Question on growing business

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by rcreech, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057

    I am planning on growing my business to where I can bring my dad on full time next spring.

    I have some questions as it won't be as simple as working by myself:

    1) Should I have my dad work for me, make him a partner or what?
    2) How should I compensate him? Pay him hourly or salary?
    3) I want to take good care of him...but need to be careful to not overpay.

    I almost don't like the idea of a partnership, as someday I may want to sell the business or if something happens to my Dad I would have to buy his part from my brother. That isn't cool!

    What is fair for the both of us?

    It would be much cheaper to hire someone and pay them $8/hour...but I want to bring my dad on to work with me as we make a great team.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. MStine315

    MStine315 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 789

    I think off the top of my head, you'd be hard pressed to find a quality applicator for $8. If it's your Dad, you shouldn't have to worry about overpaying, but I guess that's between you two. Your Dad is going to be as good as you're going to find in the quality dept., as he'll do things as you would do, because....well you know what I mean. If it's your business, and you want to keep it that way, pay him a fair wage as an employee. If the unthinkable happens, there's no hard feelings amongst family. My Dad is an hour away and has his own thing going, lawn wise. I cherish every day I can work with him, pay not withstanding. I know he'll be there for me, and he knows I'll be there for him. He has bailed me out in the spring, and I have helped him out as need be. Do what you think is right, but any chance you get to work with your Dad is literally priceless.
  3. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    That's a top-notch post Marc. Sounds like great advice.
  4. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057

    Thanks for the sound advice!

    As far as quality and understanding of fert and chem I have no worries! Also I thought if something were to ever happen to me, Dad could run with it.

    I didn't mean to sound as I don't want to pay my dad good...I just meant if I pay him what he is may be too much. If I pay him say $18.00/hour or so! He is working part time right now in a fab shop so I would want to match his pay (and my work is seasonal so I have to take that into account).

    I have asked around here and the smaller guys with employees are paying about $8-10.

    I agree that working with dad is the best. We also farm together and it is the best. He is definitly my best friend!
  5. Shades of Green LService

    Shades of Green LService LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,011

    I'm going through kind of the same deal. I'm trying to grow my business to get my wife home for good. We have 2 kids and one on the way . Also my father in law who is more like my father. His job my be closing down and wont have many options. So i really get where your coming from reech. I was pondering partnership or salary? Guess if/when the time comes will have a tough decision to make . Good luck.
  6. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    I've put a lot of thought into the particulars of growing my business too. When I've crunched the numbers, I really like what I see. Since you're a classy guy Rodney, I've got no doubt you'd pay anyone who worked for you handsomely. Fortunately, this business will allow you to give your helper excellent pay, while still allowing you to really benefit from the additional efficiency your helper gives you. Say for example, someone like you Rodney, who has a good route that averages at least $100 an hour. If you add a helper (like your dad) and pay him a $20 an hour wage, he'll still more than make up for the salary you have to pay him. Even though you'll have ancillary things like FICA, S.S., etc. that you'll have to pay in addition to his $20 an hour salary, he'll be putting much more than that in your pockets with the extra work he'll allow your company to take on.
    While I've paid this topic a lot of thought and looked into it extensively, I really think you should be picking someone like Larry's (Americanlawn) brain. Someone like him, who's "been there, done that," would be a great resource for you in my opinion. I'm sure he wouldn't have been able to grow such a nice business if he didn't know what he was doing. I know I'm going to be calling him this Winter, so I can pick his brain on quite a few things.
    As smart as you are, I've got no doubts you'll have more success with this thing than you can shake a stick at. I'll talk to you later. :waving:
  7. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 589

    I'd suggest this:
    Determine how many hours you will be working dear ole dad.
    Determine a fair hourly rate for him for those hours.

    Divide his seasonal working hours by 52 (weeks per year) and pay him a yearly salary. During the peak times like spring he will be working more hours (at less pay) but during the off season he will be working no hours for pay. This will make your budgeting much easier.

    Do not make him a partner, it is your business and he'll be working for you. If, on the other hand you decide for conscious sake to make dear ole dad a partner...he must buy half of your business. He gives you a check for half of what your business is worth (using a broker will keep these numbers real and will keep emotions out of the equation) and he becomes a partner. (definitely not the way to go though)

    good luck
  8. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057

    Shades of Green,

    Sounds like we are in the same situation. We will have to keep in touch! Good Luck to you also!


    Thank you for all your kind comments! I think you are American truely knows what he is doing! I just called American last week on a few things... and you are right, he is a sharp fellow.
    Good luck to you on your growth also.

    Lawn Service,

    Very good advice and I think that you are correct! I will hold your advice very close, as that seems fair.

    Thanks Guys!

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