Dispute with my partner, please help...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fiveoboy01, May 13, 2010.

  1. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Ok guys I know all about the "don't go in with a partner" thing, let's save that for another thread, my partner is my brother and yeah partnerships sucks but it's my brother so it's not changing.

    Anyways, this year I decided to become meticulous with expenses, I have several spreadsheets that I made up from scratch detailing an expense in a certain category, what percentage that expense was of my gross, what percentage my expenses were compared to gross, etc etc...

    Now I'm also working on a cost analysis for my trucks and equipment, to start with I created a grid on a sheet that each time you fill up a truck or mower you write down the following:

    Which mower or truck(or handheld gas)
    Hours on the mower or truck(yep Fords have hourmeters)
    Mileage for the truck
    What the price of gas was at the time of fill up

    I then take those numbers and calculate my cost of fuel per hour/mile and also fuel economy.

    Along those lines, I want to take the yearly expense for a mower or truck(repairs, routine maintenance such as oil changes, blades, belts, anything that breaks, etc), and going off the hours on the machine or mileage on the truck, figure at the end of the year what that piece of equipment costed me.

    Here's the disagreement.

    My brother is throwing a fit, telling me that what I'm doing is stupid and unnecessary, all that matters is that there is more money coming in than going out, it's a waste of time, and he doesn't want to record hours on the mowers when he fills them up nor the price of the gas, he says he already knows "200/month per truck and 50/month per mower" is what he keeps saying... But I want it more precise than that.

    He claims that it will slow him down, all he wants to do is pull up to the pump and go. I say it will take him 2-3 minutes to write it on the reciept of the grid I've created which we can carry on a clipboard in either of our trucks.

    My line of thinking is that if I do not know exactly where and how much of the money is going, I can't efficiently control my expenses.

    My brother thinks it's all a waste of time, and that I'm micromanaging. He claims to understand it all, but says it's not necessary.

    In your guys' opinion am I getting too detailed? I think I'm right, but I don't know. You always think you're right when it's your idea.

  2. nomisunrider

    nomisunrider LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Can he prove the numbers he gives?
  3. br549oicu8

    br549oicu8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,230

    Get divorced from your brother......
  4. Mike Blevins

    Mike Blevins LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,390

    Partnership = twice the work,expense,etc,etc,etc, for half the pay. I understand its your brother, but you sound like your really trying to crunch the numbers and he is just wanting to hit the high spots. I would sit him down and try ot explain what your trying to do and why.
  5. Lawn Shark prop mgmt LLC

    Lawn Shark prop mgmt LLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    I like what you are doing with the spreadsheet. Would like to take a look at it.
  6. Larry Overcash

    Larry Overcash LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    I would think he would be willing to help you out. I mean all your trying to do is get the most from your time and money. Which in the end is going to mean more money in the pockets. I applaud your efforts to make your business more efficient.
  7. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    No two people manage money the exact same way. That's why business partnerships are tough and often fail. There's gotta be some middle ground somewhere.......... You two need to talk and see if you can find it.
  8. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    I'm not a spread sheet person but I use the Gopher program. It has some issues but it works OK for me. I would agree with your brother to some extent on your micro tracking. Whats the advantage of keeping track of the hours and miles of every fillup on each piece of equipment? We all know that weather conditions has a lot to do with fuel useage and there is very little you can change with the daily-weekly hours-miles to make any differance. I track every expense of my business through Gopher. I have it set up so I track everything by the year, hours used, miles driven, gallons bought, dollars spent. Every penny spent on any part is recorded for each piece of equipment and the dealer it went to, cash,check, or charge. I also have a miscellaneous section for the odd ball-one time items. My accountant thinks I'm nuts for tracking everthing so far but he smiles when all the numbers are there and easy for him to fill in his blanks.
  9. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,778

    Interesting post. I, in the past, have owned three different retail businesses, with my wife as a working partner. She is probably the best person I have ever known at meeting the public, gaining the trust of customers, etc, but probably the worst person I have ever known at handling the financial aspects of a business, which caused constant friction between us. This problem still arises today with my mowing business, and arguments arise quite often about decisions I make. Like you with your brother, I'm stuck with my partner, :) so have to make the best of it.

    The ideal business partnership would be one where the partners realize their individual strength and weakness, and do what they do best, and allow the other partner, or partners, to do what they do best without interference. Unfortunately, when it is family, it seldom works that way.

    I see both your viewpoints. I like to know how things are working, but am, honestly too lazy, and have too little bookkeeping expertise to go to the lengths you are considering. I also see your brother's viewpoint, because I hate doing Mickey Mouse stuff unless I can see a valid reason for doing it. He figures as long as you are making money, why worry about all the number crunching?

    Perhaps your best approach would be to try and show him how better record keeping will increase the bottom line by telling you wihich piece of equipment is costing more to repair than replace, etc, as I assume that is your reasoning behind doing this, then perhaps you can sway his thinking your way.

    Ask him to indulge you for a trial period, say 3 months, then show him, how your record will allow you both to make better business decisions. Good luck.
  10. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Sounds like you are micro managing. Sure the information will be helpful to some extent. Just seems like a lot of effort for relatively little return. What if you spent the same amount of time getting more work? Maybe someday when you have 1 million in revenue.............................

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