need some advice!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ssratracing, Jul 16, 2002.

  1. ssratracing

    ssratracing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Hello everyone, Ive been watching this site for a couple weeks now and I really think this could be a valuable aset.
    This is what I would like some advice on. I have been given the opertunity to buy an exsisting buisness from a friend of a friend. This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time and I feel this is a good chance to get started.
    Equipment includes:
    95 SCAG 52" wb/sulky
    95 eXmark 48" wb
    2 Shindaiwa trimmers
    14ft Trailer w/racks
    2 bp blowers
    all fall clean up equipment
    about 25 customers.
    all for about 15k
    My only concern is the mowers, along with the bank. Go figure!
    MY other option is doing it with all new stuff and trying to get my own customer base or should i try to integrate some new equipment on top of the old stuff.
    I have been looking at prices of ztrs and various othe equipment at local dealers and all is within means...I would just like to have a customer base already available so im not sitting on 20k worth of equipment and no income. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 749

    You will get a variety of answers here, but here is my personal opinion- For 15g's it should come with a truck. Thats a lot of money for beat, 8 yr old equipment. Go out and buy yourself a trailer ($1000 used), an exmark 52 or 60" ZTR (6000-8000 depending), a 21" commercial mower (1000), etc.. etc.. etc.. until you spend $13000 and have all brand new equipment for the same price hes trying to sell his junk for. Then advertise like hell, spend 2 grand on advertising, and have 25 customers and new equipment for the same price. Just my .02, i think you can do it better than buying his headaches, create your own!
  3. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,068

    $ 1500.00 sounds like it mite be a bit much. if he only has 25 customers though im sure theres not many hours on that equipment and i dont care what anyone says just cuz its 8 years old does not make it junk , plus are these gear drive or hydro mowers that would make a big diff in price

    if ya could post a pic of the trailer and mowers we could get a better idea of what your looking at
  4. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    I'd pass! That equipment couldn't be worth more then 4 or 5 grand.
    Those customers would have to be on contract and be pretty sweet accounts at that to be worth while.
    You don't have to spend $20,000 to get started on your own like you said. You can start for less then half that. Then get 3,000 fliers made up and either put them out yourself or pay someone to do it.
    You'll be ready to go and all for under $10,000, plu you'll have GOOD equipment that will last, not on it's last leg.

    Good luck and keep us informed on what you decide.
  5. ssratracing

    ssratracing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Thanks to the people that have posted so more things to think about
  6. jsaunders

    jsaunders LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,781

    Can you buy just the customer list? What is the guy asking for the equipement? ie.. 5,000 equip- 10,000 customers. Someone can always ask a given price doesn't mean there going to get it. How are the customers?- Large places or small . If small don't bother at all.
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I'd be laughing at him while I was telling him HECK NO. 25 customers is not real hard to get if you advertise correctly and at the right time of year.

    That equipment isn't worth very much. Technology changes and you could have all up-to-date, brand new, with warrenty equipment for less.
  8. AielLandscaping

    AielLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 302

    the customers that he's "selling" are his because they bought what he had to offer (himself) odds are that if you buy his list from him a large portion of those customers will quit and find someone else on their own... i know i've taken over many accounts because of this
  9. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    I think roscioli nailed this one the best. So I'll add just a little. If you've never done this before, don't kill your newbie enthusiasm by sinking yourself with someone else's problems. You'll gain valuable experience by buying NEW equipment and finding your own customers. By buying new, you're guarenteed a couple of trouble free seasons with a little common sense maintainance. Please do not buy a ZTR for a couple of years. The hydro walk behinds return more value per dollar invested than any other machine in the land. It's true, they aren't as fast, but they compensate in quality of cut and ease of handling and learning. Your yards will look better and your customers will be happier with your service. One of the most common complaints is that no one likes to pay for a lawn cutting s.w.a.t. team to tear through in record time and then dissappear. So let's add it up:

    52" hydro mower: $4500
    velke or jungle wheels: $300
    good string trimmer: $300
    good blower: $300
    6x10 tilt trailer: $500
    flyer campaign: up to you
    lack of mental anxiety and depression: priceless
  10. We do 4 U

    We do 4 U LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    I got started 3 years ago with a 44 Toro w/b, used trailer, trimmer and back blower and had 20 cust. by the end of the year.
    I did no advertising and spent $5,000. IMHO, pass on this "deal" and do it yourself from the ground up.

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