Buying a Lawn Care Company?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by DoubleClutch, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. DoubleClutch

    DoubleClutch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    I got a phone call yesterday from a fellow that wants to sell his small Lawn Care Company. He left a message on the machine say he has 12 clients and wants to sell them. He said I can pay him the cost for the clients with labor? So what I take is he will sell me them and I can pay him as I go. The question is what should I give him as a price to buy them? The season is 1/2 over up here in Pa. I haven't talked to him yet but plan on calling him latter today. I don't know all the info yet but figured if the average price per lawn was $30 and was weekly mows that would be $360 a week and we only have maybe 20 more weeks to mow around here so that makes it $7200 I could make the rest of the season. This is gross before paying him for the clients. Any info would be great!! I will be back on latter today before I call him.
  2. Vecchio Lawn Care

    Vecchio Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 905

    I would pay him 3x the amount he makes a week off those lawns.
  3. DoubleClutch

    DoubleClutch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    Wow I figured it would be around double the weekly rate.
  4. LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 756

    Its only 12 accounts, I would just offer to take them from him, so he can be on good terms and not leave the customers hanging, but go look at the accounts first, if he only has 12 he is really small and likely not the greatest accounts, but I've never been in this kinda situation so my advice is almost useless, lol. Hope it goes well.
  5. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,077

    What do the clients have to say about being sold?

  6. DoubleClutch

    DoubleClutch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    I am going to give the guy a call. I just got back and got my equipment ready for next week.
  7. DoubleClutch

    DoubleClutch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    Still waiting on a call back from this guy. I called twice last night and this morning and got the machine.
  8. dllawson

    dllawson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 172

    How much are these accounts worth to you?

    1. How much will those accounts benefit you? Are they in new neighborhoods or areas you are currently not working, but that you would like expand into? Are they very close to your existing customers so you will not have additional travel? Or are they just random accounts?

    2. How much would it cost you in advertising to gain 12 similar accounts?
  9. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Posts: 866

    Start with the items dllawson addressed above.

    Beyond that, 12 accounts is not a company and the likely reason that he wants out midway is they are not priced properly for his skills, equipment or perhaps even for the market.

    If you can turn a profit on them, pay a sales commission to him (that rate depends on your profit margins on these accounts, 10-20% would be reasonable if they are priced properly) for the remainder of the year. If they are not profitable, he can refer them to you as he quits, then you can price them accordingly. That only leaves him with some goodwill for his now former clients that he helped locate a replacement for him as he quit midseason.

    I don't think I'd consider any other arrangement.
  10. DoubleClutch

    DoubleClutch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    Well the guy called back and said he wants to have someone service these clients and he keeps the cash to the end of the season as payment. And then they are yours next season. He said there was another guy that said he would do it so he call me to let me know what was going on. I backed out on the deal cause there was no profit to be made this year and who knows if the customers will stay on for next year. They are all vacation property's and he also bills then at the end of the season. I can't do that! I need payed every 2 weeks at the least. One thing thow they are all within 3 mile of each other. Thanks for the help guys.

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