Help on Forming a Partnership

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by DerekRedd, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. DerekRedd

    DerekRedd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I have screened through every thread I can find on partnerships, and it seems to me that the majority of the people on this site cringe at the thought. I have seen very few who claim success as partners, and the ones that take some time and write out a contract together first and foremost. My problem is… that I am only 16 and understand that you can only be legally binded to a contract if you are 18+. My friend and I mowed together last year as a side deal and didn’t take it very seriously; we split everything down the middle. He was unreliable at times (because of family) problems and many times I was left high and dry without notice. We eventually dropped our accounts because of school, transportation, unreliability…etc. As I made money, I would set aside a little here and there, and lately I’ve bought various pieces of commercial equipment, my latest being an Exmark Metro 32” planning on starting over this coming summer on my own knowing what all we did wrong last season and taking it to the next level. He, on the otherhand, spent his cut on ridiculous things and I assume that he’s broke by now. When I told him what I was doing, he insisted on being a part of it. I know he’s a good worker (when he shows up), and I’m sure that I will be able to handle many more accounts with his help, but I’m not sure how I we could work together. I offered him a job at $12-$15 I said I would have to figure out the expenses once we got started so I don’t have an exact amount. I thought this would be the best for the both of us since I wouldn’t be totally reliant on him and he would not have such burdening obligations to me. He turned his nose up at it. I offered him a partnership if he could match what I have already put in, which I doubt he can do. He said this is what he wanted but I have yet to see the money. I told him to put up what he could and he would own whatever percentage that he put into the business. He said he wanted it 50/50 and he would see what he could do. I have almost every other part of my business plan worked out the best I can but I can’t go much further until this is worked out.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank You in advance.
  2. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Find another partner that has as much to put in as you do or offer him a % of what he can put in. 80%-20% if he signs the papers and throws in some labor.
    By him signing he's the one legally responesable so maybe he don't want his azz hanging in the wind.
  3. ahill713

    ahill713 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    I am young like you and what i have learned the hard way is to not mix friends or family with business. I lost my best friend in highschool when something similar happened. good luck with your business and your friendship.
  4. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    You sound like a thoughtful, hardworking young man. I doubt you need a partner at all, certainly not this guy.:eek:
  5. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 677

    Run as fast as you can!! I have seen this scenerio played out a 1000'd times. Dont do it!!! Run with what you have and do the yards that you can and build a reputation on dependibility. By taking twice the yards and then having to drop them all because you squabbled is no excuse. Why didnt you keep the gravy ones even if it was only 2 or 3 + school and build from that. You sound like a hard worker with some planning ability. Dont be sidetracked into a partnership. My 2 cents
  6. DerekRedd

    DerekRedd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks for your input, guess thats the answer I was waiting for.
  7. chopsticks33

    chopsticks33 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    yeah...kinda thinking the same thing...but it definitely sounds like you should ditch the partnership
  8. 2menandamower

    2menandamower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 247

    I had the same problem with an unreliable partner this year. When football season started he took another job working at football games on weekends (the main time that we mowed most of our yards). We were just part time but he did not have the heart to do what we had to do to make it work. He thought that people would come knocking on our door and we would be swimming in work without advertising or anything else. We still talk but he is not my partner anymore. Don't do a partnership, it can ruin a friendship. Here is another thought if you can handle 40 yards a week and make a good income then why would you need to do 80 yards a week so that you can both make that same amount. With one working you need half the equipment and that saves in overhead. Good Luck.

  9. The landscaper

    The landscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    You want to find someone with the same ambition as you or even more than you. You wont want to get stuck doing everything yourself in a few weeks. I would say you would get different responses if you had said you a friend who was motivated and wanted to bust his butt.
  10. DerekRedd

    DerekRedd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    You make a good point Scott. I'm pretty convienced that I'll be starting solo, but what do you suggest I do if (or when) I get more than i can handle by myself. Or do you think I shouldn't get that big? Keep the cream of the crop, and let the rest go?

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