Kill many birds with one stone! Here's how!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by kbacon3231, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. kbacon3231

    kbacon3231 LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 37

    If you want to:

    1. Pick up someone's slack
    2. Fix everything
    3. Make half the money
    4. Not get accounts
    5. Lose accounts
    6. Listen to customer's gripe about poor quality
    7. Lose all interest in owning a Lawn Care Co.
    8. Lose a friend.

    This list could go on and on but here's how you do it.

    Start a PARTNERSHIP with a friend.

    If your thinking about doing it dont! I dont care how long you've known this person. When i started a few years ago i thought "This wont happen, I've known him for 10 years. He wouldnt do this or that." But guess what.....It did.

    Ive done this for 3 full seasons. And as of right now this will be the last.
    For the first half year and the next 2 years it was fine. But then this year around the first of july it went down hill quick. Him not showing up, getting calls from customer wondering where we have been, he would mow but not trim. It got to the point that if he was one second late i would have to leave his a$$. I spend way to much time waiting or him just being M.I.A. You may wonder if he caught up with me later in the day since he was late. No he didnt because he was so far out of the loop that he could'nt have known what job i would be working on that day. To this day i still havent seen him.

    So seriously think about it before you do it. There are horror stories for a reason. I'm not saying it would never work but i think this field of work it's better to have sole ownership.

    I have a lot of fishing to make up for next spring, summer and fall. So to all of you that have helped me along the way thank you and Good luck to everyone!
  2. imograss

    imograss LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 796

    Been through a similar situation myself. Business, friends, and family RARELY work.
  3. why do you want to kill birds, they are very pretty to look at, I really like looking at humming birds.
  4. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    I had a business partner back in the late 90's that wasn't related to me, but was a good friend from my high school days.
    We got along fine for a few years, until an alcohol problem began to eat him up alive and make him undependable in much the same way you described your situation. Luckily I was able to salvage the situation by selling the portion of the business that I didn't want to do (mowing mainly).
    He has since been in and out of rehab a couple of times, and has lost his wife and family. Although I left an open door to him, I haven't heard from him for at least 3-4 years and have no idea if he's even alive.
  5. zappalawn

    zappalawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    i am a partner in only my second year i am new to the business. the other owner was not a friend or family. He was a boss of mines son meet him a few times then went to work for him and this year he came to me saying he liked my and could trust me to do work on my own. so now i am his partner and we are friends

    DLAWNS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,778

    I've had the same thing happen to me. It's so hard to mix business with friendship. So I just left and started my own company.
  7. TomberLawn

    TomberLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,299

    I wasn't in business with the guy, but had considered possibly doing business with him in the future. Unfortunately, the guy was my dealer and also my best friend. I got word from a reliable source (like my preacher) that the guy was spreading rumors about my brother being fired from the dealership. My brother quit because he is a senior in college and had some pretty demanding courses and the $8.50/hr wasn't worth the extra stress. Anyway, I'm really glad I did not go into business with him or make any kind of contractual commitments to do work for him. I did make $400 from his mom for a mulch job just before all this started.
  8. Nate@TLCS

    Nate@TLCS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 97

    Don't give up man!!! dissolve the business, rename it, pay him his share and take over the world!!!! I you really really "want" to work for someone else? Learn from past mistakes. No more partners, no alcohol, make all the money!!! what's wrong with that? If you have disgruntled customers, explain to them that your partner was consumed by alcohol, you bought his portion from him and nothing like this will ever happen again.
  9. B_gerrits

    B_gerrits LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 297

    Was this a legal partnership with a contract and LLC? If not offer the depriciated value of half the equip to him if he dont like just give him his share of equip. Call your customers tell them about the split and ask for their buisness. I wouldn't give him a dime for the existing accounts.
  10. kbacon3231

    kbacon3231 LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 37

    It was a legal partnership. I dropped of some equipment to him this past weekend and he didn't even show up for that. As for the existing accounts he hadn't seen a dime since the last time he mowed one of them. Around the beginning of September i sent a letter to all customers vaguely explaining the situation. It was surprising how many honestly care more about my situation than "is my grass still gonna get cut". I guess they saw me as more than just the lawn guy.

    I think i will probably give/sell my accounts to another friend i know that is in the biz. But if i start up again i will probaly wait a year and rebuild from the bottom up.

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