Father & Son Business- Does It Work?

 
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:17 PM   #1
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Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


When and how do you (did you) decide to have a father son business? Is it just as profitable? How do you determine % rate if you take the lead- but your son is well qualified? How do you avoid fighting and bad feelings?
I want to approach my son with this proposition when I move, but need some idea of what might happen.
I am 48 and he is 26, and newly married.
(BTY- we are both currently sole proprietors- should we keep that status- and just work together sharing jobs?)
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:48 PM   #2
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


I think that unless you count on bringing in bigger jobs that would require some trusted supervision for your son to provide, that with your experience you'll be dictating to your son a lot. That could definitely create tension.

Are you planning on taking on larger jobs?

And family and money rarely mix well. Helping each other as sole proprietors is probably your best bet.

Nice marketing.

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Old 06-18-2012, 11:21 PM   #3
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


It can work, depends on the father and son.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:30 PM   #4
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


Thanks for reply- One thing I can say is learning photoshop has helped me a lot in marketing.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:52 AM   #5
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


currently working well for my son and I.

Frankly I would like to retire a bit more and bring my second son in as well.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:15 AM   #6
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


It might work, but in your case you will be doubling your "Fee" so that might keep you from getting a lot of jobs..
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:33 AM   #7
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


What is your primary reason for doing this? I guess that's where I would start. Basically risk analysis.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:50 AM   #8
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


I believe its a good think. Im 25 and I started full time with my father 7 years ago in flooring. Wr have had our moments at times but we both see the bigger picture. We both help each other in things we lack.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:56 AM   #9
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


Good thread because I am thinking about hiring my father and training him how to do sales and things of that nature just because of his current job situation and how much he loves people.

I am interested in hearing more comments on this thread.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:21 AM   #10
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


I guess my main reason would be I could have the company of my son, and add to his experience, but it also seems that by both of us sharing the same business and name, it might bring a more durable identity in the community. Also, if both of us show up when bidding a job it might instill more confidence to clients...I don't really know- thats why I'm why I'm looking for different opinions before deciding.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:26 AM   #11
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


I can speak from experience for what it means to NOT be partners. I grew up with a Dad who owned a large manufacturing company. As a child it was important for me as a mentor relationship that has served me well later in life with my own business. It would of been easy for me to have been a part of the manufacturing world but I didn't.

When I was in my late teens my Dad and I had a talk about this and we decided to never be partners in business or work together in the plant. Why?

Because he was worried about how our relationship could change. My Dad wanted to be a father, not a boss. I agreed and I just wanted to be his son, and not a partner or employee. Those things can really gum up a relationship and in family emotions can run high. Business doesn't do well when emotions are involved.

It worked well. As I type this my Dad has been gone now for 2 months but the lessons he tought me about business were critical. He was one of those rare business men where he saw the world with unbelievable clarity. I got to be part of that while we we hunting or while we were eating lunch. We talked business daily and it was fun, it was enjoyable. Had we worked together I doubt I would have learned what I did.

The only reason my business is doing well in a crappy economy is 100% my Dads doing. He tought me how to see through the garbage and focus on whats real. Had we worked together that wouldn't of happened. He is stubborn. I am stubborn.

I honestly think it would of ruined the relationship. And for what? And why?

What possible reason would exist where family members offer a business advantage or a competitive advantage?

My Dad never financially helped me starting a business. He wanted me to fail and succeed, and to reap the rewards of clear thinking because of a strategy not because of a relationship. He was right, it worked.

Now, as I sit here writing I miss him as a Dad and I miss his advice. How could I ask for anything better. He ran his business and I ran mine bit we bounced ideas off each other daily. That's the way it should be in my opinion.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:36 AM   #12
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by fee
I guess my main reason would be I could have the company of my son, and add to his experience, but it also seems that by both of us sharing the same business and name, it might bring a more durable identity in the community. Also, if both of us show up when bidding a job it might instill more confidence to clients...I don't really know- thats why I'm why I'm looking for different opinions before deciding.
Sharing a business name will NOTE strengthen your business. Understand that that's a shared responsibility between proper positioning in the market place, well executed strategy, and a moral commitment to follow through.

I do think you can have a great advantage by each having a separate company and work together by identifying each others weaknesses and helping each other by good communication. Grow together as a father and son.

Nothing is stopping you from sharing experiences right now.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:00 PM   #13
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


Could you form a "group" with your separate entities listed under it?
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:05 PM   #14
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


What about father and daughters?
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Thanks for that tidbit of information Darcy.
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I don't normally talk to people like I talk to you, however you have the little immature schoolgirl mentality so this is new to me.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:54 PM   #15
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


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What about father and daughters?
Hell yeah, My little 2 and a half year old Comes out to the shop on pretty regular and stays with her hands behind her back watching me and my brother and our guys , with a judgemental look on her face. Exactly like my old man , it's hilarious. A little superintendent

I'm hoping for a brain surgeon or cartiologist or something , but if she wants to be a contractor , I'm sure she'll put her old man to shame.

Don't think it's in the cards though, she is pretty girly like her mama. Maybe the next will be a boy, but I wouldn't mind a nother girl. My best friend's son is my god son, we will take him hunting.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:23 PM   #16
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


My oldest is already a professional heavy machinery mover.

Now she wants her own little band saw and scroll saw.
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Thanks for that tidbit of information Darcy.
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I don't normally talk to people like I talk to you, however you have the little immature schoolgirl mentality so this is new to me.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:37 PM   #17
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


i have no experience in this matter but... I've seen it work many times, but only if someone is the boss (usually father) and the other is fine with being an employee/boss in training. If your son is already self employed and has been his own man for some time I don't see it working. I do know from experience that there are 2 ships you never get on... a sinking ship and a partnership. there needs to be a boss. I would work together and whoever gets the job can act as lead, with the other getting paid by the hour and trading hours for hours. that way if things don't work out, you still both have your own businesses and your own contacts etc...
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:23 PM   #18
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


me and my father incorporated over 26 yrs ago. never had any problems. or major problems i should say. he's 70 now. pretty much retired. hasnt worked in 2 yrs full time. but you have to lay out your future plans at the get go. % of shares. etc.. and what happens at retirement. it could get rough then.
but who can you trust more to work with then your father or son? if i had to do it all over again. i wouldnt change a thing.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:52 PM   #19
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


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i have no experience in this matter but... I've seen it work many times, but only if someone is the boss (usually father) and the other is fine with being an employee/boss in training. If your son is already self employed and has been his own man for some time I don't see it working. I do know from experience that there are 2 ships you never get on... a sinking ship and a partnership. there needs to be a boss. I would work together and whoever gets the job can act as lead, with the other getting paid by the hour and trading hours for hours. that way if things don't work out, you still both have your own businesses and your own contacts etc...
Usually this is correct, from my experience and what I've seen.

I left working for my dad after high school, went back to work with him as a superintendent when I was 26. I don't thinking we would of made it otherwise. By the time I came to work with him, I had run crews for other people, had made my own name and gained position on my own merit. If I hadn't done it right away, I would of had to later.

As far as business decisions, we make them together. We plan together and we compromise. Don't ever see either one of us having a problem there.

Projects is where it can get hairy. I'm a competent PM and contractor, he is FAR more competent. It took about three weeks after coming back to deflate my hat size. He is light years beyond my job knowledge, he has a chit load more experience. Most people feel there father is really good at what he does , but mine is. I realize this, and I keep my ego in check. On the other side, he has never thrown his ability or job knowledge in my face.

The big thing in my situation is, I don't compete with my dad, I learn from him.

If I weren't partners with my dad I'd still be a contractor, just on a very different scale, and I'd have to eat the f ups he's caught I was GOING to make. I am appreciative of his advice.

If the OPs son is as competent as he is, which I have seen, he will probably have to have a good incentive to join up.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:38 PM   #20
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Re: Father & Son Business- Does It Work?


Father & Son Business- Does It Work?

Yes they can.

However, they must have an HONEST mutual respect for each other...

although Dad has paid more "dues" & has the SHK Phd.

Neither can be a hot head.

They must CONSTANTLY communicate, on & off the job...

It's not always a cake walk...but can be very rewarding & enjoyable...

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