2 man crew question

Does anyone currently or in the past ran their business with 2 employees who do the service and you do everything else related to running the business? I think If I get into this business I want to aim for having 2 employees do the service and I do everything else related to the running of it? Does this seem plausible. I would be looking to profit 60k and I’d like to pay them 20 an hour each so that would be around an 83k expense for both employees. So that would turn out to 143k that I would need to bring in a year minimally, not even factoring in all the other business expenses. I think 20 an hour seem a bit too high now but I want reliable workers.

Anyone care to share some insight?

Sounds plenty reasonable. It took my business 4/5 years to build up that much clientel though (but that part varies vastly depending on a lot of factors).

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Roman where Are you located?

New Jersey

your numbers are shot on with mine. I have a bookkeeper (flat rate monthly), a college girl doing my calls (10 hrs weekly @ $15 hr) and i with in the field with 2 part time helpers ($17 and $16 respectively). I did exactly $143k last year and took home $54k with the business covering a lot of the expenses, according to its tax code. I worked about 30-35 hrs a week. that is average. busy season was 60+ (upto 90 hrs- May-June and Oct-Nov are nuts) and sore was 10 hrs during the dead January- February and July- August times.
it takes time to develop the clientele but it’s doable.

Funny how I predicted the 143k. What do you do in those slow times like the winter? Do you shutdown completely?

I’m in Vegas, we slow down. I spend time hiking, visiting family and recovering from the previous 4 month build up. Like most in here,
I work in neglected business stuff and try to get my guys as many hours as possible without doing into the savings and tax money. During the summer slow down, we try to start at 7 and finish by noon. it gets 110-117 and the glass hits boiling Temps.
Taxes this year, I’m a sole prop, traced me at 67k after all excitement but the difference from my pay went to taxes.

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I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade, but if I was only taking home $54k with two helpers while still working fulltime myself, I’d be reconsidering whether I really need/want the extra help.

Markets differ, but I feel that a well established solo operator should be ‘taking home’ anywhere from $50k-90k+/ year without any 50+ hour weeks, and time off in the winter.

I do also understand that there’s a “no man’s land” you have to traverse with employees before your gross and net figures really justify having them. I think $143k probably lands right in the middle of that no man’s land.

Input, @Bruce?


just ‘doodling’ around with the numbers for the variables that were put forward

in a sunny climate at top pricing an experienced solo owner nowadays could really approach 200k without killing themselves at all, actually having a very comfortable schedule (I know actual cases)
but that’s one person who can really optimize every aspect for himself over the years,

what’s nice about the responses in this thread is the staffing is already setup, thus the lower owner draw

owner then is Field overflow and marketing

in this situation if peaks months could be smoothed out and an owner dug in on crazy marketing that would create enough for another team and be a total game changer on owner draw and field hours (easier said than done) (so would being an S corp and not a sole proprietor)

bigger staff brings its challenges for sure though too, so just depends on each person’s goals and comfort levels, someone could even just choose to work alone for 4 months a year with all the responsibility of everything else

everyone is dealing with different weather dynamics, different demographics, job type preferences, different pricing scales, its amazing how wide a range of results are possible

If I had to do it all over again, I would rank Marketing #1 (not advertising but marketing) to get dialed in that rakes in top tier rates, office person, field people

so many options, its fun to hear what people are doing, thanks for sharing


@Infinity I agree with you completely! That’s why I am still here everyday, reading and trying to learn from folks like you and others.
I have been inefficient in several areas. I have taken less money and invested in buying all my 2 vehicles and equipment with cash these first two years. This was the year the money was supposed (thanks Corona) to jump up to me having $75-90 k. I did find that I could have done all the work last year without killing myself. Logistics was a big weakness-I now use Mapline and it’s golden.
My two helpers both have other jobs and averaged 20 hours each during the busy seasons. I have cut down to one helper, Keeping him fed, so I have him when this is over.
I agree with @Bruce that my office girl is the best investment I’ve made (1,000 times better than my IPC Eagle hydrocart that I can’t get 000 water from! even after the certified service shop gave up!!!)
Advertising or rather better Marketing (@Bruce) is the next goal. I had a campaign designed for this spring and was freeing myself to hit the field as a salesman half the time and have my helpers do the jobs. That campaign money will now be used to stay afloat through what will likely be the middle or end of May-I HOPE!


I should have added that anything 2020 doesn’t count, I’m referring to the past the way things were instead, as we see how unpleasant the present unfolds lol

you are set to expand easily on this framework with a tight niche

and good for you not having to deal with extra vehicle payments during this shutdown


Wages are relative to many factors but if you want good workers that don’t require onsite supervision you have to pay accordingly. I don’t know anything about the labor market in your area (pre-virus slowdown) but I think that $20 an hour, or more, is in the ballpark for reliable workers.

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I’m in New Jersey. $25 an hour would definitely be reliable but not sure how doable that is for a window cleaning business.

I pay my helpers by the day rather than the hour

Hmm yeah. When I was working for my dad’s boss in New York I would have a fixed daily pay of $150. Sometimes I would work 3 hours sometimes I would work 6 or whatever but I didn’t work hourly. Just for the fixed days pay.

Why do you pay that way?

I pay my son 20% off the top when he works with me doing WC and PW and 40% when he works solo for carpet cleaning, floor waxing and lawn work. For janitorial he gets paid $18 an hour. Janitorial has a lower $PMH than the other services but it is stable 12 month a year revenue unlike the seasonal nature of the other services.

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It’s important to keep busy year round

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I’m busy maybe 5 months out of the year and I have no problem with it. I’ve never tracked my hours working in the field, but I’d say only around 500-600 and another 400 for a single employee. During the busy season we work 30-35 hours a week on average. Like @Infinity said and I’m also saying, you should be able to take home $60K without a lot of effort and you won’t be banking on the production of two employees.


Do they get paid the same for a 10 hour day as a 6 hour day
My father in law does that with his employee and the employee has no motivation to anything past an 8 hour day