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Lawn Venture: Should I?

gorilla1969

LawnSite Member
I am new to the lawn care business and wanted to ask some questions to those people with experience. I have an acquiantance who offered to take me into his business. He owns a lawn service in southern Florida (year-round business) but he is older, his health is failing, and wants to retire. He offered to teach me the business and sell it to me when I felt confident enough to take it over. <br>I basically wanted to know if 1.) profits are good in this business (is it worth it) and 2.) what would be a fair asking price for the purchase of his business. He wants to sell me everything...two mowers (originally went for $6k each, new), four or five blowers, some &quot;weed whackers&quot;, an enclosed trailer, and a late model Toyota compact pickup with a hitch. He currently has two employees under him who perform most of the direct labor and he handles the &quot;business&quot; end of it and supervise their work. He states that he has a full clientelle. He began the business about seven years ago. <p>I know some of the details given here are a bit vague but I am just looking for ballpark figures insofar a estimated yearly profits for an operation of this size (taking into account the two employees, equipment maintenence and replacement, gas, insurance, etc.) and approximately what the business might be worth. ANY input or suggestions would be most appreciated. Basically...what would you do if you were me? Please advise. Thanks. <p>- Mark <p>P.S. - If you can point me to some good reference materials - either on the web or in paperback - that would be great too.
 
Mark<br>2 suggestions but not answers.<br>1. Buy the business but see if you can employ the owner for 2 to 3 months before complete ownership.<br>2. Make him sign a contract that states he will not re-enter the maintenance business for at least 5 years within a boundary of your potential route. <br>Oh another thing, make sure the existing employee’s knows at some point that you will be buying the business. See if you get along with them first. I've known to many people get hurt by this after a route has been sold.<br>Jean<p>----------<br>J-LC Landscaping & Maintenance Gardening<br>C-27 Ca Contr# 770044
 

Lazer

LawnSite Bronze Member
I've bought an brokered a few businesses in my day. A business of this nature boils down to personality: his and yours. How you relate to the two current employees and how he has/you will relate to the customers will determine your success.<p>What's it worth? You need a complete review of the books by a 3rd party CPA. You need to know hourly production per man/hour and then you need to get a feel of customer loyalty.<p>I've seen them go both ways, but most often the new guy looses most of the customers within 2-3 years.
 
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