I need business advice

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by angelaspencer, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. angelaspencer

    angelaspencer
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    My Husband and I have been running a construction business for a little over 2 years. We have struggled and made sacrifices to do so and have been surviving just fine so far. Over the holidays we hit a down time due to the holidays and people not wanting work completed at that time. My only complaint with my husband was over paying his help. Construction help for $125 day I thought was too much for a new struggling business. Then he found a jack of all trades and decided to give him 50% of all profits. That didn't work for me either and I talked him into going 60/40 split. He did not work out either as he had knowledge but was too old to actually perform work quickly. So my husband was doing all the work basically. Then his father, who started working for us when we first started, but due to lack of work in the beginning went to another job. Now, he steps in and says, well you gave this other guy 50% of your business, so now that you have work that you need help with, I will help you if you give me 50% of the business, legally. We did so. I did not know at the time that he said he would only work and help us if we gave him 50% owner as I suggested just hiring him as an employee. I was upset, because giving 50% of what we worked so hard to build, going thru ups and downs by ourselves, was not fair when he did not stand by our side in the beginning. But I decided to go with it. However, we just landed a $25,000 job and just started it when his father stepped in. Meanwhile, over the holidays and downtime, we went without pay and knew when this job started we would be able to catch our bills up. However, now his father, coming into the business with zero investment and zero sacrifice, said it was not fair that we now used half of his business money to catch up our debt, from the company before he started. We changed the name of the company so he said any debt before him was not his problem. Yet, he loaned the company $400 before we had received a payment from the big job and he wanted it back as soon as we received payment from our big job. So, he comes into our company, debt free, now getting $500 a week, which is more than he was making from the job he left to come work with us, but we are not allowed to catch our bills us. So he gets half our business, gets more money a week than he was making, has no investment or sacrifice in the company he was just handed, yet we can't get caught up from where the holidays hurt us. Then, we were using our daughter's computer and since it would not hold quickbooks, we bought a used laptop for the business for $150. Now, his mother said that she is using her personal computer for the business and it cost $650 and the company should pay for it!!!! I explained that just as we were using our work truck for the business, she is using her computer and neither are being paid for by the business. Now she said, well the truck is our company asset then! We recently got the truck registered and the parents said if it did not go into the company's name, then the company would not be responsible for any of its costs! They are driving me crazy. To top it off, the mother has no knowledge of computers or business whatsoever, and the father is having to be trained in all areas. I only agreed to this deal if it would relieve the stress load from my husband and I, but having to train her is impossible. She doesn't remember or write down anything. So the workload has doubled for me. And she keeps saying, she needs copies off all invoices, estimates and banking receipts. It's like that is all she cares about, the money part. I could go on. I need someone to help me explain to my husband that we are better off hiring help for a reasonable wage and take our business back.
     
  2. Bobby

    Bobby
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    Hi,

    Thanks for sharing the story, your situation is a classic story of mixing the "work" with the "business ownership" & work / famlily. The business & the work are 2 separate things. If you replace your / his Dad, the business goes on and you are probably better off. If you and your husband leave, there is no business.

    It seems however that you are already in a tough situation and let too many things happen. The family element forces you to be sensitive to dealing with it which is the main reason to avoid family & business in most situations.

    - Tell him as a partner with 50%, hes expected to bring a 25k client / job to the business too.

    - At the very least it should be 50 - 50 on profits but that's after ALL expenses including debt.

    - $650 for her laptop is not realistic, it may in fact be illegal for a business to pay for a personal laptop and expense it all. You can perhaps use that argument even though it's a technicality.

    You should look at all ways to force them to be responsible on an ownership level. They may end up overwhelmed and realize 50 - 50 ownership makes no sense.

    A worker is a worker and nothing more, ownership requires them adding value & assuming responsibility of everything else including generating business.

    If you have specifics questions, it may be better to share.

    GL
    Bobby
     
  3. scifi

    scifi
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    Family Problem///.....Wise Saying is that " Trying to please all is to displease all"... Second thing..why don't you have confidence in yourself that you can sustain business withput help from others...otherwise do something in which you have 100% confidence...

    IN the end it is you and your family that matters all..not even your close relatives..." MOney Is Devil"""..
     
  4. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Sorry to hear about your situation angelaspencer, it really does sound very difficult. Business with family can be extremely stressful, unfortunately.

    If I was in your shoes I would make an appointment with a lawyer / solicitor, explain the situation to him / her and ask for their recommendations as to how you can get your in-laws out of the business and get control of it again.

    Have you and your husband sat down with his parents and explained the difficulties you are experiencing? Do you feel that his parents have your best interest at heart?
     
  5. angelaspencer

    angelaspencer
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    Thanks for everyone's advice. He now has told his parents I no longer want to do business with them unless it is 60/40 split, which they disagree with. So, I am the bad guy now.
     
  6. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Sounds like the situation is getting much better angelaspencer, what do you plan on doing next?
     

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