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What to do?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by plowfever, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. plowfever

    plowfever Senior Member
    Messages: 234

    Well here is my dilemma. I have been in the lawn and landscape business since 99 with my business partner who also is my father in law. In January we sat down and talked and he wanted to get out as he is in his late 50s and wanted to slow down some. We decided that I would continue doing all the maintanance stuff and all he wanted to do is do the chemical side of the business. He wanted to keep the company name. We also had all the contract through that company so all the billing was going to be going through them. For the first month maybe six weeks everything worked as planned with minor bugs. Since then it has turned in to a real mess. He has since said all he agreed to was for me to mow and trim shrubs and that his company was supposed to do the rest. He told me this in October after I had done all the mulching, floral changes, irrigation all summer long which he knew all along I was doing. Since he said he was supposed to do all that work he is refusing to pay me for all that work. This isnt a huge amount of money but for me it is. We are talking like $5-6000. The sad thing is I trusted him since he was my father in law and didnt sign anything. In the 10+ years I owned that company I did most of the sales and customer service and fell cheated and lost cause all my work I feel was for nothing. He is not liked by customers as you can see how he is treeating me so you can imagine how customers are treated. My question is this: I can live without the money but should I try and get the customers back I sold to and serviced all those years? If so how do you think I should approach as not to leave a bad impresson or sound like I am trying to cut his throat? Any advise would be great as I am lost!!
  2. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    I would sit down with the father in law and get things ironed out sooner rather than later. If that doesn't work I know it will cause problems, but take it to court. I have done the partnership thing in the past and will never do it again. No matter what someone always feels like they got the shaft.
  3. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    Post # 2 .... X2
  4. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Call your father in law and tell him due to the lost income you and his daughter will be moving back home with him.:D
  5. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    Post # 3....X2
  6. buddy4781

    buddy4781 Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    You and the wife need to be on the same page. The two of you need to work things out with dad. Have a plan with options that you feel is fair, be ready to go to plan B which is going your seperate ways.
  7. plowking15

    plowking15 Member
    Messages: 91

    Probably should have gone to a business lawyer. I would try to reason with him,if not I would go out on my own, you didn't mention signing an anticompetition clause. Are the vehicles, equipment in your business thru the company? You may have to change the name of ownership or buy or sell if you dissolve the partnership. plowking
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  8. plowfever

    plowfever Senior Member
    Messages: 234

    All the equipment was in either his name or mine. I have went out on my own and took the equipment that I bought which pissed him off because he thought I only took the best stuff. I did but that is because I had bought over $70,000 worth of equipment in the last 3 years. We basically had it set up that I would buy all the equipment and he bought all the trucks. So when I left he was pissed because he didn't have any equipment to do anything with except the chemical truck. That was our agreement was he only wanted that side of the business. I have pretty much decided to just go my way and be honest. My wife and I are in agreement. I figure he will be out of business soon enough and the past clients I sold to will call me. He is a crook and clients will drop him once they figure out I am no longer with the company.
  9. show-n-go

    show-n-go Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    That is a real ****** situation to be in, and even worse that its family doing that to you. I would just call on your customers to let them know that you are changing the name of your company but your great service will be the same.. They don't need to know why, and most probably won't ask if they are used to dealing with you.