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On average, what's the number of retained customers after a biz purchase?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by justmjc, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. justmjc

    justmjc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 261

    When buying a company, you can expect to lose a few people, but anyone have an average percentage they maintain during the transition? With a lot of accounts, it's difficult to meet with each one, but if a letter is sent out, or a call is made by the former owner, what do you think are your chances or maintaining?
  2. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Messages: 1,405

    I think this is a very difficult to answer. It boils down to what each individual customer wants to do. I don't think two situations could ever be the same, ya know?!
  3. sprout

    sprout LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    ;) First year about 40%, second year 20% after that you'll keep most of'em. Good luck
  4. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Messages: 4,891

    ive bought a few businesses over the years......been close to 90-95% first year and second year drops to about 80...
  5. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,306

    I know a couple of guys who have bought businesses and have had success but I have also heard stories where people buy a company and the seller starts another business with his brother or by himself, contacts all his accounts and the buyer is left with a bunch of equipment.
  6. Lawn-N-Garden Guy

    Lawn-N-Garden Guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    I'll let you know in a couple weeks,just did a 65 customer takeover,I,m giving the previous owner a % of the 1st seasons cuttings,That way I'm not out anything if they bail on me.
  7. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,654

    Nice to see this thread because I'm in the same situation where I'm looking to buy another companies accounts, but I've been a bit unsure what to offer. If you go by a percentage, then how much are you talking about?

    And... I would want to draw up a legal contract to keep this guy from doing exactly what NNJLandman said happened to some buyers.
  8. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    I bought, or was practically given some, only 14. I kept them all till they died or moved to the old age home. Thats what happens in FL.
  9. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Messages: 4,891

    Critical care......get a CPA to go over his books and tax returns.....He then should be able to come back to you with an intelligent offer.......Usually at least one time yearly gross..
  10. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I know that when I was going through the selling of my business, in which I backed out of at the last minute, about 30% of my customers told me up front that they would leave because they didn't like the other business.

    I am glad that I backed out of the deal and so were my customers

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