Mike

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by mike ingles, May 16, 2013.

  1. mike ingles

    mike ingles LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Hey folks,
    I'm a writer and am interested in what happens when an employee decides to start his own business in the lawn care field. Do you discourage them? Do you have them sign a non-compete? Or, do you wish them well and ask that they not solicit in your area?
    And a follow-up, did you get your start by first working for a competitor?
    Depending upon the results, I'd like to contact a few of you and get a better understanding of how this all unfolds in the industry.
    Thanks,
    p.s. you can contact me privately at duckrun22@gmail.com
    Thanks
    Mike
     
  2. fatz

    fatz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I don't have any employees, but if I did, I would have them sign a 1-2 year non-compete to not solicit my customers or to compete within a 20-30 mile radius from my shop.
     
  3. mike ingles

    mike ingles LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    That seems to be the prevailing thought.
     
  4. THEGOLDPRO

    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,223

    I live by the professional courtesy rule myself, both my self and my brother worked for other landscapers prior to stating our own business, Neither of them tried to discourage us growing and doing our own thing. I believe if you have professional courtesy and don't step on each others toes it is fine. If someone calls me to bid a property and it happens to be a close friend of mines property i will decline kindly and say sorry i'm not interested, and vice versa.

    There is plenty of work for everyone and no need to try and discourage/sign a non compete. That's just plain stupid.
     
  5. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,412

    Sure, you can go through the expense of enforcing the no-raid, but there's no way you'll enforce a non-compete for a service business such as this. Whether they're scared in to thinking it's binding is the only advantage you will have.
     
  6. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,412

    Prevailing thought is one thing, legal reality is another. If you're wanting to write a deeper, more useful piece, I'd work an attorney in to the mix.
     
  7. mike ingles

    mike ingles LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I really think that in service businesses, the best thing to do is to be gracious. However, sometimes a key employee has not only a list of the properties but also the pricing. As you well know there is a lot of undercutting going on. When a key employee leaves and says he's starting his own, do you 'circle the wagons' and contact customers to ensure they know what's going on?
    Best-
    Mike
     
  8. mike ingles

    mike ingles LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I plan on it.
    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  9. THEGOLDPRO

    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,223

    I really don't worry about it myself, If any of my customers chooses another company over mine based on a few dollars saving per week i really don't want that customer.

    I'd like to think i have built a decent working relationship with most of my customers, Most i would say are relatively loyal.
     
  10. fatz

    fatz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    If the non-compete is written correctly and isn't overly broad in terms of scope, geographical area and time, it certainly can and would be enforced.
     

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