Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by harperservices, Jan 30, 2003.


To partner or not to partner. That is the question.

  1. yes

    4 vote(s)
  2. no

    21 vote(s)
  1. harperservices

    harperservices LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    I have been working off and on with a guy who in the beginning wasn't paying zip. My wife encouraged me to start my own business. And been doing well so far.

    As time went on, I noticed that I need to spend more time in sales and customer service as well as providing quality service in order to grow my business. (I need another person)

    Last year, the guy I mentioned above got out of the business for personal reasons and was going to turn over everything to me. That did not work out, so he tried to sell it to someone else.

    This year I called him to see how he was doing and wanted to know if he wanted to work for me as a sales manager.

    One thing led to another, and now we are talking partnership and a company name.

    Both of us will be owner/operators. (Him being CEO me being CFO and in charge of technology)

    My question??????====> Those of you who have partnered with other individuals, what were some of the pluses and minuses.

    Thanks for your help!!!

    Projected start date for newly formed company is March 1, 2003
  2. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

    How big is your lawn business? It moght be better just hiring more man power andkeep thing 100% under your control.
  3. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    ALWAYS delegate the ownership 49%/51% so that if there is a dispute on a decision someone has the dominating power to decide. I am not going to tell you it won't work, but 50/50 partnerships have the highest failure rate of all partnerships.

  4. PR0 TURF

    PR0 TURF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,089

    I've never been involved with one but a local LCO who became rather big was a partnership and it seemed to go good but in the end they split & sold the business because the partnership wasn't working. Two heads trying to make the decisions instead of one. I don't know many of the details besides that it went under. All depends on the 2 people...every partnership is unique

  5. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    Take all of the above info and go and talk with a lawyer. It sounds like the only prior problems you had with this person was that they didn't pay that well. You have now built your own company and want to bring him on board as a half owner? If you are still considering this I would have a lawyer lay everything out as to what authority each party as and what responsibilities each party has. You can't expect this to all work out after you have formed a company without have guidelines and ground rules beforehand.

  6. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 648

    What will you each do?

    Who will make the decisions?

    CFO in charge of technology, what will you do? You certainly shouldn't have enough to do to keep you busy over 10 minutes a week if you are just starting out.

    Ditch the titles, decide who does what. If he didn't make it before do you want him to be a partner?

    What is he bringing to the partnership?

    My experience has been that any time someone has been "given" an ownership interest, the person who has done the giving has gotten the short end of the stick.

    I'd consider hiring him first, then look at a partnership later on if he performs well and is willing to buy in.
  7. harperservices

    harperservices LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    I will be more in charge of residental sales and service and he will be doing more comercial.

    Also I will be overseaing the crew members. He will be on part-time and I will be on fulltime. (he will come aboard next year fulltime with an equal split)

    Also he has been in the bus. longer and claims he will be bringing past clients to the table.

    When looking at our debt, we are almost equal but he is top heavy with a no intrest loan. (apprx. 1k per month combined for both of us.)

    I like the lawyer idea and will be trying to draw up something ASAP
  8. sirsweatsalot

    sirsweatsalot LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 296

    so far so good. im not in the cutting end though. im in charge of landscaping and fert apps. i do have my own company as well, which works ok if i can't do my jobs one week he covers for me and same with him. along with when he is full of summer mowings and keeps getting calls he sends them to my company. he also owns a lawn equipment store so i do get breaks on some of my fixes and parts which is really nice. i don't know i can see how it could suck but im still looking foward to this spring.
  9. Turf Technologies

    Turf Technologies LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 590

    So far my brother and I entered a partnership. Its been a month only. I bought a route and combined with his.He takes care of maintance and upkeep and i do the billings and check book.And help out with maintance as well. We both take care of our own lawns and he does the trimming. I had my own equipment and he had his own. I see this as a big help for both of us. He doesnt like book work and I dont mind it, I dont know much about equipment he does. Also we have more time for other things now. Somthing eles too is we are family so we wont turn our backs on each other. Before anything I bought we talk first, and go pick it up together.

    So if you go for it, heres to you!:drinkup:

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