Biz Partners?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by DVS Hardscaper, May 4, 2014.

  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    I just can't grasp the concept of having a business partner in this industry. I never could.

    And I can't understand why someone would partner with someone who's previous partnership fell to pieces. If you can't make it with your first partner, and can't make it on your own - then the hardscape business IS NOT for you. Or am I wrong?

    It's identical to a personal marriage, and the divorce rate in this country is high.

    Your thoughts, experiences, observations?
     
  2. Red Shed Landscaping

    Red Shed Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 182

    Hearing of a good partnership is rare for in any industry. This is something I think about from time to time and how can anyone make it work. I just heard a restaurant partnership is splitting up in our town.

    I just don't see how it can work or it does work for a few years and then someone wants to drastically change the business to where they are at "irreconcilable differences".

    My brother-in-law also went to school for landscaping and thought for a second that we should work together and since we live in the same town but I could never work with him as a partner since his style is so much different than mine. He does the mowing, fertilizing and spraying and I just do hardscapes so our business don't interfere and wasn't even planned that way.
     
  3. Whittaker's Lawn and Snow

    Whittaker's Lawn and Snow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 115

    I think there are good partnerships that arent partnerships... I work for a guy, and for my self. This guy hired me last year to just run his extra mower to.cut his time.in half... what a first impression I madee.. slept in and he was waiting 2 hours for me... I thought great this is my.first and last day.. but he gave me a second chance. And now today we are partners buy of our own businesses. We still work for eachother when needed.. but what happened was he was trying get out of the game and I slowly started to take over a few of his clients plus I picked up my own. So now we each have 20-30 clients. And if we cant get them all done we call one another and some one gets its done... its a partnership between 2 companies.. we considered partnering with his business but he still wants to.slowly get out of it and this way was cheaper. So yes I do thinknthere are good partnerships!
     
  4. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,629

    So let me understand.....

    what you are saying is if you can't make it with a partner and not on your own then its obvious that hardscaping is "not for you".

    I would say that is correct.

    In my case, I did start up as a partnership in 87' and 88', he bailed and I continued on. And its working just fine.
     
  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    Some people are not meant to be in business. And the way the work is they prey on others, to partner with them. "Hey I need a truck and trailer, but can't do it on my own,
    so I gotta ask Bob if he wants to join me in business so I can get this truck". bob can handle the maintenance since he has his applicators license, and I'll do all the Hardscape side of things". Partnerships seldom ever ever work. Two different visions.
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  6. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,829

    You can't win a war when everyone's a general
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,357

    Too many chefs spoil the soup....
     
  8. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,112

    I agree. I had a partner many years ago and it was a disaster. Partnerships are a dangerous thing because businesses are so dynamic- meaning- they are always changing and evolving to meet the needs of growth. You will never see eye to eye with a partner when key decisions need to be made from time to time to adapt.

    An investor is a completely different ball of wax. They are a partner with a vested interest in the business, but no real say for day to day operations. If you are going to have a "partnership", this is the way to go.
     
  9. wurkn with amish

    wurkn with amish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 662

    Til the investor pulls out because the company isn't profitable enough...... Happened to a good friend of mine.
    I had a partner, we split within a month of business and lost a good friendship.
     
  10. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Posts: 7,602

    Business minded entrepreneurs are seldom excellent production managers.

    Sometimes a good production specialist is so hard to find and too costly to just simply hire, especially when just growing.

    I have never seen a 50/50 partnership work.

    But lets say the COO has a 50% ownership of his company.
    His maintenance division manager has a 20% ownership, His Hardscape Division Manager has 20% ownership and special projects and gardening has 10% ownership.

    All the production chiefs have a vested interest in profitability and long term growth and don't simply collect paycheck, they are 'owners' so can get perks like company cell, truck for personal and business use, etc etc.
    So they don't need to pull as big of a paycheck either.
    I have seen these situations work as well, because it also lends its self to your key people staying n place for the long haul.

    The Entrepreneur a majority control, but if he's doing something stupid for all of the divisions, the three others come together on an equal share of ownership, so although its still 50/50…its' three agreeing against one.
    These situations usually come to light quickly and are resolved easily.

    Daily decisions made by the 50% owner, Long term directions decided by all the owners, production guys get to focus on their staff and jobs on a daily basis without being burdened by office drib drab.

    The start up situation like being expressed "I need a partner to get a truck, so you will do" Lol Ive never seen that get past year one, if ever off the ground.

    Ive been pitched that offer many times in the last several years.
    "hey you have stuff and I have ideas"
    Also lots of people trying to hire me "together we can be bigger"
    You mean you don't want to pay for experience, knowledge or consultation and want to ride someone's back while you raid the piggy bank?

    ahhh no.
     

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