In the Trenches: Making the Case for a Full-Time Employee

As things stand today, we have two part-time hourly employees at Cranky Concierge. My recent vacation cemented what I had known for a long time: We could really use a full-time salaried employee to help grow the business.

Sure, it was great to get away. But what I really need isn’t more free time, it’s more time to work on larger issues and strategic planning for the business. We have so much work today that I end up spending a lot of time dealing with routine stuff. That means other projects sit on the back burner, waiting for some attention.

Some examples: For months now, I’ve been trying to revise my award-travel pricing structure, but I haven’t had the time to put it together and update the website. I’ve also been trying to automate more services to make the work easier for our concierges. Again, I’ve had no time to develop the plans. And I’ve put plenty of other projects on hold while addressing day-to-day needs.

The way to solve this problem is to have more employees doing more work. That’s been hard to justify because of the costs involved. But now we’re finally at a point where we should be able to support a full-time employee — and that is terribly exciting for me. Not only will it finally give me some relief, but it will also make me one of those super-cool “job creators” that politicians love to talk about.

I wasn’t entirely sure what was involved in creating a full-time position, but I was surprised to learn that the rules and regulations aren’t that different from those governing part-timers. The big issue mostly related to my interest in making this an “exempt” position. In other words, it should be a role that isn’t hourly and doesn’t pay overtime. That is apparently quite the minefield — most certainly a topic for a future post!

About Brett Snyder

Brett is the Founder and President of Cranky Concierge air travel assistance. He also writes the consumer air travel blog, The Cranky Flier.
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5 comments
Cedarglen
Cedarglen

Spot on!  Your personal effort should remain on growing your business - and training your employees to do the functional work - and without compromising the service.  You ARE on the right path and I'm sure that your business will grow.  Slow  growth i s not a bad thing, especially when the results are solid over time.  No need to rush.  If you are able to fund the growth from income and earnings, so much the better - as you retain absolute control.  For a first generation business, especially in the 'service' industry, this is far more important than you know.  If you've got a good product (you do) enhance it and become the best (you are very close).  I enjoy reading about your successes and your slow, steady growth.  Keep up the good work and please, keep us posted!!

As noted in other posts, I use a different assistant group and I believe in loyalty.  When/if I need to change, I come to Cranky.  The regular posts about your business and how you have developed it over a few years are not really advertising, but they have a similar effect; I know who you are, I know what you do, I know that you are deadly seriouious about bith service and growing your small business.  You have a few competitors, but not many are as serious about both service and modest growth as you are.  If I need a change, Cranky will be my choice.  Best regards, -C.

mharris127
mharris127

Actually an exempt position must pay at least $452 (IIRC -- it is four fifty something) a week.  Most exempt positions come with bennies such as health insurance and vacation as well (this is not required by law but would be expected by any employee worth his time).  If his employee lives in California (where Cranky is based) there is also the task of setting up an account with the state for their required disability insurance program and paying the appropriate state taxes.  Other states have requirements for state taxes as well, all but Texas, Alaska and Florida IIRC.  The law says nothing regarding whether the employee works at home using an internet connection or using an employer-provided office and equipment regarding an exempt position.   An exempt position must also be one in which the employee makes business decisions without the guidance and decision by decision permission (other than general oversight) of the employer.  I am sure such a position as Cranky wants and needs to create would pay well over the minimum and the main issue is finding someone that he trusts to make life or death decisions of the business without his explicit guidance and actually has experience in the travel related field (including enough knowledge for creating a reward and fee structure for Cranky's business).  Please take this post as general information and not legal advice, I am a retired banking compliance officer and not an attorney.

An exempt employee
An exempt employee

Exempt position.....you mean a position with no benefits, that you can work to death and pay no more than minimum. Interesting. Are you in AMR management?  

crankyconcierge
crankyconcierge

 @mharris127 The minimums actually can vary by state, I'm told, but there is a federal minimum that sets the basic bar and I assume that's what you're talking about.  What I've been working on would be above the California minimum as well even though the person I'm trying to bring on doesn't live in California.  I have a person I'm working with on this already, and there are benefits involved that fit his needs.  I am not, despite the strange accusation by another commenter, trying to hire someone for cheap and work him or her to death.  That would be insane and illegal.  

 

As for the taxes, I already have part time employees and my payroll provider takes care of all that.  It makes life much easier for me, that's for sure.  

ncbarnard
ncbarnard

An exempt employee is the legal way of saying that an employee is salaried. IT has nothing to do with the amount of pay (over a minimum amount of pay) and nothing to do with benefits. It comes from the legal wording that that employee is exempt from the overtime provisions of the law.

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