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solo or partner

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by palmetto_lawn, Dec 14, 2003.

  1. palmetto_lawn

    palmetto_lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    This is my first post and I love this site. I hope what I am going to type makes sense, so here we go. I have a partner that we started a lawn and landscaping business just about 4 months ago. We went in as 50/50 partners, but he got the loan on all the equipment in his name (about 10K) and all money we make is going to pay off the debt first. Problem is that he is not allowing me any decision making in what we do till my half of the debt is paid off. Here is one instance, a friend of his that has been in the lawn business for ten years was overrun and offered us a subcontract job for 49 (30 gallon) maple trees and 150 (7 gallon) leyland cypress and told use the best offer he had got was $7000 to do the job. My partner told this guy he was not sure if we could do the 30 gallon trees for some reason but said we would do the 7 gallon trees for $750 and then later that night called the guy back and said we could do the hole job for $6000. The friend of my partner calls back and said "well you might be right and can't do the 30 gallon trees I will ask the other person that offered what he will do just the 30 gallon tress at." This is were my partner lets me know about all that is happening, and I told him that he under priced the leyland cypruss and his friend is jerking him around and going to let the other guy do the big trees at $4000 and just pocket the difference himself. I told my partner we do all or none, no ifs ands or buts. My partner called his friend back and was told the other guy was doing the big trees and we got the little trees and my partner said "ok". I told him to have fun by himself. Was I right in this instance? And should I stay partners with someone that lets me have no input but says we are 50/50 partners?

  2. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Your not partners. The other guy put up all the working capital so you may not like it but your an employee unless you have a written agreement of some sort of partnership that says you are 50/50

  3. Black Water

    Black Water LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 250

    I would'nt stay with him. All the money's going to his debt. That's all you owe him. No decisions no deal. I would never have a partner anyway. But it's up to you. ;)
  4. chefdrp

    chefdrp LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,384

    i see it the way Older sees it
  5. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Black Water I got a partner and I've had one for over 8 yrs. The secret is were not 50/50 He has a say so in all matters and I value his experience and input BUT if there is a disagreement the final desiosons mine. We worked out the agreement before we started to work together so we both knew what was expected.
  6. Black Water

    Black Water LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 250

    That's cool. I just hate working with people.;)
  7. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,045

    Olderthandirt, as far as I remember your partner is your son in law isn't?.

    What I'm trying to say here is that having a partner is one of the most dificult thing in this kind of business, not imposible tough but I have seen' it that when that partner is someone from your family or close relativemakes it a little bit less stresful, plus in your case you are the one responsible to do all the final decisions, so it migh look like your ok, but maybe your partner thinks he's being getting no respect, might not be the case for you tough.

    The reason someone decides to go on it's own it's because have come to the conclusion that taking orders it's not for them, and have bigger dreams in life, having a partners puts a limitation in this, you have to share your ideas and in some cases those ideas are not heard, you have to listen to ideas and those might be some that you don't like, you'll be betrayed at some point.

    Everyone has a different mind and some times when you get togheter two brains you could achieve a lot, but in this type of business those two brains have to do the hard work also, have to be willing to be 50/50 on everything, otherwise the partnership will never work for both sides and your putting limitations to your succes.

    I'd would friendly brake the partnership before it end with your frienship.
  8. Ryan Lightning

    Ryan Lightning LawnSite Senior Member
    from CA
    Posts: 554

    I would get out while you can, it will make everything easer, except the manual labor. LOL
    I started out with a partner, It was agreed when we started that would each buy equipment with are own money, One of bought a mower the other a blower and so on. So when I was ready to start on my own, there was no problems, we just split up the accounts (which he let me do, and It was fair) He took the Walker mower for free, he just had to finish paying it off.
    The problem we had was no one had a specific job, We both did everything. And everything didnt get done, and what he said he would do, I would end up doing, are have look over his shoulder.
    If you want to have a partner you need to decide who will do the books, who will service equipment, Who will be in charge of getting work, ect. You each need your own jobs, so that someone is accountable.
    You should not leave your partner hanging on the tree job, Let him handle the bid, Do the work with him, and if he messed up, he will learn a lesson.
  9. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Your right my partner is my son-in-law. But I had a partner before him for 6 yrs until the guy died! heart attack. I would never do a partnership unless I had control 51/49% or what ever. I treat my partners as equels but if we were to disagree I want the final say. It is still my business as I started it and ran it for yrs. solo and can go back doing it solo. I just find that having a partner takes alot of the day to day pressure off. I know it does not work for most, but like I said I listen, respect, and want input on all aspects of the business and I have learned alot have gotten work that I doubt that I would have on my own. If I was to make a partner feel that his input was not needed imo that would be treating him like an employee and he should quit I know thats what I would do if I was treated that way. Like I said I'm in the minority and I would never do a 50/50% partnership. Someone has to have the final word on tough decisions and I want that to be me, but after saying that in 14 yrs I probably only had to overide my partners decisions the ones where after discussing and going over everything we just could not agree, 5-10 times and I can tell you right now I know on 2 occasions I was wrong and they were right and I let them know it also. If it ain't broke don't fix it!!!!

  10. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    I would try to go solo if at all possible. If you go solo you will have all the say so in your business and will only be able to tell other people what to do! Start out small with what you can afford and then grow from there. It will all work out in the long run.

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