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partner advice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by guntruck, Jan 7, 2001.

  1. guntruck

    guntruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    I would like to run a scenario by you guys please and get some advice. My brother and are are partners here in our company, as in we split everything 50/50. Right now all the $$$$ goes into all our equipment bills and phone and everything that has to do with our business. We both work full time, and come spring im sure we will fill our quota quickly of how many accounts we can handle. Do any of you havce any input on maybe if one of us should quit first and jump in with both feet and attack more jobs? Then when things get busy and steady the other quit? Also here is the big one, some of you own your bus. and have a helper, we split it down the middle. So technically we should be working separately having 2 complete setups just to make what 1 guy does with a helper beings we split 50/50 right? It looks like we need to double our work to maintain good cash flow yes? no? maybe? We both love this business very much and have always done it on the side, we get along very well and instead of competing we decided to work together beings we can trust eachother. Sorry for the length but this has been bugging me.

    Thanks for ANY help!!!!
  2. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    Rich your in for a ride if both of you don't see eye to eye on 90% of you decisions .......$$ is going to so tight with the 50/50 split for the first few years depending on your set up (work out of home if you can as long as possible) .....I kept my job for about the first 6 months of business while my partner kept his for about 1 year & then he still worked part time at nite ( wife & 2 kids) .... BUT in the long run it is the best deal....as one can acually take time off while the other "owner" is availiable....get a good CPA ...think of setting up as an S corp (limits your liability and officers do not have to be covered by Workmans Comp, I take as little of a paycheck as legally possible and then get a "dividend" for my stock shares, but I also have not bought gas for my "company" truck in 4 years and my company takes me out to dinner alot, pays for my insurance etc. as almost "everything" is business related ....I could go on & on.....but if you love what you do.....then you can find a way to make it work and if you have to split up...you can join back together later on and help on another in the mean time....good luck
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Well I'm not sure I can answer your questions, but I will touch upon a few points.

    One of the first things I looked for in your post was to see how well you and your brother got along. That there is KEY.

    Right now both of you are doing this on the side without having to rely on lawncare as your SOLE income.
    If both of you were to jump right in, you may find that there is a lot of added pressure. Pressure sometimes causes friction even between the best of brothers. Maybe the brother with the better paying full time job could keep his, while the other brother got things going??? Just a thought.

    I know how hard it can be, because we are a husband and wife team. We both quit our full time jobs and jumped right in. A lot of times we disagree on how things should be handled. So that's why I said that it's good that you and your brother get along well. But do you also work well together when there is a crisis or problem that needs to be handled? If one of you are the leader and the other one the follower, then working together might be ok. But if you both like to be boss, and call the shots, then maybe you shouldn't partner up. I speak from experience on this one, because both my husband and I like to be boss, and believe me, that makes it rough.

    Right now for us, we find it is more profitable for us to work as a team without employees. So for now, we don't need two trucks, more insurance costs, more equipment, hassles with hiring employees, PAYING employees. One day yes, we might get to that point, but I personally wouldn't suggest that route for someone that is just starting out.
    Of course that is just my opinion.

    In conclusion, if one of you have a really good paying job, I would hold on to it. Have the other brother start the business, get it up and running, while the brother with the job helps part-time. Once the business is up and running good, then the other brother could then partner up.


  4. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    I have found that with my brother as my partner even though we haven't lived under the same roof in over 10 years, that sometimes the BIG BROTHER syndrome hits the office.

    To avoid this we have implemented a policy of majority vote wins. The "board" is both maintenace and our landscape foreman plus ourselves. The only drawback is when he and I agree and they disagree, noses could get bent.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    guntruck, good luck with whatever you decide, because ultimately the decision can only be made by you, and you alone.I have never been in a partnership, and never will. I guess because my father had bad ones and ever since I was young he said not to get involved with them.Not that they are not out there, but I do not know of one partnership that has worked out or one of them haven't got scre#@$. To me, it's just one more headache thrown into the mix. There are a million things in a day to deal with, why add another. I started the ball rolling on my business 3 months ago and this summer will be my first year doing it. All the decisions I have had to make these last three months have been somewhat overwhelming,What equipment to buy ? What trailer to get ? What letterhead, business card design, software program, office equipment, where to put advertising money, what to charge people ? And a million other little things. I couldn't imagine having to make all those decisions and coming to an agreement also with someone elses ideas as well as mine. Just my opinion and good luck with your decision and your business.
  6. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    I agree with Randy 100% about partnership (my fathers advice as well).

    but I still cannot beat up my older brother so maybe in 10 years or so when he's 50 I can muscle him out. -- LOL

  7. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    kutnkru, you gotta get him when he's not lookin'. LOL
  8. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    Actually it has worked out better than planned with the Board reviewing all decisions that impact the company directly. Good thing is if the board gets out of line, we can always hire a new board.

  9. guntruck

    guntruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    Well thanks guys, makes things a little more promising. thus far any and all decisions have been made on both parts and we have questioned each other at times but always trusted the other one. If something doesnt work we try another way, but i know exactly what you mean because small disagreements almost blew up into wars =). But i believe ultimately if you want the business to thrive and its important enough then you will make it happen. Thanks again everyone for the comments.
  10. Green Finger

    Green Finger LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 839

    Yo Guntruck,

    Let me drop a little info on you. Before you continue to do any more business with your brother.(Part-time or Full-Time)

    Go to a lawyer and get a professional partnership agreeement. You might spend a little money now but, it will save you both some major problems.

    Have him spell out everything. Who gets what, Who owns what everything!

    Reason why?

    If you do this business half way right, you guys are going to make a lot of money. AND MONEY CAN CHANGE THINGS. MONEY CAN CHANGE THE WAY PEOPLE THINK, ACT, OR EVEN SMELL.

    Who ever came up with the majority of the ideas, equipment, and money should have the majority control.


    It's not worth having bad blood with other people because we didn't take advice from others.BELEIVE ME, I KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. SEVERAL OF MY FORMER BEST FRIENDS STILL DON'T TALK TO ME.

    I'm not against partnerships but do it the right way!

    Thinks about it.
    Just a little info, for ya

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