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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

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


Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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  #11  
Old 10-09-2012, 08:52 AM
Lawn Cop Lawn Cop is offline
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Yeah, Grass Doctor hit it right on the head.
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  #12  
Old 10-09-2012, 10:11 AM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
"Party Two agrees to pay the estimated sum of $8,000 for 23 lawn accounts..."


Seriously? "estimated sum"? Sounds like he could say you owe him MORE if he wants.

When I was 14 I sold a dirt bike with a note signed by the buyer ("sold as is") that was probably more legally binding than the example you posted.





Good luck. Learn and move on.
I guess I just live in an area where "buying accounts" isn't necessary because there are always people out there looking for a lawn guy.
Advertise.
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  #13  
Old 10-09-2012, 11:47 AM
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Sorry about all this happening.

How did all this go down? When you put your feelers out saying you were interested, did he take you out with him to meet the customers before you bought the customer list? Did he tell you how much he was charging each customer and did that price seem to be appropriate to you?

Did you get any equipment out of it?
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  #14  
Old 10-09-2012, 12:40 PM
LawnBoy0311 LawnBoy0311 is offline
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easy there fella's! I'm sure he feels like cr@p after spending a hard earned 8K. Maybe we should try to keep the bashing comments to a minimum? Afterall, he was just trying to make a living. We've all made bad choices. I KNOW I HAVE!!!!
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  #15  
Old 10-09-2012, 02:03 PM
greenscaper123 greenscaper123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Sorry about all this happening.

How did all this go down? When you put your feelers out saying you were interested, did he take you out with him to meet the customers before you bought the customer list? Did he tell you how much he was charging each customer and did that price seem to be appropriate to you?

Did you get any equipment out of it?
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.
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  #16  
Old 10-09-2012, 02:16 PM
AkersLawn AkersLawn is offline
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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  
Old 10-09-2012, 02:53 PM
greenscaper123 greenscaper123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AkersLawn View Post
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  
Old 10-09-2012, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenscaper123 View Post
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  
Old 10-10-2012, 08:58 AM
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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  
Old 10-10-2012, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenscaper123 View Post
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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