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Just starting out..

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Poncho25, May 23, 2006.

  1. Poncho25

    Poncho25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    This forum seems to be full with great info from all of you who have been doing this for some time. I am just starting out my own lawn care company, just finished purchasing all my basic equipment. My question is this, I know of someone who has about 20 accounts and they are looking to sell them, is it worth jumping into someone Else's accounts? Or should I just beat the street :walking: and start from square 1? I am hopping to be incorporated by the end of this week, insured, and get my new enclosed 6 x 12 trailer. I have also been tossing around ideas for the name of the company, my wife likes "Alien Lawn Care :for service out of this world: " what do you all think of that? Also any other tips to start would be greatly appreciated, ask any questions to me to help with this...


    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Most of the time is is best NOT to take over someones accounts as he is selling for a reason. Most of the time because they are not good or priced right.
    If you are up and running and know about your overhead and costs than taking on another 20 or so can work out but I would not do it to start.
    If each one is just off by a dollar- you are working 1/2 your week at a loss.
    You will have to sell your next 20 jobs at more than they are worth (very hard to do) just to break even.
  3. Buckeye2006

    Buckeye2006 LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 12

    I would want to look at his books...Great way to get some accounts and get some cash flowing. Plus gets you out and exposed. When I was in it 10 years ago, I bought 8 accounts and by summers end I had 47 accounts. Most came from neighbors of the accounts I had bought and liked the job they saw me do. Make sure they aren't too under bidded, or just let the account know you will have to make a price increase the following season. I went around and visited each account letting them know of the transition of ownership and made sure I was paying for the accounts he said he had available. I guess I was fortunate, all stayed with me. Good Luck..I'm in the process of getting back into it. I have posted for accounts for sale in my area, but have had no replies. I presently have a full time job, which I did back then also, but there's always time to work and cut grass if you have the drive and passion...Its a very rewarding career, and very competitive. Good Luck. This forum and extremely informative. No room for 2nd best.
  4. 29 Palms Property Management

    29 Palms Property Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    I concur! (Good Word!) I would only give it a thought if they are all on contracts and they are priced right, according to you and your overhead and costs, not the seller's. Which is doubtful they are. It is better to start getting your own accounts, not too hard to do. I like to do everything from beginning to end with customers, from meeting and greeting to closing the deal and servicing the account. Who knows what has been promised with accounts you buy. Start from scratch and build your own evil empire!
  5. Poncho25

    Poncho25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    Thanks for the replys!! I def plan on looking at his books and his past year income from these accounts, they do not have a contract as the owner didn't believe in them...:dizzy:
    They are all in the same subdiv, so would be easy to get done, he is only asking for 2 months worth, where most ask 3. I def think he undbid them as he estemated he makes about 2k a month from all his accounts (20-22 accounts). That would be around 100 a month each account if 20 accounts. Again, I am not sure what type of service he offered, if it was just a cut, trim, blow type of job (was going to say Blow job, but left to much open for laughter :laugh: ) Also, need some advice as to the equiptment, he is selling a year old 48 zero turn thats included in the price, as well as a 22 inch push he has trimmers and all the other stuff also...now I have brand new:
    Gravely 34z
    Stihl trimer, edger, hedger, bp blower. Should i get the equipt with it to have as a backup?
  6. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    Guys, how much might one sell an account for?
  7. 29 Palms Property Management

    29 Palms Property Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    Here in North Florida, most are not willing to pay more then one month worth. Most LCO's selling accounts won't ask for much more then that either, that I have come across anyways. Could be different elsewhere.
  8. maxkicker

    maxkicker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    whats the point of buying accounts without contracts a lowballer could come in next month and take most of them
    if for some reason you cant resist his offer for these accounts i guess the only wise option to throw in there would be to give him a percentage of the lawns until he has been paid and if any quit he dont get that money
    atleast you both take a risk then

    for the record though buying non contract account is not so wise imo
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Well said, I wouldn't buy accounts for any reason, after all the only other choice for that Lco is to let those customers back out into the free market and he gets nothing for that. But ok, for a future percentage, maybe (but watch if that Lco wrinkles his nose, I know why LOL)
  10. Poncho25

    Poncho25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    Well my thoughts was going to be, if i liked the accounts after viewing them, I would introduce myself to all the clients in person and let them know that I do yearly agreements, and they get a discounted rate, as they would if it was per month. ATM he stated they are on a monthy argreement, which is reaccuring every month unless otherwise stated... I think the approach to this might be ok...what do you all think? I am just trying to get a few if not more to just be able to once i get the trailer, get in it and start working.


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