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adamangler

New or Old van for employee

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adamangler

So i took on a lad two weeks ago part time, (16 hours a week)

 

Things are going pretty well, hes obv slower than me and using more water but he seems a good lad.

 

Anyway, ive realised that working as a 2 man isnt efficent enough, hes covering his wages but not making me a profit as yet. I expect hell get a little faster but its just not going to be enough to make it worthwhile. We are currently only getting through 25% more work with him helping, im sure that ll improve but really he needs to be out on his own so i can get through the work faster and get more in.

 

So at some point ill need to send him out on his own, now i plan on doing this with just my van at first to see how he gets on but obv if hes out in the van i cant work...soo knowing that i want to employ going forward i decided i could do with getting another van.

 

Im just not sure whether to get a cheap run about for a grand or so or get a better one on finance.

 

Obv i dont want to be stuck with the extra van payments if it doesnt work out but at the same time i dont want a dog of a van thats in the garage all the time.

 

Also i could do with a car too, so maybe i could get a zafira, 7 seater or the like and use that with the backpack for a while whilst he is using van (for me not him) or i could get a crew van for me. dunno what to do really

 

whaddya reckon?

 

old? new? 

 

 

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Tuffers

Buy an old van. You don't want to be making payments on a new van if it goes t1ts up.

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adamangler

yes thats good idea in theory, buy somert for a grand and wont lose much if i have to sell it, just dont want a unreliable piece of turd either.

 

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scottish cleaning service
22 minutes ago, adamangler said:

So i took on a lad two weeks ago part time, (16 hours a week)

 

Things are going pretty well, hes obv slower than me and using more water but he seems a good lad.

 

Anyway, ive realised that working as a 2 man isnt efficent enough, hes covering his wages but not making me a profit as yet. I expect hell get a little faster but its just not going to be enough to make it worthwhile. We are currently only getting through 25% more work with him helping, im sure that ll improve but really he needs to be out on his own so i can get through the work faster and get more in.

 

So at some point ill need to send him out on his own, now i plan on doing this with just my van at first to see how he gets on but obv if hes out in the van i cant work...soo knowing that i want to employ going forward i decided i could do with getting another van.

 

Im just not sure whether to get a cheap run about for a grand or so or get a better one on finance.

 

Obv i dont want to be stuck with the extra van payments if it doesnt work out but at the same time i dont want a dog of a van thats in the garage all the time.

 

Also i could do with a car too, so maybe i could get a zafira, 7 seater or the like and use that with the backpack for a while whilst he is using van (for me not him) or i could get a crew van for me. dunno what to do really

 

whaddya reckon?

 

old? new? 

 

 

I would see about leasing a van for a year or just hiring one when you need it. That's your best bet.

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CMRwindowcleaning

is your current van on finance? if your vans all paid up then i would get a nice shiney one for myself and let the lad have the old van that you've been working out of together. 

 

if it goes tits up then you sell the old one and keep making payments on your own but you'll have the comfort of a new van for yourself. 

 

either that or get him an old one until he atleast covers the cost of the finance for a new van and obviously making you profit. 

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adamangler

Mines on finance...

 

I think ill get an old one first, can always sell it if it doesnt work out and it wont depreciate much

 

cheers

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Part Timer

Don't see how someone working 16 hours a week could warrant getting another vehicle. Before you go increasing your costs I would get him up to speed, get the extra work and then look at another vehicle. 

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adamangler
12 minutes ago, Part Timer said:

Don't see how someone working 16 hours a week could warrant getting another vehicle. Before you go increasing your costs I would get him up to speed, get the extra work and then look at another vehicle. 

 

Because even once he's up to speed i still don't think it's going to be fast enough to earn much profit working as a two man. It's just not efficient enough. 

 

Not getting one at this minute, just thinking ahead.

 

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Dave Shaw

I deffo agree with part timer and wait until you have at least full time work for him before investing in another van. I’ve worked as a pair many times both as an employee and for myself and it takes time to get into a new routine especially if they’ve not much experience and it will be hard to do twice as much work but not impossible out of one van. Problems arrise when your doin runabouts though as not only when your wheels are turning your not earning but your paying out a wage as well. It’s a bit pointless two people turning up to clean one or two semis. Also if your wfp only your both gonna be tied to your van and I’ve heard many lads tell me that two man systems work on large amounts of work at a time but not for small stops as your constantly in each other’s way and waiting for drips off top windows etc. A backpack/trolley means you can split up and cover more ground to an extent but it still needs refilling out your van. I’d say before getting another van and if your still not turning enough work around when he’s up to speed and in a good routine to
1. Put your prices up on your runabouts to make em worthwhile two people turning up.
2. Get rid of your runabouts all together and get yourself some good compact work.
3. Get some trad gear then whilst your doin the tops your lad can follow you round doin the bottoms and he won’t be tied to your van so you won’t always be waiting for him to catch up and you can crack on at your own pace. This only works on compact stuff and by compact I mean when you can walk round a days work in 10/15 mins.
This is were the 1970s well established round comes in. The prices may be cheaper but you earn a lot more as a pair for example - I do a council estate that consists of around 150 3 bed semis. I do just over 100 of em at £6 each. It takes one person 2/3 days depending on weather, time of year etc with out breaking a sweat. It takes two people around a day and a half to complete, that’s almost 100% extra turnover for the second person and that’s trad as well. I still haven’t converted it to wfp yet. It sounds to me like you have tailored/built your round for a one man operation and you may have to seriously rethink your strategy before you cam male any serious cash off an employee. Another van is going to seriously eat into your profits unless your a big organisation.


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adamangler

Cheers @Dave Shaw some very good points.

 

However my round is exactly what you would describe as runabouts.

 

I don't have any compact work in the sense you are taking about.

 

90 % of my round is one house per stop and a the rest two or very rare 3 .

 

That's where the efficient of a 2 man fails like you say the travelling between jobs, getting the gear in and out and waiting for him to finish. Sometimes I could have cleaned the entire house myself in only a few minutes longer than we do it together, now of course he will get fast and that will improve a bit but even at 50/50 per house it's never going to be as efficient profit wise as having a second van out.

 

Dont get me wrong, I'm not driving 10 mins between jobs, mostly 1-3 mins. 

 

Price wise I'm doing ok, I don't charge 6 quid a semi, I charge £12 so I can still do 200 a day in 5-6 hours.

 

Compact work isn't going to just fall out of a tree, so I don't think that's an option, if compact work were possible round here I'd have it already.

 

 

 

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GSS Window Cleaning

When i had an emolyee i found it was only ever about 25% more even when he was up to speed and that was him doing the front and me at the back then we started doing a house each, i hated having an emolyee and found it far more stressfull worrying about the quality of his work, tasks for him to do, was he gonna turn up for work today. I now work alone upped a fair few prices and make just as much on my own. Yes its lonely but i find it way better. I still would like to employ someone but i would go down the 2 van route tho. I found some days i was just paying someone for the sake of it as made very little profit of him working as a 2. I think if you do work as a 2 you need a very well priced round as it really dont make too much difference some days. 

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adamangler
15 minutes ago, GSS Window Cleaning said:

When i had an emolyee i found it was only ever about 25% more even when he was up to speed and that was him doing the front and me at the back then we started doing a house each, i hated having an emolyee and found it far more stressfull worrying about the quality of his work, tasks for him to do, was he gonna turn up for work today. I now work alone upped a fair few prices and make just as much on my own. Yes its lonely but i find it way better. I still would like to employ someone but i would go down the 2 van route tho. I found some days i was just paying someone for the sake of it as made very little profit of him working as a 2. I think if you do work as a 2 you need a very well priced round as it really dont make too much difference some days. 

 

That's what I've found so far mate 

 

Im probably doing 2/3rds a house to his one third and although of course he should improve its not going to be a massive difference.

 

At the moment he's just covering his wages, which is cool, he's only been with me two weeks so it's what I expected for first couple of months.

 

Like someone else said a lot will depend on your work. Mines all single house stops if it was house after house from 1 stop would be much better.

 

The only way I can see it being profitable long term is to have him out on his own or maybe I'll just refine my work and stay as a one man band. But I'm willing to try it all out and see how it works as no point writing it off until I've tred.

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Dave Shaw
Cheers [mention=4847]Dave Shaw[/mention] some very good points.
 
However my round is exactly what you would describe as runabouts.
 
I don't have any compact work in the sense you are taking about.
 
90 % of my round is one house per stop and a the rest two or very rare 3 .
 
That's where the efficient of a 2 man fails like you say the travelling between jobs, getting the gear in and out and waiting for him to finish. Sometimes I could have cleaned the entire house myself in only a few minutes longer than we do it together, now of course he will get fast and that will improve a bit but even at 50/50 per house it's never going to be as efficient profit wise as having a second van out.
 
Dont get me wrong, I'm not driving 10 mins between jobs, mostly 1-3 mins. 
 
Price wise I'm doing ok, I don't charge 6 quid a semi, I charge £12 so I can still do 200 a day in 5-6 hours.
 
Compact work isn't going to just fall out of a tree, so I don't think that's an option, if compact work were possible round here I'd have it already.
 
 
 

To true. In this day and age the only way to get work like that is by buying it. That’s what I did and I was fairly lucky as the work I bought was off my old boss and I’d been cleaning it for 10+ years already so I knew exactly what I was buying. It doesn’t help that this job is becoming easier and easier. I’m all for safety and making life easier but it’s leading to the market being flooded with cleaners that probs 20 years ago wouldn’t have entertained it meaning less work for existing cleaners. Now you will probs say there is enough work to go round and yes that’s a fair point if you like driving more than cleaning and I think that’s the reason for cleaners charging such high prices these days to cover lost time. When new builds go up in my area windies are queuing up ready to pounce and you will probs end up with 10+ windies on one estate.


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adamangler

I agree . I have to charge more than £6 a semi as I have to cover travel and fuel etc.

 

You are right, you wouldn't get me working off a ladder either.

 

I dont mind the driving, in fact I prefer it to being in one place hammering out house after house...not that I've done that but I Street where I might have 3 or 4 I'm glad for a little break for 5 mins to the next house.

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richb77

The fact that you are considering another van it would suggest that the second person can drive. Does he have his own car. I’ve just taken someone on and to learn the round he will be with me but as I’ve got a portable wfp kit he can go off using his car and do some others on other days. A few cans to refill will keep him going for a bit. On the tighter rounds I have him with me and this so far has worked pretty well. A lot smaller outlay than a van plus useful for single buildings if you are on your own.


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adamangler

Well ive decided and got myself a little cheapy, under a grand... Well i need to look at it at the weekend but the deal has been done pretty much.

 

Decided it will be fine for him to use 2 or 3 times a week and will come in handy if mines ever off the road or vice versa and if i decide to sell it i wont lose much on it. 

 

Just need a tank for it and knock up a cheap system and we are away.

 

 

 

 

 

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Cghwindowcleaning

I would not buy another van for a part timer it's just  not worth it.

 

Give him time 2 weeks is nothing.About 20 years ago I use to work for a bloke after a while we could pull up at a job and I would know exactly what to do.

Like wise when lads have worked for me after a while they know what to do at each job with out getting in your way.

 

I think you said your target is £200 a day on your own.As a team you should hit £350-£400 a day when his up to spead.

Max the first van out for 5 days then buy a van and a decent one.

 

Cheap vans are a false economy once your round is that full you will need the reliability on a newish van.

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Iron Giant

Reading over this post @adamangler I would say you have answered your own quandary, If i had a round like yours dotted houses I wouldn't employ, He has been ok 2 days a week and is just covering his wage your already losing money or just breaking even or not because you have to factor in employers ins equipment etc. 

I wouldn't be buying a van for someone after a few weeks, But that's me I am more than happy been on my own less outlay less stress and i am in full control ensuring quality of finish is always top notch. 

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Clisty1989

When I started with my father in law it took me 2 months to get into the swing of things, and about 6 months to be able to happily work independently. After 3 years I can drop him off (he's trad) then head to other end of round and we meet in middle. 2 weeks is nowhere near long enough, he's still in the honeymoon phase, give it more time so he can get stuck in

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Iron Giant

Their is a very good reason most firms have a 3-6 month probationary period :1f609:

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