I am really at one of the lowest points I could be at and I need the opinions of anyone good enough to read this.
Quick background. I am finished my degree, I have a very good friend who I am in a band with who wants to start a business. He had an idea, a sketchy idea which over time has developed into something solid. He asked me when he had the idea to come on board. I told him I had nothing to invest but time, and he was fine with it.
He's got ideas, but he can't apply himself and lives a partying lifestyle, and his business acumen is not fantastic. We're old school friends and I was top of the year in business every year, and he knows that when I apply myself, I make things happen. We agreed we'd set up a limited company and that we'd both have 50/50 shares as we were looking to develop other businesses from this.
His Dad is a business man and has allowed us to use a lot of his contacts and he has given us a lot of time. But he is worried about his son who he knows parties too much and doesn't apply himself. His Dad had got John a contracted job for his university placement year by getting his friend to employ his son. He then had to convince this friend to let his son out of his contract early so he could work at this.
For the rest of this post, we'll call the son John and the Dad Tom. John has one more year at uni, and I am going to need to put in a lot of work whilst he completes his third year. This business involves selling to business owners, presentations etc, and we need to generate thousands of pounds a month, some times up to £20,000 a month (thats 40k in dollars). Its going to be a lot of work.
The company is being set up on Monday, and we have a meeting with our first potential clients on wednesday. After a meeting this week with a serial entrepreneur, who suggested a 50/50 share might be awkward, and it might be an idea to have a third party involved, or maybe set it up so one person has 51%. It also came to light during this meeting we'll need 10k in pounds for the start up costs. John's Dad is looking at raising some finance from his company to make this work.
John has got 3k to put in the pot with overdrafts included, but Tom wants to raise the 10k, so neither of us have to spend any money, and the idea is we lend it, and pay back when we can and start seeing income.
As you can imagine, time scales are tight, its getting close to the wire, and there is shit loads to do. What does John announce in a meeting between me, John and his Dad Tom? Him an his "playboy" crowd of friends are traveling half the length of the country to go on a camping weekend away. Tom was pretty dis-pleased to hear this, especially after he had to get his son out of employment so he could put "all of his time into the business" (John's words). He lacks the commitment, and his Dad has said as much. Tom is concerned and so am I.
Just before going camping, John tells me he wants 51% of the company to make the final decisions and to make the company look more attractive to investors. He also says its not financial, but it was his idea. He also brought up the fact further into the conversation that he had money to put in it but I didn't. I asked where this money was coming from, and he admitted he was lending it from his Dad, the same place where I'd be getting the money from.
I don't want to give him 51% of this company, I'll be doing the majority of the work, and he's admitted he can't do this without me. He also is irrational, petulant, and often child-like in his tantrums with his Dad (he is 21). Thats not the kind of guy who I want to have me over a barrel. I have said we need to get outside advice, but I'm not cool with it. He said okay, we left it amicable.
I have rang him this evening (he's camping) and he's not answering. He always answers, and constantly has his phone with him. I know he is ignoring me. I like him, but he is jerking me around and screwing me big time. I know his Dad is concerned about his attitude, and I know his Dad wouldn't think of investing this unless I was on board, he knows his son won't be able to run a new business in the final year of his university degree.
I have a number of options.
-Say 50/50 or I am out, and leave him with the details of the potential clients for wednesday's meeting.
- Tell him I'll take 49% if he does, and we get his Dad, or his accountant on board with a 2% share to allow a third party to intervene.
-Forget the whole thing.
-Call his Dad (since he won't speak to me) under the guise of getting his advice on the matter.
I don't know if I have expressed this clearly, my head is all over the place and I have no idea how to sort this out.
This is business, so I have to put the friendship to one side, he is jerking me around, and he knows it. His attitude to this business is shocking, but I know if I can get past this, I can make this business a killer off my own back, get a lot of contacts make some money, and in a few years I can cash out, with experience and contacts behind me.
Can any warriors help me with any words of advice or wisdom? I'd be amazed if anyone read to the bottom of this post, and if you have, I am grateful just for that.
Rave safe everyone.