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Old 07-20-2012, 08:56 AM
Northeast Mower Northeast Mower is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 35
Need immediate feedback, opinions, advice etc..

Hey all,
I would like some immediate feedback regarding the purchase of an existing lawn care maintenance company. I found a business for sale with the following listing:

"Landscape maintenance business for sale including $13200.00 per month in contracts good through 5/2013. Equipment including 1 - 2010 Exmark Lazer Z 60 inch riding mower, 2- 2008 Exmark Lazer Z 48 inch riding mowers, 2 Stihl Backpack Blowers Edgers and Weedeaters. 2 Stihl Pruning Shears 1 extended other hand held single side.1 Landscape trailer 6x12 and 1 Enclosed Landscape trailer 8x16. An additional 3000.00 per month in residential month to month contracts. FREE SECURE storage is included with one of the above contracts. Multiple trucks and trailers are allowed."

I've been on this site for quite some time so I understand the majority and their feelings towards buying a business. However, he states guaranteed commercial contracts through May 2013. I've been working in the industry for 8 years now and have wanted to strike out on my own. Of course I would need to contact this person to get more information, but is there anything that you all can think of right away that would send a red flag?
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:52 AM
Dr.NewEarth Dr.NewEarth is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vancouver Canada
Posts: 1,405
Did they have an asking price?
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:55 PM
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Landscape Poet Landscape Poet is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Oviedo/Orlando
Posts: 3,637
I personally would like to see the books. $13200.00 a month in sales if it takes $13K in expenses to get there.

Also - Non Compete, how effective is it if written properly in your state? Do you have a lawyer that is competent enough to secure that this guy will not decide he misses mowing and come back and take all your new customers on 05-13?

There are million holes that you will have to look at and figure out but those are the two that came to mind right off.
"the art of survival is a story that never ends"

Providing Lawn Services, Landscape Installations and Solutions and Sod Services in the Oviedo Florida Market

If you aspire to a six-figure income, don't get advice from someone making $18,000 a year!
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:31 PM
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GreyFlames GreyFlames is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Long Valley, NJ
Posts: 91
Make sure the commercial contracts are transferable. Typically commercial accounts have right of refusal if the business providing the service is changing. The seller would need to get a signed letter that it would be ok for you to service the contract. If you can't get letters, this means you would have to purchase his business instead of the accounts and assets. This would open you up to a lot of liability, things that the owner has done could come back to haunt you.

You should call the customers and make sure that they have been serviced properly to date. If they have not, then they may have a clause to cancel the contract.

You also need to make sure these accounts are paying and are in good standing. Not worth buying a contract for a company that is not paying.

A non-compete & non-solicitation are a must.

Food for thought. Hope it helped.
Kris Goodrich
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:05 PM
easy-lift guy's Avatar
easy-lift guy easy-lift guy is online now
LawnSite Gold Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Venice, FL. USA
Posts: 3,340
I agree with Kris, also a look at the sellers books and a meeting with your accountant should be in order. What ever you do don't rush into this decision. All the best.
easy-lift guy
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