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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

contract labor question


Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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  #1  
Old 09-22-2009, 12:10 AM
Wayne909
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Default contract labor question

I been running my tree service for some time now as a 2 man operation mainly, but a 3rd on call guy since he works nights at a factory.

Any how here is the problem at hand: I have been hit with 7 large jobs, all with in 1 week.. All where referred to me.. 3 out of the 7 have 8-12 trees needing to come down.. 2 out of the 7 have trees on 3 lots (around 3-5 per lot ). Which is no problem since i have the gear needed, but the man power i do not. As in to get them done in a reasonable period to move on to the smaller jobs. So I'm considering contract labor for 5 out of the 7 jobs, and have never brought in contract labor be for.. So my question is how does this work, as in do i have to provide coverage etc to these guys like my own? are do they have to cover there self + pay in their own tax's?

Like i said i have never really consider are even thought about contract labor.. So its really a gray area for me. So if any one as any experience using contract labors, help me out please.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:58 AM
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If they are subcontractors they need to take care of there own crap. If you hire family you don't need comp insurance, at least not in California.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:09 AM
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If they are subcontractors they need to take care of there own crap. If you hire family you don't need comp insurance, at least not in California.
Yes their subcontractors, and i thought that was how it worked.. but considering i never looked into hiring subcontractors, i was unsure of how it would work out. So thanks for that info.

I never hire family, that never works out well
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:33 AM
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Yes their subcontractors, and i thought that was how it worked.. but considering i never looked into hiring subcontractors, i was unsure of how it would work out. So thanks for that info.

I never hire family, that never works out well
Had to do this a few times this summer for tree work, just a word of caution make sure the owner knows you are sub contracting and make sure they have insurance, also check them out, I had one that caused me a massive headache.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:15 AM
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Had to do this a few times this summer for tree work, just a word of caution make sure the owner knows you are sub contracting and make sure they have insurance, also check them out, I had one that caused me a massive headache.
Thanks for the advice. I been asking around about 2 I'm considering using, and leaning to one that's pretty respected from what i hear.. That had been referred to me by another tree man who used them.. So more then likely that will be the crew i use.

Although I'm interested in how one caused you a headache if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:36 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I been asking around about 2 I'm considering using, and leaning to one that's pretty respected from what i hear.. That had been referred to me by another tree man who used them.. So more then likely that will be the crew i use.

Although I'm interested in how one caused you a headache if you don't mind me asking?
I have reason to believe the references I called were hoax or family.

They couldn't fall a tree if their life depended on it, one took the side of the customers garage.

The mess they left was totally unacceptable, I sent three guys in for four days at my expense to clean things up.

So for now the only thing I do is refer the client if we can't do the work due to not having staff or I simply explain we do not have the resources.

When you are not in control, you have no control. What I mean by that is if I sub I am putting my reputation on the line, I am very detailed and I know many companies are but they seem to be in the same boat as me, too much to do and not enough staff to do it.
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Old 09-22-2009, 08:45 PM
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I agree %100 with Andy, If you are not in control, you don't know what is happening on the job site.

I just subed out some work for a concrete job, but the demolition i did on my own, rented the heavy equipment,trck loader, jack hammer etc. So, as i was doing that work, they were right behind me forming up for the driveway, and i stuck around while they poured and did the finish work. They can't leave or get paid untill i was sattisfied with the job.

Maybe the other company wouldn't mind bringing there crew and gear to your jobsites while you are there and in control.

I don't know about your area, but businesses are hurting, they will accomidate you very well if they want the work badly enough. If not, then tell them to take a hike, get you some day labor guys to do the light duty, cleanup work, tell a couple of the clients you will knock off some money if they can wait a week or so to get there work done, and do all the work yourself.

May not work in your situation, but just some ideas. Good Luck
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Old 09-23-2009, 10:46 AM
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Well just got back from my meeting with the crew I'm going to use. I took him out to the job sites and we had a very long discussion over who will be running the show and how i expected it to be done.. I told him i would be coming by each job site at random times during operations, and he had no problem with that. So after talking with him, and checking up on some of his past work(including past sub work he done).. He is now my sub.

They will start on their end Thursday, so I'll let you guys know how they work.


Thanks for the info above, I'll keep that in mind when checking in on them.


P.S: Yes they have to bring their own equip.. Although i have spare equip if anything happens.
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:18 PM
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They will start on their end Thursday, so I'll let you guys know how they work.
I look forwards to hearing the updates!

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When you are not in control, you have no control. What I mean by that is if I sub I am putting my reputation on the line, I am very detailed and I know many companies are but they seem to be in the same boat as me, too much to do and not enough staff to do it.
This seems like it can be such a problem, how best can a small business grow when you are dealing with such issues?

It really makes me wonder how best to go about it.

The other night I stopped in at a Burger King later in the evening and it appears they had a 3 member staff all under the age of 25 running this million dollar facility.

How is it that Burger King can turn over the reigns like this to such a young and underpaid staff and I still get the same burger as I would get if I went in there at noon?

How can things be made this way for this industry?
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:07 AM
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The other night I stopped in at a Burger King later in the evening and it appears they had a 3 member staff all under the age of 25 running this million dollar facility.

How is it that Burger King can turn over the reigns like this to such a young and underpaid staff and I still get the same burger as I would get if I went in there at noon?

How can things be made this way for this industry?
Well age to me as no bearing on a persons work ethic. I hired 1 more full time yesterday(19 year old), and my Foreman running the crew is only 22 years old. So when I'm away he is in charge of the crew that soon will be 3 man(not including myself). I made him foreman because he don't mind to step up when things get harry. Takes care of my equip like it was his own (hard to find in a person), and is always the first on the lot in the mornings... Even be for me most of the time, and that's a good thing to see in a worker. He also makes $3 more an hour on top of his new foreman bonus for being an EMT (through volunteer fire dept). He is making more then any factory around here pays, so I'll leave it at that.

Burger kings low pay, around here it's $7-8 per hour.. That's pretty good flipping burgers i guess. My new guys make just a little more then that an hour, start off is $10 to new guys(6mo if they work out $11, plus paid training etc).

Well off to the lot.
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