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Conoverbandit
04-07-2003, 08:43 PM
Hello,
I'm new to this site,been going here for a couple weeks now.
I have some questions about the business end of things. But first let me tell you a little bit about my self. I'm 29, I've been mowing since I was a teen. I Enjoy working in lawn's and making them look good. In 95 I started Mays Lawncare, and reported taxes and been paying them every year since.I work full time at the local public works, so right now the lawncare service is part time. I have 14 residential and 3 commercial accounts.My goal is to put in my "20 years service" to the city,retire from there and go into my lawncare service fulltime. I've been building my equipment up to the point where I feel I'm above "scrub" stattus. I'm trying to show my customers I'm in this for the long haul, that I'm not "here today gone tomm." Ok, my questions. 1 I know now I need insurance, but what kind? is there a specific type? and how would I go about finding out what my state's min. amount is?
2 I hear people talk about a liscense, where/how do I go about getting one? do I really need one? I want the insurance because in the past when I've placed bids on certian types of properties they wanted to know if I had any. I have an accountant, that has set me up in her system, so I've got the ends with "uncle scam" fixed I hope. 3 How important is it to have a "contract"? Just about everyone I mow for now has been "burnt" by a "company" before and won't even hear of the word contract.In all the years I've been a business I've only had one person to tell me they got someone else because they did'nt like stripes in the yard.I tried my best I feel to resolve the issue to the point I'd mow like a "regular home owner" just go over it, but they still had issues. But all my other clients have been with me since I started.My best advertiser has been "word of mouth" I got 2 new accounts this year off that alone.I've also had a fella I met last year that has a well known lawn care/tree service. We talk when we see each other out and he has offered me his lawncare service end to buy, he has established accounts, all with contracts that renew each year, and he has all commercial equipment that I'd be getting as well. He's giving me a good price on this business I think with the money generating he say it does.I've not seen anything on paper yet though, I cant get everything for 25,000. Accounts,equipment,trailer all. But I'm just not sure yet. Sorry this is so long, I hope y'all can get me going in the right direction.
Thank You for your time,
Conoverbandit

BobR
04-09-2003, 01:07 PM
Hello Mr.Bandit - I will take a shot at answering some of your questions (probably get shot myself).

Insurance -- Contractors Policy will cover your customer and any one you injure (flying rock etc), they will have to sue to collect but sue they will, How much liability ? I carry 1M others carry the minimum so it Will be whatever you are comfortable with. Contractors Equipment is also an option. I covered my most expensive items (mowers).
Auto Policy (business) covers your truck and trailer.
Suggestion - contact a reputable insurance person for details (I made a big mistake and went through an agency - never again)
there are a few companies that deal with 'contractors policy's' mine is Erie Insurance, look around..

Licenses - you might not need need one, contact your County Office Building they will give you the scoop.

Contracts - Are a CYA thing, I don't have one and don't feel that I need one BUT a contract spells out your services and what you expect in return - not a bad idea, you can really get burned if you let someone take advantage of a no contract situation.

I would PASS on buying any other persons business you might get more than you bargain for (all his past and current debt) and who is to say that the old customers will be faithful to you. Take that money and put it in YOUR business. After rereading your post again it sounds like the seller just wants to dump the maintenance side of his business - I would still be very hesitant.

Hope this helps
BobR

Conoverbandit
04-09-2003, 10:20 PM
Thanks for your answer BOBR,
I contacted an insurance man today to discuss a policy. It's funny he said NC does not require "lawn service's" to carry any insurance.He should know he's with nation wide, he quoted me $540.00 for 1 year @ $300,000 liability, the highest they go is $500,000.He also said that if I have no claims in that year,the following year my premium will drop by $100.00. It's a start.But thank you for replying to my post.
Conoverbandit