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What would you do?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawncare, Jan 4, 2002.


Should i help?

Poll closed Jan 6, 2002.
  1. Help

    2 vote(s)
  2. Don't help

    25 vote(s)
  1. lawncare

    lawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 94

    :confused: I have a guy in the area that just started landscaping in an area were I maintain lawns he stays 2 doors down from a friend I have spoken with him on several occasions even sold him some equip when he first started gave him a few pointers. He caught me yesterday and asked if he could do some work for me or help me from time to time from the conversation i gathered he did good this summer but didn't save any money for the winter and know he's behind on his house payments(trouble is he lowball me on a few houses in the area i didn't mention i use to be the 1 doing just feeling him out at the time they wasn't paying what it was worth but hell i don't turn down money it all adds up) I want to help but don't want to whup him if he comes into my areas he dosn't cover as much ground as i do. Should i draw up a no compete agreement and treat him as an employee or just say i can't use him i kinda feel sorry for him he asked for a loan with equip as collateral but if i have the equip hows he going to work to get it back when summer comes.
  2. fivestarlawnken

    fivestarlawnken LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 438

    This situation sucks for the both of you,sounds like you feel bad for the guy and he is going to lose his home.I think your best answer might times are hard for me also.He might try to stab you in the back when its all said and done.Does a no compete contract really mean anything in some guys eyes?Sounds like he is bad shape asking another LCO for a loan,maybe offer him a crazy low amount for his equip and hold for collateral.Be careful and go with your gut insinct.:eek:
  3. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,027

    Sounds dangerous to me. You may help him out to be nice. Next thing you know he is putting flyers in your customers doors. This guy could easily study your business while he is working for you. He will eventually know how much you charge each customer and where all your customers are. Are you going to be comfortable the first time you come around the side of a house, and find him talking to a good customer of yours?

    Help the guy by giving him advice on how to run his business better. Or you can sub out some undesirable accounts you have. But that is as far as I would go.
  4. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Lets examine this.

    Since its winter, will you be going to your customers houses or are you doing other types of work that puts you at non regular customers houses?

    Since you only know him like an aquaintance, I would be careful. Its not like he's an old friend. If I could work him without him seeing the details of grass cuttin' customers then maybe. If not, I would think real hard about it first. It would be different if he was in a different area cutting, but he's in the same area.

    If your asking this question, you probably see something in him you don't trust. I read people pretty well, and if I don't trust them they get no help from me. On the other hand, if I trust them, and see they are a genuine good guy, I will help out. Even if they would be competing in my same areas. Why not? This way we could both get what it is really worth.
  5. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    I'm the jerk here in the group. I wouldn't lend him a hand. He makes the bed he is going to lay in. Bailing him out is not your problem. He should have had better foresight than this. That's exactly why this industry is the way it is. Everyone thinks they can start an LCO. They can, it's simple, it isn't rocket science. Now running a successful business is where it gets difficult. Mowing the grass IS easy, no doubt, running the business takes a little more planning and brains. His problem,not yours!
  6. tailoredlook

    tailoredlook LawnSite Member
    Posts: 142

    Sounds like he's sol. If you help, he's either gonna rob you blind or keep comming back for more. Gotta let him stand on his own two feet.

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,129

    Sounds like to me your buddy is a wolf in sheeps clothing. How much would you pay him if you did decide to help him out? $8/hr? If that's the case, I would give him a copy of the help-wanted classifeds. If he's hungry enough he'll find a job to get him through the winter.

  8. Michael Fronczak

    Michael Fronczak LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    Tell him keep looking.
  9. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Posts: 3,256

    Everyone he has made some good points. My advice is take a bit from each.
    First, this should definately not become your problem. If he needs work, he can look in the classifieds (which is the boat I'm in right now).
    I definately wouldn't lend him money! That's just asking for trouble.
    And I wouldn't hire him as an employee, even if you need the help, because he already has the mind set of working for himself. So he will only use you to gain experience and learn some in's and out's, and then will take that info to grow his company.

    I would offer him advice, maybe give him some undesirable clients/work if you have them to give. But that's about as far as I'd go.

    I see that you feel bad for him, but most people get it together when in a pinch. He'll find work. It's not your weight to carry.
  10. I'm going to second this. You have helped him enough.

    Advice is one thing, but bailing him out, and getting screwed in return is another.

    I did similar with a long time friend and it cost me just over $100,000.

    So before you even waste your time thinking, end the thoughts now and forget about him.

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