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Heinz_MN 03-19-2013 11:05 AM

Lawn Care Account Question
I have been in the lawn care business for a little over 16 years with the same company. Over the past couple of months I have been thinking of going on my own, but making that commitment is holding me back since I have a family to support. The company that I work for is and has been going down hill for quite some time and I just heard that there is a potential buyer for it and he will end up being the owner within the year. Thing is, is the potential buyer is a good friend of mine and I do not want to work for him because I know how he is and I don't want to work for friends.

Here is my question; there is one lawn maintenance account that I really want from the company that I work for and we've had it ever since the company started. This commercial property is a well paying account and I have been doing the property for well over 10 years so I know how things run there and how the property needs to look. How do I go about in acquiring this account from my boss? Because this property would keep me busy all week long with 2 mowings per week and misc. pruning, edging, sod and flower replacement, etc.

I hope I worded this right where you all can understand it. I think this would be a great start to going on my own. Any type of information would greatly help me out. If you need any other info let me know.

LawnBoy0311 03-19-2013 11:12 AM

I will probably be of no help at all, but here is an idea:

Offer to buy the account from him.

This could go 2 ways. He says yes because he may get more money out of the deal by selling it to you, or he may say no because of the value to the new owner (the new owner may be less likely to buy if he knows how big the account is)

Its a hard spot to be in.

I had a lot more to type but I'm having a brain fart.

Sprinkler Buddy 03-19-2013 12:20 PM

After 16 years, just ask your boss, I know I would give up an account or two to an employee that had been with me that long and wants to better himself with his own business. Doesn't hurt to ask, just don't go behind his back and go to his customer. You don't sound like the type that would, just putting that out there.

I can't believe it has taken you this long to think of going out on your own. Even if he doesn't give you the account, see if he'll keep you on part time until you have built yours up a bit. 16 years is a long time to work for someone in this business, you have made him a lot of $$$ over the years, I hope he treats you right.

Steve 03-20-2013 12:04 PM

Have you thought about buying the entire company? If you can whip it into shape, it might be a good move. Maybe you could have the owner work with you on the financing where you pay him over time?

Heinz_MN 03-21-2013 02:03 PM

I have thought about buying it a few months ago and I have told my employer that I was interested in it. Of course he really didn't think much of it and I don't know why, but whatever. I just can't see myself taking over a business that needs so much money to be put back into it to get it to where it should be, i.e. new equipment. It would be a huge undertaking. But if I could just take over this one account that I know would net me a good amount of money to where I could start new with it, I should sit well. A really good friend of mine said that I should just ask my employer and see what he says, which I'm going to.

jsslawncare 03-21-2013 07:23 PM

Ask your boss to sell it to you. If he says no, then under cut them both.

Steve 03-22-2013 12:39 PM


I just can't see myself taking over a business that needs so much money to be put back into it to get it to where it should be, i.e. new equipment.
Is it possible that if a lot of money still needs to be put into the business, that the business may be overpriced?

Knowing the workings of that business should put you in a better position to valuate it and negotiate what you feel it is worth.

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