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Overworked and Underpaid(???)

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by gemsmom, Oct 25, 2000.

  1. gemsmom

    gemsmom SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    After reading the posts on hours of operation and pay rates, I have come to the conclusion that many framers are overworked and underpaid. Please prove me wrong! I was wondering how many hours a week some of you work on an average, and how much vacation time do you allow yourself? How many of you feel your income is satisfactory?
     
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  2. Bogframe

    Bogframe SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Vacation? What's a vacation?

    ------------------
    Seth J. Bogdanove, CPF
    21 years framing and still loving it
     
  3. Susan May

    Susan May Gone.

    Oh, come on Unca-Boggy, you know what a vacation is... it's when you spend at least one day looking at somone else's framing, instead of your own.
    (At least thats what I find myself doing when I get let out.)

    ------------------
    Sue May :)
    "Everyone is born right-handed, only the greatest can over come it!"
     
  4. Susan May

    Susan May Gone.

    [​IMG] How would I know if I had a satisfatory income? Like most people in a service industry, I do the work because I enjoy it. If I truly wanted a satisfatory income I would have become a Doctor. [​IMG]

    ------------------
    Sue May :)
    "Everyone is born right-handed, only the greatest can over come it!"
     
  5. TADPORTER

    TADPORTER MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    70-80 hrs/week. 2 days per month off. No vacation.
    Work harder than anyone else for 5 years, then you can live the rest of your life as you wish.
     
  6. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Pam-We work as much as needed and take off as much as necessary.I think it really becomes a matter of setting priorities. For example, when our kids were of sports playing age, we made a committment that we would do whatever was necessary to allow them to participate. That turned into coaching every sport they played, being on several boards-whatever it took. It got to the point that my wife and I would look at the refrigerator every morning to see which of us had to be where and when. At the same time, my focus was never sharper. I learned not to waste time and prioritize effectively. What's the old saying "If you want something done, give it to a busy person"? If you're not making time for yourself, start doing it. You won't be dissappointed.The sale you think you might miss is hardly the same as the time you do miss with your kids or friends. My daughter played softball in college and my wife went to every game, home and away. I went to every home game. If you delegate well and train your staff well, they'll surprise you every time. Plus it gives them a chance to grow. If you're not giving yourself the same time off that you give your employees, reevaluate your priorities. You'll be fine
     
  7. Orton

    Orton CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Hi Pamela

    Having acknowledged that the advice from Bob Carter is excellent, I would add that if you want to keep your sanity, don't try to calculate out your hourly take-home pay.

    You have to love this business or it just will not work.

    Orton
     
  8. artist

    artist CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Pam - I have toyed with the notionof selling my business and going to work for some one else so I could work 40 hours and have a vacation, and draw a decent wage, but I know I would not be happy because of all the freedom I enjoy now (painting when it gets slow, BSing with my fishing buddies and having control of my destiny. The book says that if you wanted a decent wage or a vacation you should noy have opened you own business!!! (page 1 of the manual)
     
  9. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Artist-Whatever book you've been reading-get rid of it. Then go out and find one that tells you how to make some real money. You'll find plenty available, unfortunately, you won't find any serious help from any of the trade assns or publications. You will find from them 156 ways to apply a dustcover, or 75 usefuls hints on making stuff out of foamcore. But you won't find any meaningful discussion on how to really run a profitable business.Until the trade demands a higher level of expectation from the people we pay dues to, you're pretty much on your own trying to figure out how to do it. I hear that overworked and underpaid mantra from so many people and I know they are serious, it's just not bellyaching. But unless you are fortunate to have had some legitimate business training you're experimenting with no yardstick to measure results. If you look at some of the real successful(and I am talking money here)people in the trade, I think you'll find a common trait and that is they all have a good business background. One of the true success stories, Jay Goltz, said in this months PFM that while he has a degree in Accounting, he doesn't feel that it has helped him in this trade. Don't believe him for a minute; he's preaching to the choir.But until the trade offers more to educate people in this business on the business of business, you might be better off as an employee. But the skills that make an entrepuneuer take this risks of ownership are only the first step.Email me directly if you want some good book titles that really are meaningful, but then you'll have to find the time to read them.

    [This message has been edited by Bob Carter (edited October 26, 2000).]
     
  10. gemsmom

    gemsmom SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I totally agree with you Bob, about setting priorities and delegating whatever and whenever possilble. I learned to do that a long time ago. Just because I asked the question doesn't mean I am overworked or underpaid. I make a good salary and work five days a week, eight hours a day. I do work more, if necessary, less if I can. I enjoy what I do, but I also have other things in my life I enjoy even more. I also take a vacation or two every year. Are there any more out there like Bob C. and myself? To say that one works at a job long hours because you love it and financial reward is not what you are after, just doesn't make sense to me. I feel lucky I have a job I enjoy, but the financial rewards are a barometer of just how good you are at what you do. When I say this, I don't just mean being a great framer, but being good at business, also. I think many people go into the framing business because they love framing. The fact the it is a business is lost on many.
     
  11. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Pam-I know from prior conversations with you that you run your business like a business. The fact that you operate two stores speaks to that. And you're absolutely right on being in this business to make some money. No one should feel embarrased about being successful, no more than anyone should be embarrassed about not attaining a level of income worthy of your talent. But making excuses, like I didn't get into this business to make money, that's embarrasing. Your skills in this market dictate your income. Those skills include framing skills as well as business skills. Sharpen both and the rewards will follow.

    [This message has been edited by Bob Carter (edited October 27, 2000).]
     
  12. jframe

    jframe <span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><

    Pamela,

    This may seem like a dumb question, but we are talking about needing more indepth business education, so I'll ask it anyway:

    How did you learn to delegate? The question is open to everyone else too. I can use all the help I can get. Managing people is not one of my stong points.
     
  13. Yolanda

    Yolanda Grumbler in Training

    Unlike so many of you, I do not own my own business. The bulk of our business is mass production and distribution. I design new product and do a lot of custom framing. We do not have a store front, so I go out and get the business. I have made myself such a valuable asset to my company, that I am paid very well and I am VERY happy. I work manufacturer hours, which are much better that the retail hours that I worked for 14 years. I have learned the true meaning of Christmas! I am truly in awe of all of you that have your own business. You guys work so hard and do great work. Great dedication.
    Keep up the good work fellow framers.
     
  14. gemsmom

    gemsmom SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    JFrame, Unlike Bob C., and more like the rest of you, I opened my shop with minimal business skills and had to learn as I went out of necessity. There were no web-sites such as this where others shared information. I had too learn by my mistakes, and I made my share. One of the mistakes I made was trying to do it all. As Bob C. stated earlier, you have to learn to trust your employees. Everyone has their strengths, and this is what I try to determine in an employee. Anything an employee can do is one less thing I have to. For example, I am saved a huge amount of time each week because I have a retired part-timer who cuts and joins all my frames. I pay him $9.00 per hour and he completes 6 frames per hour on an average. Just by having him, I save myself 15-20 hours per week. Once you determine it is more important for you to have more time for yourself and your family, as I did, you will find ways to save time. It is just a matter of priorities.
     
  15. Scarfinger

    Scarfinger Guest

    To: jframe

    I remember my first employee and how hard it was to let someone into the private world of my store. They might do something different than I would! I spent all my time watching this person and got nothing done. My mistake was not planning the things that I would actually trust them to do ahead of time.

    Here's the hard part: For a whole week or more write down everything you do. Then look for ways to save yourself time which is why you are hiring a person. They don't have to learn French Mats the first day! I bet you would trust them to sweep the floor, clean the toilets and put away the mat cuttings. All the things that take up your time all week with the result that you "never get enough done". I have seen so many frame shop owners staying late to clean the bathrooms while complaining that their framer is so slow at mat cutting they might as well do it themselves. After a while the employee will get fast at clean up and know their way around your store and how it operates. Then they can start to learn framing. But they must also keep their other assigned duties done. And look for the jobs that you do that you either don't like or are not good at. You may find a person that happens to be good at payroll. Look for strengths and interests in the people you hire and use them to the max to give you the time you need. They'll be happier too! Once you trust them you could even get them to come in earlier than you to open the store and you could walk your children to school. It might be nice if they knew who you were.
     
  16. Scarfinger

    Scarfinger Guest

    To clarify the employee thing just a step further:

    If you are a framer and enjoy framing don't hire a framer to help you. Hire a janitor, bookeeper, salesperson, or even a business manager. If you hire a framer you will end up not framing and doing all the jobs you don't like. But you must be in control and tell the employee what jobs to do each day. If you don't all employees will become framers because its more fun!
     
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