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Old 04-13-2005, 10:19 PM
Dixie Pro Lawn Care's Avatar
Dixie Pro Lawn Care Dixie Pro Lawn Care is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Rineyville, Ky
Posts: 29
Any way to help everyone out?

Well, my in-laws have a proposition for me. Since my mother-in-law isn't gonna be mowing for a contractor on Ft.Knox this year she decided to work for herself, so to speak. They are running a little tight financially and will not be able to buy the equipment themselves. I could probably co-sign for them but would rather not unless there is no other choice.

They proposed using my new xt3200 and probably my blower (they have everything else) so they could start getting accounts now, rather than late June or early July when I get medically discharged out of the Air Force, well into mowing season. They are going to compensate me for using my equipment is what they mentioned.

Here are my goals. I want this business to be mine. I do realize I would be starting in the middle of the season and would like a jump start for the business. Is there some way to meet my goals, maintain control of the business, and make money for everyone? I'm trying to figure out how to fairly help everyone, including the business.

One place I feel uncomfortable about is that my father-in-law wants to keep it to mow,trim, and blow type of business while I believe going further than that. That's the only philosophical difference I know of on business. He would rather keep it very simple so to speak. Reason I know this is that he suggested I do that. I'm not gonna run out and get employees but want to offer more services than that. At least what I CAN do until, if I decide to, get an applicators license.

My father-in-law can fix anything on a DC and can mow, etc. My mother-in-law can run a DC like nobody's business. That is valuable experience to me and it would be a shame to let experience from these two go to waste. Is there a way to mesh my goals and meet theirs and my needs? How should the profit be split before I get out, and then how after I get out and can physically help. (I do go down to Ky and mow on the weekends ) I want to keep this as simple as possible and I am looking to everyone's experience for suggestions on how to make this work. I can trust these people, that's not an issue. How do I make it fair on the profits etc.?
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Old 04-13-2005, 11:41 PM
gunner27's Avatar
gunner27 gunner27 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: ohio
Posts: 243
Run away as fast as you can. Probably not what you want to hear, but just my opinion.
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Old 04-14-2005, 12:07 AM
capitallandscapes capitallandscapes is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Kansas City Area
Posts: 28
I agree. Sounds like trouble. If you do decide to go with it, make sure every detail is addressed before starting. Partnership agreements are always a good idea, no matter who you are dealing with. As for the profits, who is putting up the $, who is doing the labor, who is getting accounts? Who ever is putting up the money has the most risk, therefore should recieve a larger share of the profits. Again, I have heard a lot of scary stories about partnerships. Usually people go into business with friends or relatives and end up hating each other.

My opinion: You buy the equipment and have them work for you. Pay them % on what they get done or pay them hourly. However you do it, make sure everyones role is clear so there is no conflict.
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Old 04-14-2005, 12:15 AM
MMLawn's Avatar
MMLawn MMLawn is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Winchestertonfieldville
Posts: 3,574
You're not going to listen.....but Family, Business and Money NEVER work out! Period end of story!
"There are no stupid questions.....but there are stupid People that ask them"

A friend of mine has a trophy wife……..apparently she wasn’t 1st place though

...Amateurs built the Ark but professionals built the Titanic...

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Old 04-14-2005, 12:32 AM
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dvmcmrhp52 dvmcmrhp52 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Pa.
Posts: 4,209
Agreed, Agreed, Agreed.
Particularly with the in-laws.............
Allowing them to use your equipment until your return is one thing, however I don't think the rest of it is a grand idea..........
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Old 04-14-2005, 11:45 AM
Dixie Pro Lawn Care's Avatar
Dixie Pro Lawn Care Dixie Pro Lawn Care is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Rineyville, Ky
Posts: 29
I definitely have the same concerns and would get it in writing. They bring DC maintenance and mowing experience to the table and I bought the mower, trailer, and the blower they will be using, they have all the other equipment. It will not be a partnership and they will understand that or it will not happen. It will be my business, with my business name and my equipment. My father-in-law is a great and proven salesman also and he would be the one bidding on accounts and possibly doing some labor too. My mother-in-law has ridden DC's for years. They bring a lot of valuable experience and expertise to the table.

First, until I get out, if this ends up working out, I wonder what percentage of the business NET (after fuel and other consumables) profit they should get and how much to give back to the business for maintenance (mainly just parts) because the father-in-law will do the labor. What would be fair to them, the business and myself?

Second, AFTER I get out, and I can supply labor too what would be fair to pay them, the business, and myself? Again they will have responsibilities like a partnership, but be employees. Starting out with no accounts right now I was thinking of doing it percentage wise instead of paying them hourly.

Starting in the middle of a season (June-July) when I get out would be harder and this might be somewhat of a solution.

With this info do you have any suggestions on profit dispersement?
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