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blakelandscapeanddesign
12-16-2010, 06:40 PM
I have an excellent opportunity to purchase some lawn maintenance accounts from a business owner who is now longer interested in the lawn care business. He has a remodeling business and fell into the lawn care industry by default. He's offering 40 accounts in the right area at the right price. I have not sat down with him to go over the details as of yet. What are some questions and concerns I may have going into the conversation. What do both parties need to bring to the table. I thank you for your help.

Doug

jklawncare
12-16-2010, 07:05 PM
im not an expert on this and everyone will have input
but id say some of the key things you need are

an attourney present to help go through everything and help write out some kind of documentation

determine how and when everything will be payed

i think the attourney is a key piece in this though as they know more about this than anyone else may know

CFD192
12-16-2010, 09:57 PM
been there done that! I would definately have a no compete contract.

Here is the reason. I was told by a friend that this guy was getting out of business and wanted to sell. As I met with him the first time everything sounded great. He mentioned he was getting older, wanted out and want to stop because of health. So at the first meeting, I just had a bad feeling about things and when asked about him getting our money then going behind our back and doing it, he said "well i will do for friends...you wouldn't care about that would ya" So I came back, and he did have everything wrote up had the accounts wrote down and all. everything seemed great.

Here is the bad part of the deal that i would watch for. As I talked to a friend who is a lawyer he said no matter what to have a no compete contract wrote up. Once I took that to the next meeting, he was not really for it. He also said he hadn't talked to any of his customers to let them know of the change our owners. So then I laid the no compete out and he kept asking stuff about being able to work on neighbors and friends. So I then came back, went about getting the money together and the day I was on my way to get the business, i called and he said he no longer wanted to sell so I had taken a loan out for it and had the loan. He then called a day later and wanted a $1000 more. So i declined the offer and put money into my business. Turns out another sucker bought the business from him. So he then tells his previous customers that they do poor work, and then does a bunch of work for other people and pretty much got $11000 for the business of 26 accounts and now has picked up 4 of the accounts he sold back up and the new owner has lost those 4 plus 15 others. So I feel I really made out.

Steve
12-17-2010, 01:24 PM
Doug,

Here are a few articles I put together on my blog on the topic of buying lawn care accounts (http://lawnchat.com/?cat=81). There is a lot of information in there about this.

What is your view now on why you are looking to buy these accounts. Also, why now in the year? I would think there wouldn't be much lawn care work going on now so it might be tough to make that seamless transition between purchaser and seller.

Do you know if they have lawn care contracts in place? Have you looked at the accounts and figured out how much you would charge for them and compare that price to what he is charging for them? You might find the accounts are underbid.

How much does he want when it comes to revenue from the account? A lot of times, we see the ideal price being only a multiple of the revenue by a month or two.