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Bad business - what do you think?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by S & A Landscaping & Plowing Service, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. S & A Landscaping & Plowing Service

    S & A Landscaping & Plowing Service Senior Member
    Messages: 100

    On 11-9-07 there was a thread about a brother in law stealing account. How can you steal an account that you lost do to your own bad business practices?
    My brother in law started a plowing service and a I owned a landscaping company. I helped him get a contract and I helped him out with this contract on his first year. The second year, after I had built up my business, I then decided to expand and start year round service to include plowing. After his first year this company that he had plowed for approached me and offered me the contract. I said no, because I did not want to cause any problems in the family. I helped him with his second year and we had some issues because he did not know how to pay his subcontractors. (he said I would only get paid when he got paid and some of his accounts never paid him till weeks after the due date) (I pay my employees weekly, regardless if my companies pay me on time or not, I have never told my employees "you only get paid when I do") After the second season, the company approached my again (several times) and I still did not want to take the account, until the owner said that regardless if I sign or not, he was not signing again with my brother in law, he was not happy, he would find someone else. I finally agreed and signed the contract. When my brother in law found out that he lost the account we discussed it and I explained what happened (he never had any contact with this man, only when he wanted a contract signed) and my brother in law said that he understood, and that he lost another big account for some of the same reasons. He said that he totally understood, blah, blah, blah and everything was cool. Then I go to the local hitch shop and all employees there are telling me that brother in law was in the shop bad mouthing me and complaining and then I see his thread on 11-9-08. Again, I ask the question, How can you steal an account from someone who lost the account due to his own bad business practices? What do you think?
  2. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,548

    did you tell your brother in law before you signed w/ his old customer that they had approached you? seems that might have been polite but i understand if they're going to give away they're business it may as well have been you
  3. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    While I commend you for trying to help him out, it's always best to keep family and business seperate. My cousin owns a small landscape company about 50 miles from our shop, but still in our service area. We do compete on bids occasionally, and there are no hard feelings either way. We take it as business, and keep it that way.

    You are in the right with your line of thinking on this though. It's not like you asked for the account or set out on your own to steal it from him. He provided bad service, and they wanted a reliable contractor, probably not even knowing you were related.

    Good luck:drinkup:
  4. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    frig the account it sounds like you have some family issues to work on.
  5. S & A Landscaping & Plowing Service

    S & A Landscaping & Plowing Service Senior Member
    Messages: 100

    No, we don't see each other all that ofter, he only calls when he wants something. Good business practice would be to talk to your customers more than once a year instead of just having them sign a contract and thats it. I felt it wasn't my place to say anything to him, I don't get involved in his business -
  6. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    i agree it's not your place to say anything to him, but when he starts bad mouthing you and your name then its time to have some words with him. i dont think that you "stole" his account obviously he wasnt providing a good service or has a clue how to proplerly run a business and interact with his customers.
  7. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    from the sounds of it he wont be in business much longer. do just do your job and keep the customers happy.
  8. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,548

    i still disagree...i think you should have mentioned to him that they had approached you since he is family, what could it have hurt that isn't hurt now... , maybe he would have gotten his act together, by you posting here it sounds like something about the whole thing is bothering you, maybe you would have felt better giving him warning what might be coming...
  9. horsepowerlawns

    horsepowerlawns Member
    Messages: 97

    Why was the customer unhappy?

    Did your B-I-L do the plowing himself or sub it out?
  10. jfjcontracting

    jfjcontracting Member
    Messages: 40

    This business is a free enterprise. Family or not he was not doing a good enough job or they would have wanted him to come back. Its his own fault for losing the job and should be thankful to keep the account in the family.
  11. S & A Landscaping & Plowing Service

    S & A Landscaping & Plowing Service Senior Member
    Messages: 100

    no, it is not bothering me that I did not tell him, what bothers me is that when I spoke to him at length, he said everything was o.k., and that he understood. Then I find out that he is bad mouthing me and my company to other businesses in the area and when he posted his thread, it was not the true story. He should of been man enough to say something to me when we talked, instead of going behind my back and being immature about the whole situation. He told me that he lost another big account because the company told him they wanted the same company to do the spring/summer season and he was going to refer it to me and he never did, so he lost that account. He only talks to his customers to sign a contract and that is it.
  12. kandklandscape0

    kandklandscape0 Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    i do not deal with family at all for business. did last year and got screwed, was suppose to pay them $3500 and ended up being $6500. supposivly it was because our chainsaw broke and they waited for about 2 hours until mechinc got there to fix it, i said would $1000 an hour i will go into that business.

    no way would i EVER do business with a family member again, this was an in law to. in laws can be a pain in the butt. wife told me to get a signed contract, i didnt and went by word of mouth and trust and faith well got stabbed big time, told them we verbally agreed upon $3500 not $6500 and i said not paying, they were going to otake me to court and sue me, dear god im a family member! so i paid it and learned from my mistakes, never do biz without a contract and never do biz with family member.

    wifes are hard to do business with to, but im not going to tell her that haha, hope she dont find this post now lol
  13. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,548

    s&a...i'd be upset too if he told me to my face things were fine and weren't..why can't everybody just be honest and speak thier mind then work it out ? ... anyway good luck w/ the new contract
  14. mulcahy mowing

    mulcahy mowing Senior Member
    Messages: 718

    money+friends/family= bad business
  15. Eyesell

    Eyesell 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,107

    My point exactly, I had no idea, I never said anything bad at the hitch place either, just that is was going to be a difficult year losing two major customers, one to you and the other to a company 5 times bigger then yours and mine put together !!! They asked to whom I lost and why, again nothing bad about your company, believe what you want about that.

    Bad service was never, never the issue either. Read the post I started:

    Don't try and make yourself sound better here either, they weren't signing with someone else, the customer told me flat out my service was stellar !!! "Sign with you or we're going with someone else" give me a break !!! again that's not what was said !!


    Where are you bad mouthed.........( ok maybe the newbie part was a bit extreme, sorry ) but bad business practices????? what, not giving out Food Baskets yearly is bad business practice ???? If your customer never see's you, meaning the job was done right, they pay their bills on time, that should be the indication that all is well, don't you think? I mean come on', I'm at these accounts some time at 2:00 am, why do I need to see the customer, if he's paying that's usually a indication that all is cool.

    You agreed to the pay structure, you knew what was going on there, if you run out of money in the middle of the winter, why is it my fault???? I'm not constantly harping the customer, again the payment terms were agreed by all, balance your budget better !!!!

    If you felt I only called when I wanted something I'm sorry about that, I guess me helping you install your first set of LED's in your drive way didn't mean anything, I guess me designing your Plowing and Landscaping contracts in my basement for you didn't mean anything, come on' you ought to be truthful about that statement, however if you still feel that way, that's up to you, that was not my intension and I apologize for it.

    I do have to say one thing, this is where you are dead wrong brother-in-law, you know the frequency I speak to my customers, I look like a fool when I call a customer back and say "ok, time to sign" and they....they tell me "I signed with some one else, your brother-in-law"
    Instead, you knew this was wrong, that's why you didn't call me yourself to tell me, you had the customer do it. Me personally knowing this would create problems would of said, let me just make sure he knows before I move forward, him being family and all, heck we could of been partners there instead of Mike if he wanted you in so bad, or phased me out over time, not just slit my throat and then say my business practices are bad cause I don't personally visit the customer weekly face to face.

    Listen you have your method of doing business that you feel makes you successful, I'm not bad mouthing that either, as others have said, let's just chalk this up as a lesson well learned and get on with it, life is too short, especailly to hold grudges, I hope we both get over this soon and get back to speaking again :)
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2008
  16. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    You guys obviously have a few things to work out, but a public discussion forum is probably not the best place.

    Hopefully you can smooth out this mess, none of us need any more enemies, we get enough by just doing our jobs properly!! (you're too expensive, you got snow in my driveway, you did something else... you know, take your pick).

    Best of luck, gentlemen.
  17. groundbreakers

    groundbreakers Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    well okay now i see that S & A and eyesell are related together now im getting the whole picture ... wow ... ya family businesses can be tough ... just me .002
  18. SteveR

    SteveR Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    I think they need to hug and have a beer
  19. groundbreakers

    groundbreakers Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    yah i think this world needs to do that .... LOL
  20. Eyesell

    Eyesell 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,107

    Agree :drinkup: