the kind of business where the owner does everything from book keeping to sales to actually being the crew foreman. This business strategy DOES work but is not for me. I would only be able to supervise on job site, meaning there could only be one job running at any given time. Why not 3 jobs or 10 jobs per day? That's the strategy for me! With good crew foreman I can easily manage 3 crews a day by myself. Add on a few more project managers and there is no reason we can't do 6 concurrent jobs.
 

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Grumpy, I'm an owner/operater of 3 successful businesses. Small? Within most folks scopes, yes. Profitable? Very.
One business is stand alone, the other 2 can crossover but do so rarely. I investigate jobs when I am in the area and no one knows when this will be. I do utilize a crew leader for each job and this tends to create the greatest conflict on sites because I rotate them as to qualifications. The older guys are over this.
In general I have up to 3 marine jobs, 4 remodeling jobs plus the retail and install thing going. You can do it! You just have to jump in the pool!
By the way, kiss off the 50 hr, weeks! Figure a 10 hr. a day min.- 16 on a bad day and a min 6 days a week and maybe stompin' out a fire on Sunday. I was about your age when I discovered how this was done and had my 1stM at age 37, I'm 54 now and money doesn't really matter much anymore as I have more than I will ever spend.
Jump in the pool!
 

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The IRS says less than 500 employees is considered small. Honesltly I consider 500 employees to be a rather large company :)

LOL Teetor I work well over 50 hour weeks as it is now! When I had my last business I worked 16 hour days 6 days a week. :( I'm not looking forward to that again.
 
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Any suggestions

I am thinking along the same lines as being the "controlling" individual in some type of business.

I was trying to come up with something I could sell that would compliment what the GC I would be working for wants to do (previous post). He wants to focus on residential and commercial roofing, home additions and remodels.

Can anyone offer suggestions on what type of side work/business would be a good compliment to offer along with GC/Roofing work?

If I just turned over a lead to another company (let's say I have a homeowner that wants a pressure washing quote) what is reasonable to ask for compensation for the prospect?

At the present time, the GC I am speaking of gives me 5% of the sales price on leads I give to him that he is able to sell.
 

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Honestly Thunder, if I were in your future bosses position I would frown on you doing your own thing on the side. Reason being, the more time you focus on selling your goods or services, the less time you focus on selling mine. Eventually it will get to the point that you are focusing more on your services than you are on mine.

Many of the roofers in my area will remodel kitchens and bathrooms in the winter time. Some even do snow removal. (I don't know why they call it removal, they never take it with them.)
 

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Grumpy, I am 100% owner operator here and like TEETORBILT stated my roofing business is also very, very profitable. I work a lot when theres work 10-12 hours a day on the roof plus two hours of driving. Just a few days ago I had my first day off in 14 days straight. In the 14 days I did two tear offs, a 50 square 8/12, 35 sq 6/12 and three new roofs, a 45 sq 9/12, a 38 sq 8/12 and a 30 sq 6/12. 3 of the 15 days I had a worker, my father who also owns and operates his own roofing business. After paying for my fathers help and the material on the two tear offs I was left just over $15,000, not bad for 14 days I guess!

I do all the book work, bids, invoicing, faxing, working, driving, ect. But I love beeing my own boss and having nobody to answer to. I do constant work for two builders who build 20-30 homes each per year plus some small builders who build a couple a year. Last year did 9 tear offs and one re-roof which were all word of mouth jobs. So far this year I've done three tear offs and have four more sold but the new roofs have been very steady to this point and one of the builders has 9 sold at the moment. I usually do average twice the money per hour doing the tear offs but they really beat up the body.

Just an example of how well my uncle does doing just new roofs for one builder who builds just over 100 home a year. In the last 5 years he's averaged $100-150K a year! Another roofer I know brings in $90K a year doing new roofs for three smaller builders and he never has any help on the roof ever.

The part I like best being self employed is taking time off when I want it. Last winter made four trips up to Lake of the Woods and Red Lake ice fishing and each trip is 4-5 days. The funny thing is the only people who can go with me for than amount of time and spur of the moment are my other self employed family members.
 

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I'm not saying that it's not profitable to be an owner operator. it is very profitable because there are less employees involved that need to be paid.

What I am saying is that If I can make $1000 a day per working crew but can only manage 3 crews, then I can hire someone to manage 3 crews and pay him $300 a day and I will still make $700. These may be arbitrary numbers, but have been used to prove a point. I will have a lower margin of profit but more profit overall.
 

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Grumpy, that $300.00 a day guy will probably live up to his expectations and nothing more. That scares me.
 
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minnesotaroofin

most of these replies sound a little to good to be true. i have owned and operated my roofing, siding and window company since 1995. there have been good years and bad years. the (best year i made 50k) (the bad 2 years ago 22k) (last year 36k). my estimates are middle of the road some higher some lower. i am lucky to get 15% per job to pay for overhead and profit i do about $15,000 a week through the spring summer fall season roughly 650k a year. this is just about all i can handle all my crews are self sufficient so my time goes to selling generating leads bookwork collections scheduling etc.. which runs me over 60 hrs every week. i cannot compete with new construction prices 90% of those roofers do not pay their taxes. so i am underbid badly. same goes for tear offs but i do a little better selling to homeowners rather than a general who looks at price above all. here in minnesota i compete with an average of 5 companies for every roof window or siding job. I could use some help finding better leads not paying so much for the ones i do get. referrals are good yes but the problem is here in mn everbody knows a roofer personally. so i am stuck with phone directorys direct mailings calling my previous customers and the internet. you will find us in every phone book and just about every one in the cities has recieved a mailing from us in the past 2 years.. Type in minnesota roofing in any search box or any phrase that resembles it you will find us top of the list. oh i forgot door to door flyers. 30,000 copies a year. what else can i do to get jobs that bring 25% and still compete. labor costs me middle of the road materials cost me less than most are charged. overhead is low except advertisement.
Minnesotaroofin
 
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