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I just want some opinions about a shop/managment issue.

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I just want some opinions about a shop/managment issue.

Old 03-02-16, 09:21 AM
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I just want some opinions about a shop/managment issue.

I apologize if this is too long to read. The quick and simple is, I work for a shop part time and I have good outside career opportunities but I offered myself full time to the shop I've worked at for 3 years while proving myself to be an indispensable asset in exchange for $12/hr. I want a boost to $35k/yr. The shop can easily afford it. The counteroffer was basically profit sharing AFTER we earn last years numbers. I don't think this is fair because of my accomplishments and initiative. Opinions? Experiences?

I have worked for a small bike shop (>600,000 gross sales) for almost 3 years out of its 6 year existence. This shop sells 3 major brands and our main market is road/triathlon. When I started, the owner was the only full timer and there was one other part time guy that had been there since the beginning. Now, that person has left, and it is just the owner, me, and another part timer who has been there a year. I only work full time in the summer because I'm finishing my degree, and I am capable of running things to the point where the owner can go on several week long vacations a year without interaction. I can sell, manage, buy inventory, wrench, basically do everything that would regularly occur. I have access to the money, I place orders without question, I run the facebook/website/instagram. I design marketing materials and ad campaigns and have continuously offered my dedication and strived for more knowledge and responsibility. I've taken the shop into the community, being present at a local annual ride, have volunteered my time to organize other rides, and sought out my own education both professionally and otherwise. I even teach bike maintenance at the local college. All of this is above and beyond me initially being hired to simply be another employee.

In 3 years, I've gotten a $2 raise ($10-$12/hr), a $1000 store credit bonus, a few $50 bonuses, one $350 bonus, and a bike that retailed at $2100. Keep in mind, the other employee of one year who does absolutely nothing outside of what they are told (and even expressed interest in not working if not needed) also received a bonus bike with a $1000 value. I graduate in May with my 2 year degree, but am continuing on part time with my bachelor's in marketing. I offered myself to the shop full time starting in May with a request of a $35,000 salary, no benefits. I thought this was fair. I drive an hour each way to work here, I love it, but I could get $35-40k w/ benefits outside of the shop. I know what our expenses are, I know that the owner is not suffering by any means. He contemplated buying a new property for the business, he purchased a $4,000 massage chair for his office, and his wife is a senior officer at a successful company. The problem is, his counteroffer was me staying at $12/hr with the sharing of 20% of all dollars earned in excess of the 2015 amounts. So I get it, it's his business and he can run it how he sees fit, and it makes sense that he shouldn't pay me unless he's making money too. But my career background is sort of "leaders eat last" and given that he is far from struggling, I really expected to be taken care of instead of getting a fraction of the leftovers. I just wanted to know what other shop managers or full time employees are making at shops of similar size or what any of you think. I know he is free to run it as he pleases and of course I am free to leave. I just really expected for him to at least pretend that I'm the necessity that I believe myself to be.
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Old 03-02-16, 09:29 AM
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You've convinced me of your value but I'm not the shop owner. What do you expect someone on this forum to do in your behalf? Frankly, given your resume, I think you would be valued more elsewhere and, if you have the opportunity, you would be better off to take another job.
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Old 03-02-16, 09:36 AM
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Complain in here.

https://www.bikeforums.net/cycling-re...s-help-wanted/
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Old 03-02-16, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider
What do you expect someone on this forum to do in your behalf?
I was just looking for some insider advice. I wanted to know if I was crazy for thinking that my offer was fair. I wanted to know what others in similar roles were making.
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Old 03-02-16, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
Complain in here.
The goal isn't to complain. I was looking for knowledge and opinions. Thanks for yours.
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Old 03-02-16, 09:59 AM
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You missed all the posters Here, who want something for nothing ..

and that makes it hard to hire people and give them a raise in Pay

when the business is struggling to stay Open , Match Internet parts prices and all that ..
...

Shops in College towns those non owning Managers seem to have Spouses that have the Professorship at the University .

Though the University Admin Trend towards Adjunct faculty Hires Makes that precarious too..

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-02-16 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 03-02-16, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
who want something for nothing and that makes it hard to hire people and give them a raise in Pay when the business is struggling to stay open
I hear that. Things are tougher in ways that they have never been before but the shop is far from struggling to stay open. The business is debt free and we ALMOST spent several hundred thousand dollars on a new location simply to stop paying a rent expense that doesn't add to capital. Thank you for your input.
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Old 03-02-16, 10:10 AM
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Based on my experience with small businesses, if he doesn't want to sell the business and/or you don't want to buy it then there is no particular reason for him to pay you much more than the cost to replace you. Sounds like you are doing a bang up job and adding value but if you leave he will muddle through. If he knows you are going to leave when you graduate then, in his mind, you are just passing through.
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Old 03-02-16, 10:14 AM
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My local Shop has to do real well in 3~4 months to survive the rest of the Year..

At 68 I Help out in the summer .. and am at $10 . with none of the additional Bonuses you get.
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Old 03-02-16, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider
You've convinced me of your value but I'm not the shop owner. .....
+1

This is a case of why buy the cow if you're getting the milk.

The owner has a good gig here, with you doing manager's work on mechanics's pay. I can't see why he'd want to change that. There is little to none upside potential here, and his limiting your profit sharing to new business proves that. Consider the current growth track and project that forward to see how small the profit sharing numbers are likely to be.

Sadly, the only way forward is to withhold the milk. The owner won't appreciate your value until you're gone.

So my advice is to quit and take a career track job, or work at another shop if you like that because it should be easy to beat your current pay there. Either way, you'll be ahead of the game, and you never know, the owner may recognize his lost and reach out to get you back. If so, you'll be in the catbird seat and can negotiate a reasonable deal.
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Old 03-02-16, 10:25 AM
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See if You can jump onto the distributor company rather than Retail ..

Sales Rep On the road for the next layer Up in the supply chain .
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Old 03-02-16, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Stick69
Based on my experience with small businesses, if he doesn't want to sell the business and/or you don't want to buy it then there is no particular reason for him to pay you much more than the cost to replace you. Sounds like you are doing a bang up job and adding value but if you leave he will muddle through. If he knows you are going to leave when you graduate then, in his mind, you are just passing through.
Yeah, that. The cemetery is full of indispensable people.

I know nothing about running a bike shop, but I know quite a lot about running and working for small-ish businesses. I would recommend you try to stop factoring in what other people have - what this guy's wife does or earns means zero in terms of what it's fair to pay you. If your partner (if you have one) gets a raise, does the owner cut your salary?

How much did you invest in inventory? How much debt did you take on in year one? How many nights could you not sleep worrying whether the store could stay open the next month? The owner is getting some payback for what he did and risked in those (likely, extremely demanding - if you haven't been through starting a business on your own dime, you likely underestimate the difficulty) first few years when you weren't around. Notice, he got through the most risky and most demanding period without your help. He's offering a (small, I admit) profit-share with a part-time employee without any cash investment or long-term commitment on your part.

Not trying to denigrate you - you sound like a great employee and an asset to the company.

But if $40k + benefits is worth more to you than this job at the offered terms, I'd say go take it. If you're paying for and presumably intending to use a Bachelors in marketing I'd assume you plan to leave within a few years anyway (and the owner will know that too).
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Old 03-02-16, 10:44 AM
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Bottom line is you need to decide what you need to earn to stay and, if he is not willing to pay that, it's time to leave. The owner's valuation of you is the only one that matters in this instance. You can choose to accept that and stay or reject that and leave.
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Old 03-02-16, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Stick69
there is no particular reason for him to pay you much more than the cost to replace you.
Absolutely and I get that entirely. I was just upset that he didn't even pretend that I was any sort of necessity and I wanted to know, if that was reasonable given the industry and the situation.
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Old 03-02-16, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Earl Grey
Yeah, that. The cemetery is full of indispensable people.
Good points and thank you. I was just using his wife's salary to explain my thought process that he isn't doing the best he could. And you are absolutely right. I did none of the toiling or worrying that he did and still does. I was a part of most of the decision making processes for the last couple years but you're right. It wasn't my skin.
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Old 03-02-16, 11:14 AM
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I think the owner most likely balked because you point blank asked for a 50% rate increase. When my wife went from "team member" to "management" and moved from hourly to salary, her increase in pay was about 25%, with scaled quarterly raises.

I also know a guy that has been working at a bike shop for going on 12 years now, and he makes around $12 an hour. In California. And he manages 2 days a week.

So it's perhaps less about your estimation of value vs. the owner's, and more your value against the market.
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Old 03-02-16, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by LifeCycles
Absolutely and I get that entirely. I was just upset that he didn't even pretend that I was any sort of necessity and I wanted to know, if that was reasonable given the industry and the situation.
I can understand your feelings about this. I was in a similar situation a few years ago (not in the bike shop field, but one with similar pay grades). I negotiated for and got my raise, but it did leave me with a deeper sense of obligation to the company and a 2 year contract. What I learned from those years is that it's good to be a great employee, but it doesn't matter how much you care about your job. At this level you are still replaceable no matter how good you are. Your boss knows you will not be there forever, and it is his livelihood that he has to manage. Now, if this is still in a negotiation period, you might be able to get a little more money. But you should (and I did after those two years) ask yourself- is this really a worthwhile use of your time? Where do you want to be in 5 years? You are working towards your Bachelor's degree, right? It's time to focus on your resume. Will this job help you with that?
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Old 03-02-16, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr Isotope
So it's perhaps less about your estimation of value vs. the owner's, and more your value against the market.
This is unfortunately true - you're in a notoriously poorly paid job, even as acting manager. If you want to stay in the industry and will be getting a Marketing degree Fietsbob's advice sounds pretty good to me (use your experience to try and move up the supply chain - if you deal with suppliers etc now, you can hopefully develop some 'social capital' there).

BTW, I didn't mean my post above to sound unsympathetic. Feeling consistently undervalued at work can be really bad for your general sense of well-being (which isn't to say I know an easy solution).
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Old 03-02-16, 11:35 AM
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You have enough experience to apply for a manager's position at another shop; that's what I would do...
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Old 03-02-16, 11:37 AM
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The owner of one of the bike shops that I previously worked at asked me how I liked driving a school bus. I told him that I liked it fine. I'll never take another job where I don't have a union contract.
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Old 03-02-16, 11:40 AM
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I stopped reading at "profit sharing." Profit is a synthetic number and thus manipulable.
Here's another approach:
Learn some accounting. Calculate the fully loaded cost to employ you (including employer payroll tax, any benefits, everything). Calculate how much operating income and free cash flow you produce. If you produce a multiple of of the cost to employ you, then ask the question "Boss, how much money do you want me to make for you in the next twelve months?" Show them how the answer will be in your paycheck.
This is olny an entre into the conversation. Remember that return on invested capital, cost of capital, owners' discretionary income are all ahead of you in line.
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Old 03-02-16, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by LifeCycles
Absolutely and I get that entirely. I was just upset that he didn't even pretend that I was any sort of necessity and I wanted to know, if that was reasonable given the industry and the situation.
The worst mistake you can make is assuming you're indispensable or irreplaceable. This applies to any field. You have to work somewhere long enough to see people come and go to discover it's almost never true.

If you think you're worth more get a job that pays more. Getting upset about your boss's decision to not give you what you want won't do anyone any good.
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Old 03-02-16, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by AnkleWork
I stopped reading at "profit sharing." Profit is a synthetic number and thus manipulable.
Here's another approach:
Learn some accounting. Calculate the fully loaded cost to employ you (including employer payroll tax, any benefits, everything). Calculate how much operating income and free cash flow you produce. If you produce a multiple of of the cost to employ you, then ask the question "Boss, how much money do you want me to make for you in the next twelve months?" Show them how the answer will be in your paycheck.
This is olny an entre into the conversation. Remember that return on invested capital, cost of capital, owners' discretionary income are all ahead of you in line.
The question that you have to be prepared to answer is: "If you pull your hand out of a bucket of water, how big of a hole does it leave?"
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Old 03-02-16, 11:55 AM
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Sounds like it's time to move on. Maybe you can get a full time job that lets you have a few weekends a month in the summer free for a part time job in a different shop?
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Old 03-02-16, 11:57 AM
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Why hasn't anyone else asked this...

What is the expected value of your employer's offer? Have one of your schoolmates over in finance work the numbers with you. It's a probabilistic solution...might be equivalent or better than your request.

You're at $22500 full time (1900 hrs), plus 1 bonuses, or so. You want minimum $17.5K plus up, which necessitates what, $88K in additional revenue. + 15% on current. Not out of reach. What's the upside? Did you go over sales projections with him? Are they growing in retail or service? What's the growth strategy? His offer might be better.

No mention of benefits, though, so you'd have to figure premiums into the targets..
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