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flairland
12-04-2008, 10:38 PM
Thought I'd come here for some advice from fellow landscape company owners.
This was my second season having my own business and I feel I've built up my company fairly well. My 04 F350, 7ton dump, and L125 skidsteer are all paid for, as well as obviously all my other hand tools and such. Anyways, this past summer I did a fair bit of sub work for another local landscape contractor, who is also fairly new into the business, but he has better people skills and knows how to get good jobs, especially for being so new into it. His skills are people/business skills, where mine are more about getting the job done/construction/equipment skills. He came to me a few days ago, with an offer for me to come on board with his company as a foreman/supervisor. We talked about wages, and what we're sitting at right now, is a $25000 salary, working 40hrs a week, from April - end of October. Thats not what I'm coming to you for advice though... on top of that he's offered a profit sharing scenario where he's offering 5% on what the entire company grosses, paid out every 6 weeks. We haven't gone over paperwork where he's able to prove what he grosses yet, but its over 500k a year.. give me your thoughts!

TXNSLighting
12-04-2008, 10:56 PM
The question is do you want to do this? I personaly love being self employed and couldnt imagine going back towork for someone. It sounds like there could be some decent money there, but its wether or not you want to...

flairland
12-04-2008, 11:17 PM
I'd prefer to continue being self employed for sure, but I think I'll enjoy this too. It means a lot less stress, no paperwork, employees, etc. The next step in my business would be to hire on employees, buy more equipment, etc, but I feel that this kind of takes care of all of that for me. I'm not technically running a business anymore, but I have a share in a business which I belive has a lot of potential. I feel this is kind of a step up for me, more than a step down. He has recently partnered up with who I believe is probably the best landscape architect in our city, meaning good potential for lots of high end jobs, meaning 5% automatically passed my way. This is based on a 40 hour week.. I'm not used to that either, it will be nice to come home after an 8 hour day, and not worry about quoting the next job, or doing paperwork!

TXNSLighting
12-05-2008, 12:06 AM
Well sounds like it may be a good oppurtunity. But ask every question you can. Play out every negative scenario, and the positives to. But man sounds like it could be a good thing.

CALandscapes
12-05-2008, 12:33 AM
I would make absolutely certain to have everything in writing and have my lawyer review it before making any concrete decisions...

5% of total gross... Almost sounds too good to be true.

CNYScapes
12-05-2008, 09:20 AM
sounds like he is expecting you to pretty much run the landscaping division. I think it will be pretty much the same as what you are doing now without the selling.

Az Gardener
12-05-2008, 09:20 AM
I would just get a list of what he expects of you, an Employee contract would be a great idea. I'm guessing you will be #2 in the company, There is much more to it than putting in your 8 and going home, but you knew that. Is he going to do the sales, hiring, scheduling, time sheets, supply, yada yada?

I know you are not talking about a partnership but this is a similar situation I was in. I am the get it done, plant knowledge guy and my brother in law was a good sales guy, had no problem delivering a bid that seemed way to high and still got the jobs. The plan was he was going to run install sales and supervise the work and I was going to run maint and do the hiring. In no time he was selling and I was doing everything else for both sides of the company. At first I didn't mind because we were making $$$ but calling him at 6:30 AM to answer a question when I had been working for 2 hours already and he was still in his Jammie's got old.

This is what I see happening You will be putting in your 8 on the job sites with the guys. Then you will be doing supply, scheduling, material takeoffs/lists and organizing payroll dealing with employee issues another 4+ hours a day. If I were you I would consider hiring a sales guy for your company or getting a bigger piece of the pie from your prospective employer.

Like most on site I couldn't imagine working for someone else at this point. You can't put the Genie back in the bottle.

This is an example of a positing contract. If you decide to go to work for the guy I would write something similar or ask him to. This way you are on the same page about what he expects of you and vise versa.


Sorry th the bullets come out like ? marks when I copy paste.
[COLOR="Blue"]Position Contract Garden Gnome


Name: _____________________________ Position Title: Garden Gnome
Manager position: Gardener


Results statement I am accountable for the following result
To continually be improving upon the overall appearance and operations of our clients Gardens. Follow and improve upon current systems for operations. To ensure I am providing accurate information to the Gardener for billing purposes. Keep all equipment, tools, and materials That I use and operate in top condition.

Reporting positions: None

Tactical work
1. You may be asked to arrive to work before start time to unload debris or to load any additional equipment or materials onto truck.

2. Evaluate your work to be completed at each job site and do it in a systematic manor as directed by your Gardener.

3. Complete any client

Az Gardener
12-05-2008, 09:26 AM
Opps had a little glitch lets try again

Position Contract Garden Gnome


Name: _____________________________ Position Title: Garden Gnome
Manager position: Gardener


Results statement I am accountable for the following result
To continually be improving upon the overall appearance and operations of our clients Gardens. Follow and improve upon current systems for operations. To ensure I am providing accurate information to the Gardener for billing purposes. Keep all equipment, tools, and materials That I use and operate in top condition.

Reporting positions: None

Tactical work
1. You may be asked to arrive to work before start time to unload debris or to load any additional equipment or materials onto truck.

2. Evaluate your work to be completed at each job site and do it in a systematic manor as directed by your Gardener.

3. Complete any clientís special requests if they are within your job duties. If not report them to your Gardener.

4. Technical work that you are responsible for completing

 Luminescence Lighting

 Perfect Cut Every Time.

 Stupendous Flowers

 Equipment Safety

 Loading and Unloading of Debris

 Proper Pot Watering

 Magical Mulch Coverings

 Weed and Trash Free

 Before leaving an area you are working in be sure all gates are closed, piles are picked up your work has been completed and no tools are left behind.




Company wide standards

 Work safe and make clients homes safe be sure all gates are always closed and latched every time no exceptions.
 Be prepared, your are a reflection of our company. If you are on time, dialed in, ready to go it will show in your work and our customers will recognize the difference.
 Have high standards; be sure they are consistent for all the Gardens we serve.
 Have good work habits work efficiently. Handle personal problems on personal time.
 Represent the company in a professional manor at all times. Consider your personal hygiene, dress, and vocabulary.
 Reach full potential by constantly learning.
 Follow and seek to improve all operational systems in place.
 Be sure you are providing accurate information for all paperwork. This is how we get paid if you forget something we leave money on the table. The paperwork is there to protect us and provide historical information for future bidding. If itís not written down it never happened.
 Keep your co-workers happy, be a team player, maintain a good environment by putting things away when youíre done with them, keeping things clean and operating equipment safely.






I agree to fulfill the conditions of my employment as listed above. I understand that failure to comply with the conditions listed above is grounds for dismissal.

Garden Gnome__________________________________ Date ____________

I agree to support the Garden Gnome by providing education, equipment, and materials needed to facilitate the tasks listed in this position agreement.

Master Gardener_________________________________ Date ____________

steve5966
12-05-2008, 12:40 PM
40 hours per week? That makes me chuckle.

At a half million, I can supervise that without straining myself at all, but not in 40 hours.

What are you going to do as the business gets bigger, say a million a year. This is what I take care of now. I can tell you that I spend very little time on a job in comparison to my time dealing with everything else.

Employees? Your going to want to be involved in the hiring and firing. If you don't have a say about who gets hired, what are you going to do with the slackers? You can't supervise without dealing with employees.

Stress? Who do you think is going to be responsable for getting the jobs done in a timely manner? Are you ready to answer to someone else on why your crews are behind and the next job has to be delayed? Will you still get your commision if the job was underbid and the company loses money on it.

Just some things to think about.

40 hours, I'm still giggling about that.

flairland
12-05-2008, 05:51 PM
Thanks guys for all the responses. Its good to hear the ins and outs from people who have been in similar circumstances especially. This is really something I need to sit back and do some thinking about. AZ, I like your idea of getting a contract written up, and like CA said, I should get it looked over with a lawyer, just to have my butt covered if anything happens. Steve, I know what you mean about the 40 hour week, it sounds good right now, but I'll be surprised if he actually lets me stick to that. However, we did say that certain weeks may be more than 40, but then we would just bank those extra hours, and save them for slower times/days off. I just think its a great opportunity for me, because I have a lot of respect for both the ower, and the designer. I think with the three of us, we'd make a great team, and benefit eachother in the end. The other thing is, I won't just be making 5% of the work I'm involved with, it will also be off of another fulltime lawn maintenance crew, strictly a garden crew, the full time designer, any work that we sub out, and then obviously on the work I do. Our local economy has been hit pretty hard the last two months because Sterling has a big plant in our city thats shutting down in March. Its lead to a lot of other closures and layoffs in our area, so I think it will be tougher for me to find work in the mid-class market I dealt with. This new company deals almost strictly with very high end homes, in both maintenance, and installations, and I dont think the market willl flucuate too much there.

Lovingreen
12-06-2008, 09:30 AM
I can understand your quandry, Everything has its downside. What I might think about working out is being a subcontractor for him while keeping your business in tact. You can pick and choose what you want to do and meanwhile you are dropping some of the sales stuff that you are not as good at. And then in the future if the business doesn't do what you want it to do, then you can always become an employee for him or another LCO as Most LCO's will kill for a good foreman.

AI Inc
12-06-2008, 09:38 AM
I would make absolutely certain to have everything in writing and have my lawyer review it before making any concrete decisions...

5% of total gross... Almost sounds too good to be true.

that and his salary is only $50k a yr. So there is the answer , are you making more then that now ( I sure hope so) and if so is being done at 5pm and having evenings and weekends free worth the pay cut? If your making $55k now , I would say definatly . If your making $95k now, I wouldn't even think about it.

Penscape Landscaping
12-06-2008, 12:50 PM
I would think it over greatly! I believe the going rate for a landscape sup is around $42 a year. Make sure it is what you want to do because we who start this biz have that entrepreneur spirit!

flairland
12-06-2008, 05:51 PM
bump!!!!!!

flairland
12-06-2008, 06:11 PM
Sorry about the bump.. my computer didnt show the new responses until after I posted the bump.

Anyways, thanks for the responses, it really helps getting different views. I agree with Lovinggreen about just subbing work off him for now and seeing how it works out. I'm actually going to talk to him about that a bit more, because I think thats what I would prefer right now, but I just don't know if it will be the smarter move in 5 years.
I'm not 100 percent sure what I've made this year yet, but I havent made 50k expense free, I know that. I basically paid for all my equipment this year, so I could tell myself that in a way I'll be expense free next year, but knowing me, I'll be looking for a new skid/excavator/truck, who knows what. Then am I really further ahead? Equipment doesnt hold its value, so I'll always be having to find enough work to justify the new toys I buy, paying depreciation, insurance.. business expenses that are expensive.
The way things look right now, having everything paid off, running a solo op, I don't think I can expect to make much more than 90k a year. I'd be happy with that wage, but I believe I can have the same wage, if not a better wage in about 5 years when I suspect this other company will be booming. And I know I'd still stress working for this guy, but I really don't think I'd stress near as much as I would having my on biz.
Sorry guys, I feel like I'm just runnign in circles now.... I wish I could just go to someone who I knew where I'd be happiest in 5 years!!

flairland
12-07-2008, 05:42 PM
bump......