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carolinaborn82
02-17-2009, 11:01 PM
Hello guys, I am about to enter my second year in the lawn care business. I am about to get laid off from my full time job so I am trying to get serious about this. I have a good friend who I worked with on a private golfcourse for about 3 years, I have known him a total of 5. He is a very hard worker and very intellegent in the turf industry. He seems to be pretty interested in partnering with me because he just lost his job as well. I do see pros and cons when it comes to this. But I feel like it would help me more than hurt me in more ways than one. Do any of you guys have a business partner? If you do, how has it worked out for you? What do you suggest I do?

hondarancher4435
02-18-2009, 12:18 AM
i do as of right now and hate it mixing freinds with buissness puts a huge strain on things and is always very stressfull. we are always seeing things differently and it just doesnt work out. i will be going solo next year as i can't take this anymore. another huge thing is you have to split the money 50/50 if you run it and hire an employee it won't cost nearly as much and then you won't mess up your freindship

DLAWNS
02-18-2009, 12:32 AM
I personally feel that it usually doesn't work out. That's not to say that there aren't successful partnerships. It's just tough, because if it doesn't work out you almost always lose a friend. Just my thoughts.

bohiaa
02-18-2009, 11:26 AM
IT depends, do you want to keep this guy as a Friend ?

If NOT go into Business with him.

If so, DONT

jhastrello
02-18-2009, 11:40 AM
Every time that I've 'gone into business with a friend/associate', I have wound up with one less friend.

If you 'were' to do this, who has the most $$$ into the partnership? You, the other guy or shared equally. If it's you, simply work out something for him to work with you. Somebody has to be in charge and make the decisions.

The other question is, 'Who approached who?'.

You have already put in a year in on your business - just keep moving forward.

Reliable Lawn Care
02-18-2009, 03:44 PM
Have him work for you, it is that simple.

shane mapes
02-18-2009, 10:56 PM
trust me .........don't do it . i did last year. worst mistake i have done in a long time...split and not friends by no means....keep him as a worker if needed

birtchetg
02-19-2009, 12:24 PM
In my opinion, the keys to a successful partnership are not being equal, and picking a partner as a business decision as opposed to a "friend" decision.
One of you needs to be senior partner. Business decisions should still be made as a partnership, but when there is a difference of opinion on an issue you should have an established system for conflict resolution.
Most partnerships fail because you start out with great intentions and do not protect yourself. You think your partner and you will mesh great and never have conflict. Not so. My brother and I are partners and have a 11 page partnership agreement that spells out every aspect of our business. We have never had problems due to this contract. We have had conflict, but never anything detrimental to our business.
Partnerships have pros and cons. When you are solo, all your cash is yours after expenses. When you are partners, you have to share. But, if you ever throw a second truck on the road, or have two jobs at once, you partner with a vested interest in a successful business will do a better job with out you being there than an employee making 15 an hour.

JohnnyRoyale
02-19-2009, 12:56 PM
I have two other partners, one equal and one with a bit less of the pie. I will admit the three of us have equally contributed to the growth and direction of the company in the last 15 years but not without heartache. I constantly hear from friends of mine in the biz venting (wishing) they had a partner-as they seem to be split between wearing so many different hats including doing the work.

All 3 of us dont agree on everything, but having 3 minds and perspectives at times sure helps in making the right decisions. Its a tough racket regardless if you have partners or not, in my case, we have 3 sets of eyes and ears with a vested interest in the company and it works. It all depends on what each partner can bring to the table and what their roles and strenths would be.

Good luck with whatever you decide. :drinkup:

FourTrees
02-19-2009, 01:09 PM
Not is the over all message, in case no one else noticed the trend.

jg244888
02-19-2009, 04:40 PM
just a tip if you do decide to go into a partnership ALWAYS have the majority!!!!!

hondarancher4435
02-20-2009, 07:21 AM
i think it's quite clear if it's with a freind don't do it you will only have problems

Valk
02-21-2009, 12:41 PM
Manage '20' lawns yourself OR '40' with your partner...(essentially) it's the same $$$$. :hammerhead:

Yup, there are exceptions - and I hope all who have partners and are reading this are among them. :)

escient
02-27-2009, 01:46 AM
I started my business with a friend as well. While in the end, it didn't work out as partners (it's common for partnerships to fail), we have remained friends. We simply split customers, equipment, etc and moved on.

Now I will say that in the beginning, it was the ONLY way to go. We partnered because we each had a niche. He knew everyone in the community, had tons of contacts, and I had the business sense. It cost us each substantially less money to get serious and buy a lot of equipment, advertising, etc, so the risk was much more subdued as a partnership. Obviously the drawback was splitting income 50/50.

We lucked out by taking out a full page ad in the phonebook and drawing tons of business off that, which meant it didn't sting as much sharing profits, because we actually had a phenomenal first year.

It wasn't until year 4 that we split up, having netted just over $40K each for the year. Not a lavish income by any means, but to net $80K as a business in 4 years in the service industry where "everyone can do it" (or so they think) isn't so bad.

Now, after 2 full years of going it alone, I've completely replaced my business partner's share and then some.


My advice is this; If you can afford a lesser income, try the partnership first if your gut tells you to.

If you can't afford the lesser income, a partner really isn't an option, because the income simply isn't going to be what you'd like.

Just make sure you go into it with an exit strategy - preferably in writing.

hvphotog
02-27-2009, 09:59 AM
Partnering is not a bad thing by any means or standards.. make sure you have the following

who owns 51% of the business controls the business when push comes to shove, of course this is if you are a corp with shares.

a written partnership agreement by a lawyer

who controls purchasing and the check book

Duties of each partner

Spelling out what is expected and what each of you expect from the other will save alot of headaches in the end and a friendship if there is one there in the first place.

I have partnered many times and have had very good experiences with it and one bad one. Remember youíre running a business so treat it like Wal-Mart would handshakes will do no one any good.. If it is not in writing than it does not exist period.

mow2nd
02-27-2009, 10:28 PM
yea don't do it, I just seprated from my partner first of the year and all i have to say is "don't do it." we were friends for like 10 years and i never thought we'd have issues but we did..........so again my advice, DON"T DO IT!!!

hvphotog
02-27-2009, 11:53 PM
yea don't do it, I just seprated from my partner first of the year and all i have to say is "don't do it." we were friends for like 10 years and i never thought we'd have issues but we did..........so again my advice, DON"T DO IT!!!

What were the underlying issuse that brought down your partnership? giving some background on a flat do not do it will be helpful to not make the same mistakes and along with how you see it how would your x partner see it.. Care to give details?

hvphotog
02-27-2009, 11:54 PM
I think most importantly is how you are determining if you do need a partner.. what is he or she bringing to the table you do not have or you can not do?

mow2nd
02-28-2009, 12:54 AM
What were the underlying issuse that brought down your partnership? giving some background on a flat do not do it will be helpful to not make the same mistakes and along with how you see it how would your x partner see it.. Care to give details?

I guess "Trust" In all honesty I trusted my partner, but I don't think he trusted me. I'm actually the one who decided to part ways, mainly because I didn't like feeling like I wasn't trusted. Kind of like having a girlfriend who is always on your case about cheating on her. You eventually get sick and tired of hearing it. After a while I got to wondering why he was so untrusting, maybe he was the one that shouldn't be trusted. Kind of hard to explain, but something just didn't feel right.

MileHigh
02-28-2009, 12:55 AM
I hate partnerships.

FourTrees
02-28-2009, 03:45 PM
How about family partnerships, father / son or brothers?

turf&snow98
02-28-2009, 03:53 PM
[QUOTE=Valk;2788038]Manage '20' lawns yourself OR '40' with your partner...(essentially) it's the same $$$$. :hammerhead:

I think thats right on the $

hvphotog
02-28-2009, 05:35 PM
I guess "Trust" In all honesty I trusted my partner, but I don't think he trusted me. I'm actually the one who decided to part ways, mainly because I didn't like feeling like I wasn't trusted. Kind of like having a girlfriend who is always on your case about cheating on her. You eventually get sick and tired of hearing it. After a while I got to wondering why he was so untrusting, maybe he was the one that shouldn't be trusted. Kind of hard to explain, but something just didn't feel right.



Did you confront him on this issue? you stated you were friends before what type of person was he as a friend that would lead you not to trust him in business? just curious...

supercuts
03-01-2009, 01:09 PM
its tuff, it will probably help out alot in teh begining but hurt you dont the road. try and do it together until you get off your feet and figure out a way divid new accounts and equiptment so if you part you already know whose is what. did i make sense? long term though, bad idea

mow2nd
03-01-2009, 03:50 PM
Did you confront him on this issue? you stated you were friends before what type of person was he as a friend that would lead you not to trust him in business? just curious...


I trusted him, I don't think he trusted me. We had a great fall, I mean we made some good money, but in a way I kind of felt like he was trying to push me out the door. There were things like when my daughter had a birthday party I invited him and he was like can't go we gotta work. So I worked just so I didn't piss him off. Then I had a free trip to for a week, but didn't go because he wanted to work. We ran 2 crews, my crew did most the work and completed everything that was on our load. I would pick my guys up and get some breakfast. Well I guess he had somebody following me cause he confronted me about eating breakfast. He said we needed to eat before we started working, and I can understand some what. But we only stopped in for a quick bisquit. One of my guys went to work for his crew and last 2 weeks before quiting. I later called him to find out what happend and he said the guy was just not good to work with. He wouldn't go into detail. He also bought some equipment without asking me, and that rub me the wrong way. I mean it sucks, cause I thought it would of worked out, but it didn't so I'm doing my thing and he is doing his thing. I wish him well, and valued our friendship, but I don't think we'll be talking anytime soon.

hvphotog
03-01-2009, 07:10 PM
I trusted him, I don't think he trusted me. We had a great fall, I mean we made some good money, but in a way I kind of felt like he was trying to push me out the door. There were things like when my daughter had a birthday party I invited him and he was like can't go we gotta work. So I worked just so I didn't piss him off. Then I had a free trip to for a week, but didn't go because he wanted to work. We ran 2 crews, my crew did most the work and completed everything that was on our load. I would pick my guys up and get some breakfast. Well I guess he had somebody following me cause he confronted me about eating breakfast. He said we needed to eat before we started working, and I can understand some what. But we only stopped in for a quick bisquit. One of my guys went to work for his crew and last 2 weeks before quiting. I later called him to find out what happend and he said the guy was just not good to work with. He wouldn't go into detail. He also bought some equipment without asking me, and that rub me the wrong way. I mean it sucks, cause I thought it would of worked out, but it didn't so I'm doing my thing and he is doing his thing. I wish him well, and valued our friendship, but I don't think we'll be talking anytime soon.


Sounds like you had different ideas on how to run a business, not all partnerships are like yours.. I have had a couple and both went great than again we were very much alike and new what to expect from eachother...

Sorry you lost your friend over business..