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picframer
10-25-2009, 05:45 AM
I find myself faced with a very tough decision, some may laugh and say just do it but let me give you the background.

I want to be careful and not mention any company, lets just say I do very little work in my community which is true, no reason other than I love working in the community most of our business is in about 30 min from my home.
There is a lawn care company and snow removal about two streets over from me, they are massive, at least 8 trucks with trailers, very, very professional looking in every respect and yes we sometimes meet at the coffee shop in the mornings.

Dad is a bit older than me and owns the company, son who I would guess is 25 basically runs it this year and I think dad has his eye off the ball, I have herd from many that the son has a substance issue, I don’t get into the gossip but I keep a log in my head and I have herd this a lot.

Starting Tuesday something strange happened, I started receiving a lot of emails for snow removal quotes, I would guess close to 30 last week, all coming from my website all in my area. I was subbing all snow jobs this year to a neighbour, simple reason, I have plowed for over 20 years and I simply am not interested, I have a very successful woodworking business and the plan was to work in my shop this winter, my woodworking company is hurting as I haven’t had time to build inventory.

Anyhow on Wednesday I had a call from a lady about 5 min over from me, it’s a different lake than I am on and the development is about three years old, I honestly haven’t been over there since it was developed, she said that the hole side of the lake is private lanes with 5 to 6 homes each, she told me the provider, the guy above, and that he increased his rates 50% for the snow season and 35% for the lawn season next year, same story from speaking with other prospects later in the week and yesterday.

Anyhow I did quotes yesterday, all within 15 min of my home, 31 places for snow removal, now the decision, do I do this myself and yes I have the gear in an effort to get their lawn and yard care??? I saw piles of work yesterday, mainly tree cutting and chipping, although my buddy will do a good job with the snow removal, it won’t be my company name these people will see, that is the issue in my head.

This has nothing to do with money, it’s all about being in the eyes of the client and since it’s so close, all of them, I am really tempted to do it myself but the woodworking will suffer. I really wanted to get out of snow removal, I don't find any fun in it anymore......oh boy this is going to be a tough call.

Steve
10-25-2009, 02:42 PM
That's an interesting situation to be in. If you sub-contract the jobs to your friend, what is your fear of the worst that could happen?

Could you create some kind of deal when he plows these customers he uses your equipment? Is there a creative way to resolve this issue?

What if you decide to not do any of the winter work or sub-contract it out, how badly would this hurt your goal of landing spring accounts? Would you simply enjoy it more to spend time doing your wood working over the winter?

swstout
10-25-2009, 07:12 PM
Dad is a bit older than me and owns the company, son who I would guess is 25 basically runs it this year and I think dad has his eye off the ball, I have herd from many that the son has a substance issue, I donít get into the gossip but I keep a log in my head and I have herd this a lot.


I have some experience in this. One of my (former) friends, Scott owned the health cllub where I moved from. He had free weights, machines, indoor and outdoor pool, walking track (level) and a walking track (with small hills). He also carried nutritional products. He is younger than me (his oldest was the same age as my youngest). He lives and promotes health and fitness.

My daughter told me that his son had a bad drug problem - mostly Ecstasy. I did some checking and found it to be true. I mulled over bringing it up to Scott parent to parent, but didn't. A month later I attended his funeral.
Scott, somehow learned that I knew about his problem but didn't tell him. He has not spoken to me since.
Maybe, if I had went to him, he would still be alive. Maybe, Scott would have believed me if I did tell him.

The point is that I should have had the parent to parent talk! Or, as my wife later said, "you should have wrote a note and left it on his car". If I had at least done that, the pressure would have been lessoned, he (Scott) could act even though he totally missed all the signs, (the not my kid syndrome). When he found out, I would still be his friend.
I've been to too many drug related funerals. Just stopping one would be a great start.

Steve

picframer
10-25-2009, 07:45 PM
That's an interesting situation to be in. If you sub-contract the jobs to your friend, what is your fear of the worst that could happen?

Could you create some kind of deal when he plows these customers he uses your equipment? Is there a creative way to resolve this issue?

What if you decide to not do any of the winter work or sub-contract it out, how badly would this hurt your goal of landing spring accounts? Would you simply enjoy it more to spend time doing your wood working over the winter?

I am reminded great minds think alike, small ones seldom differ.....interesting quote.

The jury is still out on what to do, Have to give this some serious thought...

groundhog104
10-26-2009, 12:45 AM
A solution may be to have your sub man if he does not advertise his own business possibly run a magnet tag on his trucks with your business info. If he does great work there would be no fear of him ruining your company name or causing any types of disturbance. Explain you would like their business for lawncare or what ever and want your name going up and down their street hundreds of times this winter. Sounds like the pickins are there for the takin these people will be looking for their replacement lawncare and plow service very quickly with the rising prices of the co. in question now. These close accounts may also allow you to maybe cut loose any farther away accounts or complainers etc. Good luck $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

picframer
10-26-2009, 02:31 PM
A solution may be to have your sub man if he does not advertise his own business possibly run a magnet tag on his trucks with your business info. If he does great work there would be no fear of him ruining your company name or causing any types of disturbance. Explain you would like their business for lawncare or what ever and want your name going up and down their street hundreds of times this winter. Sounds like the pickins are there for the takin these people will be looking for their replacement lawncare and plow service very quickly with the rising prices of the co. in question now. These close accounts may also allow you to maybe cut loose any farther away accounts or complainers etc. Good luck $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

I think this is the best option, $6,800 for a heated cab for my 2520 tractor and I don't want a plow on the trucks so I will just sub and see if my buddy will run my signs, I am 99 percent sure he will, to be honest other than my own driveway, my plowing days are over.......when you get older and not that I am old, the body doesn't appreciate the cold and the body put me through hell last winter plowing.

Steve
10-27-2009, 04:33 AM
Maybe you could have him drop off cards to say when he was there plowing at the customer's house and also potentially a questionnaire to see what the customer thought of the results?

That could help you keep an eye on his work?

picframer
10-27-2009, 05:32 AM
Maybe you could have him drop off cards to say when he was there plowing at the customer's house and also potentially a questionnaire to see what the customer thought of the results?

That could help you keep an eye on his work?

Great idea, I think in addition what I will do is simply follow up by dropping by, as we know customers will generally call if there is a problem but then again some just move on. I am meeting with Sean today, he is the sub, just to ensure he knows how important these clients are to me and what my excectations are, he does good work, my concern is he drives for Coke and a few of my customers are in the medical profession, they need to be able to get out when duty calls.

Steve
10-27-2009, 06:54 AM
With all your experience interacting with other businesses, what do you feel is the best way , ideally, to expand something like this?

Is there anyway to possibly create a subsidy where you partner up with someone like this person. This way they have some skin in the game and will want to do their best and benefit from it?

Have you ever kicked around ideas like that so you could have these different divisions and have others manage it and have a financial interest in managing it?