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How much to buy 15 - 20 customers?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Pizpoppa, Mar 8, 2001.

  1. Pizpoppa

    Pizpoppa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I have recently been informed that a friend of mine is leaving the business, and I offered to buy his customers from him. He said he would think about it, but was definaely interested. I was just wondering what an average figure would be to ask for 15 - 20 customers, no equipment. Thanks.
  2. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

    Do a seach on buying accounts. I bought some 2 years ago and payed 7 weeks worth of cuts. I wouldn't concider paying more than 8 weeks.
  3. Ssouth

    Ssouth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 436

    I would not pay more than 5-10% of the annual income. Before purchasing the accounts I would also speak with each customer personally to assure that they will be willing to go along with the change in companys. If you and your friend operate diffently ( baggin/mulching or any other specific practices) this would also be a good time to discuss differences with the customer. You could also up-sell some of the customers if you offer more services than your friend does.
    No offense, but your post was vague so this is the only help I can offer you. I hope this info can be some help if not e-mail me and we can talk specifics.
  4. Nathan

    Nathan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 193

    We bought about 40 mowing accounts last year, it included some crappy equipment but some of it came in handy for a while. After taking out the value of the used equipment we paid approx. the equivalent of 3 or 4 weeks service. I do feel that we got an excellent deal. We only had to weed out a few PITA.
  5. gway

    gway LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    hey money bags...heres how we would work it. say you are buying 20 lawns, depending on where you live, well say in the midwest, you have approx 32-35 good mowing weeks sooo i would see what you are bringing in on these lawns and for 20 houses say...25 each house for 32 weeks there you have 16,000 so thats what you stand to make now to buy them i would go one month at 4 weeks times the rate of each lawn and there you go...

    20 houses times 25 $$ times 4 weeks====

    $2000 does that sound like toooo much

    good luck
  6. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    in my area i have seen lawns being sold go for a lot more than what you say gway( not trying to start anything) but it does depend on the area. are they what you would call a high class lawns or low class lawns? price how much does he get paid for the lawns? last one, will the customers stay with you if you buy them off your friend?
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    To but 15 to 20 accounts? Come on! This guy is a friend? If he's getting out of the business, he should just GIVE them to you. It sounds to me like he would be taking advantage of a friend! Afterall, HE won't be needing them anymore, and atleast he will have a piece of mind knowing that he left the people who were loyal to him in good hands. If you were to ask me if I would be willing to "buy" 15-20 accounts at this time of year, I would say NO WAY! In the spring, people will be swarming looking for good service! There is NOTHING holding you from acquiring this many accounts on your own anyway. If you DID "buy" these accounts, some of them might go with a cheaper service anyway, so you wouldn't really want these in the first place. Tell your friend you pass, and if he wants to refer them as a friend and a professional, fine. If not, you are capable of finding your own.
  8. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    Just ask your friend to look at them. Then just say no, sorry, your not interested. Then go and quote them personally. Chances are, when the customer gets word of your friend quitting, they will go with you. Think of it as insider information! Customers are NOT property, you CANT put a price on them. There are just too many FREE customers out there to worry about BUYING someone elses. Plus, how do you know that they will stick with you?

    Just my thoughts.

  9. Gtotoy

    Gtotoy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    I totally agree with Runner,, why waste your money,, put out some flyers, you get those 15-20 lawns!!!!!!~~~~~

    Just my thoughts.
  10. cleancut

    cleancut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 222

    About three weeks ago, I had a complete stranger give me all 24 of his lawns....To date, 20 of them have decided to stay with me and I've already done alot of extra work for them such as aerating, fertilizing, and spring clean-ups..I figure that this guy just gave me approximately $25,000 worth of extra income...Life is good...Derrick

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