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Where to find companies for sale

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Nathan, Oct 27, 2000.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 193

    When I was working for another guy he had at least 2 or 3 calls per season from other companies looking to sell equipment and or accounts, many of which worked out for him. Now that I am running my own show I am wondering if anyone has info on finding people thinking of selling. It seems like more often that not the guys who are sick of the biz usually will part with fairly profitable operations for reasonable prices. The only thing I have thought of was to call up smaller guys out of the book and ask if they have any intentions or placing want ads at landscape supply yards. Anybody got any ideas or are there any interested parties in the Seattle area.
  2. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    There is a company for sale in my town for $66,000.00 or so I was told. Quite a bit in my opinion. I could have bought out a guy the other day, around 40 accounts, no equipment though, for $5000.00. I still say thats risky business.

  3. Nathan

    Nathan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 193

    I agree that the undertaking can be risky, but I have done it before. The most important thing is that I didn't hand any money over until I had met most of the clients, told them of the transaction and had their agreement with the change. I also made sure to have my accountant look at the finances to make sure that it was economically viable. The main thing I want to know is if anyone knows where to find the possibilities.
  4. landscaper3

    landscaper3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,354

    I bet out of those 40 accounts plan on losing up to 1/2 of them. We ran in to this 3 times of the years, other companys calling us up and trying to get us to buy there accounts we didnt. Although 2 local landscapers that I know real well purchased accounts from 2 landscapers and 1st year lost 1/4 of them and next year 1/2 of them. DONT GET ME WRONG!!!!! these are from people up here I know and that doesnt mean it will happen to you but beware!
  5. Marquis Lawn

    Marquis Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    From my experience, and from looking at the going rate of businesses nationwide, the going rate looks like about 1/3- 1/2 of one year's revenue for a biz purchase. Another rough figure is one month's revenue per account.

    I bought out a couple of people this and I try to structure it so that they have a stake in the deal also. Like I pay them "x" amount per yard we keep up to 3-4 months. You have to figure on losing some, but if you meet most of the customers first and see if they're happy or not will go a long way to ensuring last clients.

    I find this to be a better way to grow. Spend all advertising $$$ on purchases rather than yellow pages or whatever. Much better return on your money I figure.
  6. bdemir

    bdemir LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 610

    I have bought accounts and wish i never did. Most people dont like to be bought or sold unless you will do the exact job the other guy did and dont think everyone will just switch over and you can never have any garuantees wheter they will stay with you for too long. On top of all that you are paying big money (usually). Going door to door and talking to people and trying to get them as customers is a better way. I would prefer giving the customer one months cut for free before i pay some guy who will take the money and run. Not everyone will let you talk to their customers before buying them. It is a risky thing and you can always build your own client base and do it almost for free so why try to get someone elses route. Be careful some people will come back to take the customers back if you loose the accounts. This is another bad aspect of buying accounts. You might loose the customer and the seller can pick them right back up. Try to get them to sign something saying that they will not cut your lawns or in that area for ower 2 to 3 years.
  7. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    I would never "Buy" accounts unless they were under contracts. I would only buy equipment and contracts..never uncontracted accounts..they to me are free game. Also I would include name of business therefore they can't start up again as that name.
  8. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    There is also a few companies for sale in the back of magazines like Lawn&Landscape ..but they are high $$$...from $250,000 to $400,000..to much for my blood.
  9. Lawn Cruiser

    Lawn Cruiser LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    The problem that I see with buying out another business is unless they are under a non breakable contract you are paying for something that as soon as you get it coiuld be gone. Basically you are paying for blue sky.
  10. jwcorbin

    jwcorbin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    :cool2: What part of Alabama were the accounts. And have they sold yet.

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