How do i talk my dad out of this businuss

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by sahmed16, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. sahmed16

    sahmed16 LawnSite Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 6

    Read this I’m sure you'll appreciate it. My dad got sick of the whole corporate thing one day decided to visit my moms office ask her to leave with him. My parents are both unemployed now and refuse to return to corporate America. My father grew up on a farm and his father and his father lived and worked on farms. My dad has decided to start a landscaping business. I pretty much pay all the bills now and I don't mind it but my dad is heall bent on this business and loves it. My problem is that he’s 57 years old and he not only mows lawns he put builds brick patios and hardcore full luxury home landscaping. He gets a huge amount of referrals and his clients always brag to me about his work when I help him. He has a lot of clients from most wealthy suburbs in IL. (A lot of them friends).

    I'm afraid this business may not be good for his health and the fact that he doesn’t speak Spanish will increase his costs of labor. He is out there for hours and when I go help him I’m tried after a couple hours of shoveling mulch into a barrel. It's come to a point where he has a huge water swollen ball on his elbow from landscaping. On the plus side he is no logger depressed as he was in corporate America.

    Should I help him (invest financial in his business) or keep putting him down? If you think I should help him what can I do to get him employees. He asked me for a garden tractor or a pick up. He also asks me to find him immigrant laborers but he doesn’t speak Spanish. He asked me to buy him a pick up truck but I don't know what to get. He pretty much attaches a trailer to his suv and goes about (its kind of cute to see him driving around my neighborhood in the trailer. It makes me smile when he shows me pictures of his work and how proud he is to earn his money.

    What do I do? What should I buy him? Or how do I talk him out of this? I have about $40,000 and I would do anything for my dad.
  2. swingset

    swingset LawnSite Member
    Messages: 231

    Wow....that post is just all over the place....I'm not entirely sure what is going on there. You have parents that quit their jobs, you their kid paying their bills, the dad is now doing something he loves and is apparently good at it, but you're the one having to buy equipment for this business, and you're wondering if you should help him out or "put him down" (I hope that doesn't mean putting your dad to sleep).

    Did I get all that straight? I hope it made sense in your head.

    I don't have any least not based on the confusing situation. On one hand, your dad is happy. On the other, he's irresponsible and quit his job without means to live or start the business he's now doing.
  3. sahmed16

    sahmed16 LawnSite Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 6

    I'm sorry i know its everywhere. I was sleepy and confused last night. I think i want to help him with his business. I just need advice on what truck and equipment to buy. I also need to find him some laborers. Do you think this will be a problem if he doesn't speak Spanish? Lets say the bunsinuss really takes off. How much is my dad looking to make for the 7-8 months out of the year? This summer he only made $6,000 doing it on his own with 25 accounts.
  4. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,034

    Can your dad down size his own home, for a profit, live on less and use the left over to invest in himself?

    Were did all of the money go from when he was a corp cloney?

    Why did your mother have to quit at the same time? That makes no sense to me, at least without seeing the entire picture.

    At 57 he will indeed have to get others to do the work eventually, and he does not need to speak spanish. Just needs good workers that are willing to build their own career on someone elses dime and name.

    I would sit down with him and find out if he has a business plan. If so, help him tweak it. If not, get one together.

    What I would not do, is help him get into a lot of debt that will past on to you should something very unfortunate happen.

    Bottom line, your dad needs a plan, and it needs to include how the business will run without him being in the field, or disolve in good fashion.

    Basically logical stuff.

  5. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,034

    Is made gross or net?

  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I was just thinking about this, my grandfather was a farmer...
    My dad worked for a big corporation for 40 or 50 years...
    Me, I hated corporations and for many years I had to hear it.
    Oh trust me, I tried all that crap of work hard and you'll get your reward, yeah...
    But my dad discovered the big lie in the end, too.
    Yup, 40+ years he worked for the same guys, and he got let go, thank you, have a nice day.
    Pension plans, retirement income, what?
    You're kidding, corporations don't provide that, read: Corporations do NOT provide for your retirement!
    They did him cleaner than most, he got paid full salary for another whole year but no matter how you look at it, it was still a dirty trick.
    Now I don't hear it much anymore, which is a relief, and sometimes I laugh, but it makes me sad, too.
    What can you do, you can't tell them in their youth, only once they get old do they see it.

    You think working all of your life for the big guys will set you straight?
    LOL, there's no money in agricultural either, but the only punks who lie in our faces are the customers we can walk away from.
    Read: In my business, the customer is NOT always right.

    But I like the idea of making the kids carry the load, that actually might be worth the compromise after all, but it's still a really big IF, still, get the kids to do the bs, what a great concept. Maybe a retirement plan, make kids late in life, get them to carry the load into my elder years, now that's an interesting idea.

    Because it's that yin and yang crap all over again :laugh:

    It is funny, it really is, but I didn't see it for 40-some years and after this long, the only choice left is to laugh.


    You should tell your dad to raise his prices, it's all the same money in the end anyhow, why let the customers work him to the bone like that?
  7. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    You say: he builds brick patios and hardcore full luxury home landscaping. He gets a huge amount of referrals and his clients always brag to me about his work when I help him. He has a lot of clients from most wealthy suburbs in IL. (A lot of them friends).

    but he has only made 6 grand? how does he do full luxury home landscaping, what equipment does he use to do that, but yet he doesn't have a "garden tractor" to mow lawns?
  8. bahamamills

    bahamamills LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187


    I am with you he said all summer he only made 6k with 25 accounts thats only 240.00 per account for the summer. Then the description of hardscaping jobs for high end neighborhoods and the fine work he does.

    I can certainly appreciate the fact you want to help you parents out but if this is indeed for real you have to act like a bank. If he is doing all of this work and has only made that much money throwing more at it with equipment is not going to help. He needs more help on setting rates and quoting it sounds like. There are many on this site and more out side of this site that run small crews 1-3 that could make much more than what you stated.

    What truck to buy? Well shoot you will get plenty of input on that but I would go with a GM2500 Duramax or an F250 Diesel personally both of which you could get with 40k cash. Again, not to be critical but thats just going to make him look good driving around its not going to help him make anymore money. As far as speaking spanish, hell if you can not find one that can speak english for 10-15 bucks an hour and make money throw in the towel.........
  9. daysel

    daysel LawnSite Member
    from TEXAS
    Messages: 140

    Call Dr. Phil, Then post it in a different forum.
  10. sahmed16

    sahmed16 LawnSite Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 6

    My mom left with him b/c they worked at the same company. The six grand is net cash in hand. He spent some of his revenue on buying a trailer, lawn mower and other equipment. He also factored in cost of gas and factored in tax he may pay at the end of the year. I think he has 25 accounts ready to turn biz over to him once he has the manpower. I'm going to pick up a pre owned 2005 ford f150 (get the 100,000 mile warranty, i've heard bad things about ford's quality). What do you guys think about a Toyota Tacoma? I've been reading allot about the quick 36 so i'll get that as a garden tractor. Let me know if there are other essentials i need to buy.

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