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Thread: Sold Printing side of Business to Son and not keeping to agreement

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    Sold Printing side of Business to Son and not keeping to agreement

    Hi All

    Feeling rather down this morning, just to outline my dilemma

    1. At the beginning of the year I sold my digital printing side of the business. Our business was made up of Embroidery, Gifting, in house branding etc. As my hubby and I want to sell the business one day we asked our Son if he would like to buy out the digital side (Signage, Pad printing, sublimation) so when we sell I would not have to worry about the new owner keeping him employed.
    2. We signed a contract to the effect that we would keep our 3 biggest customers and we would give him all their signage and he would invoice us. We were to keep, clothing, gifting and all branding that goes with that.
    So far so good.
    3. At long last at the beginning of the month we moved into great premises. He has one side and we have the other side, each with separate leases.
    4. It was a verbal understanding that we were to do clothing, gifting and he to do all signage. So far whenever a customer visits or calls for quotes, if they are wanting signage, we refer them next door and vice versa if he gets a customer with a query on clothing and gifts.
    5. He has now started to do clothing. An error on my side as one of our customers just had the heading printing in the mail and I automatically forwarded to him without reading it. It was for T-Shirts with a print.
    He should have by rights let me know, but went ahead with it anyway. As we have only just bought our own screen printing equipment he outsourced.
    6. Now the tension starts, I really do not want to lose my son over this. We are having a meeting tomorrow to try to resolve the situation.
    7. For example, I do not do sublimation and my customer wants 400 buffs, so I duly forward to him and he will invoice them direct. As I do embroidery and supply the caps he sent a customer of his to me. This is how it should work.
    8. He has employed a young lady that seems to be pushing him to cross the line all the time. There is a lot more to this, but just needed to vent to people who may understand.

    Any advise will be great.

    Thanks
    Amanda

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    Hello Amanda

    Now the tension starts, I really do not want to lose my son over this.
    That's really what it is about. No amount of agreements and contracts actually has any bearing, in my opinion.

    I certainly would not presume to advise you how to approach it, other than with the amount of sensitivity that preserves your relationship. I wish you well with this.

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    Thanks Clive, Father and Son have just ended a rather long discussion, with the outcome being that as agreed from the start, we refer customers to each other. I think his new staff member has been really pushy with him and as he is quite a softy he was a bit intimidated, he will have to sort that problem out. Let's see how we progress over the next few months.

    Thanks for your reply, feeling I can start looking forward to the week-end now without a cloud over my head.

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    I should actually say that his new employee is eager, not pushy. Trying to shine and increase profits, which is not a bad thing, but not understanding our agreement. We both have to focus on what we know best and strengths, which I hope he accepts now.

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    Glad it seems to be working out for you. Business and family are always awkward bedfellows and it is great to hear one that is working out.

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    Your son needs to learn that long term relationships (business or otherwise) are far more important than making a quick "hit and run" buck.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    My thoughts were similar to Clive, when it comes to parents and offspring being in business any issues or differences will always need to be approached as family issues rather than at a business level. Glad it sounds like you're all on the same page again and having your son being over-keen is far better than having him without motivation and drive.
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    Diamond Member HR Solutions's Avatar
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    Yes I agree with Andy above - having an overkeen son is really far better than one that sits at home and lets Mom and Dad look after him.
    The lady you talk about seems quite keen to get business for him - why don't you try to come to some sort of arrangement that she works for you as well ?

    It is really a difficult one when people want to "grow" but have to be very carefull of not alienating people as adrian says above. Forming long term relationships is sometimes forgotten in the quest to make money quickly.

    I hope you can all come to an amicable solution.


    Sometimes just "passing" business to each other will not work, because of exactly what is happening with you guys, mostly it is better for long term relations, but perhaps in this aspect you should offset a percentage for business passed to each other. Not everyone understands the passing business to each other - they think they can do it themselves !
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    I have seen a situation like this come to a very bitter end, in which the son has alienated the family and the parents in turmoil because of the actions that were taken in the feud. Deals were done in clandistine, and money was diverted because of entitlement, worked harder, my deal, etc

    The best way to handle this is to follow an old saying "friends are friends, but business is done apart".

    Each entity should take all orders that come their way. If the order is something you do not do, then place an order on each other as though you were separate business, and make profit on the sale. If you can get a better price somewhere else, then by all means inform each other, and if a compromise in price can not be made, then by all means place the order on the cheaper supplier.

    In this way no one will feel done in by a deal 'he should have given me". If you do not get the deal then you lost it fair and square. This is hard in the beginning, but then it will pan out.
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    I just want to thank everyone for the feedback, all seems to fine for the moment, but an even bigger and uglier problem as arisen. I think I should start a new thread.
    As his first financials only come up next year, he asked me to sign for a phone system as he thought Telkom would take too long. I will start a thread on this later this afternoon when I have calmed down a bit. I have been well and truly conned, and I can only blame myself.

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