Industry sector: Consumer services

Aerial installer: Wages


Money which you take from the business to cover your own personal living expenses is known as 'Drawings'. Don't include this here - it's dealt with elsewhere in the cash flow.

Decide first whether your business will need any employees. Some types of work can be much quicker and easier for two people working as a team. Think about the size of business that you want to run. Do you intend to have several teams of installers? Or will the business be on a much smaller scale? Perhaps you aim to start off small and build up gradually.

Before you can make an estimate of how much - if anything - you'll pay in wages each month, you'll need to identify the work that must be done and how many people will be needed to do it.

Employees' duties

You might need employees to do things like:

  • work alongside you on installation jobs - high installations and other non-standard situations in particular often require a team of at least two installers
  • make up other teams of installers
  • do basic labouring work like carrying and clearing up
  • do certain specialist jobs that you can't do yourself
  • answer the telephone and attend to administrative tasks

The wages you pay your employees will depend on their level of experience, and also to some extent on what is the going rate in your area. The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), which is carried out by the government, gives average weekly wages (national and regional) for a wide range of different types of job. The survey is available online on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website.

Bear in mind the following points:

  • you could use a combination of part time and full time workers. You could also use the services of sub-contractors from time to time
  • you could consider taking on apprentices and training them up
  • all of your employees will need to be properly trained in safe working at height and in using tools and equipment safely
  • the National Minimum Wage Act sets a minimum amount that you must pay your staff. Workers aged 25 and over receive a Living Wage premium on top of the standard National Minimum Wage
  • there is other employment legislation which you should be aware of
  • you'll have to pay employer's National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and operate PAYE in 'real time'. You may have to make employers' minimum contributions to an auto-enrolment pension scheme too

In the cash flow, just put the amounts you will actually pay to staff after you've deducted NICs and PAYE - you'll show these separately. Include here the cost of staff pensions.