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Old 07-23-2013, 12:08 PM
Mikol87 Mikol87 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 93
Buying a lawn care business HELP

I have an interesting opportunity to buy a lawn care business. I could use some advise on where to go from here. I am very early in the process of buying so I don't have specifics on his income/ asking price yet.

1st of all a bit about my-self. I'm 26 years old and I already have a nice sized business. I mow around 90 weekly accounts. I do some landscaping, tree trimming, snow removal-(50 accounts), etc. I have 2-3 employees through out the season. As far as my equipment I have 3 Scag mowers, 2 trucks, dump trailer, 2 snow plows, and a bunch of other lawn care related equipment.

The guy who is selling his business, is ready to retire. I know him well and his business is much bigger than mine. We live in a small town with not much competition. Just to give you an idea about his business here is what I know.

He has around 175 mowing customers, most of which are commercial accounts.

He has well over 100 fertilizing customers.

Snow removal is huge also. He has several plow trucks plus salt trucks.

He has around 12 employees. ish

Equipment wise he told me he has a little under $600,000 in equipment. 6 trucks, 2 skid loaders, 3 tractors with a variety of attachments, several trailers, several Kubota zero-turn mowers, obvious amount of trimmers-push mowers-leaf blowers, several snow plows, salt spreaders, 2 dump trailers, 2 1-ton dump trucks, hydro-seeder, fertilizing equipment, etc.

He usually has 3-4 crews out mowing and I know he is overwhelmed with calls for work. (A good problem to have) I get people all the time saying I called him several times and he never called me back. One of my pet peeves.

I am young and have started my business from scratch. I gross around $100,000 a year and net half that. (or so) I would love to quadruple (if not more) my business and income but I am worried, of course, about taking this big leap. I know it is going to be a lot of work but I feel like I have an idea since I am in business already. I can already imagine the taxes, workman comp, phone calls, employee issues, etc.

Like I said I have not sat down with him yet to find out what kind of income he is bringing in. I am curious if anyone has any input on pricing his business???? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'll post more in the coming days when I find out more info. Thanks!!!!!
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:25 PM
Clippers PLS's Avatar
Clippers PLS Clippers PLS is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Herndon, Virginia
Posts: 1,042
Concerning the fertilizer customers, are you licensed or is someone that works for you licensed? If not you gonna wanna either get licensed or hire the guy he currently uses
Commercial Applicator Certified in 3A and 3B
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:09 PM
dllawson dllawson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southeast, GA
Posts: 172
You could have a difficult time with the purchase of a business that much larger than your own. Consider that most businesses purchase a smaller company which they integrate into their existing way of doing business. Unless you have a very strong personality, you may find yourself trying to adapt your business to someone else's way of doing things. I am not saying you can't/shouldn't do it, just be ready for a challenge.

The biggest factor I would consider in your position would be how much the current owner is willing to help you achieve a smooth transition.
Do you have a strong enough relationship with him, that he would be truly interested in your success?
Is he willing to stay on as a salesman/manager for a few years and slowly transition his business to you?
Is he planning on financing the purchase for you so that you do not start out on your own with a huge burden of debt?
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