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Minnesota lawn spraying business start-up questions

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Paco75, May 27, 2008.

  1. Paco75

    Paco75 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Hi everybody!! I am from southwestern Minnesota and have a few questions pertaining to the purchase of a lawn spraying business. (fertilizer and weed control) I am thinking about purchasing a spraying business that includes the client list (300), and equipment (excludes truck). The current owner takes in 40,000 yearly with 25,000 in the pocket after all expenses, licenses, chemicals, fuel, insurance, etc... Owner is asking 40,000. Is it worth it? Owner does 300 lawns/year and said he could do up to 400 without adding an employee. He doesn't advertise and is currently in 5 cities in a 15 mile radius from home. (I live minutes from current owner) I realize that spraying all of those lawns leaves little time for mowing. (He doesn't do) What could I do other than spraying during the 2 off months in the summer? (lay rock, mulch, decorative fencing, deck sealing, driveway sealing, gutter cleaning, shrub trimming, etc... Also, other than snow removal, what would be some other business ideas to do in the winter to subsidize the spraying business? I am motivated, wanting to own my own business, and not afraid of work. I also live on a large acreage with a large shop. The current owner is selling due to health reasons. ANY advice, suggestions, input, ideas, thoughts, or etc... is greatly appreciated!! Thank you in advance. Oh yeah, he has a lawn aerator that he doesn't use either that goes with. :confused:
  2. CGlisson

    CGlisson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 158

    That seems a bit steep to me. Based on what everyone else has said in similar threads, buying a business for its yearly gross is not smart. You have no guarantee that all or any of his customers will stick with you. 25k should be your absolute max. At least then you'd break even, best case scenario.

    Also, are you already licensed? That's a real pain if you aren't...
  3. Paco75

    Paco75 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Thanks for the reply! I also feel that 40,000 is steep. No guarantee that the customers will stay after sale. I could do a lot of advertising for 40,000!! They told me the price was negotiable so I thought of offering 15,000. (I can always come up in price) Thought I would entertain the purchase for 20,000 but I wouldn't go much further than that. 25,000 would definately be the max. Getting the licenses and permits here in Minnesota is not so bad. Simple test and fee. What are your thoughts for add-ons? What about winter time? Thanks a bunch! I will be talking to the owner again this coming week. I will keep you all posted
  4. CGlisson

    CGlisson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 158

    Adding on other services will depend on two things.

    1. Your ability/knowledge on how to provide the service
    2. How much extra time you have

    You could always add on mowing, but I'm not sure how much extra time you have to work with. You have to be very flexible with mowing because of the weather, unlike pesticides where people are more willing to wait the few extra days you may be behind. Bottom line, add on services you know you are able to do well. Most would agree....don't pretend you know how to do something when you don't. Customers appreciate that, and tend to treat you with more respect.\

    In the winter time most guys around my area plow. However, I've heard of others ski instructing, picking up part-time jobs, or filing for unemployment. The last I would not recommend.

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