Payroll hours


Grumbler in Training
Mar 27, 2006
North Canton, Ohio
Question for all the business owners. With retail sales of about $12,000 a month (and that's at 50% off), how many employee hours would you recommend scheduling each week? I'm not sure if we are just slow, waste time, or if the volumn calls for more hours.We are running about 105 hours now. We are also responsible for helping readymade customers in the store. Oh..and it's not my choice by the way to do the 50% off, so that won't change. What do you all think?

We do this level at 40 hours a week currently. My retail stores are fitting only with me doing the chop, join, & mats at a seperate location.

I have always figured 1 fulltimer per $100,000 in sales. So you could say at $144,000 in sales you should have 1.44 fulltime employees.

I think it's time to relook at your pricing (not nessecerly the 50% off). Or to crack the whip.

Your current sales are only $26 per man hour. So if you are paying $10 an hour buy the time you add in employer paid taxes your labor cost would be 50% of sales. that is about double of mine which i feel is to high.

Oh, Welcome tho the Grumble.
Welcome to the Grumble, Suemagoo!

Wow, your question sounds frighteningly familiar to me. As the framing manager at Michaels, my weekly nightmare was figuring payroll hours, and then had to battle with the powers to be that even though we didn't have a sale going on (or did!), we still had to produce the stuff, and help with readymades on the floor, and other tasks not even related to framing.
I spent so much time justifying payroll hours, dinking with the schedule and generating reports, I could've produced a ton of work myself, and couldn't. Or worked for free just to "git 'er done!" I don't recommend that.
Are you new to your position? Have you contacted other framing mgrs in your district? I did all that, and each store had different "rules" to go by and it frustrated all of us. Even our district managers didn't have the magic formula, nor
our zone managers or the framing trainers, or Human Resources, etc...
Wish I could help. If you have a store directory there, I'd just keep making calls until you find someone who knows what they're talking about, or until you get three answers that match and go with that one. You can stlll bet the Big Guys will not agree.

I am assuming, from the nature of your question, that you are a franchised store employee.(We call them Big Box stores here)
In 1 1/2 years there, I never could figure that out that question that would please everyone.
I wish you luck with this one, and if you do find out the answer, let me know, so I can pass it on to my friends still tearing their hair out at there..
:confused: :confused:
Framemaker, since we are doing twice the work for the same amount,thanks to the 50% off , would you double that figure? I have myself, one full time at 38 hrs and one at 32hrs. Plus now it's been decreed that we must cut mats while they wait. And yes Val.we are a "big boxer" store. If you can't beat em join em I suppose. The Michaels store recently closed by us and we are up between 44% and 60% in volumn. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.
I feel that an employee should be able to complete 1 average job per hour. This means you should be able to complete 450 jobs a month with your current hours. If you were doing this your average ticket would be just over $26 each. Even at half off that is way lower then the national average.

I know your going to say that we also have to design the jobs. So enven if you allow 1/2 hour per job for design and 1 hour to frame it, your average ticket would still be miserably low at $40 each.
I run a little higher than that on average a month. It's just me. I also, do the maintenance, pay the bills, design the ads, re layout the store, build photo frames, ... you get the idea. I work an average of 55 - 60 hours a week. Much less than I did in my previous employ.

The dollar figure tells us one thing, a unit # might tell us something else. How many custom jobs do you do a month? Do you mitre and join?

This is a question that gets asked often. The answer is obviously situation. My guess from talking to a lot of people, but NOT from experience ... is that a single person can handle about $150k. Each additional (full time equivalent) person can handle an additional $75k. This is based on an average custom job of around $125 - $150, the mix of job "types" will change this dramatically.

The thing that I always wrestled with in my previous management position (software engineering) was the "mythical man-month" phenomenon. No matter what you do, the more people you have, the LESS productive each person will be! This has been statiscally shown repeatedly!
Hmm, now I'm really discouraged. We do about 124 a month (if memory serves, which it usually doesn't). Now we do spend a good bit of time helping readymade customers too. I don't even have to chop anymore, I buy chop. Average sale?? Our average is $146. Which I think is good considering the 1/2 off. Lot of fillets and designer mats and pricy frames. I do about 4 shadowboxes a month. My full time makes a lot of mistakes, but she is a fabulous salesperson. She talks too much with the customers. But they love her and keep coming back, so what can I do. Well, I guess I'll have to crack the whip. (groan, I'm not good at that I guess) Thanks for the advice. Though I really thought there would be more response. I guess that's because all grumblers are in agreement.
Sue, you repeatedly mention the readymade customers and I know from my bog box experience that they can be very overwhelming when you have a pile of work in back and your custom framing customers to attend to. I have a feeling that you may be overcatering to these customers. You can easily bounce back and forth between custom design and readymade sales. you may have selected a palette of matboard colors to look at with the customer's art. Show them a couple combinations, and then politely and FIRMLY suggest, "why don't you try a few combinations yourself while I ask this gentleman if I can help him find something. I'd love to see your ideas." I rarely will have a customer protest especially if I make sure I am reassuring them that they are important in the process of designing. Make sure that your employees have the skills to quickly assess the customer's needs and point them in the right direction. It usually isn't necessary to walk a readymade customer through a sale from beginning to end. Just show them to the proper aisle and let them browse. If they have art, offer to measure it right away and assess if they need a mat. You can then choose to send them to the readymades with an appropriate size or help them choose mats, time permitting.

I guess my point is that the dynamics of customer service are so constantly changing that we need to make sure we are not missing any opportunities to make that time more productive, and don't be shy about making your own opportunities. In my experience more time is wasted with poorly managed customer service than with unproductive work time.

You may even try to create some sort of incentive for productive time. You can track proiductivity and sales and offer a reward at the end of the week, like lunch on the house. I have had "the higher powers" be very agreeable to ideas like these because it is a small price to pay to achieve a goal that is in their best interest.

Sorry to go on and on, but I have a lot of experience in this area. People are funny about motivation and you'd be surprised to see how easy it is to get them excited about work.