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  #1  
Old 09-01-2013, 01:11 PM
TYTILIDIE TYTILIDIE is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 77
Serious Dilemma - Business and Pleasure

This is going to be long so I apologize for the extra read time.

When I first started doing this kind of work it was 1995. The company I first worked for I worked at for 8 years and I became very good friends with my boss. He was not the owner. But we saw most everything eye to eye, we grew the company by our dedication and superior efficiency. We were a very good team is my point. When I started my own company in 2004 he became pretty determined to start his own. He did just that in 2006 only he took half of our old boss's clients with him.

He started out hot and heavy and was bringing in 350 a year his first two years. I made a much slower incline, $80 my first year and add 20-40k every year since. Now we are around 250-300k. So about 3 years ago maybe 4, he started screwing up pretty bad. He lost half of his clients and didn't seem to think any of it was his fault. I didn't have the heart to tell him that not only did he give himself a reputation but he really didn't do a good job. His properties looked awful, grass quality, weeds, etc..

2 years ago, he asked me to submit a bid for a huge HOA he serviced as they were looking for other landscapers. We was servicing this place $2700/mo and he asked me to submit for $3000/mo. I did it and they chose us. The manager left me a message saying they were ready to sign my contract and I called him to tell him. So what does he do? He calls her and tells her how ****** up it is that they didn't give him any notice. So she calls me back and tells me she'll never do business with us as we are unprofessional. That is one management company that I will never do business with now.

Over the last year he seems to be bouncing back which is good. Here is where the dilemma comes in. Last February I was at the car wash. A guy approached me asking me if we service apartments. I told him of course we do and gave him a card. The apartment manager called me a couple weeks later and asked me to come by and give them a bid and assess what needs to be done. So I got their address and went by for my scheduled meeting and come to find out, it's one of my friends properties.

My stomach dropped instantly when I pulled up because I knew this was not good. My theory is this, never turn down a bid. I met with the manager and the more we walked the property the worse I felt, especially since it was left in terrible shape. Although I waited a few days because I did not want to have the conversation, I called my friend and told that they asked us for a bid. I even bid it high. He was doing it for $850/month and I submit mine (bare bones btw) for $1100. So he got all pissed off and started saying how messed up it was that they even wanted other bids. He knew he was going to lose it a month or two prior and had told me about it.

So in April we were talking over lunch and he was telling me how he is tired of being back stabbed by his family and some of his friends. I ask him what I did and he says nothing but then goes on to say that it was kind of like sleeping with the ex girlfriend when I took over the apartments. I told him I could see his point if I approached them but that is not how it happened. I think at that point he lost trust in me. So a month later he asks me if I can help him get his QS (license for applicators) and reluctantly I tell him yes.

This is a guy who expects everyone to serve him but when you need help he is always too busy. That is the ONLY reason why I didn't really want to do it. So the deal is he helps me spray all of my properties for free and I let him work under my license until he takes his test in the spring.

Now things have changed. He calls me last week and tells me that the apartments called him up and want him back. Right away I don't believe it since his guys left all their pruning debris behind the shrubs instead of taking them off the property. Things like that, this place looks better than it has in about 5 years. So he tells me he doesn't want it to piss me off and come between our friendship but thought I should know what was going on.

A few days later one of my guys tells me that someone tried to steal the backflow but were unsuccessful. I went to show the manager and give her a price on a cage for it. Almost immediately she starts telling me that he has been in there 3 times in one month trying to get her to use his company again. SHe wanted to assure me that she likes working with us and appreciates the good relationship we have. She also told me that he is getting to the point where she wants to ask him to please not come back.

I am not sure what to believe and that may be beside the point. My dilemma is this, is this person still a friend? Was I in the wrong for submitting a bid? What should I do, keep helping him get his license or tell him I changed my mind? Or should I just keep doing what I do, help him out, maintain my properties and just not tell him anything anymore? I noticed that when I tell him anything about any leads that I get he seems to somehow show up in the same place almost every time.

What to do??
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2013, 01:18 PM
easy-lift guy's Avatar
easy-lift guy easy-lift guy is offline
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Cut your losses, end all ties with this person and move forward. You are pretty much ready to have a fork stuck in you if you don't.
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2013, 02:02 PM
seabee24 seabee24 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 619
Yeah. I'd say hey. We can be fishing buddies but no talk of business. You will bid the leads that come your way however you see fit. Your not targeting his account and if you didn't get it, they would have given it to someone else anyway. He already lost it the moment they started asking for other bidders
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  #4  
Old 09-01-2013, 02:25 PM
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KrayzKajun KrayzKajun is online now
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Business is business. Plain and simple. Cut ties with him.
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2013, 03:14 PM
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nashlawn01 nashlawn01 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Southwest VA
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Serious Dilemma - Business and Pleasure

I won't go bid a property I know my friends have BUT if they call me then they are looking so I will. That's business. If he don't like it F him and move on
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2013, 03:26 PM
Stars & Stripes Landscaping Stars & Stripes Landscaping is offline
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Location: CT
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I guess what you need to do is ask yourself this.... Is your business responsible for his success? Do you make money off him treating you in this manor?


I'm in a similar boat, I am very very good friends with 3 very successful landscaping companies here in my town. There will come a time when we will bid against one and other - in fact it is happening right now. I was the one who approached him and stated I hope that it doesn't bring any hard feelings, his response "Business is business and I leave my friendships off the properties I maintain. If the customer feels you're a better fit then me, then so be it. It's not the first account I don't it, and it won't be the last - good luck, let me know if you need any help."


That's a friend. Personally I'd cut your ties with that person because they're only holding up your business.
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2013, 03:45 PM
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jsslawncare jsslawncare is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: North Georgia
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Serious Dilemma - Business and Pleasure

Make new friends and move on.
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  #8  
Old 09-01-2013, 03:57 PM
Chuck Norris Chuck Norris is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by TYTILIDIE View Post
This is going to be long so I apologize for the extra read time.

When I first started doing this kind of work it was 1995. The company I first worked for I worked at for 8 years and I became very good friends with my boss. He was not the owner. But we saw most everything eye to eye, we grew the company by our dedication and superior efficiency. We were a very good team is my point. When I started my own company in 2004 he became pretty determined to start his own. He did just that in 2006 only he took half of our old boss's clients with him.

He started out hot and heavy and was bringing in 350 a year his first two years. I made a much slower incline, $80 my first year and add 20-40k every year since. Now we are around 250-300k. So about 3 years ago maybe 4, he started screwing up pretty bad. He lost half of his clients and didn't seem to think any of it was his fault. I didn't have the heart to tell him that not only did he give himself a reputation but he really didn't do a good job. His properties looked awful, grass quality, weeds, etc..

2 years ago, he asked me to submit a bid for a huge HOA he serviced as they were looking for other landscapers. We was servicing this place $2700/mo and he asked me to submit for $3000/mo. I did it and they chose us. The manager left me a message saying they were ready to sign my contract and I called him to tell him. So what does he do? He calls her and tells her how ****** up it is that they didn't give him any notice. So she calls me back and tells me she'll never do business with us as we are unprofessional. That is one management company that I will never do business with now.

Over the last year he seems to be bouncing back which is good. Here is where the dilemma comes in. Last February I was at the car wash. A guy approached me asking me if we service apartments. I told him of course we do and gave him a card. The apartment manager called me a couple weeks later and asked me to come by and give them a bid and assess what needs to be done. So I got their address and went by for my scheduled meeting and come to find out, it's one of my friends properties.

My stomach dropped instantly when I pulled up because I knew this was not good. My theory is this, never turn down a bid. I met with the manager and the more we walked the property the worse I felt, especially since it was left in terrible shape. Although I waited a few days because I did not want to have the conversation, I called my friend and told that they asked us for a bid. I even bid it high. He was doing it for $850/month and I submit mine (bare bones btw) for $1100. So he got all pissed off and started saying how messed up it was that they even wanted other bids. He knew he was going to lose it a month or two prior and had told me about it.

So in April we were talking over lunch and he was telling me how he is tired of being back stabbed by his family and some of his friends. I ask him what I did and he says nothing but then goes on to say that it was kind of like sleeping with the ex girlfriend when I took over the apartments. I told him I could see his point if I approached them but that is not how it happened. I think at that point he lost trust in me. So a month later he asks me if I can help him get his QS (license for applicators) and reluctantly I tell him yes.

This is a guy who expects everyone to serve him but when you need help he is always too busy. That is the ONLY reason why I didn't really want to do it. So the deal is he helps me spray all of my properties for free and I let him work under my license until he takes his test in the spring.

Now things have changed. He calls me last week and tells me that the apartments called him up and want him back. Right away I don't believe it since his guys left all their pruning debris behind the shrubs instead of taking them off the property. Things like that, this place looks better than it has in about 5 years. So he tells me he doesn't want it to piss me off and come between our friendship but thought I should know what was going on.

A few days later one of my guys tells me that someone tried to steal the backflow but were unsuccessful. I went to show the manager and give her a price on a cage for it. Almost immediately she starts telling me that he has been in there 3 times in one month trying to get her to use his company again. SHe wanted to assure me that she likes working with us and appreciates the good relationship we have. She also told me that he is getting to the point where she wants to ask him to please not come back.

I am not sure what to believe and that may be beside the point. My dilemma is this, is this person still a friend? Was I in the wrong for submitting a bid? What should I do, keep helping him get his license or tell him I changed my mind? Or should I just keep doing what I do, help him out, maintain my properties and just not tell him anything anymore? I noticed that when I tell him anything about any leads that I get he seems to somehow show up in the same place almost every time.

What to do??
Business is business man. You weren't the one that went to them. They came to you and you placed your bid and they picked you and there is nothing that you can do other than cut your loss with your "so called friend". If he was really a friend, then he wouldn't be messing with your emotions like he is doing. You do and do for your friend but what has he done for you? Other than becoming a headache to you and your business.
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  #9  
Old 09-01-2013, 04:10 PM
djagusch djagusch is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: MN
Posts: 3,440
I don't bid on other buddies accounts unless the account approaches me. I tell the buddy and its fair game. I have been called by buddies saying his account is going out to bid and I might as well put a bid in. Rather lose it to a buddy then somebody unknown.

You didn't do anything wrong. I wouldn't cut the relationship, just don't give much info/time helping him.
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  #10  
Old 09-01-2013, 04:15 PM
Bryan27 Bryan27 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 145
I have a strong suspicion that you are about to get back-stabbed. Friends are friends, business is business and the two are tough to mix. You seem to be a much better friend to him than he is to you, seems his friendship towards you is based on what you can do for him. I think that when he burned the bridge between you and the HOA for a $3000/month account, he would have been on the other side of that burned bridge as well.
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