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  • Purchasing 18 maintenance accounts

    Someone has offered to sell me 18 of their maintenance accounts for $3,000.00. He makes $3,000.00. He just does the maintenance, no chemical applications. None of the accounts have contracts. That kind of worries me! What do you guys think about this?

  • #2
    I'd be hesitant of them not having contracts...maybe have the deal worked out so that each account has a price assigned to it, and then if the person leaves, you don't pay for that account? If he would go for that...

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    • #3
      What is your biggest concern on this? The price or if the customers will stay with you?

      Check out this blog post on buying lawn care accounts and let me know if it is helpful.

      http://lawnchat.com/?p=51

      Also if you do go through this make sure he signs a non-compete contract so he can't go back and solicit the customers he sold to you.
      - 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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      • #4
        18 accounts reply

        The fact that none of the accounts have contracts really bothers me! I don't really feel comfortable buying accounts without contracts! I think I'm going to pass on this, but I will do a little more research first before I definitely decide not to.

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        • #5
          The calculator tells the story.

          $3000 / 18 customers = $166/customer.

          Instead of taking the easy way out by buying a customer list, why not spend a couple thousand dollars on marketing in order to build your own customer list.

          I guarantee that "paid-for" customers are far less loyal than customers you cultivate through advertising.


          Keith
          Start a profitable lawn care business.

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          • #6
            $3000 / 18 customers = $166/customer.

            Instead of taking the easy way out by buying a customer list, why not spend a couple thousand dollars on marketing in order to build your own customer list.

            I guarantee that "paid-for" customers are far less loyal than customers you cultivate through advertising.


            Keith

            I have talked to several lawn care operators here in my area to see if they use contracts or not on there clients. Some of them say they do contracts and some say they dont. They say most of the high people that pay good are very loyal to what they say about doing it year around with no contract.

            i dont do contracts, but i have been thinking i should to save me in the winter months and all( have money coming in, with less work)

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            • #7
              $3000 / 18 customers = $166/customer.
              You know this brings up a good point.

              btevans01, do you know what your average customer acquisition cost is? How does it compare with the $166 Keith pointed out?
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              • #8
                Customer aquisition average

                It is lower than our average customer's pay, and the seller says they are high end accounts! Doesn't sound right to me.

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                • #9
                  Well tell me this, at what price would you jump on it?
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                  • #10
                    I'd never pay more than 1 months gross & with no contracts I might make it 2 weeks gross. Though I've never bought an account & probably never will.

                    You'd like to think nobody would rip you off buy consider this....
                    Times are tough & people (some lco's included) are hurting.

                    So some lco & his business are going down the tubes, he's broke & jaded that his business isn't making him rich.... He decides to close down & then it occurs to him he can probably sell the few accounts he has! He wondering how much he can get for em!? could it get him out of debt? No he doesn't have enough accounts to sell. So he has an idea, he goes to 10-15 friends & says hey man, I'll pay you / get your lawn cut for free a couple times if you go with me on this.. your my customer & have been on my list for a while ok?
                    He gives his friend say $60 to pay the new guy a time or 2 then drop em.
                    You come along & pay him $166 per account. He just made $106 per account (over $1900) & you bought a failing business.

                    I'm not saying this is the case here but I've heard of it happening. SO BE CAREFUL.

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                    • #11
                      So he has an idea, he goes to 10-15 friends & says hey man, I'll pay you / get your lawn cut for free a couple times if you go with me on this.. your my customer & have been on my list for a while ok?
                      He gives his friend say $60 to pay the new guy a time or 2 then drop em.
                      You come along & pay him $166 per account. He just made $106 per account (over $1900) & you bought a failing business.
                      I am really glad you pointed that story out. It should give us all a moment to pause and reflect on it.
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                      • #12
                        what about this?

                        Do you think it would be a good idea if my company worked with his company as an assistant to familiarize the customer's with me, and then take over after they feel comfortable with me being there? I am pretty sure I would impress his customers enough to stick around. He pretty much just cuts their grass, and I am full service. He lacks the experience my company has. My partner has been in the business for 15 years.

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                        • #13
                          I think it is a good idea to meet all the clients personally absolutely. It will give you a good feel for them and them for you.
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