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caricatureguy 06-04-05 12:18 PM

hiring help
This might be an odd scenario for most of you. I do caricatures in bars. A couple of years ago I taught a guy to do caricatures for tips in bars and set him up with places to go and everything. Presumably his responsibility for me helping him out was to help me advertise my caricature business. Once and a while he would get a name and a number for a gig at a private party or whatever and he was supposed to give that info to me. I would let him do the work or I would do it if he couldn't and he would get a commission, or I would depending. 25/75. Seems pretty fair. He quit his day job and worked full time with me. I still took care of all of the business end of things which was considerable and made arrangements with contacts. Most notably I made the contacts with the places he worked and told him how to handle things in great detail and personal coaching. We did many jobs together.

He sees what I do, then starts his own company about a year out. Since he is from there and I am not, he knows people who want to hire him for a job here and there. Sometimes I will have him work a job with me that I have gotten in a bar and he would claim to know the person and want a percentage. We ended up being good friends (despite the obnoxiousness of him having a business too) and ended up working it out that we each just keep the work we get and if we subcontract we pay 25/75 commish. Meanwhile we have a reliable second person for gigs (trust me, this is crucial) and we have double the exposure. Besides, I figure if you teach a guy to fish, he's going to fish.

A while later, I decided to add a third protege. Keep in mind that I wrote a complete 75 page handbook on how to make really good tips and coached her really well for a couple of weeks. This worked out well because we ended up being really well known and respected and got lots of work. Anyways, with the new girl, I asked her to pay me 10% of what she took in tips at the end of the weekend and she keeps her jobs the same way the other guy did. This worked for a while until she stopped paying.

I have since moved to another city, canned the girl and the other guy now has all of my business from the first city. I don't think that he has really used the contact list I gave him. Either that or they want me and not him, I don't know.... I have been doing some serious work to make what I do a career. I am about to embark on a business move that would improve my career (albeit speculation at this point) to about 15 times what I normally take in. The first protege wants in on it. He has been doing jobs for me where I am now since I have yet to find a reliable protege here even though it is 3 hours away. I think could use the work. He probably wouldn't do it on his own and there is more than enough work for him to be included, but I worry. I don't think it would be wise to include him now. Anybody have any suggestions?

I was thinking about asking him to pay me a fee up front like a franchise to help him 100% to get set up for the move but I know he has no money to do this, let alone make the move. I do the caricatures in 60 seconds. My expertise from working in bars has allowed me to do this. He is the second fastest caricature artist I know. We are probably the fastest caricature artists on at least the eastern coast of the US if not he world. I am going for a Guinness Record soon. He is the only person who can seriously back me in a job. He is a good friend and can handle the work. I want to help him, but...

martin ewen 06-04-05 04:22 PM

One idea
Take that 75 page book plus the new business idea and combine them, along with any and all other methods and procedures and write as careful and comprehensive system as you can down and then register that as a franchise.
The guy can then work for you but if he starts up another company, he cannot use your methods without being liable.

caricatureguy 06-05-05 01:01 PM

That's a really good idea. The only problem is that he will actually be working for tips too. I won't be paying him anything to do what he does like when he used to work for me (advertising) in the bars. Truly, he has a constitutional right to do it there and I can't take it away from him. It would not be a benefit for me if he was there, so I see no reason to help him otherwise. I am going to work a huge venue/pitch that I have worked hard to acquire as far as going through city hall, having to go through the ACLU and lots of other hassles that are going to be apparent once I get there in a couple of weeks. I have no competition more or less and I can work all day long. See the "OCEAN CITY" Post in "Pitches".

I have been to see business counselors about how best to work the franchise idea, working for tips but guided by me and following my method/formula. (what I need to do is sell the damned book like that "Millionaire Magician" guy). They said that I really had no right to charge anyone to work for tips. I agree. They said that all I had going is that he follows my methods and I could have him pay me for giving him the personal counseling. How do I get money from him? I don't think it is anything I can franchise honestly. Of course, those business people do not understand the business as fellow performers would. ( : ) That's why I'm here!) But for now, I could get down there, get established and charge him a flat fee to set him up to work on his own. Actually, that's pretty much what franchise means isn't it? Ugh, I'm going in circles. I have always felt that I was on the edge of something big with this idea, but could not consummate the arrangement.

martin ewen 06-05-05 01:20 PM need him why?
Why is it important to you to have a protege?
He has little to show for his initial startup, he's got no money, you have. He's burnt through your old contact list- you've gone on to develop something else.
You have given him structure and energy and he's filled in for you when needed.
The friendship aside, he's a vampire and you're a donor.
I feel that you have just developed a new gig and its looking exceptional. You think he'll be able to crash it anyway? If not keep it to yourself for at least a years research and development.If he can pay his buck for the season and compete then you have a compeditor, make whatever informal relationship you want. Divide the market, whatever. I still don't understand why you think you owe him anything. Focus on the gig. Energy spent fretting about him is energy wasted.
See you don't even know what the gig's worth yet and your thinking of expanding.
If it can handle it fine, offer him a contract, with guarantees, he works for you, you take a reasonable cut/fee, you keep him busy, you increase his earnings, you give him bonus's, you make it so he realises he's better off with you than on his own. Its more work which gets you back to my first question, you need him why?

caricatureguy 06-07-05 12:57 PM

You are right of course. I really don't need him. I think the reason I hired him in the first place is just to have someone to watch my back and to discuss the business with. I could certainly use that in a couple of weeks. I'm sure there is more than enough room for the two of us but I would probably end up being disapointed.

I may bring up the franchise idea to him at the end of the summer if all goes well. I really do want to see him succeed. I guess I see him still busking like I taught him to as a confirmation that what I'm doing is not just a lark. Very few people here comprehend that I honestly make a living doing this. I can now say, look, this guy does it too! At least he believes me! He's done his share of helping me out too.

He hasn't asked me about it in a while. Maybe he will just leave it go until later. I'm pretty sure he knows where he stands. Thanks for the advise.

JoeJoe 08-11-05 03:01 AM

I think what you need to do is stop working on tips and start charging bars for the service; he can keep 100% of the tips and you get whatever you can get out of the bars (ie: $5 an hour).


caricatureguy 01-18-06 12:03 AM

I doubt if I could get the kinds of nightclubs and bars I work in to pay for me to go there. If I could, it would be sweet.

Irina 04-04-07 01:00 PM

Next time you need help - go on craigslist - art/media jobs and hire a hot 20 y.o cute chick with art-degree and no job for 10$ an hour or 25% cut on her tips plus publicity. ...Make sure she attaches a picture with an e-application., because it is kinda bar-promotion job - she should look good enough to work for Captain Morgan. Sign a contract and non-competitive agreement. There are tonns of art-students and graduates on craigslist dying for a creative job...

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