AuthorTopic: Middle Age White People Dying by the Truckload  (Read 240 times)

Offline K-Dog

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Re: Middle Age White People Dying by the Truckload
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2017, 04:54:36 AM »
In my last stint at unemployment I worked landscaping for a cousin one day a week.  He was able to pay me $20.00 an hour and it was not charity.  He pays the same to other people for the same work.  He bills at a high enough rate to pay his employee's somewhat decently.  This was for ground maintenance at a waterfront Seattle mansion.

Lucid, if you can't up your billing rate to pay an employee more you really don't have a job to offer.  Perhaps you need to raise your rates?

KD, you live in San Francisco, CA.  LD lives in Boiling Springs, SC.  Totally different economy.  If he raised his rates very much, then another landscaper would undercut his prices.

You are correct though that until he can offer a better rate of pay, he doesn't really have a job to offer.

RE

No I'm in Seattle.  Your typing fingers forgot because from where you are it is in the same direction.  That's what happens when you do 20000 words a day.

Landscapers here can make bank if they are professional and work hard.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 04:59:00 AM by K-Dog »

Offline RE

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Re: Middle Age White People Dying by the Truckload
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2017, 06:59:13 AM »
In my last stint at unemployment I worked landscaping for a cousin one day a week.  He was able to pay me $20.00 an hour and it was not charity.  He pays the same to other people for the same work.  He bills at a high enough rate to pay his employee's somewhat decently.  This was for ground maintenance at a waterfront Seattle mansion.

Lucid, if you can't up your billing rate to pay an employee more you really don't have a job to offer.  Perhaps you need to raise your rates?

KD, you live in San Francisco, CA.  LD lives in Boiling Springs, SC.  Totally different economy.  If he raised his rates very much, then another landscaper would undercut his prices.

You are correct though that until he can offer a better rate of pay, he doesn't really have a job to offer.

RE

No I'm in Seattle.  Your typing fingers forgot because from where you are it is in the same direction.  That's what happens when you do 20000 words a day.

Landscapers here can make bank if they are professional and work hard.

I knew it started with an S.  lol.

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Offline luciddreams

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Re: Middle Age White People Dying by the Truckload
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2017, 08:18:45 AM »

Landscapers here can make bank if they are professional and work hard.

Hey KD, I do make bank!  I bill $50 per hour for just me.  The convention for a landscape business is $60 per hour, at least around here.  $1 per minute is the goal.  I've done a lot of thinking about this. Now, $60 per hour is for a professional business with professional grade equipment.  It's also the number you need to be making to run with a crew of at least 2.  That is three people working at the landscape, and three people can get a LOT more work done then 1 can.  Now I'm a very hard, efficient, and quick worker.  I don't lolligag or even take breaks beyond sucking down water to stay hydrated.  I show up, I get out of the rig, and I work until the job is done.  I could easily beat a crew of 2 people who were not very hard working and only making $10 per hour. 

If it takes me an hour to do a yard then I would be able to do it in 45 minutes with help.  Mowing the grass is what takes the longest, usually.  On most yards the edging/weed eating and blowing takes about 15 minutes.  I don't really need help with mowing, edging, blowing because it's not worth paying somebody $10 per hour all day to save me a few hours of work each day.  It's nice to have help though.  On top of the help however I also take on becoming a boss.  That is a pain in the ass.  I hate having to baby sit.  I can rely on my own competence and smarts.  When somebody else is working for me then all of a sudden I have to worry about equipment abuse, general incompetence, rocks going through windows, and paying somebody to stand around with their thumb up their ass. 

Where help really makes a difference is with restoration jobs, shrubbery jobs, and mulch jobs.  It especially helps with mulch.  I charge $15 per cubic yard for mulch, which is in the middle of what people charge around here.  You can find jack legs that will do it for $10 (sometimes even less) and then the big dogs will charge up to $20.  I can put out 3 to 4 yards of mulch per hour by myself depending on the job site.  On jobs like that I love to hire help.  In this case somebody shows up at the work site and we work until the job is done, and I'm happy to pay $10 per hour, and more.  Big shrubbery jobs I'd pay $15 per hour for somebody experienced.  It's easy to fuck up a shrubbery job if you don't know what you are doing, and then it will be noticeable and look like shit for all to see for months.  This can be very bad for your reputation in a neighborhood. 

For me, on the yard maintenance side of things, I'm not going to hire help if I can get away with it.  I do a lot more than just yard maintenance though, and that's my pickle.  I'm working on a permaculture design and implementation job now, and I'd love help with that.  Any bamboo jobs I get I would need help.  Then the restoration, mulch, shrubbery jobs I need help.  At this point my plan is to rely on high school help.  I have one high schooler already.  He's got friends.  $8 per hour is better then then can make working anywhere else, and then they pay taxes.  I pay in cash.  They are inexperienced mostly, but that is fine with me because I can train them to do as I do.  This helps keep bad habits down but it takes more of my time. 


Offline luciddreams

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Re: Middle Age White People Dying by the Truckload
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2017, 08:24:49 AM »
In my last stint at unemployment I worked landscaping for a cousin one day a week.  He was able to pay me $20.00 an hour and it was not charity.  He pays the same to other people for the same work.  He bills at a high enough rate to pay his employee's somewhat decently.  This was for ground maintenance at a waterfront Seattle mansion.

Lucid, if you can't up your billing rate to pay an employee more you really don't have a job to offer.  Perhaps you need to raise your rates?

"Waterfront Seattle mansion," says it all my man.  Yes, you can make big money in landscaping.  It's all about the clients.  I learned this quickly, and it really goes a long way to explain the landscapers that make it and those that don't.  I've been told that landscaping businesses are in the top 5 businesses that go out of business within the first 5 years.  Apparently you either make it or break it as a business at year 5.  If you make it to year 5 then you will likely continue on, but if you don't then it's game over. 

It's all about the clients.  Most of my clients are doctors, educators, and other professionals.  I have a healthy geriatric client base as well, but they make up maybe 20% of my business.  The trick is to land wealthy clients because money is not an issue.  Once you prove yourself to them you can pretty much write the check and they'll pay whatever.  I guess they don't mind paying more because they are happy with your work and it's one less thing they have to worry about.  It's nice to trust the business that's taking care of your home landscape while you are away.  Most times the home owners are not home when I show up to take care of their landscape. 

Anyways, at $50 per hour for just me, I'm doing pretty damn good for landscaping in the south.  You can only charge so much for this work.  I raise my rates any and I won't be competitive any longer. 
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 08:28:55 AM by luciddreams »

Offline RE

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Re: Middle Age White People Dying by the Truckload
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2017, 08:50:55 AM »
If you are charging $50/hr and 1 helper allows you to do 1.5X as many jobs in a day, that is the equivalent of $75/hr.  You can then pay the helper $15/hr and be making $60/hr.

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Offline RE

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Re: Middle Age White People Dying by the Truckload
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2017, 08:55:00 AM »
If you are charging $50/hr and 1 helper allows you to do 1.5X as many jobs in a day, that is the equivalent of $75/hr.  You can then pay the helper $15/hr and be making $60/hr.

RE

If the helper was Roamer, he can work just as hard and fast as you I am pretty sure. So then you double the income to $100/hr, you can afford to pay Roamer $25/hr and keep $75/hr.

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Offline Eddie

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Re: Middle Age White People Dying by the Truckload
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2017, 09:00:01 AM »
The main reason NOT to take on employees is not because they aren't productive...it's because as soon as you hire the first employee you become a much bigger target for the tax people.

 You can work for cash yourself your entire life and not necessarily get busted for taxes, but if you hire help, sooner or later some disgruntled ex-employee will rat you out to the labor board, and they'll send a man down to look at your records.

For a fly-by-night operator that means a big fine, usually, and seizure of your assets. You're out of business, just like that. Happens all the time. It's one reason why illegals are an attractive hire. They don't turn employers in. American born people, especially minorities working for a white boss, will happily fuck you up in this way, so be careful.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline knarf

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Re: Middle Age White People Dying by the Truckload
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2017, 09:39:01 AM »
I don't understand why you have to "hire" a helper. Just bid the job, and tell them 2 people will be doing the work ( whenever you need them ). Make an agreement with your helper to pay him/her so much an hour, and then go for it. We are in the housecleaning business, and what you ( LD ) describe is pretty much how the housecleaning goes. Get a bunch of doctors, lawyers, professors, ...etc. that are willing to pay a lot for your work. We have about 20% of our clients that are old, or sickly so we do not charge them much. Both of these manual labor jobs are similar because a lot of undocumented people find these jobs pretty easily. Just know who you are making the agreement with to help you. We have done it this way for about 24 years. I have made up to $90 an hour, in a house where two married lawyers lived, and did so for about 8 years. Sometimes I had two monks help me. If you all set up the SUN non-profit status as an income sharing community, and keep your collective earnings below the poverty level ( Gross made that year divided by the number of members, you do not have to pay State of Federal income tax.
  Even before the Sun is incorporated you can still do it this way, I hired probably 4 people to help them get started in the business ( making sure their net pay doesn't go over the poverty line), so they could get their own jobs, with me as a reference. We have never heard from the IRS in over thirty years.
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Offline RE

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Re: Middle Age White People Dying by the Truckload
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2017, 09:47:44 AM »
  Even before the Sun is incorporated you can still do it this way

SUN is already a legally incorporated 501c3 Non-Profit Corporation.

However, LD is not running his bizness under the auspices of SUN, he is running it currently as a Sole Proprietorship under the name Ancient Earth Landscaping.  He is considering incorporating it as an LLC.

We have not discussed subsuming AEL into SUN.  It does have possibilities though.

I definitely agree with Eddie paying people off the books is not a good idea overall.

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Offline RE

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Americans are more distressed than ever
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2017, 12:09:14 AM »
Nothing a few Fukitol Pills won't cure.

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http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/americans-distressed-study-article-1.3064953

Americans are more distressed than ever: study 


Americans suffering from serious psychological distress is at an all-time high. (Marjan_Apostolovic/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
BY
Joe Dziemianowicz
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, April 17, 2017, 9:56 PM

In the U.S., misery has company.

More Americans than ever have serious psychological distress, according to a new study from NYU Langone Medical Center.

Researchers analyzed Centers for Disease Control data and concluded that 3.4% of the adult U.S. population more than 8.3 million suffer from serious psychological distress, known as SPD.

The condition combines feelings of sadness, worthlessness and restlessness hazardous enough to impair an individual's well-being. SPD was previously estimated to be 3% or less of the population.

Findings, published in the journal Psychiatric Services, are based on the National Health Interview Survey.

More than 35,000 U.S. households, involving more than 200,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 64, were included. Subjects were in all states and across all ethnic and socioeconomic groups, participate in the yearly survey.

"Based on our data, we estimate that millions of Americans have a level of emotional functioning that leads to lower quality of life and life expectancy," said lead study investigator Judith Weissman, Ph.D. a research manager in the NYU's department of medicine.

"Our study may also help explain why the U.S. suicide rate is up to 43,000 people each year," she added.

The study also revealed that access to health care services deteriorated for people suffering from SPD.

"Although our analysis does not give concrete reasons why mental health services are diminishing," said Weissman, "it could be from shortages in professional help, increased costs of care not covered by insurance, the great recession, and other reasons worthy of further investigation."
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