Register free!
Search
 
     

The Green Industry's Resource Center


Click for Weather
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-09-2005, 10:38 PM
Oasis1 Oasis1 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Illinois
Posts: 22
Partner Trouble

I've been running my own lawn care business for 3 years now and I'm running into a problem with someone. This is more of a moral question but I'm sure some of you have been there before. My best friend has been helping me for the past two years now part time and I also do it part time. Now he thinks he's my business partner. Next year I plan on going full time and doing it by myself. He has not contributed any money to any part of the company.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-09-2005, 11:10 PM
Runner's Avatar
Runner Runner is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Flint, Michigan
Posts: 13,494
Who pays the bills? Who foots for gas? Who's name is on things? Who has the insurance? Ok, this last one may be a bit beyond the stage you're at. In a legit set of of circumstances, this never comes up.
__________________
Joe

Thank you, Dad - for always being the dad that you were. You truly are my hero. You always were.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-09-2005, 11:11 PM
Green-Pro's Avatar
Green-Pro Green-Pro is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Hawkeye country
Posts: 1,421
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oasis1
I've been running my own lawn care business for 3 years now and I'm running into a problem with someone. This is more of a moral question but I'm sure some of you have been there before. My best friend has been helping me for the past two years now part time and I also do it part time. Now he thinks he's my business partner. Next year I plan on going full time and doing it by myself. He has not contributed any money to any part of the company.
If this sounds blunt sorry but needs to be said. If you are thinking of going full time, legit and everything that entails then you need to step up to the plate and spell out for your friend how this is going to work, that he is not going to be a partner. If everything a person had to do were the easy road the end results would probably not be quite as satisfying.

Anyway, on a side note how did he get this idea? Has he been misled, intentionally or unintentionally?

-Geoff
__________________
What we've got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach, so you get what we had here last week which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. And I don't like it any more than you men. :Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Last edited by Green-Pro; 08-09-2005 at 11:16 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-10-2005, 03:36 AM
bigjeeping's Avatar
bigjeeping bigjeeping is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 900
same thing here.. ditch the b*tch

This is my first summer doing lawn care, but I've been doing snow removal the past two winters. Well, last fall my best friend from grade school comes home from West Point and worked with my through the winter - helping me advertise, quote jobs, customer relations. We split everything 50/50, from income to expenses. But I still felt like when it came down to all the little things... I WAS DOING MORE WORK. Doing the billing software, sending out bills, keeping tedious records, answering phone calls, banking, etc.

Here's my opinion. You need a boss.. someone needs to be the one who makes the final call. We ran into problems where he would do one thing and I would completely disagree with it. He made some huge mistakes which costs us time and money during the prime snow clearing hours. One time one of our clients came out and asked my "partner" if we could go around and clear off her deck.. Well he immediatly said yes, without looking at the deck or anything! Turns out the deck hadn't had any snow cleared off it all winter and was 3 feet high... AND THE DECK WAS MORE LIKE A CRUISE BOAT. I was pissed.. I NEVER WORK FOR FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The story continues... come spring my "partner" thought he owned half my business and was going to be doing lawn care with me and receiving 50/50. This is when I told him about all the mistakes he made and that one person must be in charge or making the final decisions. He was pretty upset and ended up starting his own lawn care company.. which needless to say is ridiculous. (he runs a lawn tractor for crying out loud).. I think he's mowing 18 yards a week, doesn't compare to my 60
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-10-2005, 07:17 AM
skurkp's Avatar
skurkp skurkp is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 248
In your first post you stated that your friend did not help with any of the expenses and in your next post you stated that you split everything 50/50.

Maybe you let him feel that by splitting everything 50/50 he was your partner.

If you are not wanting this type of problems you should inform your friend that you will pay him for work done and he does nothing to get the work or pay for supplies. This way you are the one responsible and he is just working for pay. There will be a clear understanding.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-10-2005, 08:32 AM
marionlandscape's Avatar
marionlandscape marionlandscape is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Marion Ohio
Posts: 93
contributing all the money does not automatically make you sole owner. If you did not define this earlier how would he know he is not a partner? There are many other valuable contributions that can be made by a partner. I gather you are thinking of taking all of the clients and marching to your own beat. That is all fine but is one of your partners contributions finding clients?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-10-2005, 09:18 AM
BGL BGL is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: metro atlanta
Posts: 4
i was just there caught up in the same situation. this was something you started and had plans for. you did all the home, you fronted all the money, you went out and got customers. then your best friend realizes that you actually did start a good thing and all the sudden wants to jump on the wagon wheel with you. you need to be straight foward with him. you know just say hey buddy this is something i really want and have both been working working very hard for, but this is my thing. i don't know if you still want him to work for you, but if you do then make it clear that you want him to work for you and not with you. partnerships only cause more problems. keep it simple and to yourself.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-10-2005, 01:12 PM
LandscapeSolutions's Avatar
LandscapeSolutions LandscapeSolutions is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Manhattan, Kansas
Posts: 59
I too had a very similar problem. I had my best friend working with me after I had grown my business to a very respectable size. I told him back then that if he works out then *maybe* he can be my partner down the road. Apparently it all went through his ears because he wanted to always to be in business decisions 50/50 with me. I got sick of it and bluntly told him he IS NOT my partner. I went on to tell him that legally that if he tried to claim himself as my partner it would not hold up in court.

My advice is to NOT have your best friends working with you. It only causes problems. Now if he thinks he is your partner, he is fooled. Usually a partnership is legally documented and not just verbally. You'd want to see a lawyer to form a partnership.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-10-2005, 03:37 PM
Tn Lawn Man's Avatar
Tn Lawn Man Tn Lawn Man is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Transition Zone - Fescue & Bermuda
Posts: 480
Limitations and Boundaries

You always set these BEFORE anything else.

1. NEVER NEVER NEVER and I repeat NEVER tell any of your friends the money side of your business. If they want to work FOR you and not WITH you then you pay them a wage. NEVER A CUT!!!

2. Make sure they know 1st and foremost that they work FOR you and not WITH you.

3. YOU do the bidding. YOU do the customer relations. YOU do the invoicing etc.... NOT THEM

4. YOUR name is on the business license, insurance, bank account etc.... NOT THEIRS

5. ALWAYS use YOUR equipment and not theirs. If they bring something of value to work, like a mower, trimmer or truck, they will feel like an equal and expect to be treated as such.


My guess is that you have violated one or more of the above rules. If so, politely (to preserve your friendship) change the way you are conducting things and he will get the hint.

For example, if he wants to talk to a customer about pricing or something a boss should do, just gently tell him that you prefer to handle those situations. If he volunteers to go bid on a new property, tell him that you will handle it. Politely, tell him what time you would like him to "report" to work the following day, don't ask him something like "What time do you want to start things out tomorrow?".

You get the point.

I have never had "partner" problems but I have had friends and aquaintenances work for me before.

I don't anymore.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-10-2005, 04:17 PM
Shadygrove's Avatar
Shadygrove Shadygrove is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lincoln NE
Posts: 26
Any one who has studied business knows the key word is risk. The person who wants to work his way into a partnership is not assuming any of the risk
If the business were to fail tommorrow, who loses what? The person who has invested his capital as well as his effort will lose everything. The person who has only invested his time and effort will only lose his job!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:11 PM.

Page generated in 0.13792 seconds with 7 queries