Ditched my partner

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Vanderhoff Landscaping, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Vanderhoff Landscaping

    Vanderhoff Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 383

    Officially ditched my partner over the weekend. He just wasn't into it and was pretty much dead weight. Filed the paperwork for dissolving the business yesterday. Going to be filing paperwork for new business in the next few days. I will be solo from this point on. I'm thinking how to file this. I don't think I'm going to go LLC with this one but idk yet. I'm going to keep all of the customers from the old biz. Does anyone think that I should send a "reintroduction letter" to all of my customers? If not, how should I approach them? I was the one that did all of the billing and all forms of contact for the last 2 years with the old biz (H & M Yard Improvements). Any ideas from anyone?
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  2. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,715

    If you were in the field dealing directly with customers they already know you. If not you should send them a letter introducing yourself and how the business change will streamline your operation and help give them better service.
     
  3. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,811

    You say you gonna go solo and keep all customers what the other guy just watched you work. Letter wise if you on the job all the time just do it in person tell them your partner is looking for better things out there.
    How long we're you both in business :waving:
     
  4. Vanderhoff Landscaping

    Vanderhoff Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 383

    We were In business for 2 years. He didn't want to invest any more $$ into it and said he wanted to get a "real" job! He was always late getting up, refused to work Saturday (reserve day in case we had rain during the week or a mulch job to do etc), did sloppy work, complained about doing certain customers etc. I did all of the estimates, billing, phone calls, emails, book keeping etc. I know that I am much better off without him. I'm thinking I have a decent chance in retaining my customers since I was the one who was in contact with all of them to begin with. That's why I was wondering if I should do some sort of reintroduction letter. They (customers) never had any interaction with him to begin with. I want to do this transition right. That's why any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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  5. Vanderhoff Landscaping

    Vanderhoff Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 383

    He would always get pissed when only gave him a percentage of what was made. He wanted to take half of what we made every week and I told him that's not how it works. He wants to get something along the lines of $18-20 an hour. I told him in today's economy "Good Luck". But it's his loss not mine! If I can retain most of my customers and add some more this year I may be able to give myself a small raise and turn a little bit of a higher profit. Maybe!
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  6. Vanderhoff Landscaping

    Vanderhoff Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 383

    Sometimes he would watch and I would lay into him about it! One time I caught him standing next to the truck just staring across the street. I really am glad to be rid of him!
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  7. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    Good luck and about doing a DBA?
     
  8. Vanderhoff Landscaping

    Vanderhoff Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 383

    I have a lot of people tell me since the weekend to do a LLC when I register later this week. Would that be the best way to go?
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  9. AlohaMowing

    AlohaMowing LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    I am a big believer in LLCs to provide protection against personal liability. But bear in mind that the finances become more complicated with an LLC. You need to keep the LLC assets separate from personal assets. Do dipping into petty cash to buy something that is not for the business. And you would transfer your equipment to the LLC. Some people think an LLC eliminates the need for insurance--it does not, one still needs to have sufficient insurance, or assets, to cover any foreseeable claims that might arise against the LLC. There is nothing wrong with a dba or sole proprietorship so long as you have sufficient liability insurance. There are pros and cons of both. (I have 2 businesses, one is an LLC, the other a sole proprietorship, and feel that each one is the right type for the particular business.)

    I would contact customers to explain the name change and let them know your former partner has left the business to pursue other opportunities.

    One thing you said caught my eye -- you said he "wanted to take half of what we made . . . ." If you were partners, unless you had an agreement specifying that you were not equal partners, he would have been entitled to 50%. Probably not an issue, but be aware that it could be something that comes up to bite you if your ex partner gets mad. And keep in mind that your customer list remains property of the partnership. Be sure to offer a copy of it and all other documents to your ex partner. If he wants to solicit business from your customers, be sure you let him do so as freely as you want to do.
     
  10. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Posts: 555

    For the first season or two a company should be fine with being a sole proprietor, but once you get past a certain amount of accounts (20) or start getting commercial accounts it's time to become an LLC or S-corporation.

    -Michael
     

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