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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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  #1  
Old 10-08-2012, 01:04 PM
greenscaper123 greenscaper123 is offline
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Default Bought accounts this year.. think I'm getting screwed

This is my first year in business. In May, I paid $8k for 23 accounts that gross $3k a month for lawn cutting and $12k for spring/fall clean ups. He originally wanted $12k for everything so it seemed like a good deal at the time. Well, over the course of the next couple months 8 people quit. Now another person just quit cause I don't do snow plowing. He told me he would take care of the snow plowing the first year but he hasn't answered his phone for me or any of the customers the last 3 months. So I basically paid $8k for 14 accounts.

When we made this deal he ASSURED me nobody would quit. 9 quit so far. He ASSURED me that he would stay on with me the first year to answer phone calls and such. Never answers one. He ASSURED me that he would do the snow plowing the first year so that nobody would quit. Well now it appears he won't be doing that either so it looks like I'll probably lose even more. I've worked this entire year to pay off what I dished out and by the time next year comes around I'll probably only end up with 10 accounts. How badly am I getting screwed here and is there anything I can do about this?
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:12 PM
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Was anything is writing or was it all verbal? If it was all verbal, theres really nothing you could do.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:14 PM
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Happens all the time. Buying accounts is just a bad idea. Try and build the business is all you can do. Tough lesson learned I'm sure.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:15 PM
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Not too sure if this will help, but if it was verbal, send him a letter via certified mail. Outline everything he has not held up to and put a little note that you'd like to get it resolved or you'll be in talks with your lawyer.

Was there a non compete involved, or a clause saying he can't come back and take all his customers back??
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:00 PM
greenscaper123 greenscaper123 is offline
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Originally Posted by LawnBoy0311 View Post
Not too sure if this will help, but if it was verbal, send him a letter via certified mail. Outline everything he has not held up to and put a little note that you'd like to get it resolved or you'll be in talks with your lawyer.

Was there a non compete involved, or a clause saying he can't come back and take all his customers back??
We did write up a contract but nowhere in the contract does it state what happens if people quit. Same thing with the snow plowing. It doesn't state anywhere that he was to take care of the snow for the first season. Those two things were agreed to verbally. The guy went to school with my sister and lives around the block from me. He had this whole demeanor like yea I know your sister and we're practically neighbors, so I'm not gonna screw you over. He seemed like a trust worthy guy so I went with it. "How many people could possibly quit" I thought. The contract only states non competition and the said price for said number of accounts. It also states that he is relieved of all liability and insurance.

Here is what I agreed to in the contract, word for word:

"Party Two agrees to pay the estimated sum of $8,000 for 23 lawn accounts in said towns. It is the duty of greenscapes to maintain the proper customer service of the listed accounts in order to retain yearly contracts."

Well I did maintain the proper customer service. Everyone quit for reasons unrelated to my service. They either moved, couldn't afford it anymore, or some other reason out of my control. That's the part that I feel I may have some sort of case against him. Except, how do I actually prove before a court that the people who quit did so for other reasons, not having to do with poor service?
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:04 PM
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Happens all the time. Buying accounts is just a bad idea. Try and build the business is all you can do. Tough lesson learned I'm sure.
yup I'll never do this again thats for sure..
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:23 PM
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Doesnt look like anything you can hold him to. Customers can quit for any reason (contract or not). A contract only makes it harder for them to quit, but they still can. In the case your in, looks like your out 8K.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:56 PM
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i am sorry to hear it did not work out for you but from the sounds of it there might not be much you could do about it because you both had some of the agreement on paper but yet some other key area's of the agreement were not included in the written agreement and mostly agreed upon verbally.

i know a few people that bought existing businesses and it worked out well for them but i know dozens of guys that got screwed buying businesses almost the same exact way in what happened to you.

all you can really do from here is hope to retain all the people you can to get a further return on your investment and hopefully you can recoup all your money and some more for your troubles and chock it up for experience and avoid that from happening again.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:50 PM
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The guy doesn't own the customers so I have no idea how he thought he could sell them to you. Boggles the mind.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenscaper123 View Post
We did write up a contract but nowhere in the contract does it state what happens if people quit. Same thing with the snow plowing. It doesn't state anywhere that he was to take care of the snow for the first season. Those two things were agreed to verbally. The guy went to school with my sister and lives around the block from me. He had this whole demeanor like yea I know your sister and we're practically neighbors, so I'm not gonna screw you over. He seemed like a trust worthy guy so I went with it. "How many people could possibly quit" I thought. The contract only states non competition and the said price for said number of accounts. It also states that he is relieved of all liability and insurance.

Here is what I agreed to in the contract, word for word:

"Party Two agrees to pay the estimated sum of $8,000 for 23 lawn accounts in said towns. It is the duty of greenscapes to maintain the proper customer service of the listed accounts in order to retain yearly contracts."

Well I did maintain the proper customer service. Everyone quit for reasons unrelated to my service. They either moved, couldn't afford it anymore, or some other reason out of my control. That's the part that I feel I may have some sort of case against him. Except, how do I actually prove before a court that the people who quit did so for other reasons, not having to do with poor service?
well brother you should rethink need to adjust to the situation if i dint have a truck ill rent one and if i dint have the money rent a plowing truck ill be shoveling snow,about start doing snow removal. to cesar what is from cesar.
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