New but Not So New Advice Please

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by joallen001, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. joallen001

    joallen001 LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 247

    WEll I am about to make a big decision and I need some help. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Me and my best friend are about to combine each of our lawn care business's. Together we have a total of around 80 accounts. We are both 22yrs old and we also graduate in December with degrees in Business. Not only are we going to combine our mowing business but we are also planning to but out a nursery. The nursery has no competition as of today. We will provide mulch, shrubs, trees, flowers,etc. My question is what are all the procedures we should go through before we combine business's and buyout the nursery. Things such as should we change the name of the nursery? We have thought of many things that need to be talked over and we plan to go through a lawyer. I am sure we are leaving some things out. Anything that might help with the business decision I am willing to listen. So please post some advice whether it be do's or dont's
  2. YodaMouse

    YodaMouse LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Although I am very new to the lawncare business, I have some experience with business in general.

    The one word of caution I'd like to give you is that in my experience, any business has to have a boss. Partnerships are great, but at the end of the day if you do not clearly delinate who has the final word, you're looking at a whole bunch of trouble. Puting these things down on paper may save you a lot of trouble--even though it may suck to bring it up in conversation.

    That's my two cents. Good luck!
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Having just read the above, I have another theory...

    The one thing I might recommend is consider forming a member-based LLC as you may end up deciding to run EACH of you under your own license while the LLC incorporates the two.

    You have your license, your friend has his - This way even thou you're combining customers etc, you can BOTH still take care of your own and run a separate yet combined operation with minimal interference. Meanwhile, BOTH his license and yours are in the name of the LLC and this combines things at the top. You are one member, your friend is the other - You can both decide on some issues but you may also decide each of you keeps some customers exclusively you only deal with some, your friend only deals with others, so to speak.

    With the money, it may be an idea to keep separate business accounts as well, both would be DBA accounts with one name as the LLC, the other name is either yours or your friends, respectively. I think the money issue is very important, even some married couples have separate accounts because we all know it, money will break a friendship in some cases fast.

    There are many other issues, such as how is cost for the nursery taken care of, blablabla, ultimately someone MAY have to be the boss but you might also consider, just as would be the case in a member-based LLC to base decisions on a Vote and for this to work you'd have to hire a 3rd neutral party from time to time to help decide... dunno, just an idea.

    Good luck.
  4. joallen001

    joallen001 LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 247

    topsites and yodamouse thanks for the replies. There have been a lot of view so hopefully I will get some more help. We just want to make sure we get everything situated before we buy the nursery. We definately dont want to run into big decisions after we buy. As far as the cost of the nursery goes we pretty much have that worked out. I am not sure how we would run 2 seperate operations on his accounts now and one on my accounts. IF one of use makes more on the accounts we have now, then someone will have to take a cut when helping the other out. If that makes sense. We were basically just gonna combine everything and go 50/50. Also what are the thoughts on changes the name of the nursery? Thanks for eveyones help
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    It may test your friendship but to run it as one rather than separate would be the next best option IMO. For some reason I see the bit about one of you being the boss as being a bit problematic, for one thing I could never see that working out in my case BUT there has to be an end to the head-butting and this is where your friendship may come to its test. It is possible you will not butt heads as friends, you may already agree AND disagree on things in ways only friends do things and this may be the trend to follow through with the business as well.

    I find a business relationship, be it customer-to-business or your case, tends to be SOMEWHAT like a friendship but not exactly. Still, if things click smoothly, if the gears engage and things flow without much grind and halt, then it is very possible things work out swell in the long run.

    Name for the nursery? Play with it for some time until you find something both of you agree on. In the end it's not that important so long you're both ok with it, the most important factor is that once it is chosen it should stay that way for many years because that will 'season' it, part of becoming a long-term business is to stick with a name (whatever name) because people remember the name regardless of choice, so decide on something mutually agreeable.

    Far as the money, save, save, save :)

    Best of luck again.
  6. joallen001

    joallen001 LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 247

    Can someone post a list of the most important things that should be discussed before buying a business as a partnership. We plan to get as much in writing as we can to prevent future issues. We have basically already decided on what equipment we are going to use and that we will keep the name of the current nursery. Thanks again topsite
  7. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    graduate in December with degrees in Business.

    The first thing you should have learned is NEVER GO INTO BUSINESS WITH A FRIEND...

    If you care anything about your friendship, DONT DO IT....

    And besides I see no reason to do so...

    Both have about 80 lawns.......

    I hope you post back with several reason to do this....

    But I'm Going to give you a million reasons NOT TO....
  8. joallen001

    joallen001 LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 247

    we have around a total of 80 together, not each

    I did learn in college that their are advantages and disadvantages of going into business together. To be honest my business management teacher said I should do it after I showed the class a powerpoint presentation on the nursery and the lawn care.
  9. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    I wish you all the luck in the world.....

    But I think I would consult an attorney first
  10. NEPSJay

    NEPSJay LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    I bad news all over it

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