View Full Version : Fire my Partner?

05-08-2010, 09:19 AM
Hello everyone..
im 16 my parnters 15
i started my lawn care business 2 years ago and this is my first year with houses to manage
im doing pretty good..just got some vinyl for my truck and plan on re-advertising late may early june after school gets out +_ it will be hotter and people will start growing old of having to mow there lawns
alot of you know this but for those who dont its just a little about me

so..me and my parther kaleb started this company together
the one thing i was worried about was if i could rely on another person..im the kind of guy that wants it done on time and with quality

hes the kind of kid (i later find out) his plans tend to come first unless i nag at him to get his *** on the job

now helives with his mom and dad.. so he is never here tuesdays and he is here every other thursday and every other weekend

i try planning my schedule around this but then he says his mom makes him be home by 5:30 sometimes 6:00..now keep in mind..we get out of school and get to our first jobsite around 3:45 or 4

last month i worked a total of 20 jobs..he worked..12

and this month alone

i have 10 jobs and he may only show up for one..and thats if the weather accomodates his schedule

me and him are close friends so i dont want to lose that but i dont know what to do..i have my schedule fitted for him to help..and when he dosnt show up like this week..4 customers are delayed and i give them 10% off due to his error

I CAN do this on my own..i just need to schedule to my abilities and not to two peoples abilities

the thing is though he and i both equal..no..we both equally THOUGHT of the idea of starting this.. but when it comes to scheduling..making agreements..a website..and email..service orders and requests..invoices..recipts..even looked into creating a bank account..well..that was all me..its my truck and my equipment with the exception of one lawn we use his on simply cause its closer to his house than mine..

The Company name is JK Lawn Care
and its too late to change it..due to all the money in advertising..vinyl for truck..website..email..logo..everything..
JK= Justin(me) Kaleb(him)

so i REALLY need your advice on this..thank you so much and im sorry it may be kinda long

The Cleaning Doctor
05-08-2010, 09:57 AM
Do you have a partnership agreement in place? If not you need to get one.

Otherwise you can offer to buy out his portion of the business. Explain to him how you are footing all the bills for equipment and time doing the actual work. Tell him that you would like to do this alone because he is not pulling his half of the cart and offer to buy out his portion. This way you can still remain friends.

Sounds like he thought it was a great idea until the work started. Does the business have a license? There are so many questions to ask that will lead you down a different path.

05-08-2010, 10:13 AM
sit down with him,tell him its not working out as-is ,ask what he wants to do .I might offer him any clients he got,and take the rest with me as its clear his priorities are not inline with yours .maybey he will tell you he no longer wants-can help you and your friendship is the only reason he still pretends to be interested .If he doesnt want to leave ,tell him that you will need to hire somebody to cover his work,and its coming out of his pay .if he leaves,give him fair value for anything he purchased with you ,or demand he pays you for any mutual equipment if he is taking it on his own .

05-08-2010, 12:33 PM
we are not licensed we do not have a partnership agreement were just..basically 2 kids..just a little more business oriented..i try and seem as professional as i can to make the customer feel better about there decision.

all purchases we made have come out of the company account.

he got his full check and i got mine.

all the houses we got were from the flyers i made..he handed out a few of them..but not many..i think..the only house we got from the section he advertised was our smallest account..

i can give him 5$ for gas for the one time we used his mower..otherwise..nothing else was purchased by him.

05-08-2010, 01:05 PM
since you have gone to the trouble of decaling your truck,getting uniforms,handing out flyers etc. ,why not just go and get a business licence ? not sure about your area,but in mine if you walk like a duck,talk like a duck,then you are a duck .What I am trying to say is for all purposes your a profesional company,so if anything were to happen i.e. you broke a window,you ran over a cat,or whatever ,let alone if the tax man caught you ,the trouble you can be in is not worth the risk .Another thing is that any real competitors will possibly rat you out to the authorities [it has happened before to me ,but I was legal ] .Get rid of the other guy first though .

The Cleaning Doctor
05-08-2010, 02:19 PM
Because of your ages I thought that was the case. If you are under 18 you can not legally enter into a contract. Check with your local authorities, you may need to get your parents involved to get the business license. Or better yet form it as an LLC and you are now an employee.

05-08-2010, 02:25 PM
Can you set up some type of agreement where you split the money based on the hours you put in? That way if he shows up less, he gets paid less.

Would something like that work?

05-08-2010, 06:49 PM
well steve thats just the thing.. we both get 30% of only the days we work..so his paycheck was much lower than mine..but..the thing is i schedule it to accomodate him helping me..i dont want to be there for his convenience.. the other day he said something about his pay being low and said we should bump it up to 35% and i didnt say anything but i should have said..well maybe if you worked a little harder and did your work youd get a better paycheck.

Im pretty sure i cant be licensed as i am a minor..ill look into that more probably next season or later this season since i do want to be licensed and bonded for gutters and maybe hanging christmas lights over winter.

05-08-2010, 09:10 PM
I Just texted him heres our convorsation.

Me: Hey
Kaleb: Whats Up?
Me: Where were you this morning?
Him: What?
Me:We had that garden job in the morning
Him: We Did?
Me:We moved it to this morning to fit YOUR schedule and you didnt get up
Him: I Didnt know we had anything today
Me: I told you about it friday and we had it planned since last week..you said youd be up..you even said saturday is perfect cause i have to go to sunnys later

Him:Oh my God i completely forgot about it im so sorry
Me: I need a straight answer..are you still into this or is it just for the money on your time?

Him:well i am all for it and i truely forgot about it today but i also think that we arent getting paid enough money for the amount of work we are doing

Me:I dont want to be a D!** and im in a Cr@*** Mood but i did 21 jobs last month and you were there for 12..i got paid twice what you got paid..i had 10 jobs scheduled for this week and still have 5 to do because the schedule was off and the one job i had set specially so you could be there you forget..when you do come your never there the whole time..you always show up late or leave early..i know not all of it is your fault..like your mom makes you babysit some days but some of it is your fault and its costing the company money

and i cant lose this opportunity..i put money in..and i want it back out..and i want to keep this going..even if it means letting you go..not forever..maybe just the year..that way youll get the money you want and might actually work..i can handle it on my own but when i schedule it for 2 people..i need 2 people..and when there isnt..we all lose money..ive been thinking all day and decided to offer you half the companies profit and buy your half off of you..then maybe i can hire you as a worker mid - year or next year

05-08-2010, 09:45 PM
so..the reason he wasnt working is cause he wants more money..wich i can understand..i just cant provide..i told him ill own the company on my own and take care of everything..im giving him half of the companys profits (100.00 since i just bought some new equipment and vinyl for the vehicle) and i told him id call him when i have a job too big for one person or when i can pay him as much as he wants to be paid..he said he understood and hed probably do the same thing..he knows its nothing personal and i dont think there will be any problems in the future

thank you for all the advice everyone..i was tired of being so nice..

The Cleaning Doctor
05-08-2010, 10:28 PM
Good for you and welcome to the business world. I bet it feels great to have that weight off your shoulders.

go get them, you are going to do just fine with your work attitude.

One suggestion for you is to read everything you can about business management and then find more to read.

05-08-2010, 10:44 PM
thank you so much and i will look into that right now

05-09-2010, 02:28 PM
Keep us posted on the difference you feel when running your business now vs. when you had your partner.

05-10-2010, 10:22 AM
I'm sure you will find it to be a huge relief to have him out of the picture as far as your business goes. It's hard enough scheduling for yourself, let alone someone else. Is he going to keep mowing on his own, or is he pretty much done with it? Did you keep all the clients?

05-10-2010, 11:07 AM
all the clients are mine and i think hes done..i did tell him if i was looking to hire id call him first but hes on a short leash

and i had 3 jobs to catch up on from the incident yesterday and i already feel more relieved..

i can do things better on my own..and theres no hassle with 2 people..
the only thing i wish i didnt do was order the vinyl the day before firing him..cause thats 3 phone numbers ill never use..haha

05-10-2010, 02:13 PM
i can do things better on my own..and theres no hassle with 2 people..
the only thing i wish i didnt do was order the vinyl the day before firing him..cause thats 3 phone numbers ill never use..haha

What do you mean by "thats 3 phone numbers ill never use..haha"? Is his phone number on ur truck?

05-10-2010, 02:28 PM
i ordered 2 logos
3 of my number and 3 of his
and 3 emails

its not on there yet but the order still went through..im seeing if i can take his number out and exchange it for a website address instead

05-10-2010, 04:20 PM
ohhh i see. well, at least u didn't already get them on ur truck. i'm thinking about getting some for my truck, but i don't want people to question me about taxes and then end up with that problem. i can't for school to get out so i can advertise more and hopefully pick up a few more accounts. i get out of school in like 3 weeks.

05-10-2010, 04:51 PM
same here..i cant wait..im gonna advertise the week before school lets out and right after again..
start calling and talking to real estate agencies
putting decals on the car
flyers around town
business cards to every visible person in sight

this year is gonna be good i can smell it ahha

05-10-2010, 07:18 PM
ya i can't wait either, i no i can take on more accounts when im not in school, its just getting those accounts that's going to be the hard part. If worse comes to worse, i can always cut prices a bit i guess, as much as I hate to think about that. how many accounts do you feel you can take on by yourself?

05-10-2010, 08:07 PM
honestly since its summer and im getting a truck 25-30
and thats with a 21 inch..i suppose it depends on the houses though..

i plan on getting a cheap mower..zero turn or commercial walkbehind by this fall..ive heard better news for wide area walk behinds than i have zero turns..

so i guess i have a few months to contemplate on my decisions..

hopefully this fall will ring in alot of extra cash..

enough to get all new equipment..thats my dream anyhow..but i suppose i cant do everything the way i dream..

05-10-2010, 08:43 PM
well i can honestly say that a 36" commercial walk behind will probably be better than a zero-turn. i started with a 48" zero-turn, and a 21" walk behind. the 48" is nice on a 105 degree day, but is to big for most lawns, and in the end, takes longer. when i got my 36" walk behind, i was able to cut my mowing times almost in half. to tell you the truth, my zero-turn is sitting in the back of my garage with a flat tire right now, and hasn't been started at all this year. i don't know how big your yards are, but mine are medium sized to large, and the 36" works great.

05-10-2010, 08:48 PM
its the cost aspect though
see i figure

i go to lowes and get a 42" toro with my grandpa's employee discount..

than i can temporarily use that to take on more yards..and the extra yards can pay for the walkbehind

what kind of walkbehind do you use and do you like it? what type of engine/hp/deck/trans does it have?

i want to just get one but no one shows avg prices so you HAVE to go to a dealer and for me to do that take a LOT of time since i have to drive 30 minutes to each one D:

05-10-2010, 09:13 PM
i spent probably a month looking for a walk behind i could afford. spent hours on craigslist and ebay. bidded on a couple on ebay, but lost the bids, then found one on craigslist. (btw, i was looking for a 36" so i could get into gates) So i found this 36" on craigslist. It was a EagleStar 36" Commercial, which is made by Yazoo/Kees. It has a 14 HP Kawasaki on it I believe, and is a belt drive. I wanted a hydro because I heard they were easier to use, but couldn't afford it. Anyway, I ended up getting that 36" EagleStar off of craigslist, spent $500 on it. The guy wanted $750 out of it, but cash talks i guess. and i think the fact that I was a 16 year old kid trying to make money helped with him lowering the price, lol.

So I've had the mower for a while now, and love it. I hated it at first because it is a man handler. After a couple hours on it, it became part of me. honestly, the belt drive isn't as bad as it sounds. I have no problem with it. the only thing that sucks on mine, is the reverse slips, so it takes a little pulling to back the thing up.

05-10-2010, 09:35 PM
i wish people around here sold decent equipment on craigslist..everything i find is over used and over priced or completely torn apart and still overpriced..

all i can find for decent prices is garden tractors and im not dealing with that ahah

05-10-2010, 09:48 PM
ya i would definitely not buy a garden tractor for lawns, but i did buy an old cub cadet in November. LOL I knew i wanted to hit the snow removal business hard, and even though I had two 2-stage snowblowers, I decided I had to have something bigger. so i bought an OLD cub cadet 129 hydro off of craigslist that had a snowblower attachment. Worked great for the first 20 min after i got it home, then it locked up. Soooo, the problem was that the guy I bought it from was doing engine work on it, and didn't tighten the rod bolts in the engine that connect the rod to the crankshaft, so that flew apart inside the engine. So we got it bored out .003 and got the thing running again. I bought the tractor for $550, and then put another $300 or so into it, but its priceless to have in the winter.

I would definitely recommend getting one for snow removal. They work awesome! You can't by a new 2-stage for the price you'll spend on the tractor. They'll go through anything, and all i do is sit my A$$ on the tractor and listen to my iPod.

05-10-2010, 09:55 PM
i was looking into that..i was looking into a blade for my truck..but i decided not too..i cant get up on my own for school let alone extra early to do snow before..

05-10-2010, 09:57 PM
lol, same here, but for some reason i like to get up to go do snow. i'd rather do snow then grass i think, but if it doesn't snow, im screwed. I looked at getting a plow for my truck too, but didn't want to abuse the truck, and didn't want to shell out 3k for a plow. what kind of truck do u have?

05-10-2010, 10:05 PM
chevy blazer..technically its an suv but for somereason i cant stop calling it a truck...

and theres alot of blades on craigslist..

wana trade areas?

i need a mower and you got them..

and i got plows cheap..

and a 5H!T load of weedwackers


oh and alot of back hoes and skid steers for some reason? hahahha

05-10-2010, 10:08 PM
ya i was just lookin for mowers in your area. i found one on ebay, its in Ohio. send me a message with ur email and i'll send you the link.

05-10-2010, 10:12 PM
well i havnt checked ebay
but will they ship
im in NW indiana

and its JKlawns@Gmail.com

01-19-2012, 09:45 AM
it seems obvious that even tho you both started this business together you are the main worker and use your truck and majority of equipment is yours..as said before I would offer him either a buy out of his clients or just pass them on to him and be done with it, I also have a good friend that helps me out which I appreciate alot my only problem with him is he doesnt do a good job to my standards and when i try and talk to him about it he gets offended which is a total different topic altogether ...lol..anyways i wish you the best in your talks with him..take care