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business opp-plz read and comment

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by stevo22, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. stevo22

    stevo22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 344

    heres the deal with some backgrounf to begin...i started cutting 4 yrs ago, this will be my 5th yr..started with a few yards now have around 25-30..i have a 60 hustler super z, bought 7/05, gravely pro36, all good two cycle stuff..i have no problem cutting 8-16 yards a day, but i have never really gotten things off the ground and added a ton more yards where i needed to hire someone and even think of expanding...

    next door neighbor has been in the industry maybe 4-7yrs, not sure...mostly cuts and few small installs, shrubs, few leaf jobs, i guess mostly smaller add on services for his customers..client base is about 50-60..52 super mini z, walker diesel, couple of toro walkbehinds, all the two cycle stuff..

    here is the situation..he has been doing work for a good size builder...almost everything involved with erosion control-the black screen fencing that goes in in the beginning stages of a neighborhood, small retention pond areas, grading the lots, final grade on the lots, debri cleanup in four stages, street scraping...the builder wants him to start sodding all houses..he also cuts about 40 of the builder homes...landscaping for each home is not done by him, not any money in it...he started working w/ this builder about mid summer lst yr...just from the grass cutting the rough numbers that i come up with is about $82-95k just from cutting, with no add on services...he says that he gets add ons from about half of the 50-60 regular customers...builder houses are cut every week as well...

    we spend alot of time talking about business etc and i have brought up on several occasions about us joining together, as recent as this past sunday evening...well, he knocked on the door tonight and i went to his house...from what i can gather the builder is offering a huge amount of additional work that he says that he cannot do unless he gets help on the grass cutting end...we did not talk $$$, he mainly wanted to know if he can count on me to start covering the grass cutting end so that he can expand on the earth moving end...that is how i interpreted the conversation...so i told him to come up with some numbers about $$$, logistics, etc...i told him point blank that if he is asking whether or not i could cover 100+ houses a week that he can tell the builder that he is in...

    i know that there are alot of variables not covered and that will come up, which we both agreed, but i suggested that after he decides on some $$$ figures that we can sit down and talk about where we go from here...i said that if we can come to terms that we should give it a month or two to see if things are going well then talk about me joining his LLC and then put some serious growth plans in place...

    i guess what i am looking for from some of you is: have you ever been in this situation and what suggestions do you have on this...without writing 4 pages of text i have tried to put the nuts and bolts on this...more to come i hope...thx for any help in advance..
  2. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Been there, and all I can say is don't get your hopes up till the ### are in writing and you have a contract to get paid. Good luck hope it works
  3. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    Thats about the size of it.
  4. jcthorne

    jcthorne LawnSite Member
    Posts: 208

    Only time you need a partner is to eat a bucket of chicken.
  5. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    rather then partnering with him, get a subcontractor agreement so you can aviod the partnership hassles...
  6. lawnrangeralaska

    lawnrangeralaska LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 436

    Stay a subcontractor and maybe you will steal his 100+ accounts because he is too busy playing in the mud.
  7. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    LOL..playing in the dirt
  8. jpmako

    jpmako LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 593

    I agree with most. If it were me in your situation I would rather have him hire my company to maintain these houses maybe at a discounted rate. After all if you mow all of these lawns for him you wont have to advertize, or waste your time on estimates.
    I would not go partners

  9. stevo22

    stevo22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 344

    alright, let me rephrase my question re this...for any of you that have joined with another co waht were your reasons, what were you mainly focused in before the merge, ie yard mtx and merged with a landscaper vice versa...

    i anticipate that it will be some srt of sub type of deal in the beginning but there is a good potential on this with him having some big equipment alreaddy in place for landscaping...i had always planned on building a large yard mtx operation then getting alot more into design and install work...if all the numbers look good i cannot see anything that could stand in our way..

    like i said if you can comment on the questions in the post plz feel free...there is absolutely no way that i will try to steal his 100 accounts...thats just dumb whoever said it...

    jcthorne, i've got your bucket of chicken!!post a smart answer and you'll get a smart remark right back..
  10. Mudmower

    Mudmower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    How well do you know this guy OUTSIDE of Business??? Does he do things like you (equipment maint., truck maint., employee interaction)? The thing about going in business together is to remember, someone has to be the final decision maker.

    I partnered with someone in another line of business, and his VERY FIRST idea was for us to decide on a lawyer we both could live with. Then go and talk over why we were partnering, and what we both brought to the table, and how we planned to make things work. The Lawyer then wrote up a plan, with legal binding clauses, and we (myself and other gentleman) had final approval. We ended up drafting three differant plans before we agreed on one. The Lawyer was completely independent. He had a dutie to represent both of us equally.

    The partnership lasted about 4 years, with us dissolving the business and remaining friends to this day. Just don't go in with $$$$ or ****** in your eyes to the potential downfalls.


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