For the past few month's it seems I have been stuck between a rock, and a hard place. I decided to go into business with a guy I knew who had worked as a foremen at several large landscaping customers as I felt he would have valuable insight into the industry. I was not wrong in that aspect as i learned several valuable skills from him over the last 7 months, and I also learned a lot of what not to do. We were doing great for our first year IMO as at first we quickly landed $3,000 a month in residential customer revenue, in addition to what ended up being $3,500 a month in revenue from a large customer. Add to that that we were averaging at least $2,000 a month in profits from landscaping work. All seemed to be going well considering we are both in our early twenties. Me and said business partner quickly stopped getting along. Our first major issue was that he failed to see the importance of saving customers phone numbers, secondly for what ever reason he would not answer any numbers he did not recognize on his BUSINESS PHONE. Also, for our largest customer he would keep trying to bill him for mowing completely wooded lots that he owner (he did this at least 10 times in a row, and would always get pissed when the bill we turned in came back short) Also he seemed to have the bad habit of not setting a budget but rather he saw every payment given to the business as a personal pay check. Our business acount never had any money in it because he felt he needed every penny he could get regardless of whether he would have any money left for taxes at the end of the year. Then one week we had excessive rain fall, and he did not feel the need to call any customers because according to him they should figure it out. That would not have been so bad i guess if in the following week of all sunshine he had you know ummm caught up the properties... Well 3 weeks after we were supposed to mow said properties we lost $2,700 in residential customers. So at that point we were down to a mere 1 $300 a month customer. At this point my business "partner" had the revelation that he could no longer mow grass because there was no money in it His solution to his money trouble was to go out, leave the business, leave our $3,500 a month client high and dry and go on to be unemployed. Upon leaving the business he now works 2 days a week for roughly 16-24 hours for $10 an hour under the table because he was umm not making enough money before? keep in mind this guy is not some kid who lives at home, rather he has his own place and just got married. Im sure at this point many of you are thinking "why didn't you stop his behavior, you were his partner" well i was but i wasn't. He had bought all the equipment, truck, etc so it was essentially his business, and on paper it was his business (thank god). My say so was limited to say the least, i was brought on to simply help him manage / market the business. I did great with the marketing but no managing could be done because he was completely unwilling to set a budget etc... Well since he gave up I have managed to save the relationship with our largest client, in addition i have a good friend who owners a small, but successful LCO and is moving out of state. he has 20 customers within a tight radius of one another that total around $5,000 a month in revenue... i feel it is worth mentioning that me, and former business partner could have gotten these customers months ago but because my brilliant former business partner kept "forgeting" to call about these customers we never did. Also, my former "partner" managed to go to a customers home, collect a check for a month of lawn service, and then forget to perform said service. At first I felt bad about this because i felt responsible for screwing this guy over. I came to the conclusion that because I never saw a dime from the money collected, nor was i even aware it was collected that i have no guilt. With that being said I did personally pay said customer back with interest even though I never stole the money in the first place. I now have our former largest customer, and the new contracts, and i am having great luck finding landscaping projects late in the season. Sadly these things will do me little good right now as it is so late in the season but I have managed to scrape together enough money to buy a truck, and i worked out a deal to rent to own a lawn care set up for dirt cheap so i should be in a decent place next year. At the moment i feel newly motivated but one thing is for sure, this guy will never touch my business. He shot his/ours down, i am back under a new name with new ambitions. He has since called me with laughable plans about how we will get back into the business next year in another area (I guess he thinks customers in other areas will tolerate his crap?) I am not sure what will happen with my fledgling business venture as i am short on capital (but making it work), a full time student, and have another full time job but i am determined to make this work. I now have new company uniforms on order, new marketing materials, and enough equipment that i scraped together to make a go at this. Sorry for the rant, but this is the first day in months that I have felt not terrible about my situation as i have finally found a way to bounce back. I will do it, its just a matter of how long it takes to get there.