Retirement letter

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by lawn, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. lawn

    lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    Does anybody have a sample of retirement letter? I might need to let my clients know that I am retiring and that a new fellow will continue taking care them, I have been doing a long research on the internet but I cannot find one that describes what I need. Any help will be much appreciated.

  2. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,445

    Can't beat a genuine letter written by you that expresses your feelings directly to your customers. That's what I would do. Good luck!
  3. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Explain the transition for us here. "... new fellow taking over ..." sounds like the customer had no say in the transition. Isn't the new relationship between the customer and the "new fellow?" You can make a referral with strong suggestion, but ultimately the decision is of the customer. They made a choice to have a business relationship with you. Ultimately, they make the decision to have a business relationship with somebody else.

    Did you "sell" the accounts to the "new fellow?" Did you reassign contracts you had signed to somebody else? If so, does the terms of the contract permit you to make that reassignment?

    All these factors will be part of the letter. There are too many details missing for somebody to give you suggestions on how to word the letter.
  4. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,166

    I am making this up as I go so it will need to be wordsmithed.

    Dear Mr. Smith,

    I appreciate your business and have enjoyed working with you over the years. I am, however, rapidly approaching retirement age. In order to smooth my transition to retirement I am entering into a business relationship with MR. X where he will assume some of my resposibilities. I am not entering into this arrangement lightly or without much forethought. I have know Mr. X for some time and feel that he and I have similar quality standards and work ethic. This arangement will allow me to focus more on aspects of the business that are less physically demanding.

    I will try to personally introduce Mr. X to each of you over the coming weeks. I am certain that you will find him as delightful to work with as I do. He is already familiar with your properties and I am confident that this will be a painless almost seamless transition. Lastly, I am not disappearing completely so if you have any concerns you can still reach me as easily as ever.

    Again, thanks for your past support. I look forward to a long working relationship with Mr. X at the helm. I remain, as always,

    Very truly yours,

  5. TriCityLawnCareLLC

    TriCityLawnCareLLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 1,025

  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    This means you are sub-contacting the work to Mr. X, right? The "business relationship" needs more explanation, and specificity.

    Since you are subbing out the work, then you need to be clear who will be responsible, who will be sending the invoices, and who will be collecting (for a sub arrangement, that would be you). You should also be clear about the charges, the schedules, etc, for the coming season. The "some responsibilities" need to be clarified. The "some" implies you retain some, but not all responsibilities. That would be covered in the items mentioned above.

    I presume you are subbing the work, hoping to make some money on the difference between the customer payments, and what your sub is charging you. Is this difference worth it? Usually, there is not much margin.

    How do you think the customers will respond to the split in responsibilities? Heretofore, you have been the point person. Now, they will have two.
  7. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    This right here. States it quite well.
  8. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,166

    The current owner will lend himself to do a little PR work to smooth the transition but the new owner will quickly become the sole point of contact.

    You appear to feel that this is deceptive. You won't feel this way when it is your time to sell and you have to guarantee the accounts or give the money back. This is business and it is honest. Don't make it personal.
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Sorry, I didn't mean an offense. I only read what was in the post.

    When somebody establishes a 'business relationship' for the purposes of having them do work, it sure sounds like a sub-contract. Lack of specifics in the "business relationship" is what leads to wrong conclusions. Your last post doesn't clear any of the mystery either. Leaving the issues "intentionally vague" only opens the door for questions and confusion. I'm unsure why the choice of "intentionally vague." That implies that you really don't know how it will work out, and are prepared to take it all back.

    I know if i got such a vague letter, I would probably look for somebody else. I want to know the responsible party, who is getting paid, and how much. You have stated that you will not be doing the work, so that part is clear. I would wonder how Mr. X is familiar with my property, unless he has worked it before as part of your services.

    If you have contracts, and they are transferable, then the statements are very simple, "... I am exercising my option of transferring your contract to Mr. X." This leaves no room for misinterpretation. Even if you have a contract, there is nothing to prevent the customers from finding somebody else.

    If you are handing the accounts over, I don't know why the statement about "reaching you." Again, this leads me to believe you are not ready to let them go, so that with any problem, you would take them back.

    I'm sorry if my comments are not welcome or understood. I am over 70, and so this situation of what to do with customers is something I have thought about, and I know that someday soon I will be confronted with the same issue. So, it is not an academic issue for me. I think that I would want to do as you have done, that is, try to find another LCO be given the option to take over the accounts, and give the customer a choice about working with my choice of LCO. In both cases, either can say "yes," or "no." From so many other threads on LS, the price for selling an account seems to be worth about $0.00, so that is probably not even an option. There are some accounts that I would not pass a name, rather leave the field open for them. There are good reasons why I would do this (e.g. a property not compatible with how that LCO works). I know that if I was giving over an account to another LCO, I do not wish to be in the middle of anything between my former customer and their new LCO. I would want the cut to be clean and complete. I would no longer be in a position to do anything useful.

    I would be interested in knowing how it works. Maybe "getting out" isn't as easy as I think it might be.
  10. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,166

    Basically you are easing the customer into the transition. Getting them used to the new guy. By the time the invoicing comes up he will have been servicing them for a month (hopefully with good results). And the customer can always say no, always. You are not forcing anyone to do anything. My business model is that I build routes and sell them. I have to guarantee customer retention for 90 days and this type of communication with the customers gets us halfway there without a hitch. This way works. You are free to do it however you like.

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