Need all of yalls "starting a business" advice.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by johndeeregreen, May 31, 2007.

  1. johndeeregreen

    johndeeregreen LawnSite Member
    from Memphis
    Messages: 34

    Well i have been a member since last year but I rarely ever post on here. I started this thread because I have quite a delimma with business infront of me. I have been cuttin/landscaping since I was 12, and am now 20. I have about 5 yards of my own and for the last year I have been working for this mid-aged man who started his own business two years ago. He pays me 10$/hour to cut 20 of his yards + (hedges, mulch, cleanups, leaf removal, etc.) and odd and end **** around his house. I have the opportunity to buy his business
    -gravely zero turn 44" (500 hours)
    -gravely 36" walk behind
    -toro pushmower
    -2 hedge trimmers
    -2 husqvarna weedeaters
    -16ft trailer
    -20 yards with 5 being contract customers.

    OR I could start my own and buy
    -16ft trailer
    -residential but commercial grade zero turn
    -walk behind
    Plus I already have an echo blower/trimmer/$700 honda pushmower.

    I just dont know if it would be more worth it to buy all of his used equipment/yards or start my own business. I mean hell, I could easily pick up 20 yards in one season. Im 20 years old and have all the ambition in the world.

    My ultimate goal is to do like what he does and train two reliable guys to cut these yards for me while i sit on my ass, go to class, and get school paid for.

    Anyways, what do yall think? I appreciate your time and help
  2. KTO Enterprises

    KTO Enterprises LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,286

    Buy your own equipment. Dont ever buy a landscaping business. All he is selling is hid old equipment.
  3. johndeeregreen

    johndeeregreen LawnSite Member
    from Memphis
    Messages: 34

    yes the only real difference in these two options is he already has 20 yards, but instead of paying him for those contracts I could just throw out flyers like all hell and get 20 of my own for the price of the flyers>...Not to mention I start my own that all brand new equipment and not his shitty gravely equipment..that gravely walk benhind is great but his zero turn ain't nothin' special
  4. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    I think working for the "middle aged man" is a bad thing.... true if you stick with him he very well may let you have the business "someday" however as you can see, doing the work is not that bad....

    What you didn't say was how much to purchase it from him.... if it sounds good, you may want to talk to him about making payments for the business,

    also what would happen if you left him? would he be in trouble... Empolyee Wise.

    Good luck
  5. BD Bone

    BD Bone LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Messages: 53

    I see this totally different that the 2 previously... How much are you paying for the biz? If it is a deal... and you say that these are money making accts... it is 20 yds that you do not have now and the equip to boot... old or not.. if you are going to buy new.. you would have 20 accts to pay for the new ones... guaranteed if they are contracted clients. However, it boils down to the cost of the biz. And.. the way I see it.. if you are buying into his identity, his branding, his reputation. Is it good? Is he established in the community? Would you be carrying on his company name? If it is a plus.. you may want to consider buying it.. with that established.. it can often take years to establishing meritable reputation in the community and if you are wanting to be able to grow it seems like a noteworthy consideration. But again, you need more info. What was his overhead last year, what are the gross incomes, expenses, receipts.. etc... get an attorney to oversee the acquisition, costs of that... Lots to think about. I do not think I would easily dismiss it.. until you have looked at all the facts. If you can buy it all.. what about installments or % of his clients .. not the equipment. Negotiate!! EVERYTHING is NEGOTIABLE!! I would be very curious why he's selling.. how many is he retaining? ANY? Just sit down making a pro/con listing on both situations and ask questions.

    Good luck!
  6. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    Buy the business.20 accounts is alot of money in the long run.Those 20 will need maintenance,installs,fert & weed control,etc.,,Think of how much advertising,marketing,and time it takes to land one account.These are being given on a silver platter(at a cost of course).Think of how much money those accounts will bring in 10 years.The beauty is,you can add more accounts to these existing ones,and while you're servicing these accounts,you're getting exposure that money can't buy.
  7. MeadowsLawnCare

    MeadowsLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 192

    I think you should look into buying it price according. The 20 accounts are going to take awhile to get and its not just money to get them, its work. The 20 accounts you will be getting should be well maintained and cleaned up by you guys and your familiar with them so it should be easy street. You get his name, rep?? Also take the equipment if its cheap enough, use it till profits let you buy new, then trade in/sell the old equipment. Good advice on gettting an attorney to oversee the transaction.
  8. johndeeregreen

    johndeeregreen LawnSite Member
    from Memphis
    Messages: 34

    okay, yes I realized I have left out alot of information about what is actually going on. We have not talked about price even yet. First off, this is a middle aged guy who drinks vodka and smokes cigarretes on his back porch all day and gets his kicks off being a boss and having every little thing done for him while he's paying us $10/hour. One day he sat us down and said he has a job offer in florida (hes selling his house) and when it does sell hes going to have to make the decision to either move all his **** and take this job (and sell us the business) OR stay. However, hes smarter than he looks. I believe what he was really trying to do is get us more motivated to get more accounts for him now because in the long run, those could become our accounts one day. I noticed that might be what he was trying to do because he kinda threw it in there at the end of his little speal.

    Then after we get done cutting the other day, were on his back porch just shootin the **** and now hes talkin about moving into a smaller home in town. He says "man i dont wanna have to move all my **** and haul off to florida". He then says if I stay here I will just "partner up". Which basically means that he will make more than 50% still sitting on his ass and getting drunk while me and some new guy go out and handle the whole business. In my mind, its not worth settling for a partnership just because he owns the equipment. I would rather get my own equipment, pay it off and make 100% profit minus hiring a guy to weedeat/edge.

    give me your opinions.
  9. bullethead

    bullethead LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 273

    If you can buy 100% of his business at a fair price, do it. If not, start your own. Screw the partnership angle. It really is that simple.
  10. johndeeregreen

    johndeeregreen LawnSite Member
    from Memphis
    Messages: 34


    If it gets to the point that he is ready to sell the business, I'll post up details on price/yards/equipment and get your opinions then. Thanks alot yall.

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