View Full Version : How much to buy 15 - 20 customers?

03-08-2001, 08:45 PM
I have recently been informed that a friend of mine is leaving the business, and I offered to buy his customers from him. He said he would think about it, but was definaely interested. I was just wondering what an average figure would be to ask for 15 - 20 customers, no equipment. Thanks.

03-08-2001, 09:01 PM
Do a seach on buying accounts. I bought some 2 years ago and payed 7 weeks worth of cuts. I wouldn't concider paying more than 8 weeks.

03-08-2001, 09:17 PM
I would not pay more than 5-10% of the annual income. Before purchasing the accounts I would also speak with each customer personally to assure that they will be willing to go along with the change in companys. If you and your friend operate diffently ( baggin/mulching or any other specific practices) this would also be a good time to discuss differences with the customer. You could also up-sell some of the customers if you offer more services than your friend does.
No offense, but your post was vague so this is the only help I can offer you. I hope this info can be some help if not e-mail me and we can talk specifics.

03-08-2001, 09:23 PM
We bought about 40 mowing accounts last year, it included some crappy equipment but some of it came in handy for a while. After taking out the value of the used equipment we paid approx. the equivalent of 3 or 4 weeks service. I do feel that we got an excellent deal. We only had to weed out a few PITA.

03-08-2001, 10:25 PM
hey money bags...heres how we would work it. say you are buying 20 lawns, depending on where you live, well say in the midwest, you have approx 32-35 good mowing weeks sooo i would see what you are bringing in on these lawns and for 20 houses say...25 each house for 32 weeks there you have 16,000 so thats what you stand to make now to buy them i would go one month at 4 weeks times the rate of each lawn and there you go...

20 houses times 25 $$ times 4 weeks====

$2000 does that sound like toooo much

good luck

03-08-2001, 10:41 PM
in my area i have seen lawns being sold go for a lot more than what you say gway( not trying to start anything) but it does depend on the area. are they what you would call a high class lawns or low class lawns? price how much does he get paid for the lawns? last one, will the customers stay with you if you buy them off your friend?

03-08-2001, 10:54 PM
To but 15 to 20 accounts? Come on! This guy is a friend? If he's getting out of the business, he should just GIVE them to you. It sounds to me like he would be taking advantage of a friend! Afterall, HE won't be needing them anymore, and atleast he will have a piece of mind knowing that he left the people who were loyal to him in good hands. If you were to ask me if I would be willing to "buy" 15-20 accounts at this time of year, I would say NO WAY! In the spring, people will be swarming looking for good service! There is NOTHING holding you from acquiring this many accounts on your own anyway. If you DID "buy" these accounts, some of them might go with a cheaper service anyway, so you wouldn't really want these in the first place. Tell your friend you pass, and if he wants to refer them as a friend and a professional, fine. If not, you are capable of finding your own.

03-08-2001, 11:24 PM
Just ask your friend to look at them. Then just say no, sorry, your not interested. Then go and quote them personally. Chances are, when the customer gets word of your friend quitting, they will go with you. Think of it as insider information! Customers are NOT property, you CANT put a price on them. There are just too many FREE customers out there to worry about BUYING someone elses. Plus, how do you know that they will stick with you?

Just my thoughts.

03-08-2001, 11:29 PM
I totally agree with Runner,, why waste your money,, put out some flyers, you get those 15-20 lawns!!!!!!~~~~~

Just my thoughts.

03-08-2001, 11:32 PM
About three weeks ago, I had a complete stranger give me all 24 of his lawns....To date, 20 of them have decided to stay with me and I've already done alot of extra work for them such as aerating, fertilizing, and spring clean-ups..I figure that this guy just gave me approximately $25,000 worth of extra income...Life is good...Derrick

03-08-2001, 11:54 PM
Piz, Ive bought some accounts in the past and always pay
10% of the years gross with signed contracts only. Dont forget those signed contracts. If you are just getting started buying those accounts would be a great asset to your business, if anything just getting the extra exposure in those areas. Look the accounts over see if they are what you want and offer the guy a fair price it will pay off in the long run!!!!!

03-09-2001, 12:27 AM
I would never purchase accounts without them being contracted. Otherwise there is no gurantee that they will stick with you...afterall you bought them, they did not request your services.

GreenQuest Lawn
03-09-2001, 01:37 AM
I guess im with runner on this one too. I would not pay for accounts. There is enough work out there to get my own. and make 100% of the cash instead of 80-90%. If you do buy accounts dont pay too much for them. and I also agree if you are going to go with this make sure all the customers are contacted.

Randy Scott
03-09-2001, 01:47 AM
Ditto to what Runner said! Buy accounts from a guy leaving the business? Bite me!

03-09-2001, 08:12 AM
You said he was leaving the business. Did he ASK you if you wanted to buy the accounts? Were they for sale? I think I would have said good luck in your new life and waited for him to disappear, made a bee-line with my biz cards to the area where he was working and just picked the accounts up! I wouldn.t give him any money for something he was throwing away. That would be like seeing a BBQ grill by the curb and asking the homeowner how much he would take for it! If its being thrown out that baby.s going home with me...........for free!

03-09-2001, 05:21 PM
Would everyone please read the Posting Guidelines found in the upper right side of every page? It seems some members have forgotten what they agreed to when becoming a member. System Bugs, Lawnsite has a lot of problems at the moment. Pierre will be home this weekend, hopefully and fix them all. In the mean time, just keep trying to do the best we can. Posting has been strange too at times. Some times when you post, it takes you to a page saying it can`t be displayed. It has actually posted, so keep hitting your back button and then refresh to see your post. The email problems, the Private Messenger problems, and the slashes all are going to be fixed. Hang in there. ;) The only place any member can advertise for sale items is in the for sale forum. The only way Dealers or Mfg. can advertise here is with a banner ad. Please contact Chuck Keough for this. "

Lets get a handle on the selective moderating folks.

Thanks for pointing this out Bill. I had to go get my truck inpected for polution and I just got back a bit ago.

Please, MEMBERS, do not advertise on Lawnsite.com unless you have a banner or advertise in the for sale forum

[Edited by Eric ELM on 03-09-2001 at 11:32 PM]