Buying existing accounts

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by familylawncare, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. familylawncare

    familylawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    Am looking at buying some existing accounts. Know I would only want to pay if I am sure clients will stay with us. Wondered if anyone has some sort of an agreement for this? SINCERELY APPRECIATE ANY HELP
  2. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    I always think this is a tricky garauntee. Not saying YOU are but let's say I sell my business, should I have to worry if the buyer is a complete dip shiit and runs the business into the ground? Let's put the shoe on the other foot. Let's say I sell you the business and it grows real fast, are you going to give more money to me down the road for the increases? If your confident in the quality of the service you provide, know up front the existing customers are paying what your comfortable with, then buy it. Hopefully there are contracts in place BUT even if they aren't, the existing customers are buying a service for a certain price and I don't see why they would drop you if you provide the same or better service than the company you bought.
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  3. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    This thread will take many turns and have many opinions I assure you. So listen to them all and come to your conclusion.
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  4. N.H.BOY

    N.H.BOY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,603

    I have done this, and what I did was go around in spring time with the old "owner" of the company I bought and we BOTH talked to the customers and informed them I was THINKING about buying him out and it worked out great. All customers were great, happy and sad to see him go, but was glad they were introduced to me. Now I bought his trailer,equipment and customer list. Paid 1/2 up front and the other half once the season was over in late Nov. just in case some of the customers baled out in mid season he would not have gotten the full half. Now I will highly recommend that in a contract you put in a "no compete clause" where as the seller does not get back into the bussiness. I think going rate for just the customers is one or two months worth of mowing.
  5. sweetland

    sweetland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,441

    I was in a similar situation when i bought out my uncle and one thing i did was went out to all of his customers with him and told him about the buy out and had them sign a new service agreement and then we came up with a price depending on how many people signed up. The one thing i SHOULD have did was have him sign a non compete and to end his landscaping career. Wont go into detail but if i did it again i would make sure of that.
  6. ndols2

    ndols2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    I am toying with this idea as well, guy wants to get out, and has a great list of people. only does mow and blow. I could add services like snow, fert. and landscaping. asking price is about 2 months, and equipment is a little high. but would pay for it self in no time if clients stayed
  7. TimNNJ

    TimNNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    same boat here..with all the extras we offer it would be a nice pick up..check all records..qb's, tax with exciting clients..get as much info as you can get..they should hand it right over if everything is cool..


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