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Just signed contract to sub out most of our landscaping work this year
Old 02-05-2009, 12:08 PM   #1
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Just signed contract to sub out most of our landscaping work this year

As some may know, I have a kettle in many fires. One such endeavor is a lawn care company...done mostly to compliment the heavy winter work load my duct cleaning business brings. The intention was never to become a slave laborer...rather create a business with relatively reliable income.

Well, in 2 years, we have retained 40 well paying weekly maintenance lawn care customers. We should add another 15 or 20 this spring.

I am going to be subbing out all of them to another local company, keeping 20% off the top. I interviewed many candidates, and feel best about this one. He isnt looking to make much money off of this deal...his main goal is to keep his good labor busy to retain them. We'll clear about $1100/month from these 40. If I can add another 40 in the next 2 years, I think it will be very worthwhile...and we wont have to worry about gas, equipment repairs,equipment replacement, extra insurance, labor retention, etc.


What we will focus on this year is the high-yielding jobs. We net $45/man hour doing mulch. $28/man hour doing spring and fall cleanups. and $50+/man hour fertilizing. As such, we will be doing these tasks while the other company does our mowing.

The only thing I have yet to do is create a non-compete contract which will set forth some guidelines preventing/deterring them from 'stealing' customers. We will be in contact with the customers, taking payments, taking complaints etc...but I want to be sure. Any suggestions here?


Just figured I'd share and see if anyone has input on a similar situation.
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:07 PM   #2
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Great idea.

Please remember us when you're interviewed for America's Top Young Entrepreneurs.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:27 PM   #3
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Any concern about maintaining your business identity.? Will they be arriving in vehicles with the sub-contractor's business name?
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:56 PM   #4
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Any concern about maintaining your business identity.? Will they be arriving in vehicles with the sub-contractor's business name?
Yes, that is a concern of mine I havent been able to figure out. the only thing I can do is stress to our customers that they might see someone new doing the work, and that they may still call me directly at any time to address issues. I will spend more time in contact with the customers making our customer service a notch above years past to keep them happy. Of course, the bills will come from us too.

any suggestions?
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:45 PM   #5
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Yes, that is a concern of mine I havent been able to figure out. the only thing I can do is stress to our customers that they might see someone new doing the work, and that they may still call me directly at any time to address issues. I will spend more time in contact with the customers making our customer service a notch above years past to keep them happy. Of course, the bills will come from us too.

any suggestions?
How about having magnetic signs made up with your company's name on them...and have the subs attach those signs to their vehicles when working for you?

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Old 02-05-2009, 09:53 PM   #6
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Create the magnetic sticker signs to go on their trucks over their own signs, for use when they are doing your jobs. Non-competes at that level of personal service will probably not be water tight. If the customer does eventually find out that another company is doing the work they pay you to do, then in all likelyhood the customer will approach the sub to do the work directly, and split the difference. And, I don't think a non-compete can be created strong enough to prevent a customer from going to whom he wants for services, even if your sub does not solicit.

I'm not a lawyer, but have used non-comps for various purposes in the past. What I have found is that they don't usually work unless there is some kind of compensation for not competing. The payment you give them as a sub will probably not constitute payment for non-competition. Maybe Martha will chime in here soon...

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Old 02-05-2009, 09:56 PM   #7
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- When the "guest help" scratches the Lexus in the driveway, who pays for it?

- If one of the guys gets hurt?

- If the homeowner talks to one of the guys and mentions additional work that needs to be done, you probably won't hear about it.

The contract should spell all of this out. Also, it should say that the sub certifies that all the guys working for him are legally permitted to be working in the United States.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:02 PM   #8
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some good points. keep em coming
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