View Full Version : Does this seem weird?

09-11-2002, 08:26 PM
Does this seem weird?

I own a small lawn and landscaping company. We do around 30 to 40 residential landscape installations a year... This is in addition to the lawn care.

My in-laws (wife's parents) build about 15 high-end custom homes a year. We provide lawn care at their model home at a regular rate and at their personal home for free (not for cost, for $0)

I get a call from my mother-in-law telling me that she does not want to cause raised eye-brows but their personal house that they just moved into was just landscaped. She said that her husband (my father-in-law) knows a landscaping company that will do their house for free in exchange for all the other future landscape installations.

How would you guys handle this one?

Bunton Guy
09-11-2002, 09:15 PM
Tell them you will mow there house for free if they give you all the landscape jobs for the rest of the year. Make them sign a agreement nothing to serious just something to stop them from doing you wrong. Family or not people in general can screw yah.

AL Inc
09-11-2002, 09:49 PM
I have found that it is always better not to work for family or friends. This may be a good opportunity for you to step away and keep your business and personal life separate. Good luck. Mike

09-11-2002, 10:34 PM
I like that advice Bunton Guy... Yet am sure there are a lot of families where it works good.. Wonder if more work good rather than less?

09-12-2002, 07:21 AM
Maybe you could point out that the landscape company will have expenses from doing this that they expect to more than recoup somehow from these upcoming jobs. Why be locked into paying a higher price and giving exclusive rights when they already have free mowing. Just for her own self centered reasons this makes no sense. If she were a good person, she should at least give you a shot at landscaping a house or two to see how it goes.

John Gamba
09-12-2002, 07:55 AM
Keep What Al Inc. Said Close To Your Heart. They Are showing You They Are All BUISNESS.


09-12-2002, 08:26 AM
I just turned down a $3000 install for a neighbor...hard thing to do but in my first year I have to agree with what ALINC said...working for friends, relatives (and I add neighbors to this)...in 75% of my experience with these 3 types, it has been a hassle...remember the expression "familiarity breeds contempt" ?....its true...they will say and do things to you that a stranger would not...

09-12-2002, 09:38 AM
It's hard for me to turn down work, but I've found it best for me to not do neighbors, freinds or family. Something about this move on your in-laws part seems strange. It may be a sign for you to move on.

09-12-2002, 02:21 PM
At the very least it has always been a strange relationship anyway..... My wife thinks it's weird too... Will just let it go and move on and when we're looking to build another custom home tell them we found someone to do it cheaper!

John Gamba
09-12-2002, 03:11 PM
There you Go!
Good Luck John.

09-13-2002, 09:04 AM
Living where I live and knowing the people I know, if I knocked out friends and relatives I'd kill a healthy chunk of business. Most understand that business is business and as long as you're reasonable will deal well with you. Now the deal with the in-laws is silly on their part. How many parents would turn on their kid like that? Try doing what you'd do with any lost account. Have a face to face and see what you could do to swing them back your way. If it doesn't work out part nicely and move on. Boy, is x-mas gonna be interesting this year.:)

The Mowerdude
09-13-2002, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by Nebraska
At the very least it has always been a strange relationship anyway..... My wife thinks it's weird too... Will just let it go and move on and when we're looking to build another custom home tell them we found someone to do it cheaper!

I'm with you on the "looking to build another custom home...." idea. What goes around comes around.

Just one question, and I don't mean to sound arguementative, but your quality is good, isn't it?

I would think that the only time my family chose to use an outsider over my service is that my quality is less than acceptable and they don't have the stones to tell me. If I needed to improve my quality and they didn't tell me, how could I know that? But then, if we're not family and we can't talk to each other, there must be a lot bigger problem there.

Now, in my family, I've got cousins, uncles, aunts etc that don't send any business my way, and I darn sure won't send any their way. That's because too many members of my family are jealous and competitive and way too afraid that I'm going to succeed after they told all their friends for years what a worthless deadbeat I am.

I'm really sorry to hear that your kin would do you this way. It hurts. I guess family values sure aren't what they used to be.

BTW, anyone ever have any dealings with Jewish folks? You will NEVER EVER see them doing each other this way. With them, if it aint family, it aint nothing. They would die before they let family go through any problems that they themselves couldn't help with. I think we could all learn a lesson.