Going into business with someone! Please help

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jeff L., Apr 21, 2003.

  1. Jeff L.

    Jeff L. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Hello everyone! I'm so happy the lawn season has startedI have a lot of goals that I hope I reach this season. HOWEVER I have a dillema that I have to sort out, first of all this is only my third year in the business, and it has been part time for me,this year I'm trying to get enough accounts to make it full time. My dillema is that my brother is moving here from Fl. and really wants to go into business with me, and I do want him too. The problem is he has bad credit and obviously can't get the necessary eq. to get us going in a 50/50 plan. What should I pay him, he seems to think about 10 an hour, I was thinking 8 . He has goals to save and get his own truck and eq. but he doesn't have it yet! He is a very dependable hard working person that I know I could be succesfull with but I'm a bit stumped about what to pay him. Please give me some insight about what you would do in this situation. One more question, I live in southern Wisconsin, what are the best months to get new customers, I run an ad in the paper and just want to know when you think the most calls will come because so far NONE!
  2. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    Becareful. Working with family can sometimes be a headache, but it can also be a great thing. My father works occasionally on a weekend or two when we need some extra help and I pay him $16/hr. Heck he is my father and there is no one on this earth that I could trust more than him to take care of the equipment, work hard, and do the job right. Trust me, it is not easy to find good help out there. It sounds like a good idea to hire him instead of making him a partner. He definitely doesn't seem ready to run a business but I think he deserves more than $8/hr! Not sure what your area pays but I won't start anyone out at less than $10/hr.
  3. Remsen1

    Remsen1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    Just an idea, how about starting him at an hourly rate of say $12/hr. Out of the $12 per hour he get paid $8, and $4 is applied to the business. Then setup a profit sharing plan where you give him a periodic bonus which would be based on the % he has vested and the amount of profit made by the company during the period. This will give him some incentive and it will be beneficial for the company.
  4. fox

    fox LawnSite Member
    from MN
    Posts: 57

    remsen got the idea. it will only work if both of you know that he is starting a stake in the business.
  5. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    Think remsen has a good idea. If you actually take some of his earnings and put it back into the buisness, he is then helping to buy necessary equipment for you to grow instead of spending the money on other stuff, like the bar. So once he has worked enough hours and you go buy a new exmark you would own it together. Kinda like starting up a saving account for him in your name.
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    First, let me say that I always think of partnerships in the same light that I think of hot cofffee enemas!

    That being said, it sounds like you've already made up your mind to take on a partner, so nothing I can say will likely dissuade you. You'll live and learn.

    Well, $8 an hour is something you'd pay an employee, not a partner. And certainly not family. I've always paid family a few $ more than my other workers, just because they were family.

    I like Remsen's idea. If you want your brother to be able to somehow get a stake in the business, how's he going to save up if he's making $8 an hour? One person can barely pay for rent/mortgage and food at that rate.

    Another idea you might consider is that he could do more legwork in light of you providing more capital, equipment, etc. He should be out handing out flyers every time he's not mowing. So initially, he'll be spending a lot more TIME on the business, while you're spending a lot more MONEY. That's pretty fair.

    As to your second question, Flyers are hands-down the best marketing tool there is for this business. Best ROI. Make up some nice flyers and hand them out door-to-door. Do a search here on lawnsite for "flyers" or "fliers". You'll find that most people agree it's the best way to get more business and you'll also find some great tips.
  7. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    I'm going to stay out of this one....................
  8. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,048

    Try and pay him by percentage of what you 2 do in a days work. He will make more per hour by actually working hard, and it will help you out as well. The more you can do in a day the more he will make....and so on! Plus this will keep you from offending him by only paying X amount.

    If this works then you can somehow apply the advice above by taking another percentage out for the business.

    Just a thought!

    LANDGUARD LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    Try a three way split. It is your business so put aside 1/3 for it. Then do a split for the other 2/3's. That way he will help to make more business and you get to grow your company. Overall I think that this can work for both of you.

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