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Bought accounts this year.. think I'm getting screwed

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  • #16
    Gosh man I feel for ya. Thats a bad deal and hopefully you can at least not lose money, just time. When you own a business you get paid anything but an hourly wage. It is unfortunate he jerked you around, but at least now you know. Is there a reason you don't do snow removal/shoveling/plowing? Maybe it'd be worth looking into.
    All you can do at this point is maintain a good relationship with the customers you still do have, and try not to ever lose your *** like taht again. Every user on here has gotten screwed before, and all of us probably will again. Im sweating hard on losing 950$ of work right now, and it sucks too, but the way i see it is there is nothing to do about it now, and at least its not out of my bank account, just time and expenses invested. Good luck with your business, keep working hard and advertising harder. Happens to the best of us man !!!!

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    • #17
      Gosh man I feel for ya. Thats a bad deal and hopefully you can at least not lose money, just time. When you own a business you get paid anything but an hourly wage. It is unfortunate he jerked you around, but at least now you know. Is there a reason you don't do snow removal/shoveling/plowing? Maybe it'd be worth looking into.
      All you can do at this point is maintain a good relationship with the customers you still do have, and try not to ever lose your *** like taht again. Every user on here has gotten screwed before, and all of us probably will again. Im sweating hard on losing 950$ of work right now, and it sucks too, but the way i see it is there is nothing to do about it now, and at least its not out of my bank account, just time and expenses invested. Good luck with your business, keep working hard and advertising harder. Happens to the best of us man !!!!
      thanks man.. the reason why i didn't plan on plowing this season was because his plow accounts only really generate about $1k for an average winter. all driveways mainly. last winter we didn't even get anything. about 1 inch maybe. so after dumping all my cash on these accounts i didn't really want to sink more money into a plow and pay for the plow insurance until my second year in biz when i have more accounts. i was concerned about maybe losing some accounts to landscapers who do plow at the end of the season and that's when he said "alright, well you want me to take care of the driveways this winter until next season?" to which i replied yes. so i've been telling all these customers this summer that he would be doing it..cause that's what he told me... now everyone is upset because he is not answering his phone and guess who looks like the a hole.. ME.

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      • #18
        well he posted an ad on craigslist and i contacted him about the accounts.. it turned out he was friends with my sister in HS and knew most of my sisters friends. no equip was included and he never introduced me to the customers. he just sent out a letter notifying them. he sent this letter out a month after me giving him the money. he did show me a contact list with all the prices and drove me around to see all the properties. most of the accounts were right next to each other too which was good. seemed like a good opportunity to add onto the 15 accounts that I had already gotten myself, putting me at about 40 accounts in my first year. plus my father was letting me use his truck, trailer and equip to help me get started so not too many start up expenses. i didn't mind droppin some money as long as they were good accounts. we both didn't really see the point in getting an attorney because we felt like it was simple really.. "you don't screw me over, I won't screw you over" i've worked for my father landscaping for about 14 years and i've never seen accounts quit unless you do a pretty bad job. so i was confident nobody was really going to quit. based on that, I guess i didn't really see the point in getting an attorney. even when i asked him "ok but what if some people do quit?" he replied "trust me nobody is going to quit as long as you do a good job" well, i did do a good job. while i know this is partly my fault, i'm just pissed off this guy can't keep his word as a man. he assured me and gave me his word nobody would quit. ultimately that's why i never went with an attorney because i decided to trust him and now he's just avoiding me like a plague. if it were 2-3 i wouldn't sweat it. but we are looking at nearly 10 now and almost half the accounts.
        here is my contribution buddy, keep in mind my English its not the best, here is what i think where ur problems start, u buy the accounts from this X guy.
        he had his accounts set the way he had them, people was use to his services, snow plowing, free weed removal i dont know . u shouldn't came and want to change the way they were already set up, like you said i guy drop u cause u don't do snow plowing, here is where u start looking for troubles, there is an old saying that says, dont fix if is not broken that's were u got it all wrong, u should go back, to all this people and start giving **** away like free soil aeration, if the sign up for a new contract tell them that you are interested in provide them with a high quality services at very affordable prices, now its a good time to aerate, or what can i do to regain your services,

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        • #19
          From this point onward can you push forwards and continue your marketing? I think next year will be a better year and you are going to find more customers.
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          • #20
            thanks man.. the reason why i didn't plan on plowing this season was because his plow accounts only really generate about $1k for an average winter. all driveways mainly. last winter we didn't even get anything. about 1 inch maybe. so after dumping all my cash on these accounts i didn't really want to sink more money into a plow and pay for the plow insurance until my second year in biz when i have more accounts. i was concerned about maybe losing some accounts to landscapers who do plow at the end of the season and that's when he said "alright, well you want me to take care of the driveways this winter until next season?" to which i replied yes. so i've been telling all these customers this summer that he would be doing it..cause that's what he told me... now everyone is upset because he is not answering his phone and guess who looks like the a hole.. ME.
            Ya ive had similar experiences. If you arent in an area to do snow removal, honestly I dont know how you could do it. Ive found that this winter I'll make about 5 times what I did this summer. Im sure everyone gets by, but its hard to sell snow plowing when you have no snow..
            Keep your chin up and go get some accounts that are worth while. Don't lowball, don't give your services away for free, and don't kiss A** just to kiss it. You are a businessman, with a business, not an employee with a job.
            All you can do at this point is do your best to keep the clientelle that you do have, and market hard for more. Maybe try to find a high school kid or something that will be willing to do the work, and even if you hardly make anything, you do none of the work and more importantly, keep the clients. This is by no means an easy business and we're all learning here. If i had a dollar for every time ive been screwed over, I'd at least be able to buy a fifth of crown and cope with it. If all else fails get a job over the winter to at least keep the cash flow going and hit it strong and early next spring. Sounds like you are becoming more and more equipped to handle a bigger load, get some employees and just keep taking it seriously, It'll pay off in the end. I mean ... this is America right??

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            • #21
              I feel for you too. I have been on both ends of almost being bought out, and trying to buy someone out too. In the end, with two different situations I walked away from the deal, it was the best decision that I ever made.

              In regards to the buy out, I had it setup differently when I was trying to buy the other person out. Everything was in writing, non-compete, I was buying not only accounts, but supplies and equipment.

              The buy out was going to happen over a three year phase. More or less, if I lost any clients then the next years payment would be adjusted accordingly. He would stay on as a part time manager to help with the transition, and at the end of the three years, if he actually got me more clients, then he would receive a percentage bonus (this was a little incentive so he wouldn't screw me over but actually work with me). In the end I canceled the deal because he wanted all of the money up front. I declined.

              In another instance when I was going to get bought up, I was made promises and promises (this was when I first started in the business so I was a little wet behind the ears). I agreed to a buy out price that included the equipment, my accounts, and me being a manager of the company that just sat behind a desk all day.

              However, after three days of no money, not being promised the qualified help, and having to work out in the field, I packed up and left.
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              • #22
                this is America right??
                <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/xFVdvXGIT34" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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                • #23
                  Greenscape, what ever happened? How did your first year go? of those customers, how many in the end stayed?

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                  • #24
                    Greenscape, what ever happened? How did your first year go? of those customers, how many in the end stayed?
                    Out of the 23 I bought, 14 stayed. It could have been worse I guess, just wish I hadn't spent so much money for them. A couple weeks ago I saw a guy on craigslist selling 54 accounts under CONTRACT for $7000. That's a $1000 less than what I paid for essentially 14 haha. I'm looking past it though, it's a new season and most of the customers who stayed on are agreeing to monthly maintenance packages and pre pay billing. I realized my depression over it last year really hindered my drive and focus to succeed. So I'm making a big push with my postcards this year and expect to be around 70 by April. Regardless of whatever money I wasted last year, if I can be in that position in my second year, I'll be happy. Wish me luck!

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                    • #25
                      Out of the 23 I bought, 14 stayed. It could have been worse I guess, just wish I hadn't spent so much money for them. A couple weeks ago I saw a guy on craigslist selling 54 accounts under CONTRACT for $7000. That's a $1000 less than what I paid for essentially 14 haha. I'm looking past it though, it's a new season and most of the customers who stayed on are agreeing to monthly maintenance packages and pre pay billing. I realized my depression over it last year really hindered my drive and focus to succeed. So I'm making a big push with my postcards this year and expect to be around 70 by April. Regardless of whatever money I wasted last year, if I can be in that position in my second year, I'll be happy. Wish me luck!
                      Wow, thats still not too bad. You'll do great this year and making them full service is even better! Good luck to you!

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                      • #26
                        Out of the 23 I bought, 14 stayed. It could have been worse I guess, just wish I hadn't spent so much money for them. A couple weeks ago I saw a guy on craigslist selling 54 accounts under CONTRACT for $7000. That's a $1000 less than what I paid for essentially 14 haha. I'm looking past it though, it's a new season and most of the customers who stayed on are agreeing to monthly maintenance packages and pre pay billing. I realized my depression over it last year really hindered my drive and focus to succeed. So I'm making a big push with my postcards this year and expect to be around 70 by April. Regardless of whatever money I wasted last year, if I can be in that position in my second year, I'll be happy. Wish me luck!
                        Best of luck. Do you have a website?
                        http://www.lunchesruslawncare.com

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                        • #27
                          Out of the 23 I bought, 14 stayed. It could have been worse I guess, just wish I hadn't spent so much money for them.
                          Looking back at the situation now, what range do you feel would have been a good price to pay? What multiple of their weekly mowing price would you pay for a customer in the future?

                          I realized my depression over it last year really hindered my drive and focus to succeed
                          Every once in a while on here we talk about depression and how it effects are abilities to do what we want to do. Can you tell us a little about your thought on how depression factored into this business transaction and how it effected you afterwards?
                          - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                          Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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                          • #28
                            Looking back at the situation now, what range do you feel would have been a good price to pay? What multiple of their weekly mowing price would you pay for a customer in the future?


                            Every once in a while on here we talk about depression and how it effects are abilities to do what we want to do. Can you tell us a little about your thought on how depression factored into this business transaction and how it effected you afterwards?
                            Well based on the customers that actually stayed on, which was 14, looking back I would have never paid more than 3000.

                            When I started the season I had so much fire. I had all these thoughts and ideas on where to go with this business and I just couldn't wait to get started. Then when people started quitting, it was like every bit of ambition I had in me was sucked out. I was skeptical dropping that much cash as it already was. I stopped advertising and basically became content with what I had. I was only working 20 hours a week and yet when I was done with what I had to do, I wouldn't even attempt to find more work. Instead I would go home and feel sorry for myself. "If I would have done this, if I would have done that" I would spend hours online trying to figure out if there was a way I could recoup my money. I would call lawyers, I would go on forums like these and ask people what I should do. Looking back, I realized what I should have been doing was going out and finding more work, calling up all my existing customers and try to up sell, network with people, create a website, work on things to improve my overall image as a business. Instead I didn't do any of that. Instead I came on here and complained about it and spent hours trying to figure out how to correct the past.

                            I eventually realized that if I was ever going to continue growing I needed to put it behind me and start focusing on a fresh start. It's literally impossible to focus on the future when you're stuck in the past. The past brings about nothing but depression when you dwell on poor decisions, because it's over and done with. The future on the other hand instills opportunity, which in turn creates optimism. I think that's why my ambition has finally returned.

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                            • #29
                              Best of luck. Do you have a website?
                              I'm working on one now actually

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                              • #30
                                Check out my site click on the banner below maybe you will get some ideas. I have one page as a request a quote page, that has been golden for me. At the bottom of that page you can click on the link to the host for it, it is free to use for up to 5 forms. I use it for job applications, quote request page, referral form and satisfaction survey.

                                Heres the link for it: http://www.emailmeform.com/

                                Its very simple to use, after you create your form, you get html code and insert the code onto your site page.
                                http://www.lunchesruslawncare.com

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