I have finally reached a point that I will be struggling to keep up with the amount of business I will be taking in on my own. I have stayed within a year turn-around for many years but word of mouth on my business and the exit of a few competitors is leading to my business growing considerably. I have a few volunteers that help me flesh some in the winter months, but feel like I am ready for a full-time employee.
For those of you with the experience, please give me some tips on your experiences with getting someone started. Also, what should I consider as starting pay, benefits, etc...? I have also been given advice from some to consider hiring someone as a sub-contractor who works out of my shop. Any advice on that as well as anything else of interest would be greatly appreciated!
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I'm not an expert on this subject,but I can tell you that you don't have to pay workman's comp or unemployment taxes on the sub-contractor.That's big.On the other hand,he's not right under your scrutiny every minute,so you do have to find someone that is ultra reliable and conscientous.That's not easy.If you decide to try a sub-contractor,start with a few things and see how it goes.Some times they start out great and then fizzle out.You are in a perfect position to raise prices too-that's part of the equation.Get them up as high as the market will bear.If you are going to hire someone and pay them enough to keep them around,you'll need it.
cannot work on or from your premises........otherwise if they do they will be considered an employee.
Just add 50 dollars on to every mount. The number of mounts will drop of but you will make more money. If you raise your prices and still get more than you can handle the you might want to hire someone part-time. Then you will start him out at minimum wage and skinning, fleshing, preping forms, stuff that will make you faster and save you time.You will still be putting out you quality of work and not relieing on somebodyelse to do your quality. If you hire somebody and train them to mount ; in two years they will open there own shop. Teach them just enough to help you.
Can work on your premesis, BUT, they have to have their own business license, carry their own insurance, and rent space from you.....
I agree with Crusty, I am one of those OLD workmans comp Auditors/Inspectors. A sub contractor must (at least in Minnesota) have his own License, hang out a shingle so to speak, be known to be in the taxidermy business on his own. Have a Federal and State ID and file those taxes or estimates there on. Carry his own insurance and on and on.
Many businesses try to go the sub route, such as body shops, beauticians, repair shops and when a claim happens (they get hurt) guess what! Yep, they file a claim against you, and then you don't have workmans comp, you give him your business.
do this on a regular basis. My wife is a beautician. She rents space from the salon owner, carries her own insurance, business license etc etc... Quite common.......
....RAISE your prices first! Since we don't know what you are charging, your prices may be an indication of why you are being overwhelmed. The only taxidermists with employees that I know are on the upper end of the price scale and usually at the very top. If this is you, consider the employees. If it isn't you, you'll never make it with employees, because you aren't charging enough.
I still have a little flexibility to move up on my prices. I am currently at $400 on a whitetail shoulder mount, the average in the area is just under that and a few are upwards to $500. I appreciate everyones input so far, its good to know info about sub-contractors. How many of you are utilizing sub-contractors versus employees?
...Does your wife work with you in the shop?--If she does, I'd say you've already got your first employee(if not a partner-as it should be)-DC
She teaches so I guess she is doing her part by providing our insurance. Usually if she comes in the shop, her hand is stretched out for $. Besides, the stress level is enough as is. I could only wish that she was interested in some of this. Thanks for the suggestion though. I have a 9 year old boy that may help me some day, but I don't think it will be soon enough.
I sub my waterfowl out to a wholesaler, that I know and trust. And I do wholesale fish for a few people who don't like doing fish. I probably pay for for my wholesale waterfowl and get more for my wholesale fish than a lot of taxidermists get retail. I'd suggest you explore that route first.
As far as your price goes, when you're at the top end and still have too much work, then it will be time to consider the employee. The way I see it now, you're making your costs and getting a decent wage, BUT there is absolutely NO PRIFIT in your deer heads. That's what it takes to pay employees. And remember this, whatever the actual hourly wage, it costs you 2-3 tmes as much. That's one of the reasons Walmart has sooooooo many part time employees and very few full time.