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buy lawn service vs. spending that money on adds

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sirsweatsalot, Oct 21, 2002.

  1. sirsweatsalot

    sirsweatsalot LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 296

    i was pondering which i should do: buy an existing lawn service for its customers or go on a rampage of direct mailers, adds, flyers, ect. which do you think would return better.
    the lawn service has 35 clients which gross $20,000 yearly.
  2. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Well, if you can get them for a good rate, I'd buy up the existing customers. It takes a while to get 35 customrs. And if they are fairly established, it may well be worth it. Plus, once you have these customers you will now have a decent operating capital and can probably afford to still do some more advertising.

    This is all assuming you get a good rate for the customers you're buying. (that sounds bad :) )

    Personally, I'd pay what's equal to 1 month's service for each customer. And I'd pay 1/2 in advance and the other half in 6 months when I see how many of them stuck with me. For every one who drops out in that 6 months (unless it was my fault) I would not have to pay at all for them.

    If the price of the customers were more than that, I'd rather just go out and get my own via advertising. Hopefully that makes sense.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Wait a minute! $20,000/yr. for 35 customers??? That's $571 per year per customer. That's pretty lame! I wouldn't pay much at all for those customers. What's he got them on; $29 per mow, every other week, for 40 weeks (20 paying weeks) ????
  4. sirsweatsalot

    sirsweatsalot LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 296

    right around 20 paying weeks a few more maybe.
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    So is that the industry around where you live??? People only mow their lawn about 4-5 months out of the year? Man, if that's the case, I'd find another business.

    Anyone else from this area who can lend a hand here? Is this normal?
  6. Lawn Cops

    Lawn Cops LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    I agree with Jim.

    I'm just in my second year, part time, I have only 18 current weekly accounts and will gross above that......I would not touch them.....

    I would spend 500 on flyers and saturate the area you want to be in. I had pretty good luck with flyers . I only passed out 75 one day and got 5 customers off of them.

    Lawn Cops
  7. MJStrain

    MJStrain LawnSite Member
    Messages: 156

    Personally I wouldn't touch them either. I'd pass out the flyers. I've always have great success with them.
  8. musselman

    musselman LawnSite Senior Member
    from utah
    Messages: 301

    I would look at the accounts if they are all very close together and small...15-20 minute type accounts it may be a good start. If you want to earn $40 an hour and these accounts will allow that and the price for them is low I would get them. If you think your only going to make $10 an hour then dont do it.......it all depends on what you want and need to run your LCO. I do one account for some elderly people for only $12 a cut... It take 5-10 minutes total including time to load and unload (Im already next door) these types of account can make money in the right situation.

    LLMSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    In the past, I bought out two companies for their clients only because their assets were worthless. I trippled my client base but I'm not sure it was really worth it.

    This year I paid $600 ($400 US) in advertising and got 25 new clients, turned away some and put others on a waiting list for next year. I set out targets to grow my business in a managed method to minimize my stress.

    If you have good equipment already, than I'd recommend advertising as a better investment.

    One thing I do is track where customers come from, helping me identify where my marketing budget should be focused.
  10. LB Landscaping

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

    I thought about buying a company when I got going. I opted out for several reasons. Reason # 1 was that I wanted to get the equipment that I wanted. I didnt want to buy someone elses set up with its problems. I wanted certain equipment for my business, stuff I new would make me money and no matter who had a bus for sale it never seemed that they had the stuff I new I would prosper with. Take a look at his equipment, is it stuff you'd buy??

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