buying accounts from guy with cancer

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by johnsonslawnmanagement, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. johnsonslawnmanagement

    johnsonslawnmanagement LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 909

    i was recently approached by a man who wants to sell me his accounts. He is terminally ill and wants $15,000 for 80-100 accounts. None are on contract. He is willing to take me to meet the accounts and explain to them that i will be taking over. He will sign a no-compete-agreement , and I have no obligation to buy his equiptment. He just wants $15k for the accounts. what should i offer or should i run the other way? I currently have 40 accounts i service by myself in 2 days and he says it takes him 4 to do his by hisself. I thought i would hire one guy and we could handle it. what you guys think?
     
  2. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,612

    Personally, I wouldnt do it. If you are willing to spend $15k on accounts, then you should have no problem spending half that on advertising. Thats what I would do atleast.
     
  3. cclllc

    cclllc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 864

    I agree. There is no guarantee those people will use you.
     
  4. KTO Enterprises

    KTO Enterprises LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,286

    I say atleast talk to the customers and see what they say. There is a good chance at leas 80% are ones that have been with him a long tie and are very loyal customers.
     
  5. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,448

    I dunno guys. The fact that he will be introduced as the guy who is good enough to carry on this business after the current owner gets too sick or dies carries a heavy sympathy vote. Especially if he acts humble and tries hard to live up to the current standards. Now the other side of the coin is 120-140 accounts solo? That is a great deal more than the 40 he has now. It would be a shame to buy these and then have to give them up from overload. he could also easily spend 15k on advertising and not get anywhere near that many accounts in a short time. Tough call. Good Luck:usflag: :usflag: :usflag:
     
  6. SlowMow

    SlowMow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    You can do 40 accounts in 2 days? WOW!!!!! What are they 1/8 acre lots and no trimming or what? That seems incredible to me. As far as the question goes, I would go with him to the accounts and if they seem halfway willing to stay with you, then HECK YEAH!!!! I wish someone around my neck of the woods offered me this kind of deal I wouldn't be able to write a check fast enough. Just my thoughts anyway.
     
  7. daysel

    daysel LawnSite Member
    from TEXAS
    Posts: 140

    Exactly what I was thinking. Then 100 yards for one person?
     
  8. StBalor

    StBalor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 798

    I think i would run. 80 - 100 accounts? Come on, if i was selling my accounts i'd damn sure know exactly how many i had and not a guesstimate.
     
  9. Clean Lawn

    Clean Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    I would only buy accounts of customers that will sign at least a 1 year service contract with you and only those customers. Yes, he should take you to each person and explain that he needs to leave the business for health issues. Then its up to you, you can pay either 1-2 months of what those contracts are worth. If you want equipment look around and see what used equipment is going for but remember its equipment that has been used a lot. Anyone with a decent amount of accounts is using that equipment and not everyone is as stellar about taking care of it as others are.
    Hope this helps.
     
  10. johnsonslawnmanagement

    johnsonslawnmanagement LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 909

    how about this angle, offer to buy all his equipment in exchange for the accoutns. That way if things did go south, at least i would have an asset to liquify and get my money back.....?
     

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