What would you do....if it were a friend?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Liquidfast, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 739

    Two weeks ago, I was offered to bid on 23 accounts (gas stations). They are willing to pay $310 per month for basic maintenance and general clean up of trash and continue into the winter with snow removal for the same monthly price (its a year round customer).

    Problem is, these accounts are currently held by a very good friend, who has children, a big mortgage, two vehicles to pay for etc etc.
    My situation is, it wouldn't matter to me one way or the other if we land the contracts as both of my vehicles (2002) are paid for, no mortgage or overhead. The contracts that my friend has with these locations are about to expire on friday and they are determined to look elsewhere. My bid is for the same $310 per month per location offering the same services. My friend asked me NOT to bid because this could put him out of business and he will lose his home.

    I currently work on three other locations owned by the general manager who approached me to bid on these locations......don't know what to do. I offered to take the accounts and in turn, offer my friend 13 commercial accounts I currently manage to offset his loss and he refuses. What to do, what to do?
  2. Thirdpete

    Thirdpete LawnSite Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 236

    business is business.

    but, if he's a good friend, you might as well try to tighten up your route. try to pass him some accounts that you don't necessarily like. slow payers, trashy spots, etc. he'll get the income and he'll learn to keep his customers happy.

    besides, his big mortage isn't your concern.
  3. bwilder10h

    bwilder10h LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    Tough spot to be in. What he and you have to consider is the fact that if you don't take them, someone else will. It sounds like they are destined to find service elsewhere and what sense does it make for you to pass on them and the work be given to someone else. At least you are offering him (which is quite gracious in my opinion) some of your accounts to help him stay above water... if you pass on the deal, you both get nothing and like it from the way it sounds.

    Does he know they are leaving regardless?
  4. Up North

    Up North LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MN
    Messages: 1,063

    If losing this one account (23 locations) at $310 a month puts him under...he's got some other problems he needs to address. IMO, talk to him, tell him they've approached you about the job. IMO I wouldn't want to take over an account my buddy had and have him lose his house...if in fact that would happen, so talk to him beforehand and lay all the cards on the table. But obviously they are looking to dump him, and since it's only $310 I doubt it's because of price, $310 sounds pretty cheap to me. Do you know why they are dumping him? If it's due to quality of workmanship then that's a tougher card to deal with, if they're happy with the work he's done you can always sub it back out to him. But it sounds like it may be a quality issue.

  5. Mike Fronczak

    Mike Fronczak LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    This happened to me a while back. I went to him & told him. Bid high so I didn't undercut his price. Ended up not getting it, to make matters worse the property we had next door we just lost to the guy that got it. No matter what you lose.
  6. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    Property managers like having one point of contact for stuff., even if its diffreent properties, they want to use the same people.

    I'd hate to see your freind lose the jobs, but like was mentions. woudl he rather loose them to you, or some other nobody....
    310 per property, per month is 85K per year based on twelve months. I coudl see someone loosing a house or getting stretched too thin to suck up an 85K loss.

    Business is business...You just need to know that what you are doing is running a business. Id hate to loose a freind over something liek this, but if he can't make the separation from business to pleasure, then he's screwed either way...
  7. Splicer

    Splicer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 992

    Bad situation but I'll tell you this...if $300 is what is making or breaking him he is over extended. Not to mention if you aren't the one to get the account then surely someone else will...and it won't be your friend who is willing to give up another 13 accounts to help a friend out.

    Business is business...
  8. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,306

    Bad situation, why dont you take this opportunity to expand, take the job and buy out your friends business, then hire him as a crew foreman or something and give him a good buck to work for you. Thats the only way I could see it done, why give up work to get work, expand. Obviously if the gas stations are looking for a new company your friends isnt doing his job, so either just one of you can loose the work or both of you can loose the work when they get someone elses bid who isnt either of your friends. Ya gotta think about yourself, i can feel for your friend, but what if you give him those 13 accounts and something comes outta that, now hes a millionaire and your stuck in the dumps...will he remember you then. Good Luck.

  9. instyle

    instyle LawnSite Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 380

    310 per month is 3720 per year.....you must have meant 310 for all 23 properties....that would be $85000 per year. That is a very big contract.

    How are you friends with him.....buis or personal. It sounds like he is going to be dumped anyways, I would talk to him and tell him they approached you, and you want it.
  10. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    I believe this is what he means .... as this is what he wrote in the thread

    If they are willing to offer you the job at the same price .... they are getting ready to get rid of him anyways ..... as they must not be happy

    It's a tough call .... but your friend better get ready to lose the account either way

Share This Page