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Hi Folks,

It has been a long time since I posted here, but I'm back for some more of your good advice. :-) I clean houses at the beach in the summer time, after one group has rented them, and before the next group comes in. This is referred to as a "turn-over" cleaning. The window to do it in is very small (11:00-2:00 on Saturday).

I decided to hire someone to help me, as I have been turning down work for a while, and hated to lose the chance to make money.

This will be the first time I have been someone's boss, the first time I have paid someone for work they do under my direction. Because our time to work is so small, I am primarily concerned with getting the person to work fast. The more houses we clean in that time, the more money I/we make. I am not worried that they'll not know how to clean...I just want her/them to understand that time is absolutely of the essence.

I am also concerned with countless other things... Does anyone have any suggestions on sites to visit, or any experience from their own lives? I am particularly interested in advice for first-time bosses.

Thanks very much, I look forward to hearing what other posters have to say!

-Molly
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<<This will be the first time I have been someone's boss, the first time I have paid someone for work they do under my direction. Because our time to work is so small, I am primarily concerned with getting the person to work fast. The more houses we clean in that time, the more money I/we make. I am not worried that they'll not know how to clean...I just want her/them to understand that time is absolutely of the essence.
>>


Just a guess, but I bet you will find this a view into the human personality that you probably haven't seen before.

Let us know how it works out, and good luck!



Seattle Pioneer
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Yeah, SP, you're probably right. Being a teacher for the first time - and trying to make sullen teenagers do jumping jacks - was a different "insight" as you say. I can only imagine trying to tell someone that no, there really isn't time for her to pee right now.

I hope to find someone good...the MIL of a guy my bro works with is interested. She's an older lady, and an immigrant. The whole family works hard, so I have high hopes for her. It might be better to hire someone like her than a teenager...

I'll let you know.

Just had to turn down ANOTHER cleaning job, cause I have to go sit with my Grandmom. She's sick, so this might be the last chance I have to hang with her and help her. Still, I could *really* have used the money...

Sorry, needed to whine.

-Molly
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Molly said:
She's an older lady, and an immigrant. The whole family works hard, so I have high hopes for her. It might be better to hire someone like her than a teenager...

Ahyup! First generation immigrants tend to work their @$$ off but their second generation offspring are lazy ungrateful well er... just like the rest of us.

My wife and I try to hire church going 1st gen's.

You'll do well to hire a church going first generation Korean. Check the local oriental or "Chinese" food & gift store (not restaurants 'cause they're all family and probably don't have the time) the owner of the food & gift shop should be able to point you to some prospects. Also, look up Korean/Chinese churches up in the phone book.
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Because our time to work is so small, I am primarily concerned with getting the person to work fast.


Have you discussed the cost of workers' compensation insurance with your insurance agent?

What about general liability insurance? If your employee steals something or breaks something, you will likely be responsible. This additional exposure may increase the cost of your general liability insurance. Or it could get worse. The employee may make a copy of one of the house keys for a relative who later burglarizes the house or assaults the vacationers inside. Hiring people who will enter the private residences of others is a serious step, consider it carefully.

What about transportation issues? Will the employee be driving her own vehicle to the houses to be cleaned? If she has an accident traveling between houses, the risk may be on you, as she was on company business rather than personal business. If her tires were bald or brakes were bad and you hadn't taken reasonable steps to inspect her vehicle, things could get much worse.

Make sure you discuss these things with a knowledgeable independent insurance agent?

Do you work directly for the owners or for a rental agency? A good vacation rental agency should require background checks on your employees. Do you plan to perform background checks?


ShelbyBoy
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Dear SB,

Thanks for the great suggestions. I will be driving her with me. Um...not sure how to say this elegantly or tactfully...insurance is not really an issue right now. I'd like for it to be so, but this is just something I do part time in the summer. I'd like for it to be bigger next year, but this year is just baby steps. I really do appreciate all the suggestions and ideas.

-Molly
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...Um...not sure how to say this elegantly or tactfully...insurance is not really an issue right now.



Molly,

That's not a decision you get to make.

And when it becomes an issue - it's already too late.

But as long as you're going to take this approach, why not really maximize your profits by deciding that income taxes aren't an issue right now and just skip the nuisance of filing and reporting?



ShelbyBoy
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<<...Um...not sure how to say this elegantly or tactfully...insurance is not really an issue right now.



Molly,

That's not a decision you get to make.

And when it becomes an issue - it's already too late.

But as long as you're going to take this approach, why not really maximize your profits by deciding that income taxes aren't an issue right now and just skip the nuisance of filing and reporting?



ShelbyBoy
>>


One of the risks of hiring casual employees is that you will find some who plan to get injured on the job and file unemployment claims. This is the what some people really do for a living. They can be a lot more skilled and energetic at getting and stringhing out claims and benefits than they are working, too.

And if you don't have insurance, don't worry. It's easy to find lawyers to take such cases since they collect their legal fees out of your assets as a matter of routine. It's like shooting fish in a barrel.




Seattle Pioneer
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In Alaska it's a criminal offense to not have WC.
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In Texas, WC is not required until you have 3 employees.

It is still a pot shot whether or not someone slips and falls on the mop bucket, because the lost wages and dr bills will have to be paid out of some pocket.

On the other hand, if you can construct a contract that your worker is an independent contractor (and it can hold up if tested), then in that contract you can list the fact that there is no WC insurance and the contractor will have to carry their own coverage.

Jenn
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