Ditching my partner and going solo!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by H & M Yard Improvements, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,506

    You suffer the same either way.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. spitfire3416

    spitfire3416 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 554

    i know a lot of people on here are just saying "dump him" but if you too are pretty good friends you wouldn't wanna ruin that friendship over a small landscaping business. just propose to him that you think it's a good idea to split up. if you both want different things it should be pretty clear between the two of you. if he can't see that, then oh well, at least you tried it the civil way. i personally wouldn't even wanna be friends with anyone who finds 29 landscaping accounts to be more important than a friendship though.
  3. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    It's a business decision, I've fired friends before. We're still friends, people need to understand the difference between business and personal.
  4. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Sounds like me and I'm not lazy, but 8 is awful early!!
  5. spitfire3416

    spitfire3416 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 554

    no I know.. i'm just advising him to not go about it the wrong way. i'm still not sure what kinda stake he really has in this business so to just say "dump him" may turn things sour. you can't really fire someone that is an equal partner. i'm simply stating that I think it's better to come to an equal understanding rather than leaving him no choice in the matter. IMO this friend doesn't really sound like a great business person and will most likely fail on his own. so i think it will be better to just part ways and let that inevitably happen, rather than "firing" him and then he turns around and blames him for his misfortunes. if he wants to get up at 8, so be it. if he doesn't wanna work weekends, so be it. there really isn't anything wrong with that. if thats how he wants to live his life, that's his option. but that's not what YOU want. for a partnership to work there needs to be equal understanding.

    if he splits or leaves, this is what will probably happen. OP will be successful while the friend eventually fails and goes under. NOW this friend will have to see that he's problem. but if he fires him, which he probably can't legally do anyway, the friend will just resent him and blame him for something that's really not his fault.

    it's kinda like if a guy were to cheat on his GF that he wasn't all that into. if he were to just come to an equal understanding and let it be known that it's not working out, they could part ways peacefully. but if she finds out that he was cheating, well now he's just the a$$hole and it's all his fault.. right? don't give him any ammo to turn this into a conflict.

    so really what I'm saying is.. communicate, don't just force it. if he doesn't wanna split, then he's left you no other options.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  6. H & M Yard Improvements

    H & M Yard Improvements LawnSite Member
    Messages: 214

    I have had a lot of people tell me that the company is mine and that hes an employee. We both have pick up trucks. We both mow together depending on the size of the property. Sometimes one of us mows and one of us trims. BTW, Im in NJ for those who use cell phones and cant see my loc. I have that same problem when I use mine lol.
  7. H & M Yard Improvements

    H & M Yard Improvements LawnSite Member
    Messages: 214


    I sat down with him yesterday when I was done servicing the 5 lawns that needed to be done. needless to say on my own, i was out and about by 7 am with my son and we were done by 11.

    I voiced my displeasure with his lack of promptness and availability. Apparently he didnt like what I had to say. He actually had the grapes to tell me that doing all of the office duties, estimates, taking calls etc is NOT work!

    I said to him that I may not know everything that there is to know and that I am still learning but I do know that customers/accounts cannot be put off just because he doesnt feel like getting up or not working Saturdays and that they should be done when we say that we are going to do it. And if it rains then we should do them on the next possible day that weather conditions are more favorable and if it happens to be a Saturday then so be it. I hate working saturdays too but if i have to then I will. He still disagreed with me. I told him that I cannot operate with him and his poor work ethic. Its not good for the buisness and I would like to keep as many of our clients as possible for next year and build on that. Again shrugs his shoulders as if no big deal to him.

    So, in the end, I told him that I got some advise from seasoned pros (Thank you Lawn Site and its knowledgeable members), and that I will finish the season with him and that starting january 1, I am going to go out on my own as a solo op with a new company name. We have 2 main areas that we service. I offered to give him the one area and I will take the other. Surprisingly, he agreed to it. I also told him that if he wants to buy any more equipment for this year should it be needed that it was going to come out of his own pocket bc I will not invest in another piece of equipment to share. Any new stuff from this point forward I buy will be for myself. We dont have a written agreement as far as equipment/accounts and so on but he did agree to splitting and I will take everything that I bought outright. The stuff bought jointly which wasnt much, I will buy off of him (depeciated value).

    We were storing everything at his house and I have another friend that i explained my dilema to and he said that I can store stuff at his place (no I dont have a place for storage and my budget at the moment doesnt cover a storage unit). I will be looking into that next season. I wont have to pay him rent bc we help each other with work. He gives me work in the winter when things are slow for me and I do the same for him during the warmer months when I need the help for mulch jobs or clean ups etc.

    Now I can start running things the way I want them to be run!

    I'd like to thank everyone that has given me advise on this matter and I appreciate it very much!

  8. spitfire3416

    spitfire3416 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 554

    congrats, you did the right thing. just keep learning and getting your name out there and you'll be fine..
  9. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    That was relatively painless. Partnerships can be painful and I now know it would take a strong operating agreement with seperation clauses to ever get me in another one.

    It is nice having a partner to cover things for you but that is about it. Sounds like you did not even have that. Time to go grow
  10. H & M Yard Improvements

    H & M Yard Improvements LawnSite Member
    Messages: 214

    I feel a lot better stresswise. Dont get me wrong as a friend hes a great guy but as a co-owner/emplyee whatever you want to call him, he isnt too reliable.

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