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business merger

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by shorty7616, Jul 15, 2001.

  1. shorty7616

    shorty7616 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    Me and a good friend of mine are both in this fine business. We will be going to college in a few weeks. We won't be going far from home (just far enough to have fun), about an hour from where we work now. The help we have now will not be available to us when we all go off to college. So, our wonderful business minds have decided to merge our current companies and equipment and work together. We know that this would speed up our current lawns and hope to add about 20 more to our list.

    What do we need to look at while merging?
    Do we need any legal help?
    What she we be careful about?
    Anything else?

    Thanks for your input!
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    shorty1676 wrote:
    We know that this would speed up our current lawns and hope to add about 20 more to our list.

    Actually the opposite is true. If it takes 1 person 1 hour to do a lawn (we're talking quality work, not a slam through job) adding a second person only reduces the time spent on the job by 33% so it will take 2 people 40 minutes.

    Now you add a second job to the day and it takes 2 of you 40 minutes to complete it. You think to yourself "Now we've completed 2 jobs in 80 minutes as opposed to completeing 2 jobs in 120 minutes if we work seperately". Not! It has actually taken you 160 minutes to complete the same work that can be accomplished in 120 minutes if you work seperately.

    This is because of the way work is allocated and the fact that it usually takes longer to mow grass than it does to trim grass. Also it's rare that you will find 2 people that work at the exact same pace with the exception of people working on assembly lines.

    Usually when 2 people show up on a job one person grabs a trimmer and the other person grabs a mower. When the person with the trimmer gets done he/she then gets a mower and helps finish out the mowing. That's where the extra time comes from.

    I guess it would be possible to reduce the time spent with 2 people to somewhere near 30 to 35 minutes if they both do the mowing or trimming first (whichever your preference is) and then both do the trimming or mowing last. This is assuming that both people trim and cut grass at the same pace.
  3. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    martin is bang on. i also feel two people can't do double the work in the same amount of time.

    this is less true if the props are larger. with big lawns you probably could get close to double speed. the smaller the lawns, the more driving. having two guys driving in a truck is more expensive than having one guy driving-driving is downtime.

    obviously a two man crew is still profitable. and there are other gains, since working solo can be tough mentally. with two guys they can push each other.

    We run in crews of two, and although my margins may be less than if i ran one man crews you can obviously make it up in voulume.
  4. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    Number 1 thing to be careful about is losing a good friend. The best ways to lose a good friend is to lone them money, or go into business with them and this sort of involves both.

    Going into business with another guy is like being married. You get along fine before this marriage, but afterwards, things seem to change if you both don't work on avoiding this happening. :(

    Make sure you two agree on everything and talk about all major decissions that are to be made. You might want to have a lawyer or at least put something in writing in case you two ever split up, saying who gets what, sort of like a prenuptual agreement. Update this often.

    I agree with the above posts saying you won't double your production over an 8 hour period, but it should be fairly close. It only takes one truck and trailer for this operation, so it will cut down some costs this way.

    Good luck and I hope it works out good for both of you. :)
  5. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    There will be time savings ........ more time to provide more quality service n detail ..... yes true ...... more productive ........ well maybe ...... if both are equal ....... if that's the ONLY Question

    But the real ?? should be ...... are you willing to split $$$ ... provide equal time to the business ... accept the other person's input as equal ...... I'm in a "corporate partnership" an I swear I was making MORE $$ when solo (but then again I did ALL the work and was physically exhausted with NO end in sight, No opportunity to take time off and NO room to Grow)..... but this works for me as the size of operation would be "stress-full" for one person .... to make all the decisions .... as well as over look daily operations & book work

    There a many positive benefits ..... as well as head knocking ...... you need to really ask your self what you want ....... is this short term or long term ..... will I be cutting grass in 5 years or running a business ....

    This is a HUGE decision ..... NOT easy to change once completed ...... a real test of friendship ..... as well as your own ability to accept critizism, maintain a cool head on all issues related to TWO people making ONE decision which affects BOTH people

    Good Luck ;->
  6. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 876

    On the days that I have someone working for me we split the work as described above (cutting & trimming, blowing) on single property stops. If we have 2 properties at one stop we each grab a mower and each cut and trim one property. The first one done trimming will grab a blower and usually blow both places while the other gasses up, refills trimmer line, etc. If there are 3 properties, one guy will cut 1 and then trim all while the other cuts 2 and will most likely blow walks and street. This has cut my time nearly in half (from solo) and keeps the boredom away by doing different things.

  7. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,144

    In my area homes are very tightly landscaped.... By hiring an employee this year I have gone from mowing 4 days a week to 2. My guy edges and trims while i mow and we usually finish at the same time then both grab a back pack and blow off.
  8. ok, i am not sure how much work either of you does now, for the lawns or the sides or whatever. however are you willing to do two times as much work as you do now for the same amount of money? because if you do 30 lawns now same price as your friend's dollar for dollar, granted you do 2 times as much business, however now you get to split that 2 ways, and you are back at square one again. only good thing i would see about this is the point that neither of you would have to buy your own equipment, whatever you buy would hopefully only have to be purchased once to cover 1 company. instead of both of you guys each spending money on the same thing for 2 companies. but hey, you do whatever you want. i had a partner there for the same exact reason, didnt even last 3 months.

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