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Who has bought out a business and how did it work out?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LB Landscaping, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,309

    Hey guys, I am considering buying out an existing company to add to my current one. I have already researched the business and found the asking price to be fair for what is being offered. My question is for those of you that have bought out a previous company, how was the transition, what would you have done differently and what worked well?
  2. PGA

    PGA LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 710

    I bought 2 mowing services around here and the transactions were relatively smooth.

    In all actuallity all I did was take over the accounts and then give them a month of profits from them. I didnt purchase any of the equipment.

    The one thing I did beforehand though was introduce myself in person to all the new customers and made sure they would be sticking with me for at least that season.
  3. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    LB we just bought one out last week. I knew the guy and everything went well except he is kinda dragging his feet in contacting his (well, my customers) as hs said he would. Its all in writting so I'm not worried. PM me and I'll give you all the details. Brian:waving:
  4. lawnboyblake

    lawnboyblake LawnSite Member
    Posts: 89

    I also bought out one last august. went extremely well as he was my buddy also. Still have 100% of the customers so far.....:dancing:

    JSMLAWNCARE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    Communication is the #1 factor on if it is going to work. You need to be able to communicate with customers and the current owner. Without communication it will never work. I took over for a guy last year and he never told the customers that I was taking over. I ended up with 3 out of the 10 customers. He never gave me phone numbers and it just didn't work out. He never returned my calls. I never even paid him for the 3 lawns I did get. He changed his cell phone and I didn't have his full name or address. It's been nearly a year no call asking for the money.
  6. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,775

    I have done it twice now. To the most part it went well. How big and how many accounts I don't know but keep in mind you'll need a good, better, best type of accounting/bookkeeping prodecdure in place. Communication is great - local add in paper is also great saying Hello to all new customers. It is a way to get bigger faster. I have yet to retain all customers. We are always lossing and gaining - people pass away, move, relative works for local LCO, nursery, or other mow/ls job and we lose that account but always gain b/c of numbers, neighbors seeing us /trucks in the hood, and we'll get a call. So go for it, enjoy the time working with new people, the PR with all that and have fun!
  7. old dog 80

    old dog 80 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 204

    I bought one several years ago.I set up a 3 year payment plan.We kept 90%
    of the customers which I have all the ones who did not move or die.He agreed
    to work with me 12 hrs a week for the first year since he was retiring for health
    reasons.It was good for me.
  8. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    Buying accounts or a business? What are you offering him? Got a lawyer to write it up?
  9. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,309

    Thanks for the advise guys. More details..... He is selling his company not just the accounts. basically he is asking for what the equipment is worth and 2 weeks worth of billed work. He has agreed to take whoever buys to all the accounts, introduce the new owner etc. The only thing that has me hesitant is that he doesn't have any of them on contract, but for the money he is asking for them even if I lost 25% of them I would still make out fine. If you figure how much time and money it would take to secure that many accounts. They are all good account too, mostly high end clients. Gonna check the equipment out tomorrow and chat more with him. I'll keep you posted.
  10. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    You can't go wrong paying that amount for the clients.

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