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Thread: Can they afford to pay me

  1. #1
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    Can they afford to pay me

    I am going to talk to an owner of a very small shop. One office girl and maybe 15-20 guys working in the field. Is there a way of seeing if they will be able to affors to pay me or might have trouble paying in the near future. I mean, if I ask how much he does a year in businees that really means nothing because whatever it is he may not make a profit. He has been around 15 years but again he could be on the way out.....just looking for advice. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstrlucky74 View Post
    I am going to talk to an owner of a very small shop. One office girl and maybe 15-20 guys working in the field. Is there a way of seeing if they will be able to affors to pay me or might have trouble paying in the near future. I mean, if I ask how much he does a year in businees that really means nothing because whatever it is he may not make a profit. He has been around 15 years but again he could be on the way out.....just looking for advice. Thanks.
    If you ask about his bonding capacity, what type or size of bonded jobs he is interested in, that's probably all the answer you can expect. 15 - 20 guys is a big shop, depending on what type of work they specialize in, what part of the market they chase after.

    Assuming, from the type of questions you've been asking, you've been with a big shop chasing after the largest type jobs in your area. You would already know if the guy is a competitor in your market for your jobs. Most likely you have an idea of the size / type of job you like, the employer you target would already be in that market or perhaps you want someone to grow into the market segment you want to be in. That would be the question, is the work suitable for your interests. Asking questions about the customer base and what type of jobs the contractor wants to bid should give you an idea of what is expected.

    Asking questions about the future survivability of the business, I don't see any way anyone will give you a straight answer. If you see the guy take out a huge bank loan then go on a spending spree for exotic cars and round the world travel, that's about all the notice you may ever see. A small shop with no bank debt would need the right type of work and customers to make it, which is where you would come in.

  3. #3
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    I'm thinking that 15 to 20 guys is a big shop too. Biggest shop I worked for had 4 guys in the field. The four man shop paid me a dollar more an hour than his longest guy was making, simply because that's what I needed to make and when his guys found out they were none to happy. So the question is not can he pay what you want, it's will he pay you what you want.
    I can build anything you want if you draw a picture of it on the back of a big enough check.

    There's no substitute for hard work....but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up trying to find one.

    John Childress
    Electrical Inspector
    IAEI / CEI / C10
    Certified Electrical Inspector

  4. #4
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    Exactly. It's not a matter of can they afford to pay you but rather what are they willing to pay you. And I can tell you that nowadays they ain't willing to pay anything because they want to line their own pockets.

    This is why there are those organizations whose name begins with a "U".

    -Hal

  5. #5
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    It only takes one bad project to make just about any shop have serious financial difficulties these days. The margins are just too tight.

    A good bet can turn into a mess overnight.
    Bob

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstrlucky74 View Post
    I am going to talk to an owner of a very small shop. One office girl and maybe 15-20 guys working in the field. Is there a way of seeing if they will be able to affors to pay me or might have trouble paying in the near future. I mean, if I ask how much he does a year in businees that really means nothing because whatever it is he may not make a profit. He has been around 15 years but again he could be on the way out.....just looking for advice. Thanks.
    i'm assuming you wish to go to work for him in some capacity.

    what do YOU bring to the party? what can YOU offer HIM?

    you've been on here a couple years, asking a ton of questions.
    in that length of time, did you notice that many of the people
    on here are experiencing some pretty severe financial distress?

    the fact that he's been in business for 15 years, in this economy,
    is a pretty good indicator of his ability.

    as you aren't in the field putting stuff in, ask yourself what you
    are going to contribute that will both pay your keep, and give
    someone a reason to want you there. do you have a reason for
    your new potential employer?

    this is from electrical contractor magazine:

    "So, about 70 percent of the reporting firms operate with fewer
    than 10 employees. About 22 percent operate with 10 to 49
    employees, and a mere 6 percent reported having more than
    50 employees. These figures aren’t necessarily surprising, as
    70 percent of the firms might only produce 20 to 30 percent
    of the revenues. Large electrical contracting companies, while
    fewer in numbers, generate 70 to 80 percent of the industry
    revenue.

    In small firms, contractors wear several hats, often being the
    estimator and accounting supervisor. Conversely, in the companies
    with more than 50 employees, there seems to be dedicated positions
    for specific tasks. Among small firms, there is no differentiation
    between office staff and field staff because the employees perform
    both tasks.

    Aging industry population

    It is no secret that the electrical contracting industry is on the brink
    of a major manpower challenge, as leaders scramble to find the next
    generation of workers and leaders alike. The average age of the
    typical electrical contractor is 50 years old. Regardless of company
    size, though, about 60 percent of respondents are between the ages
    of 45 and 64, and 73 percent are older than 45. Conversely, a mere
    5 percent of the industry’s leaders fall into the 25 to 34 age group,
    which is alarming. Also, contractors older than 65 are much more
    likely to operate smaller firms."

    so..... you want guarantees? bring some of your own. this "really
    small shop" is bigger than the ones most of the people who've
    been your 1-800-helpline for the last two years are connected with.

    just a general suggestion, but perhaps if you operated from a point
    of view other than self entitlement, it might be better received.
    “Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day;
    teach that person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.”

  7. #7
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    Wow. One office girl for 15-20 guys in the field. Someone is making sure the details are done efficiently.
    Tom
    TBLO

  8. #8
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    Dec 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by hbiss View Post
    Exactly. It's not a matter of can they afford to pay you but rather what are they willing to pay you. And I can tell you that nowadays they ain't willing to pay anything because they want to line their own pockets.

    This is why there are those organizations whose name begins with a "U".

    -Hal
    Line their own pockets? You mean like make enough money to make payroll, pay propery taxes, pay employee taxes, unemployment taxes, state , local and federal taxes, pay rent, buy trucks and keep them on the road, buy tools, pay for insurance, licenses and hopefully make a profit so they can stay in business. Risking everything they own to keep and run a business? Yes line their pockets.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2004
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    Durham, NC
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    Frankly, I'm trying to understand what you are exactly asking? From what i've read your region is one of the highest paid in the country.

    Ok at least in the north part of your State, anyways!

    Maybe you feel that your active pay rate will not be met? Maybe it's the petite nature of a small firm? Could you come back and address some of these opinions that have been expressed?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Atlanta,GA
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    mstrlucky74, Can they afford to pay me?

    If you are real lucky they can. If not change your name.
    "A sight for sore eyes to the blind would be awful magestic"---Wax Fang

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