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Considering A Partner in Maryland/N.VA/W.VA

Discussion in 'Network: North' started by Georgiehopper, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. Georgiehopper

    Georgiehopper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    My company has been in business for about 5 years... we've gone as far as we can go with the people that we have and we are considering taking on a partner.

    There is so much work out there but we are limited because there is just my husband and myself running the company and we are stretched pretty thin. We are a little nervous about taking the next step but don't think the company can grow unless we do. We're both in our late 40s and are hoping to find someone younger who can really run things.

    We had advertised for a foreman hoping that this person would run jobs efficiently and be enthusiastic about our growing business..but it hasnt worked out and though we still have the guy, he is not a self-starter and does not see the big picture...but he's a good worker.

    So we think what we need is a partner who will have an interest in the business...

    ...any advice on this would be appreciated.... we don't know where to start.
  2. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    A foreman is just a guy who runs a crew. What yopu really need is a Manager of sorts who can run several foremen, prospect jobs, propose enhancements, andmake desicions about purchasing, discipline, ect.

    One option,
    With you and your husband, you could split some duties, one of you could handle the people aspect (hiring, firing, managing, day to day ops) and the other could handle the finance side of things, billing, pricing, prospecting, ect.

    Utlimately as a manager, you should only have to manage 2-5 crews, depending.

    When you get to the point of needing to hire a manager, it will be hard to let go of the reins, and you may experience some loss of profit as the return on you investment may take some time to be realized.

    IMO a partner will want to assist management of the company, and not necessaily get in the trenches.

    Remember, Its your business and your butt on the line, no one else will work as hard as you do in keeping it working....

    Good Luck
  3. Georgiehopper

    Georgiehopper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    Thanks for your input. Right now our duties are split up: I do prospecting, design,bill collecting,dealing with the customers, advertising,employees,consulting,picking up and maintaining plants, and appointments, and my husband does billing,employees,hardscape design, and installation and keeping the equipment running.

    Our foreman is basically just a laborer and doesn't give direction to anyone. He is not cut out for the job. He's not able to do a project unless he is given step-by-step instruction. He's been with us since March and we thought he'd have a handle on things by now. My husband wanted him to take some pressure off but its only added pressure.

    We're at the $400,000 mark in sales but we sure don't make a great profit and have cash flow problems from time to time. We do not do maintenance or grass cutting to make up for down-time..we just don't have enough people or resources for that. Maybe we need a consultant.
  4. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    I think a consultant woud lbe a waste of money....you are on the right track and you know what you need the extra Foreman/supervisor/manger to do. You problem is what many companies have. Finding labor skilled enough to the job.

    I was an enhancemnt manager for TGLC when I first moved up here from FLA. I had two crews to manage, plus I was safety manager, Purchaser(for the entire branch, not just plants either) accident investigator, and insurance subrugation and responsible for extra sales....I was stretched thin adn it really put a damper on the day when I had to take the crews out to a job and hold their hand for the first hour of the day...

    Design Build only is a tough nut to crack, especially if you have down time. It might be a good idea to pick up a few maintenance contracts just to keep the guys busy during the slow times.

    I wishI could help you more...but it sounds like you are on the right track, you hardest part is finding something other than a warm body.

    There is a horticultural head hunter, his company name is http://www.florapersonnel.com/home.htm they work nation wide. I have worked with them but only on the employee side.

    another option is to put a listing in http://www.hortjobs.com/

    either option is not going to be cheap, but at least youa re targeting people wo are dedicated to horticulture, rather than an ad in the Post....
  5. rbriggs

    rbriggs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    You need a good manager and probably one or two administrative people to handle the day to day operations and tasks that are preventing you from building your business. We are moving in that direction now and need to plan it out carefully. It is scary, but exciting at the same time. To think that you've grown to the point where you need such staff is awesome! Just don't settle for a warm body. Be picky and be wililng to pay a decent salary to the right person. You'll be glad that you did in the long run.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Good luck!

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