Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Just starting your lawn care or landscaping business? > Starting a lawn care business.

Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

To Buy or Not To Buy This Business?


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 02-19-2013, 08:33 PM
elitelawn13 elitelawn13 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Rep Power: 2
elitelawn13 is on a distinguished road
Question To Buy or Not To Buy This Business?

My friend is in lawn care. He manages the business end and has a good foreman run the crew. He has had his business while working another career and it has been profitable year over year.

Recently, he introduced me to an offer from someone he trusts in the industry that is selling 22 high-end residential accounts that generate $300/mo. I am told a 2 man crew can run these accounts and would be willing to stay with them. The seller wants $15K for the accounts.

Also, up for sale is an 18ft enclosed trailer, 48in and 52in mowers. I do not know the make, model, year or condition of any of the equipment yet. The seller wants $9K for the equipment. If I purchase the accounts with the equipment the total will go down to $22K.

I will still need to pick up a truck and licenses to make this business run. I plan on taking a similar approach as my friend and managing the business while a good foreman runs the crew. My background and experience is in sales and marketing (serial entrepreneur).

I'm looking for advice...

Is this a good deal?
What questions should I be asking?
What would you do?
What do you recommend?
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 02-20-2013, 05:53 AM
LawnBoy0311 LawnBoy0311 is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: East Coast
Posts: 1,169
Rep Power: 0
LawnBoy0311 is on a distinguished road
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
You may want to spend a good amount of time researching before jumping in. What caught me was 22 high end customers generating $300 a month? Is that $300 each? $3000 a month? I'm confused on that one.

When buying customers, it's always a crapshoot. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't at all.

My advice would be to do a lot of research. Read as many threads on here as possible. Theres ton of valuable info, and you'll quickly read about guys who have been doing this line of work for years....their input is incredible.

Jumping in too fast could result in a fast sinking ship.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-20-2013, 06:50 AM
elitelawn13 elitelawn13 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Rep Power: 2
elitelawn13 is on a distinguished road
Default

To clarify, it is $300/mo per account. They are high end accounts. Also, I am in Florida so it would be year round.

I agree with your advice. I've been pouring over this forum and related resources and finally decided to join to get input from the experts.

Looking forward to more replies.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-20-2013, 11:34 AM
LawnBoy0311 LawnBoy0311 is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: East Coast
Posts: 1,169
Rep Power: 0
LawnBoy0311 is on a distinguished road
Default

Believe me, I'm no expert, I'm just an idiot with a lawn mower.

Everyday is something new to learn, and its an ongoing thing. Just when you think you've got it mastered, something bigger and better will come out and you'll have to learn that.

Do you have experience in lawn care? Start small. Get your feet wet first. Learn the basics and start from scratch. Hell, you may hate it after starting! What your looking at buying would be good for someone looking to add on to their business. Maybe another route or bigger operation. Besides, those customers are not obligated to stay with you. You may buy the business, and all but a few customers decide to leave. Then that money you were banking on won't be there anymore.

My best advice would be for you to start your own and build the business. Let that deal go to someone else. It may suck now, but it'll be better off in the long run.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-20-2013, 12:15 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,533
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Recently, he introduced me to an offer from someone he trusts in the industry that is selling 22 high-end residential accounts that generate $300/mo. I am told a 2 man crew can run these accounts and would be willing to stay with them. The seller wants $15K for the accounts.
My first question is, why doesn't your friend buy the accounts if they are good?

That could be a tell.

Why is the seller, selling them?

Let's look at some figures:

(22 acounts x $300 a month) = $6,600 a month income.

$15,000 / $6,600 = 2.27 months income per customer to buy.

or

($300 x 2.27) = $681 per customer.

A lot of times we see the ideal around 1 month's income. No one wants to sell them for that because everyone thinks their customer list is amazing and worth their weight in gold. But you have no guarantees any of these customers will stay with you. No guarantee this seller won't market to them again in a week after you buy them. No guarantee any of his staff won't pick up the accounts themselves. These accounts are flighty at best.

Beyond that, do you feel you could spend less than $681 in your marketing to pick up customers?
__________________
- 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.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-21-2013, 09:23 PM
elitelawn13 elitelawn13 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Rep Power: 2
elitelawn13 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
My first question is, why doesn't your friend buy the accounts if they are good?
My friend is seriously considering buying them to add to his existing line of business given that the accounts are in a very affluent neighborhood.

Quote:
Beyond that, do you feel you could spend less than $681 in your marketing to pick up customers?
Yes. But will the customers be $300/mo residential accounts? I do not know.

Separately, I have heard from different industry players that the holy grail for commercial accounts are shopping centers. If that's true, is it feasible for a new entrant to hit the marketing hard and go exclusively after that niche?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-22-2013, 05:26 AM
LawnBoy0311 LawnBoy0311 is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: East Coast
Posts: 1,169
Rep Power: 0
LawnBoy0311 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by elitelawn13 View Post
My friend is seriously considering buying them to add to his existing line of business given that the accounts are in a very affluent neighborhood.



Yes. But will the customers be $300/mo residential accounts? I do not know.

Separately, I have heard from different industry players that the holy grail for commercial accounts are shopping centers. If that's true, is it feasible for a new entrant to hit the marketing hard and go exclusively after that niche?
There is a lot more to it than what you think. Business license, experience bidding, FINDING OUT WHO TO SUBMIT THE BID TO, if the current guy is a friend of the guy taking the bids, not consistent business....the list goes on.

Get some experience first. You have to crawl before you can run. The money will come over time, NOT your first year.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-22-2013, 11:45 AM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,533
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Separately, I have heard from different industry players that the holy grail for commercial accounts are shopping centers. If that's true, is it feasible for a new entrant to hit the marketing hard and go exclusively after that niche?
There is no way I would recommend a new business owner go for shopping center lawn accounts right out of the gate.

How would you be able to bid that if you haven't learned the process on smaller yards first? How would you be able to service it? You'd have to have more equipment, staff, knowledge to do this efficiently than you would if you started on smaller residential properties.
__________________
- 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.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-08-2013, 05:16 AM
grass guru grass guru is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 43
Rep Power: 4
grass guru is on a distinguished road
Default

I have a lot of questions, and am skeptical at best.
A 2 man crew for 22 accounts? Seems overkill to me.
Lets look @ #'s. $300/month x 22 = $6,600 x 12 (even weekly service in Fl is hard to believe, but I'll go with it) = $79,200 gross.
2 men @ 40hrs/week = 80 hrs x 52 weeks/yr = 4,160 man hrs x $hourly wage, say $11/hr = $45,760 in labor. Add to this business liability insurance, commercial auto insurance, workmans comp insurance, employment insurance, fuel costs for equiptment and truck, wear and tear for all equiptment and truck,equiptment replacement costs, truck replacement costs, trailer replacement costs, shop/office mortgage, office supplies, customer headaches, employee headaches, 10% - 20% of gross set aside for growth, and any expenses for annual licenses, truck registration, fees, income taxes, social security taxes, medicare, medicaide, obamacare, etc..... Whats your wage going to be?
Is the current owner and employees willing to sign a "no compete" contract?
Is the current owner willing to show you all tax docs including w2's and 1099's and payroll?
Is current owner willing to accept payment based on contracts retained? I guaruntee you will not get all 22 to stick around.
Is current owner willing to introduce you to every customer?
Is current owner willing to assist in transition?
Is current owner willing to include all equiptment, list of suppliers/vendors/subcontractors?
Is he full service (fertilize, mow, trim, edge, blow, sprinklers, weed control, etc)? Does he have license to apply herbicides/pesticides/fungicides, if required by law? Do you?
What services are included in the contract, and what are contract guidelines?
How long has he been in business, and why is he selling?
What condition is equiptment in, and are there records of service?
If you go into business w/your buddy, how do things get split?

Honestly, $15k for accounts seems high, but i dont know overhead costs, location, distances, or socioeconomics of your local. $7k for an enclosed trailer, 2 mowers, trimmers, backpack blowers, edgers, etc, seems cheap. Then again, Make, model, year, condition, and hours make a huge difference.
Honestly, if it was me, I would offer much less, (after getting above questions answered, and am comfortable), and do all the work myself.
If you are wanting to run the business as a "manager", and have the crew do all the work, I have a feeling you will be trying to sell it in a couple of years after seeing what the profit margin really is.
Maybe you could work for your buddy for a year, see what it costs to run this type of business, how to mow, how to do managerial work, and learn what it takes to make the front line run. After that, maybe you would be more comfortable in aquiring a business.
There are two types of owners... Those that work hard in/on their business, and those that have everyone else work hard in/on their business.
To do it as he is doing it, I'd pass. To do it as a quick start for a new venture that I would be mowing and working, I'd consider it. Only you can find out the #'s, and ask the questions.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-08-2013, 07:16 AM
dpld dpld is offline
new member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: nj
Posts: 885
Rep Power: 0
dpld is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by elitelawn13;122316

[I
Separately,[/i] I have heard from different industry players that the holy grail for commercial accounts are shopping centers. If that's true, is it feasible for a new entrant to hit the marketing hard and go exclusively after that niche?

corporate campuses are the holy grail not shopping centers.
shopping centers consist of 95% pavement outside of where the building sits which is good if you are in a snow belt and it actually snows.

shopping centers are also good if you want to make a career change into sanitation because you will deal with garbage more then anything else especially come holiday time.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
accounts, business, buy, deal, new business, purchase, start up

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Business Plan for income to Owner and Business woodardsh Starting a lawn care business. 9 09-19-2012 11:24 AM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Difference between lawn...
sanchez5
Yesterday 04:20 PM
Today 05:58 AM
by Billy Goat
1 72
Gie-review / What's new...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-25-2014 09:19 AM
Yesterday 10:35 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
5 361
Business Name
sanchez5
10-28-2014 11:55 PM
Yesterday 02:31 PM
by stevef1201
2 130
My Newest Toy (B.P....
Dan Tanner
10-23-2014 05:50 PM
Yesterday 12:26 PM
by Steve
6 472
Pavers
crieg122
10-28-2014 02:49 PM
Yesterday 12:24 PM
by Steve
3 156
West cost lawn prices
SGlawncare
10-09-2014 09:51 PM
10-28-2014 11:08 PM
by SGlawncare
4 836
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
10-28-2014 02:51 PM
by Steve
1,193 340,967
Help a brother...
tbtigers03
09-28-2014 11:41 AM
10-28-2014 02:38 PM
by Steve
14 1,867
Business Cards
crieg122
10-25-2014 12:03 PM
10-28-2014 02:37 PM
by crieg122
4 343
Lawn Care business...
crieg122
10-23-2014 01:23 PM
10-28-2014 11:28 AM
by crieg122
15 658
So how do you guys...
Mr. Mow
10-26-2014 07:55 AM
10-28-2014 04:56 AM
by Billy Goat
2 290
Hi Steve From West...
Mr. Mow
10-21-2014 01:59 PM
10-28-2014 01:37 AM
by Steve
3 486
Pressure Washing Like a...
TNTurf
08-01-2014 11:47 PM
10-27-2014 10:36 PM
by SGlawncare
12 1,207
new to the forum
madmedic8575
10-24-2014 02:52 PM
10-27-2014 12:14 PM
by Steve
1 304
Dealing With Gas Can...
Mr. Mow
10-21-2014 01:41 PM
10-26-2014 10:59 AM
by stevef1201
13 669
Leaf removal
madmedic8575
10-24-2014 04:14 PM
10-26-2014 07:45 AM
by Mr. Mow
5 419
raking leaves ?
robert8509
10-22-2014 09:19 PM
10-25-2014 12:09 PM
by biglee
10 578
Leaf Box & Loader Set...
ringahding1
10-21-2014 06:20 AM
10-25-2014 11:46 AM
by crieg122
6 570
hey everyone
robert8509
10-22-2014 08:16 PM
10-24-2014 11:07 PM
by robert8509
7 468
12 Years in Business!
Chilehead
10-23-2014 08:07 AM
10-23-2014 11:08 PM
by Chilehead
2 398
Cheapskate Landlord...
Mr. Mow
10-20-2014 06:33 AM
10-23-2014 05:55 PM
by biglee
13 724
Hi from SoCal
Jmoney
10-23-2014 11:29 AM
10-23-2014 12:51 PM
by Steve
1 359
Workmans compensation...
CDLAWNCARE
10-15-2014 08:05 AM
10-23-2014 12:33 PM
by Steve
5 823
Pda
stevef1201
10-18-2014 02:05 PM
10-23-2014 06:12 AM
by ringahding1
4 648
Hello, from TEXAS
sanchez5
10-17-2014 09:56 PM
10-22-2014 01:27 PM
by Steve
6 710
Organic Lawn Care...
NHray
10-17-2014 06:05 PM
10-22-2014 01:23 PM
by Steve
3 682
first year update
cmdlawncare
08-12-2014 05:41 PM
10-22-2014 07:47 AM
by ringahding1
4 1,677
What parts do you carry...
Just for Cuts
10-17-2014 09:08 AM
10-21-2014 01:36 PM
by Mr. Mow
16 961
Jungle to Beautiful
stevef1201
10-17-2014 09:54 AM
10-21-2014 01:26 PM
by stevef1201
11 821
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
10-21-2014 01:19 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
158 11,908
Sunny Beach Tennis...
SGL1
10-19-2014 11:24 PM
10-21-2014 01:04 PM
by SGL1
4 551
Have you ever had to...
SouthernRootsLawnCare
07-26-2014 02:41 PM
10-20-2014 08:34 PM
by biglee
10 2,147
Look out Bob Villa -...
Mr Dave
09-30-2014 10:06 AM
10-20-2014 05:42 PM
by SGL1
7 1,635
how to fi d commercial...
mchampion319
10-19-2014 09:50 PM
10-20-2014 04:41 PM
by Steve
1 526
Hello From Tennessee
mrmann901
10-17-2014 10:02 PM
10-20-2014 04:24 PM
by Steve
1 586
questions on order to...
jack2048
10-13-2014 11:15 AM
10-20-2014 03:27 PM
by Mr. Mow
15 1,045
This sucks...
Matther777
09-18-2014 04:56 PM
10-20-2014 02:14 PM
by Steve
14 2,565
Cement mixer
KevinsLawns
10-15-2014 08:03 PM
10-20-2014 02:11 PM
by Steve
7 774
Hello ! New guy Rob here
RWorthley1
10-17-2014 04:05 PM
10-20-2014 02:09 PM
by Steve
1 629
Snow Blowing
gwilson98
10-12-2014 02:21 PM
10-17-2014 02:51 PM
by Steve
6 959
Spreading Weeds?
WesleySnips
07-27-2014 09:46 PM
10-17-2014 07:49 AM
by SGL1
6 1,265
Grasswhoopins.com Anyone...
GRASS WHOOPINS
06-21-2011 11:38 PM
10-16-2014 01:30 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
42 9,658
I Want to buy old...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-10-2014 10:04 PM
10-15-2014 09:12 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
6 978
Do you find weed eating...
chuck2s
10-15-2014 02:10 PM
10-15-2014 02:10 PM
by chuck2s
0 702
Incorporating &...
WesleySnips
10-01-2014 09:39 PM
10-15-2014 01:37 PM
by kslawn
20 1,827
Falling into business
stellarmowing
09-28-2014 04:35 PM
10-15-2014 05:57 AM
by ringahding1
8 1,827
Apartment Complex and...
lxarth
06-22-2011 01:10 PM
10-14-2014 06:25 PM
by jrs.landscaping
42 9,955
I LOVE hedge trimming
stevef1201
10-13-2014 09:05 AM
10-14-2014 01:06 PM
by Steve
5 838
Help with seeder...
ExtremeLawncareServices
10-09-2014 07:39 AM
10-13-2014 08:09 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
5 1,004
The Market watch
WesleySnips
10-12-2014 08:47 PM
10-13-2014 05:40 PM
by SGL1
3 832
» Popular Tags
2wd 4x4 aerocore apartment complex auger bark billy goat brushcutter blades care charge collections decorating equipment rental exmark ferris foreman four wheel drive gopherhaul grass gravely growing a lawn care business hills how much to charge how to bid husqvarna john deere quik trac kawasaki labor cost landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care business lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care website lighting marketing mr dave mulch mulch estimate new buisness ordinance podcast property management company pto redmax scag scripts search engine optimization seo shreaded small engine repair snow sprayer starting a business starting a lawn care business steve stihl theft top dresser toro toro grand stand trailer trimmer rack turfgrass consulting walk behind walker wood
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:47 AM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:47 AM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy