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#218301 - 03/14/17 06:49 PM Help with aging employee advice.  
Trick440  Offline
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 248
Waterford, MI, USA
Note sure how to title this one.

I am a small company. It's me and an apprentice doing mostly residential, working 3-4 days a week. We also have a 2 man commercial crew doing close to 35hrs a week. Of course this all varies, if work is there we do more work, if it isn't, we do less.

I'm very comfortable with this setup.

Problem is my commerical guy, (who is a friend and has helped me with the company a lot along the way, especially with commercial work & estimates) is getting older. I think he sees the reality that he can't or shouldn't be out in the field much longer. He has just asked to speak with me about doing sales and estimates and less field work.

We don't really have a sales and estimate department. That's just me! lol.

Again we haven't spoke about this but are meeting early next week. I'm guessing he's going to propose to estimate every job he can get his hands on and make that into his job.

For me this means I have to find a commercial crew leader and establish a new crew. This is happening regardless, employees come and go and this is something I should get use to.

But, what do I do with my older guy? Having him do estimates and sales means I have to come up with a system to pay him. I have no idea of this system.

It also means if it works well I will have to grow the company a bit more, which I'm comfortable how the company is now, but I'm sure there is room to grow. Small is so easy and nice, but then again the potential for more money is nice.

Idk, I guess what's the payment structure for a sales and estimating guy and any other advice?

(I trained to be an electrician not a businessman, I stumble on the latter.)

Shake n Bake

Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:

#218303 - 03/14/17 07:37 PM Re: Help with aging employee advice. [Re: Trick440]  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,878
Brick, NJ USA
"Getting Older" is something we all have to face, and planning for the day that we can't do the physical job any further.

I have been telling the 'youngsters' to plan. Go to the courses for inspectors licenses, or get a Continuing Ed Instructor Certification. Comm end of this trade is tough on the body, how well I personally know.

As to having a estimator/sales employee, that cost has to be folded into your overhead costs. If you are a little 'light' on the business operation portion, you should really look for some help on that, local community college, trade association, etc.

If your 'old guy' is OK doing comm estimates, how WOULD he be in a business manager role??

I keep preaching to the younger guys to plan for the future. Face the inevitable, you are going to join the club with the rest of us 'seniors' someday.

Last edited by HotLine1; 03/19/17 08:58 AM. Reason: Corrected 'could' to "would"


#218306 - 03/15/17 04:16 AM Re: Help with aging employee advice. [Re: Trick440]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,140
It may not translate directly but when my wife was an estimator/sales person (HVAC) she worked on commission and that was based on profit, not gross. It worked out well for everyone.

Greg Fretwell

#218400 - 04/15/17 05:49 PM Re: Help with aging employee advice. [Re: Trick440]  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
Everyone needs an exit plan.....~S~

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