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RCKCRWLR
02-24-2009, 09:06 PM
My name is Mark. I live in West Valley, UT. My company's name is Master's Touch Lawn Care. I purchased an existing small business from friends and have been involved for about 5 years now.
Until recently I hadn't thought about online forums. There is a LOT of good information thanks to a lot of people.
I actually found this site via lawnchat.com while searching for contract examples and help with accurately estimating jobs.

Steve
02-24-2009, 09:13 PM
Hi Mark,

Welcome to our forum!

Being that you had gone through the process of buying an existing lawn care business, what kind of advice can you offer other entrepreneurs that are interested in buying a lawn care business?

RCKCRWLR
02-24-2009, 09:43 PM
I don't make any claims of knowing everything but from my experience, which wasn't the best, I would say look into the business VERY closely, get ALL of the finacial info. from the past couple of years, and if you want to keep your friends don't go into business with them. If you do get into a partnership, one of the partners needs to have a controlling percentage, like 51%. Otherwise you end up with arguments that can't be resolved because each partner has an equal say in the decisions. It's a BAD situation to be in especially if it's a friend!
When I was looking at buying into the business I it had contracts with real estate investors, dealerships, etc. What I wasn't told was they had lost those contracts shortly before I purchased 50% of the business. I ended up paying WAY to much for 5 residential accounts. We now have over 30 residential and several commercial accounts. I now own the business and things are progressing.

Steve
02-24-2009, 10:15 PM
Oh that is very fascinating!

If you could have done it all over again, what would you have done differently?

Would you still have bought into an existing lawn care business or would you start one from scratch?

Also what was your view on why you didn't start one from scratch?

DonnaP
03-06-2011, 10:45 PM
Mark, if you're still around. I, too, would like to know what you would have done differently if you could have?

My husband and I are considering purchasing a similar situation (an existing lawn care business) for our son but not from friends or anything like that, more like that of another poster somewhere on here from someone getting out of the business or at least scaling back and breaking up his big business into several smaller ones, one of which is what we'd be buying. It consists of 14 yards, a mix of residential and commercial with some cemeteries. He says it brings in app. $15-1600/mo. and comes with a 2009 Exmark mower (at least when it gets the engine completely rebuilt with warranty from the manufacturer or replaced with warranty also from factory, which is supposed to at least be decided if not done this week, if not he's supposed to loan a brand new mower until it is - he told me the name of it but I can't find it right now). He said the Exmark is worth $6000 but I'm not seeming to find that anywhere online, thought I would call the local dealer tomorrow to get his take on it. But he's also told my son (and/or his friend who was going to help him, though now I'm not sure - supposedly you can do all the yards in 3 days but I'm not sure if that's with two - and he supposedly also has a mower - or not) that he's really just selling the business and just throwing in the mower.
Okay, now the real issue - he's asking $13,000 for this business. Now I didn't think that much about that to begin with (okay, call me stupid; maybe I am) until I read that other guy's postings about somebody saying you should only pay like a month's income for the business? is that right? then this would be like way out of line!? right? Please help.

jymie
03-06-2011, 10:58 PM
Thats an awful lot of cash to outlay with no guarantee that those customers will actually stay with you. If you want to start a business like this it makes much more sence to build it from the ground up on your own. Do your own advertising, start small and work up. Try to avoid going into debt to start up the business as that is a sure recipe for failure. Pick up a 42" riding mower push mower, trimmer & blower. Check craigslist and local pawn shops for the small equipment, get a riding mower from Home Depot to start with, it will last you a couple years then you can upgrade.

Gls
03-07-2011, 09:12 AM
To be honest I would offer whatever the used equipment is worth, plus a percentage of all profitable income, for say, the first year maybe. This way you have garunteed income from his clients. And if they don't pay, he doesn't get paid. They could be his best, but more like his worst clients. On top of this you can start building your own clientel. He may need/want cash fast but then you are dealing in a lot of risk in the first place... Jmo!

950thomas
03-07-2011, 04:57 PM
For the 13 thousand investment u are still going to need more equipment after the purchase and that is Not a lot of properties generating enough profit to pay for itself in a reasonable amount of time if u want to start your son in business take that money and use it towards equipment and advertising think u will come out better

Steve
03-07-2011, 10:11 PM
Okay, now the real issue - he's asking $13,000 for this business. Now I didn't think that much about that to begin with (okay, call me stupid; maybe I am) until I read that other guy's postings about somebody saying you should only pay like a month's income for the business? is that right? then this would be like way out of line!? right? Please help.

Welcome to our forum Donna.

Can you give us a little background into all this and tell us why you are considering doing this?