thinking of partnership arrangement?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lbmyers, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. lbmyers

    lbmyers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    we have a small (avg. 4 employees) landscape install business in western NC. My husband has been in the business for almost 25 years and is completely burned out. We have done fairly well over the years but the economy and new blood has changed the work climate here. We have always operated by word of mouth (no advertisement costs!) and had plenty of work. Now many of the builders we worked with are struggling. We have a great facility to operate from and have lots of equipment and trucks (all paid for). We have tried over the years to find a good foreman and have not succeeded but we have some awesome laborers that have been with us a long time. My question is what are your thoughts on inviting someone into a partnership arrangement that could bring in some fresh energy and clients? It could be a win-win for both parties I would think or am I being unrealistic? How would I go about screening someone for this situation? Thanks for any input...
     
  2. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    How about hiring a motivated salesperson who knows the business? They would have to be assigned other tasks when they aren't doing estimating though. You'd have to put them on salary. Operating on a commission can be a revolving door problem
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984


    Why are none of your long time awsome employee's suitable?

    Do you have a child/newphew that would want to take over the business?

    Why does your H just do the managerial sales work and leave the field work to the crew(add someone to fill your spot doing actual labor)?
     
  4. CrownScapes

    CrownScapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    If it is a matter of not enough work, you could trying selling or simply start advertising. With the down slide in building we have all had to think other ways or do things we might not have done before
     
  5. lbmyers

    lbmyers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    we are just too small of a company to have a dedicated salesperson. We could not support the overhead
     
  6. lbmyers

    lbmyers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    our laborers are Latino and would not be suited to be in a sales/customer relation/foreman position. They are extremely hard workers and I love them but they still need guidance on most jobs. As far as selling the business I dont know if it would have a market - since we do mostly install and do not have accounts we service every week it would just be a collection of used trucks & equipment. And unfortunately no we do not have a child or nephew willing to take over the business. We tried to lure our nephew from Texas a few years ago but he cant seem to cut the apron strings! As far as my H transitioning to sales only that would be great if we could find a capable foreman able to step into the position of daily operations! That is what has burned him out - running the crews AND selling jobs AND maintaining equipment, etc.
     
  7. CrownScapes

    CrownScapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    any of your old building contacts have a foreman or man you can trust and see if he needs a job
     
  8. lbmyers

    lbmyers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Yes its true we could start advertising and pounding the pavement. I feel fortunate we have not had to to this before, but it still does not address the problem that he/we are burned out on the business and would like an infusion of energy/motivation that someone relatively new to the field could bring. But maybe its just wistful thinking that we could find someone suitable - after all we had those aspirations with a couple of foremen we hired and they never seemed to rise to the challenge (we did not hire them with this on the table - only with the idea of approaching them about it if they were a good fit)
     
  9. lbmyers

    lbmyers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Not a bad idea...but most of their subs/workers were carpenters/plumbers/electricians and would not have the specific industry experience I would really want. Would love to find someone who can hit the ground running that already knows how to plant/prune/stonescape/etc. without having to teach them the basics
     
  10. CrownScapes

    CrownScapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    Well not to sound blunt but with it sounding like you are burnt out and looking for somthing new, exciting and a jumpstart I don't see many options.

    Sell and enjoy life
    visit some nurseries and see if somebody might be interested
    try other companies in area, might find somebody who isn't happy with the company they are with
     

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