South Indy Landscape Maintenance Biz 4 Sale

Discussion in 'Marketplace' started by Time To Sell, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Time To Sell

    Time To Sell LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I am entertaining the prospect of selling my lawn care/landscape maintenance company this winter or early spring before the lawn care season begins.

    My business has grown steadily each season for the past several years. My total collected sales for the 2010 season was 95K plus change. I had projected my sales to be in the 100K-$115K range at the beginning of last season. When you consider that central Indiana experienced the most severe drought it has experienced in modern history my numbers were right on the money. The drought easily took 15K off of my total sales last season as I factor that we lost at least 400 mowing services due to the drought that would have otherwise been performed in a typical lawn care season.

    I am not disclosing a lot of specific information in this post as I do not wish to alert my competitors or clients or to alarm my employees. Please contact me via e-mail if you are a serious potential buyer and would like more information. Please include your contact information as well as some basic background information. I will reply to those I deem as serious and credible with a more detailed e-mail and an asset list. Please do not waste your time or mine if you are not in a position to start serious negotiations in the 65K range.

    As I stated, I am not going to list the exact areas we service or my equipment list or anything that might give away my business identity in this post. Basic info is that we serve the Indianapolis area and our primary service area is the greater south side and the south suburbs. This is a turn key operation. This business has been professionally marketed and branded. This business has incredible potential for the right person. At the end of the day, the highest bidder will get this excellent opportunity, but I would really love to see it go to someone who is planning to start in this business from scratch and would be interested in taking my concept and what I have started here and running with it. It would also be a great opportunity for a small to medium sized operation that wanted to expand and/or desiring an image makeover at the same time... All things being equal I would give preference to the guy just starting in this business who wanted to keep my name and concept and expand on that.

    FYI: To those individuals already in this business-At this point I am not interested in selling the accounts and equipment separately. Please don't waste my time asking what equipment I have for sale or for an asset list. It is my hope to sell the entire business as one package.

    1) Business Identity: (including rights to all intellectual property, all goodwill, phone numbers, website, E-mail addresses, etc. Much more)

    2) Accounts: (including all active accounts, information about past accounts, leads, etc.)

    3) Miscellaneous: (A substantial amount of pre-paid advertising and marketing for 2011, Transition Services, more)

    4) Equipment: (I will provide those individuals who pass my screening process with a detailed list of my physical assets)


    About 50% of our gross sales are derived from mowing accounts and the other 50% are split between lawn applications and landscape maintenance and basic landscaping.

    For additional information please shoot me your contact info and some background info. I will be doing some screening and contacting those individuals I think are serious. The more information you give me the more likely I am to contact you. Please keep in mind, respectfully, that unless you can produce 65k-75k we have no reason to discuss this. I am not interested in financing anyone or anything of that nature. The difference in price b between the 65K and 75K is predicated on one of my trucks (the main company truck) which I could either include or would keep for myself or use as a trade in. It is logo'd up for the business so the individual wishing to continue with my concept would probably be wise to include this. I am only attempting to get what this truck is worth in a regular sale so it is not a big deal to me either way.

    Just To Be Clear: Other than the aforementioned truck, at this point I have no intention of breaking any equipment up. I intend to sell this business as a package deal. Equipment, Accounts, Phone, Pre-paid Advertising, Lead Books, Transition Services, ETC.

    The only other possible sale arrangement is that I would be willing to sell the entire business side of my company without any equipment included. This would not be a deal where the accounts would be sold separate of any other assets on that side of the business. I would require $35,000 firm for a deal like this. That would include items 1, 2 and 3 as outlined above. If I were to sell that component of the business first than I will sell all of my equipment piece by piece but have NO intention of selling any equipment at all until the business side of my operation has sold.

    I am in the process of putting together more detailed information regarding my business and the process for which I will be considering buyers. If you would like more information or to request consideration please respond via the Craigslist e-mail link. Please be patient as it may be a few days before I respond.

    Please send inquires to me via private message on lawnsite.

    I look forward to sharing more with the right serious individuals.

    Thanks for your interest!!
     
  2. scagfreek

    scagfreek LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    your insane for selling
     
  3. Time To Sell

    Time To Sell LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I am? How so? Interested to hear your thoughts especially when you know nothing of my circumstances or anything. Do you think I am priced to low? (I know that is hard to say based on not knowing all of the details of my business and the amount and type of equipment involved. I am curious to hear any feed back from anyone on this matter.

    Why do you think it is insane I want to get out of this biusiness and move onto something else? Do you know something I don't regarding the state of the lawn care industry or something.
     
  4. scagfreek

    scagfreek LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    because of so much income
     
  5. indyturf

    indyturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indy
    Posts: 1,877

    If you were interested in selling just the lawn treatment accounts alone I might be interested in talking. I have been in business 25yrs and don't provide any of the other services. I know you don't want to split things up at this time but if things change let me know.
     
  6. Hoots

    Hoots LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Posts: 327

    Too high. I have nothing to do with your sale but assuming on average 1 customer is $1000 gross per year. You would have 65 customers that you are mowing "for free" for the first year while paying overhead out of your own pocket. Too high IMHO.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 860

    I agree. These types of businesses rarely bring what the owner thinks they are worth.

    If you can get three or four times the value of 'running the route', youre doing good.
     
  8. Time To Sell

    Time To Sell LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    >>>Too high. I have nothing to do with your sale but assuming on average 1 customer is $1000 gross per year. You would have 65 customers that you are mowing "for free" for the first year while paying overhead out of your own pocket. Too high IMHO.
    Posted via Mobile Device <<<<

    Note: This response is also addressing several PM's and not just the comments of the 2 responders above. So if it strays from the point of just these 2 comments it is also responding to others.

    Yeah 3 or4 times running the route is about right if you were buying solid accounts with no other intangible assets to go with them and no physical assets at all. I have looked at several LCO's over the last several years and have bought a few accounts here and there and pondered buying buttloads more that were unreasonably priced. My general rule of thumb on buying a simple straightforward mowing account is 3 to 5 times the price of one service depending on how much I trust the sellers intention, how well the account fits into my route and my general gut feeling as well as certain other factors.

    I would like to know where I can buy a profitable and growing turn key business for .65 on the annual sales dollar of what sales should be my first year in business unless I totally Eff things up. Especially one that can be run with a minimal overhead relative to most business types and where only a very small percent of sales is reinvested in inventory that has to be flipped. If you hear of some good deals like this please let me know. I am always eager to own a business that can fully repay the initial investment in a year or maybe two if I manage it properly and don't have to take out much money to live on. When I started this thing I didn't anticipate making any money (personally) the first few years. If your planning to start a business and get paid regularly the first few years maybe you should just go find a job.

    I know there are 2 schools of thought on this matter in this industry. I realize due to the low barriers of entry involved in this business a lot of guys start out with a beater pickup and a small trailer and a $500 walk behind they fix up and maybe a few hundred in the bank and a 1000 flyers to put out. I am not knocking this method at all. I know there are a ton of guys on this site who did just this and are vastly more successful than I am. Maybe these guys even made decent money their first year out of the gate.

    However, I went the other route with my business. I made some pretty substantial investments (relative to the average in this industry) for a small start up LCO. I spent a good amount of money to equip my business and to market it and advertise it and brand an image. While other guys who started about the same time I did were starting to take decent chunks of money out of their businesses I was reinvesting in mine. My point here is that most "business" people realize that a viable business is an investment that is not expected to pay for itself the first year. I don't see how according to some peoples math you are working for "free" the first year....that's ludicrous....An individual who is a real go getter and was very diligent in managing overhead and labor costs could work 9 months for "free" and be very close to out of debt and own a 100k a year business with all the physical assets required to produce said 100k.

    I think $35k for the business side of an LCO doing 100k a year is very reasonable. I know the old argument.... "well I can spend half of that in advertising and I will generate those sales in a year" and that is just nonsensical BS. It takes a lot of time, effort and planning to build relatively tight routes with good paying customers. It doesn't just all fall into place with a few decent advertising campaigns. Throw in the fact, that to name a few assets....I am including an established phone number, website, established reputation,tons of goodwill, at least 3k of pre-paid yet to be used advertising mediums, lead books, items such as forms and service agreements etc...which all took time and money to produce, transition assistance, the cumulative affect of several years of advertising and marketing and maintaining a high visual presence in my target market to an upscale demographic...I think most would agree the higher visibility your LCO has the easier it is to grow business....I am at a point where my word of mouth and visibility continue to grow my business without the need to constantly advertise...I could go on and on...but bottomline-this is a little more than buying some accounts....

    Now when we look at the 65K package lets consider the equipment we are getting to run this business. As I stated in original post I don't want to reveal my business identity on a large scale. It is on a need to know basis. That being said I can't list specefic vehicles and what type of equipment I run because that could very easily tip my hand to guys working in my area. Lets just say that all of my equipment is decent, no junk, and it is all commercial stuff from the big name manufacturers. It has all been well maintained and everything I am listing is in at the very least above average to good condition for it's age and every piece has a lot of life left in it and a lot of revenue to generate before it will need replaced.

    Main work truck (add 10k)

    Utility Pickup
    Truck with spray rig mounted
    2 52" ZTR Mowers
    3 Walk Behinds
    Commercial Trim Mower
    Aerator
    Z Spray
    Power Rake
    2 Lesco Spreaders
    3 trimmers
    1 back pack blower
    2 hand held blowers
    2 open landscape trailers

    These are just the greatest hits.... several hundred if not several thousand dollars worth of small stuff, hand tools, attachements, miscellaneous, etc.

    Bottomline--There is no way that 65K is not a very fair and reasonable asking price for what is being offered. Like I said...I really think this package is best geared for the person just starting out who wants a turnkey business. For that guy debating college why spend 65k to go to school for 4 years, have trouble finding a decent job and spend your life working for the man. Buy this business,keep on building it, and in 4 years you will be making 75k plus a year while your buddies are trying to find 20k entry level jobs to pay there 50k in student loans. You will be laughing as you're debt free and looking at houses while they are trying to make the rent in a one bedroom apartment with a roomie. They will be begging you to help with Saturday mulch jobs for beer money..Imagine your satisfaction watching them out there working their little college degreed butts off in the boiling sun as you drive in your nice air conditioned 30k truck from one job site to another to check on their progress...ok, so I am joking around here but you have to admit you like the thought....

    I could go on and on here but need to get busy with something actually productive...Lol....More thoughts to come.....
     
  9. RABBITMAN11

    RABBITMAN11 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,373

    And why are you selling?



     
  10. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 860

    You can rationalize and reason yourself into believing it is worth whatever you want to....

    Fact is, intangibles have minimal value.

    And, unless you are a Chemlawn, or a Brickman, your 'branded image' has no value either. Not likely people will remember your name a year after your operation is dissolved.

    Not trying to bust your chops. You seem like a guy with a bright future but for now a little naive.

    If you can find someone to pay you 65K for what you have then good for you. As a practical matter, your operation is worth as I said, three to five times the route plus the blue book value of the equipment.

    Cheers
     

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