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Wise Choice
02-04-2009, 03:33 PM
Hello and glad I found this web site.
Starting my business AGAIN!

After 9/11, I lost my job and decided NOT to go back to corporate america. Started a business from nothing and worked it well....primarily residential accounts...at one time 50 accounts, but had problems hiring good people. Decided to trim the fat / headache customers and kept it to a managebable 30 accounts...but accounts who wanted everything all year round. I loved the business, the people, the flexability, my time, I also coach at the local high school...life was great...BUT it became physically exhausting. I made a huge mistake selling it....to a local competitor who ends up pissing off half the base and losing the accounts. Back where I started from now that I'm unemployed again, but will learn from past mistakes. Starting with neighbor accounts who want me back and plan to go full throttle in 2009. My motto was simple...bust your *** for people, make smart purchase decisions, be professional, courteous and try to be everything to each landscaping account. Offer other stuff in between your schedule and the customer comes to know, love and respect you. Thanks for listening and best of luck to everyone. Nice web site which I plan to visit often.

Steve
02-04-2009, 04:23 PM
Hi Wise Choice,

Welcome to our forum!

Can you tell us a little about why you initially decided to sell your business and why you wanted to get back in again?

Do you have any advice for others who might find themselves in that spot you found yourself in as you considered selling it?

Wise Choice
02-05-2009, 01:34 PM
I sold everything the first time around because I was offered an opportunity to run Operations (desk/office job for a small company), it was local, I had a flexible work schedule and I was just too tired....physically. My child was getting older and I didn't need to be so close to home all the time...Mr. Mom who ran his own business! I was also able to continue to coach soccer part-time which is also a passion. Why am I going back? A lot of my old customers inquired as to what I'm doing....the guy who purchased the business lost most of the accounts...I'm now unemployed....and as I said in my original post....I'll learn from past mistakes. I enjoy being my own boss, good at it, and truly enjoy caring for a persons most prized asset....their home. Advice for others....be very careful who you sell your business to. I tried to do it right....I knew the owner and his sons....I explainred everything to them and let the customers know in writing and face to face. But the bottom line.....the business is all about relationships....and people are not always as they seem. I established good relationships with my customers and the purchaser just didn't care about them in the end. Thank you for your time.

Steve
02-05-2009, 03:11 PM
This is really fascinating.

If a lawn care business owner were looking to buy a customer base from another lawn care business, what advice do you have that would lead to success? What pitfalls should they be careful of?

Wise Choice
02-11-2009, 01:35 PM
Don't buy from anyone else....they'll never take care of the accounts the way you do and customer retention is extremely difficult. I sold to a guy who's been in business for 20+ years....so why didn't he just grow himself?

If you end up purchasing a landscape account list, do your due diligence. Make sure you get to know the customer, likes, dislikes, walk the properties, review prior billing, yadda yadda.