View Full Version : Might become a family business
05-15-2006, 09:57 PM
Well, it's been raining for 5 days now so now much work has been going on, so this has given me time to think.
For a while now my brothers have been talking about wanting to get into some kind of business of their own, or us getting into a business together. My one brother was a supervisor at a local golf course so he has experience with turf maintenance and management. My other brother is very knowledgable and also has management experience. Both hate their current jobs. My first brother has many qualifications yet can't find work and the work he gets is manual labor and he can't do it anymore. He was the supervisor at the course, in the army as a paratrooper, has a degree in art, has a cdl. I told him he's like forest gump. My other brother has a degree in geography, currently works at an oil mining company in the geography department, he likes the work but his beef is the corporate life. He hates the way they carry out business and hates the upper management.
We've talked about many different businesses in the past, but nothing ever sparked everyones interests or looked promising. So today I just thought ya know if I were to go out on a limb and try to go big time with the business I would actually have a spot for everyone in my family if they wanted it. I started placing them where I thought they'd be best suited and use their talents and it all fell into place. So I figured heck I'll toss the idea around. I ran it by my parents, and my two brothers, all of them agree'd and said it sounds like it would work out good, so that's all I needed to go ahead and start planing.
Right now I'm trying to decide how to get it all going. It's going to be a big jump with adding employee's on and trying to get mostly out of the field all at once, and not having the client list up front. So thats the only thing making me hesitate, it would be a major gamble.
We decided the next 6-7 months are going to be all planing, and aiming for next spring to start the venture.
Just thought I'd share and I'll keep you all updated on where we're headed with this all, or if we're headed at all. It's still very early stages, I'm just figuring out a "start up cost" to go full bore with renting a building, equiping multiple crews and operating expenses for at first. Then we're going to see how big of a gamble it really wil be and go from there if we're going to try and do it or not.
05-15-2006, 10:05 PM
Great post and great thoughts.
My first question I have for you is how did you all work together in the past when you ran the pizzeria? Did you all mesh or were there conflicts?
Also, who would lead this business? If the eldest brother wasn't leading it, would that cause a problem?
05-15-2006, 11:00 PM
Good questions, these were one of the first questions we talked about too.
At the pizza shop our oldest brother was the manager, noneof us really get along with him and there was constant conflict. He's the one that I said has his own stuff going on and won't be in this.
I get along very well with my two brothers that do want involved with this, at the pizza shop we got along well, there were conflicts now and then but small conflicts mainly because it wasn't ever understood who was in charge and what everyones role was.
Right now it's looking like my one brother will be head of the maintenance division and also will handle the landscape design work with me. My other brother will be head of PR and will assist me with any office work, basicly he'll be the general manager. My mother has experience with accounting and ran the books with the pizzeria, plus she already takes care of all reception work and scheduling. The good one is my father, he's very strict with operations, he was in the national gaurd for 25 years and worked as a supervisor at GM for 30 years, when we had the pizza shop he would come in and start barking orders and everything was straightend out in 10 minutes. Now that he's retired he's always looking for something to do so we figured we'll give him a part in the company. Not sure what you would classify him as, but he would just be making sure everything is being done right, maintenance is being pulled properly on equipment and possibly going out with crews just to watch and evaluate their performance. I would be heading the landscape division and watching over everything basicly.
The key was, I took everyones abilities and put them where they'd be using them to their fullest and not conflicting with anyone else. Even though I'm the youngest, everyone is fine with me being at the top of the company. They've seen where I've taken the company already with as little as I've had to use so they feel comfortable with me heading it.
I know how my family is, we get along but we also have our differences. And I can honestly say, the way I have it thought out now, I don't see too many issues.
05-16-2006, 11:11 AM
I do like the idea a lot. I think the most important thing is to define everyones role before it gets started. Ideally having different divisions each is in charge of. Like you said, utilize their talents and work together.
What is the next step you are considering? Where do you go from here?
Quote[/b] ]It's still very early stages, I'm just figuring out a "start up cost" to go full bore with renting a building,
Do you need to rent a building? Could each of you keep your equipment where you live to keep expenses down?
05-16-2006, 08:56 PM
The next step is going to be figuring out a start up cost. How much it will cost for the rigs with equipment, building costs, advertising costs (that's going to be a big one).
We talked about keeping the equipment at our places, but there's really no room. I keep all my equipment at my parents place and it's already becoming a burden keeping it there. Not that they care, just too much stuff. A friend that is a LCO does what you said though. He keeps alot of stuff at his parents farm, then he has his maintenance rig at his house, his brother just got in with him this year and he has a rig at his house, then he keeps his larger equipment and larger trucks at his other brothers trucking business.
I think seeing how he does things is what got me thinking. He went to school with my brother actually, so that's how I know him. But he has 3 brothers also like me, all of them own a business and all their businesses are capable of helping another. That's how they've managed to come so far is such a short time. One owns a trucking business, one owns the landscape business, another owns a large plowing company (it's such a big operation that that's all it offers) but he also owns a remodeling company, and another brother owns an excavation company. So there's equipment/tools/trucks/trailers and even employee's that they send all around and can really cut the costs on things.
I've priced buildings before though, and it'll be possible to get the size we'd need to start with for around 400 a month. Which really isn't too bad I think. I'm thinking already that we won't get a building until about February, so we're not letting it sit idle for too long.
The big scarey part of this all is the fact that we'll be doing it backwards to alot of peoples standards that are already in this business. There's a discussion on another message board now about how to move into having employee's, and most people in this field think you should have the business packed first and then add a part time, then fill up with work and make him full time and then add another and so on. But if you look at other businesses, alot of other fields do it opposite, they start with no business and have the staff already there (restaurants, small stores). So for now, that's the only scarey part and we're going to have to think it over if we want to jump head first into it, or just have the few of us work in the field and slowly get out of it as we grow.
05-16-2006, 09:04 PM
Quote[/b] ]I've priced buildings before though, and it'll be possible to get the size we'd need to start with for around 400 a month. Which really isn't too bad I think.
If it were me doing this. I would do it on the absolute cheap. The customers don't know and don't care where you park your trucks. My view would be keep parking them at home until you are forced to move them. Possibly by getting a ticket from the town. Save your money.
Talk with your other brothers and see what they think though because ultimately it is all up to you.
Quote[/b] ]The big scarey part of this all is the fact that we'll be doing it backwards to alot of peoples standards that are already in this business. There's a discussion on another message board now about how to move into having employee's, and most people in this field think you should have the business packed first and then add a part time, then fill up with work and make him full time and then add another and so on. But if you look at other businesses, alot of other fields do it opposite, they start with no business and have the staff already there (restaurants, small stores). So for now, that's the only scarey part and we're going to have to think it over if we want to jump head first into it, or just have the few of us work in the field and slowly get out of it as we grow.
My take is start small and scale up. Stores and restaurants need to be fully staffed to operate. You don't need that many people. Y asou can do most of this work with 1 person as you are now. If you are going to be working with your other brothers you could even all work on one crew at first and bang out the jobs. Then start branching outwards and creating separate crews as you need them.
Don't invest 1 cent more than you absolutely need to get this going.
You all will need to be making money asap if you are all going to be able to pull this off and stick together.
Are you going to be using your same company name now? Why or why not?
05-17-2006, 08:16 PM
Thanks for the advice, I'm soaking it all in because I respect your opinion.
As of now we're keeping the same name, but I personally have had thoughts of changing it. The more I think about it the more I don't like the name, I'd rather have something easier to remember or catchy sounding. But on the other hand, my current business name is starting to get recognized. In my eyes, to get rid of the name now would mean starting over almost 100% again and losing the money invested in branding the current name.
05-17-2006, 08:29 PM
I would keep your name. I personally like it. Also as you have said you already have invested time into building the name.
You could continue being the company spokesman.
What other issues are you thinking about?
05-18-2006, 11:03 PM
Well I don't have too many concerns really, just getting business. Which basicly stems to marketing, which as long as I can get it out in the right time and the right material, I should be ok. But I really haven't put a ton of thought into it just yet, I'm getting some issues worked out with the new mower I bought and running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get caught up due to the rain. Hopefully it doesn't rain tomorrow so I can finish up for the week, then it's time to put out advertising on the weekend!
05-18-2006, 11:29 PM
Well with the extra help of your brothers I can see how a lot more things you would like to get done will get done easier.
I think this is going to be great.
05-20-2006, 08:21 AM
Well one less piece of equipment is needed! My brother got rid of his junk VW and bought a truck the other day.
I told him not to get a ford with a mod motor because of their issues with spitting spark plugs out, but luckily he got an extended warrenty with it so he should be ok.
I was thinking about it yesterday while freezing on the mower, and we have almost everything for 2 crews. Have both trucks, my 6.5x10 trailer, the w/b which has proved to hold it's own on smaller properties, the new z, I'm picking up a 14 foot trailer today. Just need trimmer and blower and we have a second crew
:0 Now if only I could fill both crews with work, we could get a jump start on this!
05-21-2006, 06:44 PM
This is all good news.
Is he going to help you get out the marketing material?
05-21-2006, 09:46 PM
My father has been helping me with the marketing, he's actually being very supportive about it all.
My brother is currently working a goofy schedule so it's hard right now for him to jump in. But the good thing is he has set hours the days he works. Right now we're trying to fill my schedule up and when it gets to the point of needing more help, then we're going to start a second crew. Basicly decided to do like you said and be conservative about it. It is much safer so that will be nice.
05-21-2006, 09:57 PM
How does your dad help you out?
05-21-2006, 10:41 PM
Well in the spring he went with me to put out flyers, which was a big help because no one else would help out, even for money. He donated his time for all that, and gas for using his car.
He's been working at our churches festival all week here so we haven't been able to do anything this week, but probably tomorrow or tuesday we're going to start advertising again. I want to continue to advertising all year basicly, even if it's cheap forms of advertising I want to continue to put the name out. It's revenge for not doing as much as I wanted to do last year.
It's working out though, I told my dad today I'm going to start taking him fishing more this year. We used to fish alot and I wanted to start going more with him. He's been complaining lately that he needs to get a part time job aside from being the gardner at our church, and he's the type that needs to keep busy constantly so the fishing will get him away from it.
Long story short, my dad has been screwed over in life by alot of people, and the thing that makes me feel really good is helping him out, like tonight at the festival he's been saying he wanted to try this one food but it was expensive so i bought it for him I said we'll share it, I felt good about that, little stupid stuff like that.
On a side note, my dad won the $3000 drawing at the church tonight http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif that was cool!
05-21-2006, 11:58 PM
WOW! congrats to him for winning.
It's great to have the support you have. Many people never get that. It must be great for your dad to see you growing as you are, this is fantastic.
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